We are going camping tomorrow, and we are in a state of chaos. Every time we go camping, I say to myself that we’re going to clean the whole house before we go so we can return home from the wilderness to all of the glorious amenities of modern civilization, and yet every time we go it’s as though we’re trailing various condiment bottles and items of clothing behind us like a Richard Scarry adventure.

Rather than further preparations—much-needed details added and amendments to a very loose meal plan, scrutiny of weather forecasts, taking a shovel to the piles of laundry in the bathroom—I am instead here snacking on the expensive chocolate I supposedly bought for the camping trip and worrying about the cats.

For your delight, here are some quick 1-2s on how the cats are getting along just earlier today, when they were out for a brief jaunt in the backyard.


I spent a non-insubstantial amount of time capturing these photos this afternoon, which was arguably the highest and best use of my time, given that my other option was puttering around the kitchen, surrounded by the haphazard groceries given to me by Loblaws, having only received a third of the various disparate parts of the meals I had planned for camping. Why yes, you can attempt chicken fajitas minus the chicken, tortillas, and bell peppers but here are some onions and two very hard avocados which will be ripe in three weeks, which is also coincidentally when they will also be overripe. We will have to subsist off granola bars and jerky. Caleb put 30-something books on hold at the library that all came in at once, so I guess we’re prepared enough: chocolate and library books.

We are having a cat sitter come to take care of Chicken. Chicken may not enjoy it being bolted in, but alas he will be surrounded with abundant food, water, litter, toys, soft places to sleep, interesting books, high quality stationery. The real question is what’s going to happen to this grey cat. Normally both cats have free access to the outdoors, so if the grey cat wants to spend all day lounging around on the kitchen counters, who am I to say no. He’s not trapped in here except by my adoring advances and the allure of a certain handsome if aloof ginger.

Perhaps this will be the breaking point in Chicken’s spirit, jailed in together with his soulmate/nemesis, he can only come out of this haggard, but with a new understanding of the term “life partner.”

As much as I joke (“joke”), I am ambivalent about locking in an animal that’s only ours in love, as luxurious a kingdom as it might be. We’re going to have to see how it goes. The grey cat perhaps will be let out on bail whenever he likes, and hopefully he still returns to give Chicken a whiff of the great outdoors every once in a while.

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September 29, 2021 — Liz Chan

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