I had just finished an intense week or two (cannot remember exactly-- it was long ago) of brain-frying proposal writing and had just pushed the "release to SRO" button on NSF's on-line proposal submission system at the last possible moment, when the adrenaline crash started. Along with the draining of the adrenaline from the system, my mind wandered to more "mundane" things like food, water and other basic necessities of life. As I gorged on some store bought fare, I took to thinking about the life I lived. "What", I questioned myself, "is the matter with you?" (when questioning myself in private, I always talk to myself like I were someone else!). "What is this life you are leading? Why is your brain feeling like it could do with a thorough dousing in ice cold water?" And then, just as suddenly, the answer hit me like a ton of bricks. "Animals! That's it! Animals." Ever since I moved out of India I had not heard the pitter patter of tiny feline paws and was starved for selfless affection (yeah, yeah, I know about the survival of the fittest and all that good stuff!) from feline furries. As was my custom ever since my sister moved to the US, I called her up immediately to discuss the epiphany. She, of course, readily saw the logic in my argument, that the only way to alleviate all my work woes was to bring home a tiny bundle of joy. In the next 30 minutes we had worked each other up into a frenzy, to the point that I had to go and adopt a kitty-cuddles immediately. I looked in the Web and within a few minutes discovered the presence of the SPCA near home.
All was going according to plan, when it came to an unexpected, jolting halt. Adoption was not open at this time of the day! I would have to wait a whole day before I could put my plan to action.
I finally brought myself to steady state and waited until my husband got home to give him the great news, "honey, we are going to have a family!"Well, Honey came, Honey heard, but surprisingly, Honey was not conquered!
Not going according to plan.
So, the next few hours was spent convincing a VERY reluctant Honey that I am willing, able and ready to take care of said kitty-cuddles. After all, I explained patiently to the rather animal-uninitiated-Honey, that I have had numerous, just numerous, cats in my life. In fact, I had cats deliver clutches of kittens in my bookcase on a very regular basis. (In fact, for some reason, they seemed to prefer my history textbook!). Finally, I dragged Honey, kicking and screaming, to the local SPCA and looked for kitties. Every kitty I saw there seemed in extreme need of a home. I swallowed the impulse to do a "girl-who-asked-for-more" act and concentrated on locating just one. We moved through the area twice and nearly missed the-one-who-would-become mine.
I was about to pass by a crate that had 3 or four kittens when I noticed a little girl next to me pointing at something in the center of the cage. I bent down and saw a most forlorn, quiet, thoughtful looking orange and white kitty. Now, in my experiences with kittens, I had realized that the orange ones tended to be more active and interesting. So, I filled out an application for that kitten and turned it in to one of the people assisting with the adoptions. A few minutes later she came back saying the little girl was interested in the cat and so could I pick another one? I was just making up my mind about one of the other cats, when the lady came back and said that the little girl was unable to adopt at this time, since the family was living in a place where they did not allow pets!
So, Mr. Walrus Moustache (not original name!) came home with me, still recovering from some upper respiratory infection. Honey and I decided to let him out of his little cardboard box in one of the smallest rooms in the house and dutifully showed him where his own "rest-room" was. He took one look at it and then went under the lowest piece of furniture. And there he would stay for a whole day! Honey spent the first 3 hours after the Great Home Coming with his face plastered to the floor near the piece of furniture coochi-cooing to Mr. Walrus Moustache to come out from under the furniture! Yes, Honey. Not me! Yes, 3 hours --may be with some breaks. I have never seen Honey so focused on anything before! Aah, the joys of fatherhood!!