"Mommy will miss you," I coo to my kitten. I press kisses into the soft fur on top of her head. "What will Mommy do without her baby to cuddle?" I blink back tears.
I turn to the cat, who is waiting for me to throw kibbles down our long hall so she can chase them, her favorite game.
"I love you," I tell her as I fling food at her face. "And I'll miss you and think about you every day. But I'll be back soon."
Last night as we were preparing for bed, I gave more kisses to the cats. "I will go into withdrawal, not having any kitty love for a whole weekend," I wail, scratching the cats behind their ears.
"What?" says my husband.
"What?" I say back.
"Why won't you see the cats this weekend?" he asked.
"My conference. I'll be gone."
Uh-oh. Seems in my desire to prepare my babies for my imminent departure I may have forgotten to mention to my husband I won't be around.
"I remember when I used to be the first one you told things to," he said, throwing the cats a resentful glance. They turned their butts to him.
"Don't overanalyze it," I said. "I still love you best." I hug him and over his shoulder mouth the words, "Not really," to the cats.
He beams and hugs me. "I love you too."
That's us. One big, happy, dysfunctional family.