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I am surprised that the cat is even in the same room with me right now, or that he hasn’t killed me in my sleep.

Over the weekend, Missouri had some unexpected time off. Since we had time off together, we decided (with about 12 hours warning) to drive down to Memphis so that she could spend time with her family.

Columbus to Memphis is a really, really long drive. About 9 hours each way. On the way down, we made a stop at Mammoth Cave. I’m not a real big fan of small, underground spaces, but this one was pretty cool. We went on the historical tour, which was very interesting and really not so bad in terms of tight, dark places. I think the description that our guide gave us in the beginning was scarier, actually.

I think the highlight of the tour was actually the last 30 seconds or so, when we found an itty bitty bat hanging from the ceiling near the exit. Brown, about as long as my thumb, the little cutie was covering his face like “Can’t you people shut up? I’m trying to sleep here!” The first thing it brought to mind was this photo, that has floated around on the internet:

This is actually about the same size as the bat that we saw. Possibly even a little smaller.

Honestly, I think that bats are one of the cutest things ever. But I might be a little weird like that.

Missouri’s family lives on a farm. A fiber farm, of all things–how cool is that? On Saturday I was introduced to five dogs, a handful of cats (I saw three, there were at least two more lurking around), about eight alpacas, three pigs, a few dozen chickens, and I’m not sure how many rabbits. I very nearly tucked a baby angora into my pocket to take home with me, after he slept very contentedly on my chest for about half an hour.

After having a cat for so long, though, I have to say that giving fuzzy things attention isn’t quite as satisfying when you don’t get a purr in response.🙂

We made a brief jaunt into Memphis proper for lunch and a tour of the art museum. I do not remember the name of the place where we ate, but it was a very good French cafe in Midtown.  We tried to get BBQ, but had an epic fail with the GPS. After the third location we tried wound up being in the worst part of town imaginable, We decided that we didn’t need Memphis BBQ that badly, after all. Maybe next time, when we have a little more time to explore, we can give it another go.

If you ever get a chance to check out the Brooks Museum of Art, then your really ought to. It’s very well curated and for such a small museum it has a really great collection, and a nice variety of American, international, classic, and contemporary artwork, including collections of South American and African art and artifacts. Seeing some of the humidity and temperature sensors, the way the artwork was presented, framed, and laid out, it beat the pants off of our local museums. It made the conservator in me weep a little with joy, after seeing way too many exhibits that had textiles pressed against glass with no breathing room, over-cleaned paintings, broken or poorly consolidated artifacts, lighting and galleries that clashed or otherwise interfered with the viewing experience.

62db08-dscf44810 hours after setting off, we were back home, at last, with a very irate cat demanding food. He’s been begging for attention ever since. I think he’s developing some kind of complex, convinced that I’m going to abandon him.

But with a face like that, do you really think I’m going anywhere?

At least, not for very long.