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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

A Bit Nuts

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Darren Blair

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Maybe someone can explain this to me. Somehow. Some way. I don’t know.

It starts every evening about 9 PM or so. Most days, with work, church, errands, and other personal obligations, I don’t get online until well into the afternoon. This means that at 9, I’m still only about 75% of the way done with what I need to, what with all the news feeds I follow, material I need to work on (I have a few side projects going), and everything else. Most nights, I can easily be done by 11 PM or Midnight if I’m not interrupted. But that’s not what happens.

Instead, Bit – the family cat – will come up and park himself off to my right. He’ll chirp, rub up against me, and if I’m not fast enough (that is, if I don’t respond within a millisecond or two) he’ll sniff about – and perhaps even try to nibble on – the cords of the laptop I use. This forces me to stop what I’m doing and physically remove him from the area lest he hurt himself.

Thus begins a struggle to see what it is he wants. Does he want food? If so, does he want wet food or treats? Will he eat what variety we put in front of him? Does he want fresh water? Does he want the windows opened? Does he just want to sit with someone for a few minutes? It takes some trial and error to figure it out. This is particularly frustrating on the weekends. On Friday nights, I can take some time to collect my thoughts about the movie of the week in a tactful fashion for the reviews. And on Saturday and Sunday, I have radio shows I like listening to (7 – 10 PM Saturday, 8 – 11 PM Sunday).

This commotion then tends to get Rusty, the family dog, going. Just as Bit has a multi-purpose chirp for everything he wants, Rusty has a multi-purpose smoker’s cough. He’ll stand up, start hacking & wheezing, and go from there. Is he just wheezing because he’s old? Does he need to be let outside? Does he just want someone to clear a space so he can get some water?

This, of course, tends to wind Bit right back up, and so things tend to spiral out of control for the next hour or two. Then, finally, everyone settles down. If I’m lucky. If you were to see into the inbox I submit my movie reviews to, you’d see how often they’re date-stamped as being submitted at 3 AM or 4 AM the next morning because I’ve had to be up all night between working on the reviews and dealing with the animals.

Of course, as a consequence of this, I often don’t get to bed until 4 or even 5 AM, and so it’s frequently late in the morning – between 8 and 10 AM, if not later – when I finally wake back up. Then I’m off and running doing everything else, which means… I’m on the computer at 9 PM, right when Bit gets started. Unless, of course, I end up being awake for two or three days straight again, or near enough to it with as little sleep I get to try and shift everything around.

So yeah. Every night, Bit goes nuts. And as a result, I end up slowly going nuts because I can’t finish up. He doesn’t seem to understand that “the more I get interrupted, the longer it takes”.



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