I’m, unfortunately, not referring to the series of essays by Virginia Woolf. I simply have been displaced. My room is currently being used by a rescued kitten and I am currently working at the dining room table in the living/dining combo space of our Mumbai flat. I am very discombobulated and suffering from Blogger’s Block and it is entirely my fault. It appears that I have spoiled our four fur kids. Sus and I have two dogs that came with us and two cats that we rescued here in India and now the kitten, which hopefully is temporary, but most likely won’t be.
The problem? The problem is I am a creature of habit. I have a schedule and a routine that if interrupted sends me into a tail spin. I like to work in my room. It is quiet, the light is excellent and I am removed from distractions. It is in a perpetual state of organized chaos but doesn’t impede my thought process or projects. It is my little corner of the world. I am currently trying to work in the neutral zone which is the hub of activity and the domain of our two dogs, Lily and Sheba and two cats, Izzu and Sophie.
All four have very distinct personalities and therefore equally distinct likes and dislikes. The one commonality; they all love television. This, again, is my fault. I learned years ago (when we lived in Oklahoma) that if I kept a television on when we left the house it helped with separation anxiety; after we arrived in India it helped buffer all the outside noise, hence, the t.v. is always on (except at bedtime).
Sheba, our oldest dog (10 years old) loves a romantic comedy or historical drama, Lily (6 years old) loves sci-fi, cop dramas and action movies and occasionally a cartoon or two. Izzu, our oldest cat (3 years old) loves weird, space-time dilution movies and documentaries and Sophie (1 year old) loves anything that has bright colors, high-pitched noises and non-stop action. She is the only one of the four that likes sports.
They often pair off, Lily and Sophie or Sheba and Izzu. Most people have a coffee table in front of their sofa, we have a giant custom made dog bed, perfect for 2 dogs and 2 cats at the same time, although you will mostly find a one cat, one dog combo.
Left to Right: (left insert)Lily and BFF Sophie, (right, top) Sheba, (middle) Izzu and her box, and (right, bottom) Sophie when she got here a year ago.
Every morning I get up and after starting their breakfast and a pot of coffee for me, I program their channel line up, waiting for the coffee to hit my blood stream and the dogs to return from their morning walk. This programmed line up ensures that they all get at least one movie or series that they like. If the line up sucks that day, we resort to YouTube and music (they have preferences there as well). We have a system and it works unless we bring in a rescue and then I have to move out of my room/studio and it all goes to pot.
All rescued animals have to go through a quarantine period, be treated for fleas/ticks, dewormed and have a vet check before I start the integration process. They get my room because it is the smallest room in the flat as well as warm and relatively quiet. Great for them but not great for me. Why is it not great for me? Everyday at 2p.m. the dogs go on their mid-day walk and when they return, all fur kids get their afternoon treat, settle in for some t.v. and/or a nap and I go to my room and work on this blog, read, knit, paint….basically it is my time for whatever amuses me. House is cleaned, pets are tended, there shouldn’t be any interruptions for awhile because all of Mumbai is at lunch and then napping. It is as close to perfect as I can get.
If I work in my room/studio with kitten(s). I find it difficult to get anything done because kittens like to climb you like you are a tree or take flying leaps from no where and land on your keyboard, which will leave you, at best, with a bunch of gibberish that looks like a complicated code that needs deciphering and at worst a computer system that shut its self down because they landed on the exact keys to erase EVERYTHING! So, I moved out of my room…safer for me and the computer.
Dilemma? The dilemma is I am in the communal area, which according to the fur kids means that I am done for the day and are available for their amusement. So, Lily is dancing behind my chair wanting me to play tag with her and I peripherally see Sheba is doing her best impression of a submarine periscope. I am waiting for her inevitable “huffhufffhuhhhfffff!” Informing me that she is not happy that she has to watch Lily’s show if Lily isn’t going to watch it…CHANGE IT NOW! The cats are perched like two gargoyles sending me subliminal messages for treats if they have to endure both dog’s stupidity any longer and it dawns on me that the pets were not the only ones that were trained.
P.S. Kitten is female and doesn’t have a name…yet.
Photo is of nameless rescued kitten and taken with the camera on a very old Samsung Galaxy 4 phone.