It seems the weather is about to change on us here in southwestern Ohio. No white Christmas; infact it was rather mild at 45F. It's already down to 30 tonight and it is not supposed to get out of the 20s all day tomorrow. Luckily I have another week off from the gym and can cuddle at home with the pets. The newest cat, Coal is loving every minute of being an indoor pet. He is the youngest we have now, about 2 years old. He has only been coming inside since September, but he has been hanging around since August 2006. We would catch the occasional glimpse of him in the flower bed or under the bushes on the side of the house. I could even coax him out with some food, but only around July 2007 did he come close enough for me to pet him. I am sure it is the same cat from last Summer because when he opens his eyes he has this strange cross-eyed look for just a moment. He also has a large oblong head, not narrow and sleek like all our other cats. Now he has a huge oblong body to go along with his big head. I am sure he has doubled in size since I have gotten him "fixed" and he stays inside most of the time. Here he is enjoying the sofa today. Of all the cats he gets along best with Alix, which is a total surprise. Alix is a people cat who prefers the one-pet household. When we stayed at my mom and dads from April '98-April'99 she loved being the only pet. Now she tolerates the other animals to a certain point and I was sure should would not accept a new "friend" in her old age. Coal runs right up to her in his huge, bumbling way ( he is not terribly graceful for a cat) but Alix stands her ground and will not give up her food dish to him. Poor Sammy surrenders right away, rather then be knocked over to have his food stolen. So when it is "feeding time at the zoo", as Joe calls it, Coal must wait outside on the porch until the older cats finish eating. He is also put out late at night because his lack of grace and tact make him a very bad bed partner. He stomps around and does that punching thing cats do regardless of blanket coverage or body part that my come under his claws. He has gotten a bit better and stays napping on the spare bed downstairs until about 3am. Then the stomping begins and he is sent out to his little bed on the porch. He latest trick is to jump up on the one-storey roof of our kitchen that backs up to the two storey section of our house. Our bedroom window looks out over the kitchen area roof and this is the perfect launching point for Coal to heave himself at our bedroom window in a attempt to get inside. Last night I wished I had the digital camera next to the bed because there was this amazing silhouette of Coal hi-lighted against the Christmas lights outside hanging from the screen of our bedroom window, begging to be let inside. He usually sleeps soundly outside, but wakes up precisely at 6am when he hears our alarm clock go off. Of course the alarm is not set on Sunday so he needed to remind us to get up and let him in.
I am actually not dreading so much going into the gym tomorrow for 5 hours to do private lessons. It gives me a little extra cash without the "backseat coaching" of my boss. It also gives me a chance to work with girls I have coached in the past who have moved up to higher competitive levels. Then I can be creative. I was surprised yesterday about how much I had missed the gym in these 2 1/2 weeks. There it was all clean and silent; a way I don't usually see it. I could walk to the Balance Beams and just stand there, and for the briefest moment relive my own days as a gymnast. I always loved Beam the best. It is still where I am the best coach, the most creative and at ease. It is a feeling that is hard to explain. Excitement, fear, stress..........but at the same time a sense of security and confidence. Something I can't get from any other aspect of my life. I find the more I complain about my job the more I long to be in there making the girls better, making myself better. Oh, I'm such a geek!!!!!!!!