Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a slow summer (schoolwise)

Dissertation update time, and it's a little embarassing. When I last wrote about this in mid-May, I had finished my quantitative (numbers, surveys) data collection. I still had to do the data entry, analysis, and discussion. I also have a great deal more lit review work to do, and some quantitative (talking to people) data to collect.

I have nothing new to report. See, I gave myself the rest of May off. I worked really hard during March, April, and early May, and I had a lot of stuff going on in late May. Then we got Cleo the cat. And I decided to redo our patio (we did not have one before. So technically I "did" the patio--I did some digging and leveling, and put paver stones down). And we went to a wedding. I can come up with some kind of excuse for every moment I've spent doing something other than working on my dissertation...but the fact remains: it's now officially the "late June" portion of my "taking the rest of May off." Whoops!

Anyway, it's time to buckle down. I hate to admit it, but summer is almost over. Well, not really. Hmm, sort of. Fall semester starts in mid-August. And we'll be gone for some time in there too on a vacation to Maine. Time to get cracking. The tedious part is the data entry, and I'm going to have to just sit down and do that. I prepared the SPSS spreadsheet and sent it to my advisor for review because I didn't feel excited about entering all my 300+ double-sided survey data and then having him tell me I forgot some dumb thing here or there. That'd suck. Lucky for me, Cleo is really super helpful.

Once I get the data entered, I need to analyze, look for patterns, and write. So that's my progress (or lack of). My advisor--by the way--tells me that "cat ate my dissertation" will not fly as an excuse.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

introducing cleo

We got another cat.

Rusty is used to being by himself; a new friend will take some getting used to. We have them separated for now. He has made progress though! From near-constant hissing to playful banter in just one weekend.

And look at her: she's so pretty. It's a big reason neither of us could resist her. Normally one of us talks the other out of these types of things. This time though, I guess she was meant to be here.

Almost immediately after getting her home--especially upon experiencing Rusty's angry reaction--we felt regret over impulsively adopting her. Yes, we like her very much and she needs a home. Did she need to be in OUR home? She completely upset our two-people-one-cat balance. 30 minutes and $55 forever changed our home dynamic, shooting us back to new-pet vet appointments, spaying, discipline, and general kittenhood. And, we worried that it might have ruined the personality of our laid back and trusting Rusty.

The silly things you do when you're in a funk. Once we both admitted we had a lapse of judgement, it was easier to accept our new arrangement. We didn't return her. (That feels so awful to me. I don't think I could return a shelter pet for any but the most dire of reasons.) We named her instead. Cleo, for her dark-rimmed Cleopatra eyes. We were tempted to name her Capri, for her adoption was a capricious choice.

With a name though, she's one of us. No longer an outsider, no longer a random cat in our house. I ordered her tag on Sunday morning. (Pet owners, have you seen these? Best tags ever, hands down.) I bought her a collar with pink skulls and crossbones on it.


Welcome to the family, Cleo. Even Rusty--who is hesitant to give up his 'only cat' status--will adapt. We've been giving both cats plenty of attention, and Rusty--even though he's apprehensive of this new being in the house--seems to otherwise still be himself.

Cleo's adoption papers say she is 6 months old, but they also list her birthday as 10/1/10. We'll see what the vet thinks. I came across her--by the way--in one of those animal shelter cages by the checkout at Petco. Those work, I am telling you! They pray on the sensibilities of mushy-hearted pet owners who wind up thinking "what's wrong with having one more?" It especially helps if the cat is particularly doe-eyed and innocent, like our Cleo.

Oh and one more thing: please know that while our feelings surrounding Cleo's impulsive adoption are true (due to us being in a funk and essentially 'off our game'), we like Cleo a lot and will be an excellent family for her. I am sure that she will bring all of us joy.