Summer... and my first paid vacation ever. Three weeks of having nothing to do but laze around, play with the dog, maybe go out for a jog or ten. No worrying about money or a summer job. Ah, what a feeling... Living the dream.
As for reality it's a whole different bitch fest of a ballgame.
It started out with me deciding, at the very last moment, to journey the 1300 km south to visit my mother in Stockholm. Said and done, I packed my car, realised that my splendid idea of fitting XX bags and luggage into the car together with three cats and a lively hyperactive disorder disguised as a spotted dog was doomed from the start. So my journey began with the baggage area filled to bursting, three cats in their carriers taking up most of the back seat and a restless Dalmatian in the front passenger seat. The dog decided she really couldn't stand for riding in the car unless she got much more space than she actually needed so I had to stop a few miles from home to tilt the back rest as far back as possible just so she would stop fidget and go to sleep. In the meantime two out of three cats were holding an a capella concert in the back seat while the third was most likely plotting the gruesome murders of all the rest of us. On top of that the petrol pay card suddenly turned up empty, despite having been checked the day before. So I had no idea whether I'd even make it the full stretch to Stockholm. Either way, the last issue was solved along the way, thank goodness. We reached our stop for the night, got our cabin, where I found out one of the cats had decided that his carrier really was a good substitute for a litter box, and then me and the dog took off for a visit to my sister. Part of the luggage was, thankfully, safely delivered into my sister's hands, enabling me to change the seating arrangements for the second stretch of the journey.
The second stretch then... I thought it was such a brilliant idea to let the dog share the back seat with my luggage while the cats could frolic around, including using their real litterbox, outside their carriers in the baggage area, which was separated from the rest of the car by a lattice. Foolishly I forgot that cats are the original contortionists so in the end I had one cat sleeping happily on the floor at the front passenger seat and another getting stuck between the lattice and the car in his attempts to do what the other one did. As if that wasn't enough I managed to hit the rush hour in Stockholm... *shudders*
Anyway, we finally reached the goal and I decided to take my twitchy dog for a walk to stretch her legs. It ended with her pulling too sharply, making me stumble into a hole and fracturing some toes. My grand ideas of long walks and jogging were thus firmly thwarted. Thank god for the garden at my mothers house and specially made dog enclosures in the vicinity.
As if broken toes weren't enough the vacation then continued with two of my, normally indoor, cats managing to run off when my mother forgot a door to the outside open. One of them returned home that same day, being used to the area after having lived there as an outdoor cat for a few years. The other one had never been outside and only lived in my care for two weeks so to say I was worried would be a gross understatement. In the end he did return, almost a week later, apparently not much worse for wear and with a new taste for freedom... as long as it comes with a pristinely clean litter box and smelly wet cat food on a regular basis.
And in the middle of all this I noticed that the third cat, which suffers from a chronic kidney disease, was starting to look really bad. She's lost weight and started to smell awfully. So not wanting to travel with an obviously sick cat I decided to prolong my vacation in Stockholm from the original two weeks to three (thus cutting it uncomfortably close to when i start work again). My little one's got an appointment with the veterinary on Tuseday 23:rd. While I'm still hoping for the best I'm also firmly expecting the worst, and have pretty much steeled my heart to the fact that I'll probably have one cat less when I get home than when I left for my vacation.
But hey, at least the weather's been nice. In fact it's been so nice I'll be travelling home with itching skin due to sun blisters. I've also had a lot of fun with friends I haven't seen for years, apart from the fact that one such outing with friends gave me a sore neck due to a café chair breaking and med hitting my neck against a wooden bench, and I've gotten to spend some quality time with my dear mum.
Still, I'll be needing a vacation to recover from this year's vacation. At least there won't be much risk of getting sunburn and broken toes at work.