When the Cat’s Away…

My wife Robin leaves today for a two-week road trip, during which time she’ll visit friends in eastern California, Utah, and Colorado, and spend a couple days eating and gambling her way through Las Vegas (don’t worry; she only plays 25-cent video poker).

It’s always a bit odd when she’s gone. When you’re used to having someone around the house, it’s strange having it to yourself, and I occasionally find myself talking aloud to keep myself company. (It’s also a lot more work, as I’ll now be in sole charge of keeping our full-of-beans Jack Russell mix, Ziggy, occupied during the day.)

Ziggy on gopher duty

But there are certain things I do look forward to when Robin leaves for a while. Most importantly, I can eat what I like. Sure, I could always do this, but as the cook in the family, I like to prepare things that she enjoys as well. No cook likes to make a dinner they know the other diners won’t appreciate. And there are quite a few foods that Robin isn’t too keen on. So for the next two weeks I’ll be eating a lot of beets, sausages, omelettes, and most of all fish.

In fact, I may just have fish every single night.

Another plus is that if I wake up in the middle of the night with insomnia (an all too common experience for me these days), I can turn on the bedroom light to read without worrying that I’ll wake Robin up. (Ziggy, of course, will sleep soundly through it.)

And last, but certainly not least, I can stay up late watching cooking shows and British mysteries on TV in the living room to my heart’s content, with no one to say, “You’re watching another episode of Broadchurch?”

Marble carving in Oxford church

But yes, I’m going to miss Robin and will be thrilled when she returns. And by then, I’ll probably be sick of fish.


Readers: What do you look forward to when your spouse/partner/roommate is away for a few days? And if you live alone, what do you look forward to when you have company at your place?

36 thoughts on “When the Cat’s Away…

  1. When ever my husband has to go out of town and I can’t go with him I like the fact that I can eat what ever I want. He usually cooks and he rarely asks what I want. I can stay up reading as long as I want. I can keep the tv on all night long as I like the sounds. I can go get my fix at Dunks all most anytime. It’s fun watching the youngest cat looking for my husband all over the house.

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  2. My husband takes one annual hunting trip and the day he leaves, I cook a huge pot of chili, which he hates. I eat chili for lunch and supper the entire time he’s gone and by then, I’m tired of it.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. The Hubby was on a trip last weekend. He was gone for four days. I love that I can eat when I want, what I want and that I can watch what I want. I binged the entire season 4 of “Leverage.” And yes, I got to watch it in bed because I didn’t have to worry about bothering him.

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      1. Leslie, Leverage is so much fun! There were five seasons originally and they’ve just brought it back as Leverage: Redemption on IMDb-TV.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have all these big ideas for Important Projects, like closet cleaning and adding 40000 words to my opus in progress. Usually, though, I go out to eat, have long phone convos, and stream ridiculous comedies on TV.

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  5. I’m kinda the opposite. I spend so much time alone all day that I’m ready for company in the evening or on the weekend. Hubs and I have perfectly aligned tastes, whether it’s food or TV shows or sleeping habits, so that’s not a thing for me. But MY thing is me going away. I seek out conferences I can go to and/or weekend trips so that I get a hotel room and room service and don’t have to do anything. Plus, I feel for my husband because I’m ALWAYS around and he never gets time to himself at home. The least I can do for him is take myself away for an indulgent weekend, right? Right??

    Enjoy that salmon!

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  6. Oh yes, it’s all about the food (my go to is take out–usually Mexican cuisine–with very little clean up), Netflix (something like Downton Abbey), and reading, reading, reading. You’ll probably be counting the days until Robin comes home, Leslie, so try to enjoy your time alone!

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  7. We had a small chocolate-brown terrier, Molly, that would sit for hours staring at a gopher hole. When hubs is away, I’m like you. I could eat fish every day. I usually write and binge=watch Netflix, HBO Max or Disney. Have fun.

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  8. This scenario doesn’t happen to me much. Plus, I usually still have other family members to attend to. On the other hand, I like Becky’s idea of having *me* time. A nice combo was when my hubby had a work trip, and I tagged along. During the day, I got to go sight-seeing, eat what I wanted, and have long stretches of writing. Then we’d reconnect in the evenings.

    As an aside: my neighbors recently went fishing, so now I’m stocked up on fresh fish. Looking forward to eating it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jen … I started going to writer’s conferences to teach my kids how to fend for themselves. (I knew hubs could.) I’m always astounded when I’m at a conference and one of my friends calls home “to check on things.” First, don’t they trust their spouse to be able to care for their kids? And second, what if something WAS wrong? Would they really drop everything and go home or miss part of their conference handling a “crisis” (that others surely could handle) long-distance? Crazy. Highly recommend going to conferences to recharge and fill your cup!

      I wish I had a freezer full of fresh fish! Nice neighbors!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. First of all, Leslie, I have a nightlight I can wear around my neck that’s great for those bouts of insomnia reading jags. I’ll see if I can find the info for you. And your alone time sounds great! In our house, Jer’s usually the one with a lot of alone time, given the mystery cons I’m always going to. When he does go out – and it’s usually only for a few hours – I get a little Risky Business. I’ll put on the pop music I like that he hates and dance around the house. He’s going to go to St. Louis for a week in September, though, so that will be very weird. And a lot of doggy duty on my part, for a change!

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  10. Great job! You’ve scared me off of coming for a visit to keep you company. I HATE fish. But I’d be the one encouraging you to watch another episode if I came for a visit, so that would be a point in my favor.

    I’ve gotten very used to living alone, so I am no longer talking to myself. At least out loud.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hate fish, too, Mark! I know that, even though I have never swallowed a single bite of it. Just. Can’t. None of my 3 kids eats it either, even though they all wanted very badly to prove me wrong. I almost died (well, starved, anyway) on Fish Fridays in my grade school cafeteria.

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  11. Two weeks is a long time without Robin, but glad you can console yourself gastronomically! (I, too, am a fish fan!)

    Now that I’m newly solo, I really cherish visitors. My favorite part: being able to share the experience, whether it’s a TV show or a glass of wine.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Hubs has been wanting us to make another trip to Vegas. (We’re not big gamblers either, but I’d love to take in a show.) Safe travels and good luck at the casinos for Robin — maybe she’ll hit the jackpot!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I hope Robin has a safe trip. I hope you enjoy your fish- LOL. Since I’m alone now, I totally enjoy company. My whole family was over on Sunday. Had a blast. My godkids are a riot! 19, 17, and 14. Reminds when my daughter was a teen. The kids are all too alike! They ran their McDonald’s fries through their milkshakes and I never thought I’d see that beyond my daughter. I roared! Well, you’re more than welcome to visit and I can make us stuffed salmon for dinner. Heck, for you- I’ll even handle the clean-up. lol.

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