Wash and I skyped with home again today. Going away long term for the first time has taught the both of us that going away sometimes is, in general, a good idea. Raccoons and humans alike tend to get used to the things and people around them. We start to take them for granted the more time we spend with them and even though we might really love them, we temporarily forget that fact in the slog that is every day life. But when you know the moment you’re leaving is drawing closer, all the little things that usually annoy the hell out of you just don’t annoy you anymore, and every minute spent together becomes precious and intense. Until that absurd moment of saying good-bye suddenly creeps up behind you and you feel like you will never ever see each other again. After spending so many years together, and almost every day of them, too, 11 months apart is a concept very hard to grasp.
So thank the scientists for Skype! The good thing about Skype is, is that it has this weird power of creating the illusion of closeness, even though there is a nine hour time difference (source of a LOT of confusion btw.), so the heartache isn’t so bad at first. You get to talk to each other, you get to see each other, it’s almost like being in the same room, almost as if you hadn’t left.
Until you remember that you did.
Wash and I skyped with a dear friend of ours, Sushi, the white angora cat this morning. Wash and her go way back and I’ve known her for about 2 years, ever since she started living with my partner and me. I dreaded saying good bye to her so much, it didn’t even bother me anymore that she would sit in front of the bathroom door meowing and scratching every time I closed the door on her to have some privacy. She’s usually quite the talker, a very communicative one, telling you all about the day she’s had. It can be really difficult to listen when Wash and her go on and on about stuff. But when we skyped this morning she didn’t seem quite so happy to chat as she usually is.
You see, the bad thing about Skype is, is that it has this weird power of creating the illusion of closeness. I might be seeing her, I might be talking to her (if she ever talks to me again, that is), but we’re still not really close. I can’t touch her, I can’t cuddle her, I can’t feed her. And the cat had more sense than Wash and I, didn’t let herself be fooled by Skype. I feel like the second Peverell brother in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I have the power to bring her close to me (the Resurrection Stone/ Skype), but still she’s not actually with me.
To get over this sadappy feeling Skype always leaves us with, Wash and I got ourselves this fake sheep fur carpet on our trip to Ikea earlier this week. If we try very hard (and put on the sound of Sushi purring in the background that my partner was kind enough to record for us), it almost feels like we’re cuddling with Sushi. Except that the carpet sheds much less fur than that hairy little cat of mine does.