January is the month to rid ourselves of old things. Seven days into the year, we are changing things around. Our rattling old DVD player finally gave up the ghost (the last straw was when it refused to read several of my Christmas DVDs), after five years and hundreds of discs viewed, so I bopped out to the store and picked up a new one Tuesday. The speed of technology — in 2000, I paid $250 for our old player, and it was the cheapest around. In 2005, I bought one several times better (and able to play other formats of discs) for less than $70. The impermanence of technology. There will be no digital heirlooms in our house.
Then the futon that Avril has been sleeping on nights in Baby Peter's room was next to go. Cleaning it out yesterday, she turned the mattress to discover a most disgusting and lively colony of mold had infested the entire thing in our drafty home. Since we had an unused spare bed anyway, it was to the dump with the futon mattress and I gave the frame away to someone else. Pay it forward.
And now, sadly, we're contemplating getting rid of our second cat, Luna. She's a skittish and phobic but very cuddly half-Siamese we've had for the last four years, when some friends had to give her up. At 13, she's become increasingly crotchety and freaked out by the antics of the boy and our other cat, Kudzu, so after we returned from Christmas break we decided it was time to look for a new home for her. Neither of us wanted to just dump her in the river or give her to a shelter, but frankly, two yowling indoor cats and a tumultous baby are a little much for our quiet lives. Something had to give. So I've been asking around at work about a new home for Luna, and it looks like she might get one from one of our reporters who wants a friendly older indoor cat. We're crossing our fingers.
It is sad to give up a pet, but on the food chain of our house the priority changed when Peter came along. She's not as happy now trying to dodge Peter's clutching fists (the other cat Kudzu is younger and a little quicker to get away), and as we try to simplify our lives this January, she's one more thing we have discovered we can live without.