Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hosting guests and other things

We had guests this weekend: a friend of mine since childhood and her partner.  Both of them are pet people, and both of them fell in love with our 9-month old male Ragdoll cat. He took the adulation and worship in stride, of course. Most cats seem to know it is their proper place to be admired, but our cat, while fairly typical for his breed, is unique in most people's experience. Playful and puppy-like in ways, he loves having his belly rubbed, for example. He's extremely good-natured and uncomplaining. If he gets overstimulated by petting, he'll push or pull hands to places he does want rubbed, rather than swiping at you and flouncing off. He handles two or three people loving on him at the same time with aplomb. And he's just the most gorgeous beast with the softest, rabbit-like fur. He's a treat for the eyes and the hands, and when he's purring, you can hear him across the room. He's just a great little guy.

Our friends left this morning, with a half-joking threat to smuggle the cat out in one of their bags. They'll be back in a month or so, once the baby is born. I told M that we're going to have lots of visitors in the months after the baby is born, and I'm not sure who is going to be the bigger hit: our son, or our cat.

I think highly-introverted M is a little anxious about the upcoming flood of visitors, but I don't think it will be much of a problem.  Our house is large, with a lot of outdoor living space, and we live in central San Mateo, within walking distance of all the amenities that downtown offers. We introduced my friend to dim sum at our favorite Hong Kong-style dim sum parlor, a short 6 block walk from home. We feasted and left with full bellies for under $8 a person, then walked two blocks to the Central Park. We took a stroll through the Japanese garden, the rose garden, and the horticulture center, and watched families playing on the big lawns and jungle gyms. On the way back to our house, my friend was talking about getting a pedicure, so we dropped her off at a place across the street from Draeger's Market with a big sign offering foot massages.

M and I walked home alone, leaving her to enjoy her pedicure and massage. She arrived at our place a couple of hours later, glowing, with bags in her hands. She'd gone inside Draeger's, which is an upscale Foodie Disneyland, and brought home pastries and chocolate and wine. What a great location, she told us. Everything in walking distance, and our place so easy to find. We sat out on the patio, where it was nice and sunny, and enjoyed the cool breeze coming off the Bay not a mile away.  We didn't have enough time to show them the amenities at the string of city and state parks along the shoreline, but there is something for everyone there, be it fishing, sail boarding, kite-flying, or dog-walking.

Since the baby is coming at the end of May the weather will be gorgeous and our flood of visitors will have lots more to do than coo over our cat and our son. Which, upon thinking about it, might not be such a great thing after all. They might never leave ;)

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