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One Cat, One Dog and Three Nutballs
It’s probably too much to ask, but just once in my life I’d like to have a pet I could call normal.
I know. I’m a dreamer.
Right now, I live with two nutballs, one canine and one feline. It certainly keeps things ... interesting.
Of course, the behavior of my dog, Cookie, the American Dorkhound (Canis Goofus Americanensis) has been well documented. Maybe you remember when she ate a half-pound of millet, which showed up in the back yard a day later. I’ll leave it to you figure out how it got there. Suffice to say I was more than a little alarmed when I was on Pickup Patrol a few days later and found that the seed had sprouted.
Then there was the time a car was hit by Cookie. No, I do not have it backwards. Dumb dog bolted into the street without looking both ways, and ran her thick skull directly into the passenger door of a Chevrolet. It didn’t hurt the dog, but the Chevy drove away with a dent the size of a peach basket.
And then there’s the time the UPS man stopped with a package. Cookie got out the front door and followed him right into the truck. He was nice enough to give her a ride down the block.
OK, that takes care of the dog part of the picture. Let us move now to the cat corner.
I only have one cat now, my old tortoiseshell tabby named Bess. She was once part of a herd of five – Bess, Molly, Dizzy, Maddie and Olive – but attrition has taken its toll on the felines around here, and only Bess survives. Which is stunning, because I got Bess in 1991.
She came to me by way of my former hair stylist who had found her abandoned in a park, shut in a box with a can of food, a toy and a “take-care-of-my-cat” note. She brought the cat to her shop, and when I went there for a haircut, the cat crawled into my lap and went to sleep. Presto. I had a new cat.
Now, for most of the last 17 years, life with Bess has been fairly uneventful, except for the Nine O’Clock Crazies. For years, every night at exactly 9 p.m., she and all the other cats would suddenly jump four feet in the air and then run around the house, floor to floor and room to room, for exactly 12 minutes. At which time they would stop just as abruptly as they began.
Well, Bess is too old to do much running (although she’s still surprisingly agile) so the new version of the Nine O’Clock Crazies is for her to stand in the hallway and yell, as loud as her little cat lungs will allow (which is surprisingly loud). And it happens precisely at 9 p.m. You could set your watch by her. And it will wake the dead. For a little cat, she has a lot of volume.
I don’t know. Maybe she misses the others. Maybe she thinks she’s running. Maybe she just feels like yelling. I know I do, sometimes.
Anyway, between Bess and Cookie it seems I do an awful lot of explaining to the visitors around here. And that’s why I wish sometimes for a normal pet. And why I also worry.
What if they are normal?
That makes me the nutball.
© 2008 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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