My cat Kira is at the vet, having some routine dental work done. As I type, my other cat, Casey, is once again staring intently into the empty fireplace. I’ve checked – there really is nothing there. He’s doing it to mess with my head. And perhaps to take his walnut-sized mind off the fact that the girl cat is not here to pester. There’s been no hissing today. Just the gentle snoring/purring cycle that Casey goes through when he dozes and the sound of a toys occasionally being batted around.
Being at home so much is, in general, very quiet. It’s a contrast to being in an office. Even on quiet days in the office, there’s a fair amount of sound. Printers printing, phones ringing, keyboards clicking, the near-sotto voce teleconferences from various cubicles. Once in a while, someone will need to vent, or ask a question or just share something they’ve run across. There’s almost always something happening somewhere.
When my family gets together, after we’ve caught up on each other’s lives and done the things that need doing, we often find ourselves all quieting sitting in the same room, reading. We’re all reading different things. My dad is frequently working on a crossword puzzle. It’s a companionable silence. Once in a while, someone will chuckle at something they’ve read, or make that little “huh” sound of learning something they didn’t know. The rest of us will raise our heads from our books, lift an inquisitive brow and wait for the person to share. There will be a short discussion and then we drift back to our own reading and the silence returns.
I’d always found these to be cozy feelings – the companionable silence, the background hum of an office. While I may not want to actively engage with people all the time, it’s comforting to me to know there are people nearby. It’s a bit disquieting to have things so quiet. Something else to adjust to.