“They would eat us.”

Being imperfect, the Parent Imperfect left you hanging in NY. The New York trip was great, even though they managed to be strolling around Manhattan on the coldest day of 2009. Timing is, indeed, 9/10ths of life (position being the other half). The highlight of the trip was seeing Paula, Luis and Sonya from California. Vincent and Connie see Sonya very seldom, but the connection matters to them. The other highlight of the trip was skating in Bryant Park, just behind the NY Public Library. Not a skater, the PI says this vicariously, as Paula, Sonya, Liz, Vince and Connie all seemed to love skating among the skyscrapers with hundreds of New Yorkers.

The UU Guest House off Park was a mixed success. There was enough space for a big party, and the location can’t be beat, but the strong smell of anti-roach activity in the kitchen was less than appetizing. The roaches thought so, too, as not a single one appeared. Having made the mistake of driving into the city, the merry foursome confronted the problem of parking on the East Side. In desperation, they drove the Prius into a garage for an outrageous price. With a little forethought, they could have done much better.

On the way back, the happy campers passed through Killingworth for dinner with Liz’s two Connecticut siblings, and families. Since the PI never had cousins near his age, he marvels at the relationships V and C have formed with theirs. More relationships well worth renewing…

And then they were all back in Boston and suddenly the grinding school routine was underway, once more. The biggest change of the new year came, quite fittingly, on New Years’ Day. Sheba arrived. Sheba had also come from NY. Rescued in late November from life as a stray on the streets of the Bronx, Sheba had somehow ended up in Gloucester. For one reason or another, that didn’t work out, so she arrived as an answer to Vince and Connie’s longing for a cat. This longing, secretly shared by the mother, had always run headlong into the PI’s cat allergy, but the New Year reflections somehow softened his resolve. He gave in.

Of course V and C love the cat, although they love less the chores that come with her. The PI has insisted that Sheba be banned from bedroom and office, and, so far, the allergies are manageable. We’ll see what happens when the pollen season comes. By then, the beast will surely be too much a part of the family for allergies to matter.

And, of course, the cat is deranged. It must be the transition from the streets of the Bronx to the much more wild environment of the urban homestead. For the first couple of weeks, the cat went into a frenzy every time Connie sat down to practice the piano. The PI had never seen a cat race across the room and then leap up and scratch someone.

As usual Wayne had it right. “These are wild animals that have decided on the convenience of being with us. If they were bigger than us, they would eat us.”

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