That’s Dr. Cellaneous to you, bub.
First, the new kitten. If Amelia and Astrid aren’t actually friends, they’ve become the kind of enemies that siblings often are — devoted to one another’s downfall but recognizing they must stop short of actual murder.*
It’s been years since I’ve had a kitten in the house. I had forgotten that they live a truly 24-hour day, playing and sleeping around the clock. Currently, I am reminded of this every morning around 3 a.m. when Amelia chews on my hair and pats my face with her paws in a manner that would be absolutely adorable at 3 p.m., but in the wee hours merely gets her tossed onto Astrid, who sleeps at the foot of the bed, which results in a kitty chase down the stairs as I go back to sleep. I once heard Anne Lamott say that "getting a new kitten is like inviting a crank addict into your home. One you’re not even related to." On the other hand, Astrid seems to be the better candidate for kitty drug addiction given that she keeps sleeping on the bed despite the high probability of incoming kittens at 3 a.m.
Other than appreciating Amelia’s adorableness, my days are now occupied with preparations for the coming fall semester. Ever had those dreams where you’re back in high school but you can’t remember your locker combination,** or you’re in college and it’s the last day of finals and you realize that you never once attended a crucial class all semester and now you’re late for the exam? Well, such dreams persist. Most nights, I dream that I’ve completely forgotten to teach one of my classes for the whole semester, although sometimes I show up to teach freshman English but I’ve brought notes for advanced calculus instead (and the very idea of me taking any kind of calculus, let alone teaching it, is a whole ‘nother nightmare).
The problem with this current batch of teacher-anxiety dreams is that they’re based, however slightly, in reality. I can be quite the airhead when my stress level is high. For instance, when I was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Nevada, Reno, I was nominated for and won the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award one year. Great news, happy happy and it came with money. Yay. On the night that the faculty gathered at the yearly function to dispense awards and recognition, where was I? At the mall buying a blouse to wear to the function, which I was positive was the next night. Several of my professors called my home immediately after the ceremony to assure themselves I hadn’t been in a car wreck or some other award-function-usurping tragedy. No, I assured them, I had just been proving what my students had come to know about me: good teacher, easily confused. But hey, I had a fabulous new blouse.
*It is because my sister Fanny and my big bro ascribed to this philosophy that I am here typing to you today.
**nakedness in the dream is optional. When I’m naked in high school dreams, no one else even notices, which probably speaks volumes about my teenaged*** self esteem.
***yeah, teenaged. Like now I’m all better #snarf#.