7:20 a.m. — Call CGH to ensure that we’re on track. We are.
7:21 a.m. — Oliver awake. Change. Downstairs to kitchen. Boil water, mix cereal, dig mushed carrots out of fridge. Oliver eats. Likes cereal (with apples added), but spits out (cold) carrots. No time to warm carrots. Make do with cereal.
7:35 a.m. — Out the door. Realize it’s cold and going to rain. Back inside to put Oliver in a coat.
7:40 a.m. — Arrive CGH’s house. She’s not there. Meet next door neighbour Jill and we talk about the care of cats. Wait in car with Oliver. Sing songs and play pantomime games with Indigo the black puppet dog.
7:50 a.m. — CGH arrives home from early morning trip. Into house. See great pile of luggage. Talk to dog. CGH makes tea and toast. Crazy frenetic air in the house. Dog knows something is up, but doesn’t realize that quality time should be spent with cats before they part.
8:02 a.m. — CGH, now a net addict, must check email and website before we leave for airport. Shows me piece she wrote last night.
8:15 a.m. — Load Oliver into car. Load luggage into car. Load CGH into car with dog.
8:17 a.m. — Off to Queen Street Meat Market to pick up lobster. CGH insists we take Prince St. We take Prince St. Overshoot and double back via Allen St.
8:25 a.m. — Arrive meat market. CGH goes inside and Oliver and I wait in the car. Notice there’s a sticker in the window saying Shoplifting is a Crime. Wonder if casual meat theft is a big problem. Also notice more TIAPEI membership stickers on the window than ever seen before; wonder if longstanding TIAPEI membership has paid off for the meat market.
8:28 a.m. — CGH emerges from meat market with giant, ancient black suitcase, wrapped in packing tape, filled with lobster. Find that suitcase was CGH’s mothers, previously used to ferry lobsters west, presumably in 1940s. Find that suitcase is to be sacrificed ritually upon arrival in Ottawa.
8:29 a.m. — Set off for Ash Drive to drop dog with Joan and Leith. Instructions from CGH to proceed up Allen St. to Mt. Edward Road. Proceed up Allen St. to Mt. Edward Road. Arrive Ash Drive.
8:35 a.m. — Dog transferred, along with copious instructions on care, feeding, etc. Joan looks nervous; awesome weight on shoulders. Leith looks relaxes. Note that Joan and Leith were out mowing lawn and trimming brush at 8:35 a.m.; realize am seldom up this early and this is what people must do at this hour.
8:42 a.m. — Arrive airport (no instructions on best route; turns out CGH’s knowledge of suburban hinterlands is not vast). Park in departure area. Get cart. CGH runs in to start checkin process. Load cart with bags and giant black lobster suitcase. Get Oliver. Try to push cart while carrying Oliver. Difficulty. Giant lobster suitcasse falls off. Retrieved and rearranged. Thankful for automatic doors at airport. Oliver looks puzzled and wonders if we are flying somwhere.
8:47 a.m. — Find CGH in line. Maneouver cart into placed. Say quick goodbye. While walking back to car hear friendly woman, also in line, ask CGH where she’s going. “I’m off to visit my sisters…” she says. Not complete story, but true nonetheless.