Day 39 of Project 365: Smiling Jack.

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2016-02-08 10.56.28

When I look up from my laptop, my view is of smiling Jack sunning himself in the courtyard. Zen occasionally ventures out into the courtyard but cannot resist the all-you-can-eat salad buffet of ornamental plants, so she is shuffled back in, all the while moaning her discontent.

Tough to be dispirited while there are cute cats all around me.

Writing from: a sleepy room in Marin. Listening to: “To the Stars” by Alma.

Day 36 of Project 365: Queen Z.

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Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Yeah, we’re so worried about how Zen is acclimating.

Eleven days after the big move and she’s bossing the other cats around and hogging all the best sunshine spots.

I spent most of the day working on a single job application. I may be overthinking it. Time to curl up with Matt Haig’s lovely book “The Humans” and forget about the job search for the rest of the night.

Writing from: Zen’s world. We just live in it. Listening to: Spotify’s Perfect Concentration playlist.

Day 29 of Project 365: Parachute.

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Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

Today I spent sneezing, coughing, and working on job applications. One in particular was due today, and I am so relieved that it is finally finished. For as much as I love job interviews — yes, really — I do not love job applications.

In other incredibly exciting news today, Zen met Jack. Jack was not bothered, but Zen sang and sang. At least she didn’t box his ears.

Writing from: Zen’s room in Marin. Listening to: Zen chugging water.

Day 28 of Project 365: Before first contact.

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2016-01-28

I am not taking any chances with Zen’s acclimation to her new, temporary home, so for now she is confined to the guest room where FunkyPlaid and I are sleeping. Zen is not bothered by this in the least; she senses there is a world outside the door but has everything she needs in here.

The reason for my caution is the two other cats in this household, Jack (right) and Cinnamon (bottom left). Neither one is particularly aggressive but I know from experience that Zen can be. It’s also cruel to throw cats into unfamiliar situations like this one without several days of getting used to the idea of each other through the crack in the door. Jack has been nosing around but Cinnamon prefers to hide away (in general, not just at Zen’s arrival).

I’m fairly sure that once we start leaving the door open Zen will choose to remain in here by herself anyway. She’s never been overfond of other cats. But there are puddles of sunshine out there, and I know she won’t want to miss those. We’ll take it as it comes.

Writing from: Zen’s room in Marin. Listening to: my own sickly breathing. Ugh, colds.

Day 22 of Project 365: Afloat on an empty sea.

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Processed with VSCOcam with t3 preset

The bed is a borrowed raft, adrift in the empty flat. FunkyPlaid and Zen and I are left, cosy and drowsy in each other’s company. Strange how it even smells emptier. I am thinking of the other leave-taking in this matched set, and how melancholy I felt. This way feels bittersweet as well, for all we are leaving behind, but there is undeniable relief woven through it: we accomplished what we set out to do. (And more. And less. And so we’ll return.)

Zen has already moved on. The raft was always just a bed to her, and her fireplace is waiting.

Writing from: a still-furnished bedroom in Edinburgh. Listening to: the slow ping of the radiator.