Thursday, April 28, 2011


In a puppy suit
I was not well today, whimpering in pain as my digestive system convulsed dramatically. I was 70% sure I had vomit on the shirt I'd dropped on the floor in disgust, curling up with pillows and remaining perfectly still so as not to jostle my aching head.

Chienne stayed nearby, staring at me with her somber brown eye, as she sat outside the bathroom door and hopped on the bed, arranging herself carefully behind my knees and lending solid warmth against my shivers.

She would lift her chin from where it rested on my ankle when I moved fitfully, seeking a more comfortable resting spot, and would settle again when I did, my faithful hound curling close once again.

As I'd planned to be traveling today, I'd asked the girl down the street to check on my pets and had left her a note that I wasn't feeling well but it'd be great if she could still take Chienne out. I heard the garage door rumble open when I was in the master bathroom - one of the closer 2nd-floor rooms to the garage. I stumbled back to bed and flopped on my back, watching as my aging puppy perked immediately upon hearing her name. Ears up, muscles ready, her tail wagged twice before she leaped from the bed and raced downstairs to meet her visitor.

"Hussy," I accused her softly when she returned, having completed her abandonment outing and returning to bed, cold and happy from being outside. And I patted her head and smoothed her coat and winced as she found a comfortable spot and set to watching over me once again.

In a Katie suit
"My Aunt Katie has four bathrooms," Smallest was saying when I crossed the street to check on her last week. One of the older neighbor girls was pushing her on the swing set in their backyard. "And, and a huge bathtub! But I don't like when you push the button - it makes lots of bubbles and I don't like it."

She waved and said she was fine when I called to her. I sent an inquisitive look to the neighbor girls and they confirmed she was doing well. So, Little's hand in mind, we crossed back to my side of the street and continued to draw on the driveway.

"My Aunt Katie goes to Spain," I heard Smallest say as they rolled a ball on the driveway. "And Japan. I get postcards and toys."

"Aunt Katie," Smallest shouted. I waved in response and sputtered with laughter when she asked if I had a boyfriend.

"Not really," I replied and shook my head when I realized the girls across the street were ideally positioned to watch the men who picked me up for dinner or came inside to spend a few hours in the last 6 months or so. "I'm not slutty," I wanted to call, just to clarify. "Well, maybe a little slutty," I decided and didn't say anything at all.

"I dated a couple - well, 3 - guys," I told Little One more quietly, her big, brown eyes curious and attentive. "It was actually 5 if you count everything. Anyway, they were very nice and I liked them but it didn't work out for various reasons." I glanced up to see her lips curve before she asked a question that made me choke on giggles again. "No," I replied, cheeks still scrunched toward my eyes in my biggest of smiles. "None of them looked much like Justin Bieber."

"Do you think you will date anyone who looks like him?" she asked, giggling.

"I really hope not," I teased and brushed the hair from her face. "But there is a guy I like - I don't know what will happen."

Still, even if nothing comes of it, I hear I have lipstick, high heels and pretty necklaces. So all is not lost.

In a Sprout suit
I sometimes pity the stripey cat. Easily started and mostly solitary, he screws with Chienne enough that she kind of hates him and the dog has mandated that he not be on my bed while she is sleeping there.

Therefore, when he does find me alone - which isn't infrequent - he demands constant attention. Putting all his hefty weight on two dainty paws that are bruising my tummy. Butting at my hands and arms when I type or reach for my water because he wants pets. Curling up and shedding all over my laptop because it's warm and seems to be capturing the attention that is rightfully his.

Still, he's a pretty guy and he is deprived of attention so I generally pause and arrange him on a pillow on my lap, offering strokes and compliments while he purrs. And then I generally realize that his food dish is empty and, with a final pat, I rise to scoop out more kibble.

I started to keep track of when he came to see me for love rather than food and so far the tally is zero. None.

Hussy, stripey cat.

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