The solitude of the morning

As I grow older, I find that I prize my time alone more and more. Thus, here I sit at six a.m., tapping away at a keyboard. The computer room door: open just a crack. One of my curious cats could use an inquisitive front paw and a quick headbutt to open the door if they really wanted to, but this way Jeff won't be disturbed by the light coming from this room.

I marvel at people who manage to take this sensory-overload life in stride, because I do not succeed at it very often. Calling myself scatterbrained is a cruel but apt way of explaining my version of coping. It it hard to explain to people that I lose things on a daily basis, and that I try not to let it bother me as much as it could. Why should I be overly worried about misplacing my wallet or my keys? I do it almost every day, without fail. I put them down, think, This is a logical place, so I'll remember where I put them this time— and then the next morning, I'm once again utterly mystified at where in the world my brain directed me to put them. It's a daily occurrence.

Yesterday afternoon, I had more trouble than usual finding my wallet. After ten minutes of fruitless searching, I gave up and put on my jacket—and there it was, in my left jacket pocket. I rejoiced, and put the wallet in my left jeans pocket. Then I took off my jacket, because I realized that I needed to do something else before going shopping.

Five minutes later, I couldn't remember where my jacket was.

I have to treat it as funny—because if I don't, the only other option is to strictly regiment my life to keep up with everything that goes on around me. Andy constantly lectures me that I do too much planning and worrying anyway, and that I should learn to let things slide.

What is it about early-morning or late-evening solitude that I prize so much? It is many things: the calmness of the house, the phone that doesn't ring, the sleeping spouse, the urge to type quietly so as not to disturb the hush that has fallen over the house. It's my way of letting things slide for a few hours, letting the hush and the quiet leach, drop by drop, into my bones.

The quiet of the small hours is a strong quiet—it resists being broken. It resists work-related worries, urges to get the house clean, and to-do lists. Almost everything, that is, except the purring of a cat. (Tenzing seems determined to say hello this morning.)

Tenzing is such a silly critter. He will hop up onto my computer desk and start radiating happy purrs before I can even reach out to touch him. When he wishes to be cuddled—which is often, as he's a snuggler—he will stand parallel to my chest and keyboard. He will then lean away from me and place one front paw and one back paw on my chest, then blink his round eyes at me as if to say, "I'm making it easy for you—so pick me up and cuddle me already!"

I've tried to capture this on the catcam, to no avail.

They find it easier to cuddle on me during these quiet times—these very same times that my urge to write is the strongest. Maybe it's the terrycloth robe—or maybe it's because they, too, understand that a less-distracted kittymommy is more likely to have time to give them the protracted lazy scritchies they really want.

Silly boys, they are, but since they were six weeks old I have been the only mother they've had, and they treat me accordingly. They don't understand why I occasionally stop petting them and go back to tapping away at the keyboard.

Like now.
More thoughts forthcoming.