Gene came home on Wednesday and said he had a meeting with his boss Friday morning. Cat was planning a large round of layoffs and about 1 in 10 people would be affected. Gene promised to call me immediately following his meeting at 10am. At 10:30 I started to get nervous, BUT, his boss could have been running late. At 10:40 I started to panic because WHAT could take that long if the news was good??? The phone finally rang at 10:52... The news was good. The meeting took forever because Gene and his boss were discussing Gene's "redeployment" into the factory.
Phew! We dodged that bullet! For now. We have always known layoff was a distinct possibility. Gene just always thought he was "safe" until the end of the year when his project was scheduled to be completed. His project was scrapped at the end of March. I hadn't taken the whole thing too seriously because we had MONTHS to change our spending habits and start saving more. This threat was a definite wake-up call! We are very lucky.
My work has also been stressful, but in a very different way. With introductions of same species, different species and moving animals outside into yards, work has been nuts. Every day introduces the possibility of something going terribly wrong. The time limit of June 6th looms closer and closer and we all feel the weight of the major deadline. I'm back into the exhausting cycle of going into work early and working as hard as I can until a half-hour after quitting time. Breaks are non-existant and even lunch is usually cut short. The successes make it all worthwhile! It is amazing and wonderful to see the lions and monkeys outside in their yards. The giraffes, small antelope and rhinos have daily access to outside paddocks but their yards need more work before they can be released into them. It should be VERY interesting trying to get them to come back into their barns once they have yard access. I have a feeling I may be living at the zoo for a while :)
I took the kids to the Earth Day celebration at Wildlife Prairie State Park last weekend. Kaylin especially enjoyed the special activities and spent a long time decorating a reusable WalMart bag. She very much wanted to participate in the recycled paper activity but Logan was getting extremely bored and hungry. She settled for signing up for a drawing to win her own paper recycling kit. Tuesday evening we got the answering machine message that she won. Crud! We can pick up her prize at the entry gate anytime during park hours. Great. Now I get to spend an hour of my day off driving into the middle of nowhere to pick up a junky toy. (I checked the reviews on Amazon and they were all pretty horrible. Apparently I will have to buy a blender to make the toy work...) Eh, at least she's INCREDIBLY excited about winning :)
The kitten has been a total pain. He isn't happy unless his teeth are in human flesh. Tiger isn't picky about which people and doesn't have a body part preference, he just wants to feel flesh in his teeth at all times. He also jumped into the toilet. Twice. The first time Kaylin had just finished #2 and stood up to turn around and flush when he leaped into the filth. The second time he jumped directly through Gene's stream of urine and into the bowl. In Tess's 12 years she has never received one bath. Tiger got two this week. He has further shown his lack of intelligence by pestering Tess. Tess will be all puffed-up, growling and hissing and Tiger will run up to her with his happy tail and rub all over her body. When she runs off in disgust Tiger tears after her, tail up and purring, wanting to rub on her more.
I do think that once he's over his play-biting stage (and I am working hard to end it sooner, rather than later) he will be an amazing cat for the kids. I can cradle him upside-down on his back and rub his belly and he will just purr and snuggle into me wanting more. I can trim his claws, bathe him, clean his ears and he just purrs and rubs on me. If he possesses the smidgen of intelligence it will take to survive the neighbor dogs (I have my doubts) he will be a great cat.