With all my hurried activity these past several days in preparation for returning to work tomorrow after more than a year away from the grind, all of The Kids have ascertained something important is afoot.  They have watched me closely, spent more time shadowing my every step, and made a point of inflicting woeful gazes and pitiful whimpers.

So when I sat on the floor yesterday to visit with them, along came Grendel who promptly sat beside me and offered up a rueful, distant look.

Grendel staring ruefully out the window (159_5956)

They have traveled this road before.  Many years we spent with Daddy gone for vast swathes of time on weekdays, and then to have our weekends full of drudgery and dreary chores, busy yet brief spans of time wherein I crammed life’s necessities whilst simultaneously filling as much of it with quality feline fun and affection.

They’ll suffer a bit with this change, I believe, yet they’ll adapt and remember that I’ll be back each evening.

Nevertheless, now I share in their preemptive remorse.  I too feel the doleful malaise that marks both a new beginning and a tragic end—and end to a family spending most of their time together, of children who always knew Daddy was available and near.  With work and its commute, our household will change dramatically at first, then settle back into a recognizable yet not as pleasing routine.

These five cats sure know how to lay on the guilt trip…

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