Well, I was in the car. I'm back home now, writing this.
So, as I've mentioned, LDH and I are living apart for a year while I'm working this gig. However, he's one state north of me, and it is driveable in a day (not ideal for a weekend because I'd spend more time in the car than with him, but you can do it in a day, easy).
I was recently contacted by the friend of a law school friend, who lives in the northern part of my state. A very rural, very isolated part of my state, where there aren't a whole lot of resources. Over this summer, the friend had essentially adopted a cat - the beastie had wandered up to his house, emaciated and showing signs of abuse, and the friend fed him, nursed him back to health, and got him to trust people again. He turned out to be a delightfully friendly, affectionate creature. (The picture I've seen was of a very handsome long-ish haired gray fellow - that kind of Russian Blue, solid gray.) However, the friend's wife is deathly allergic to cats, so the cat couldn't come in the house. And it gets really cold up in the northern part of my state (in fact, it's currently 21 degrees F where the friend lives, and feels like 7F). The friend, being a kind soul, wanted the cat to have a proper home and not freeze in the winter. So he asked my law school friend if she knew of anyone who might want to take the cat, and she suggested me.
Well. For a whole lot of boring reasons, we didn't feel comfortable taking the kitty. But after pondering options, I told him I could drive up there and get the cat, and take him up to the shelter in LDH's city where I used to volunteer. I'm sure the shelters here are good (in fact, I know they are, for reasons I'll get to in a second), but I just really trust the former-home-city shelter. It's huge (in a good way - lots of resources), it treats the animals wonderfully, and it will keep them as long as it takes to get them adopted, so I felt good about suggesting this. Plus I sort of thought if I couched it as just detouring from the route up to see LDH, it wouldn't feel too much like charity to my friend's friend, if that makes any sense.
The friend thought this sounded like a great idea, and I said, How about this weekend? (i.e. now.) Because it's a long weekend, so killing a bunch of time driving north and back wouldn't be so bad. The sort of ironic thing is that I couldn't make the drive yesterday (Saturday) because I had an oriention for volunteering at *this* city's humane society. (Which is why I now know they have a very nice facility.) Volunteers have to go through quite a bit of training, including a required orientation, and the orientation only happens every couple of months. This was the first one since I'd moved here, and if I missed it, I'd have to wait till January, so I wanted to attend. But that meant I wouldn't be able to leave till today (Sunday), and spend most of today driving up and most of tomorrow (Monday) driving back, which would be kinda tiring and wouldn't be that much time with LDH. But I figured, well, I'd have had one proper "weekend" day (Saturday), so driving this weekend wouldn't be any worse than doing it next weekend (and three days after next weekend I'm going home to spend Thanksgiving with LDH anyway, so driving up then seemed a little silly).
Then, of course, we had a winter storm forecast to come through the area last night, so I started to freak out about the weather, and driving 9 hours by myself (6 with a cat) through a lot of mountain roads during/after a snowfall. I spent much of yesterday dithering about the weather and whether I should do the drive, blah blah blah. However, the friend said nothing had really fallen where they were, and I realized I wouldn't get further north until later in the day when things would have probably melted, it wasn't really supposed to snow much more today, etc. etc., so I decided I'd probably go, but would get up really early to check the weather. (I'd have to leave pretty early to be sure to get to the shelter up north before it closed.)
Up at 5:10 am this morning. Various dire warnings still in place (winter weather advisory!!!!!), but no real forecast for snow and the roads seemed reasonable. I thought, if I don't go today, and by 9:30 am everything everywhere has melted, I'm going to feel really silly; worse comes to worst, I can turn around and abort the mission. So I e-mailed the friend that I was on my way, hopped in the shower, threw some stuff in a bag, tossed some Luna Bars in my purse, and headed out, stopping at Starbucks first for breakfast, then at the gas station to fill up my tank.
Where I realized my phone was ringing. And it was the friend. And I answered, thinking perhaps he had some weather or road advice or something, not realizing he'd already texted and left a voicemail.
He told me not to come. Kitty got hit by a car last night and killed.
It's remarkable how badly you can feel about the death of an animal you've never met before.
(The poor friend was very upset. And I can't help but feel superstitiously terrible that this happened the morning that I was heading up there to take the creature. I keep thinking that if I hadn't gone to the orientation yesterday, I could have driven yesterday and the cat wouldn't have been on the roads last night/this morning. Which is kind of nonsensical, because if I hadn't had that orientation scheduled, I'd have already bought plane tickets to fly up to see LDH for the long weekend. Since the friend lives three hours north of here, it's not like I'd have driven up there to get the cat, driven back here, and then taken the cat on the airplane with me or something - I'd have chosen to drive another weekend. But it still feels karmically sinister. There was part of me that was kind of dreading the drive and regretting how much of my free time it would take up - and I know it doesn't work that way, but it feels like that part of me had something to do with this happening.)
So. That's why I was up, dressed, and in my car at 6:30 this morning. And am up, still dressed, in my apartment, finishing writing this at 7:45 this morning. So that's what being up this early on a weekend looks like. I can live without it.