February 10, 2023

Hell Week and a Gypsy

Last week, I saw that a girl in my math class had a real paper planner that she was using to keep up with her classes. First, I wasn't aware that college students still used such things (isn't there an app for that?), and second, I wondered why she needed an entire book to keep up with four classes. I mean, that day alone, I'd doctored a chicken, gone to class, did hours of homework, cooked, wrote two articles for work, and took care of all of my animals' other needs. And I am also taking four classes. I've yet to write down any kind of notes about due dates or anything like that. Oh, to be 20 again, when that's all I had to worry about. But it's nice being a mature adult who has it all together, right?

Well, at least I thought I had it all together.

I woke up the next day, which was Thursday, and realized I had a project due on Friday at noon that required me to have some supplies on hand that I didn't necessarily have and wasn't really sure where to buy. Oops. Thankfully, there's an Amazon warehouse near me, and both the items I needed were apparently in stock there because they were delivered about three hours after I ordered them. And even though I'd planned to chill that night, watch a little Netflix, and take a bubble bath, I ended up spending several hours working on said project to meet the Friday noon deadline. I managed to get an A on it, so there's that.

But then I started looking at my schedule for each class for this week, and, well, the first phrase that came to mind was "hell week." I had a test or quiz in every single class, and in some cases, both. This included my first big proctored, no notes precalculus exam (on which I didn't do too well, ugh). Taking four classes hasn't been that hard in itself, but taking four classes and one of them is an extremely demanding math class is kicking my butt, I'll admit. On top of that, I would be trying out a new role at one of my jobs starting this week. Throw in the fact that I'm leaving the country in a few weeks, and I have so much to do before I go, and well, you're starting to understand why I declared this "hell week."

My mom always used to say that you put energy out into the world when you speak, and maybe I should have thought about that before I came up with such a label, because on top of all that, it seemed like 100 things went wrong. I'll spare you the list, but it's just been one of those weeks when every aspect of life tries to act up at once. Thankfully, it's almost over. And I'm declaring the rest of this year "not hell week." I mean, it's worth a shot, right?

The only bright spot has been my new tiny kitten, Hattie. I've been planning to get a kitten since August. After losing Lily, I felt like my remaining cat, Annie, needed a friend. She'd never been an only cat, and she just seemed really lonely. In December, I decided it was finally time, and I bought some supplies, but I could never bring myself to execute. And then, a couple of weeks ago, the rescue where I got Lily and Annie posted on Facebook that they were having trouble adopting out black kittens, so I decided that Annie and I needed a black kitten. I didn't tell anyone but my dad and one of my cousins that this was happening, and last Tuesday, I spotted one on their website that caught my eye. I contacted them about her, and they told me to come see her on Saturday, so that is what I did.

When I got out on Saturday, I decided to go by Tractor Supply first and then I'd backtrack to meet the kitten at our local PetSmart. And when I arrived, a lady and her two kids were filling out the paperwork to adopt the kitten I had my eye on. I was so upset, and I almost walked out and decided I'd try again after my trip next month, but that's not what happened.

You can roll your eyes at this one, but the night before, I'd been trying to come up with names for a potential kitten. Lily was named for one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs, "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts," and Annie's full name is Annabel Lee (courtsey of Mr. Poe). So, I was thinking about musical names, and Fleetwood Mac kept popping into my head. Rhiannon? Stevie? Christine? Anyway, as I'm leaving the store, kitten-less, I notice most of the kittens have buddies in their cages, but there is one cage with the tiniest black kitten in it, and she was all alone.

Her name? Gypsy. Lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice...

Was this a sign from the heavens? I'll probably never know for sure, but I took it as one. I read the little "intro" on her cage, and it said she'd been found in the woods by a hunter when she was only a few weeks old. Not only was she adorable, not only did she have a Fleetwood Mac name, but she had like a little gothic fairytale background story, and if you know me, you know I'm a sucker for such things. So, I told the volunteer that's who I wanted, and she had me look at a few others to be sure, but I was sold.

And then I got her home. First of all, I ended up naming her Hattie. Gypsy got my attention, but I decided not to keep it. Second of all, I initially thought she was defective. The minute you touched her, she attacked, biting and kicking and scratching — not in a mean way, just in a "I have no siblings or cat mama to teach me how to play, so I don't know any better" way. Over the years, my mom and I have hand-raised a few baby kittens, and I know they can be on the wild side because they never learn how to play properly.

We're working on that, but otherwise, Hattie fits in quite nicely here. For now, she lives in this little tent thing I bought on Wayfair. It's a decent size for a little kitten, and she's got her food, water, a blanket, toys, and litter box in there. Plus, it's right next to Sadie's bed, and she has fallen in love with Sadie, though Sadie merely tolerates her. I thought it would be a great way to introduce her to Annie without incident, and so far, so good. Plus, it'll be helpful for my dad to have while he animal sits for me in a few weeks. Annie sits and watches her, but if she gets too close, she hisses at her. She's not mean to her though. I think she wants to like her, but Annie is not the most social of animals. She'll come around. And I think they'll become great friends. Hattie wants to be friends with everyone.

And even though I'm only six days in and already love that tiny little black kitten, I could have killed her a few nights ago when she somehow got upstairs and jumped from the second floor balcony onto the first floor. I just knew she'd broken all her bones, and I'd be buying my vet a European vacation or something, but she's fine. She was super sleepy the next day — I told my dad we needed concussion protocol — but she's back to her wild and crazy self. And she's only allowed time outside of her little tent when she can be supervised by a human because my nerves can't take another incident like that right now. But, like I said, it's hell week, so I expect nothing less.