So, my family rescues animals. A lot of animals.
Cats: Bert (a fat, mincing grey poufball), Churchy (who is all black and keeps getting locked in closets), The Black Cat (who has an anger issue), and my eccentric sister's two wierdy and totally unrewarding cats both with names starting with 'D' (Daphne and Dandelion maybe?) who never come out from under the bed and have a dreadlock problem.
Dogs: Gordon (the larger, elder statesman in possession of the bunny), The Major (small fusspot who lives on watermelon and radishes and wants the bunny). Plus honorary dog: The Peanut (Michelle's excitable somewhat spastic but lovable pooch).
Birds: Lots of wild chickens in Kauai who take their breakfast on our lawn, in particular: Fancypants, the adulterous rooster, Mama's Hen, an irresponsible teenage mom who keeps misplacing her babies and the Gay Roosters, a lovely, stable couple. Plus a number of serene Nene Geese who enjoy bagels for lunch.
Sea Turtle: That is a random sea turtle I met at Queen's Bath. He looked like he was over 150 years old and his name should be Clemance.
I thought I should mention them as roughly half the conversations in my family begin or end with the animals. Mama: "I have to go, Bert wants to get into the bathtub." To her, this is a perfectly reasonable sentence. Tuna: "You can't read that, The Major wants to sleep on it." My family are crazy about the animals. Some live in Washington DC, some live in NYC, some commute to Hawaii; it gets complicated.
I am currently living in the empty summer house in Kauai with the birds and on most days, Matt, Michelle and The Peanut. As I often have to move (to Summerbreak, Chad and Wendy's beautiful house by the bay--it is heaven) when the house is rented out and I often leave the island for the mainland and am planning to go back to the UK for research, animals are tricky. I have plastic, Walmart boxes. Lots of plastic, Walmart boxes. In go the books, papers, bikinis, beach towels, shampoo, clothes and if I am very lucky, my phone charger. These boxes reek of transient if very happy, limbo. The glorious in between of writing but not finishing. Hoping but not planning.
Animals denote a certain stability; a sense of being responsible and not just winging it. Michelle carries around a large diaper bag full of The Peanut's accoutrements. It gives her an air of motherly gravitas. As I begin research on this second book I feel a new phase of things beginning.
No time for that today. I am in a city--a mainland city with large, well stocked bookstores, for only four more days. Broken ribs or no broken ribs I am off to soak it up before I return to the relatively bookless island of Kauai...