Creature One - Sir Sprout
Chienne exhibits stubborn resistance to the use of her dog doors. I, in turn, exhibit strong displeasure when she has an accident in the basement. Hence, we've taken to spending time together out back.
I coax her out the sliding glass door to the deck and settle myself on the low steps leading to the grass. Then I shake my head at Sprout's plaintive calls through the screen as Chienne makes her way slowly around her once-familiar yard.
On Friday, feeling rather permissive, I invited the stripey cat out with us as we soaked in the last of the setting sunshine. (I told Friend he escaped - no tattling, OK?) I smiled as he placed his paws carefully on the paint-chipped wood, smoothing his coat when he came to my side and shaking my head when he finally lept gracefully off the edge to land behind the shed.
I wasn't worried when canine and Katie entered without him - it was pleasantly cool and typically quiet in my neighborhood. But I did leave the house with a flashlight in hand, hurrying toward the neighbor's landscaped hill when I heard him meowing - long and loud - hours later. But he ran from my attempt at rescue and I scowled at him as he scampered past the thin, glowing beam of light.
Creature Two - Mr. Frog & Friends
My lawn has grown long over past weeks. I chose to mostly ignore this as it makes me feel more productive to mow an overgrown yard than one that's just modestly messy. But as I attempted to battle the massive weeds last night, my mower stuttered and coughed then refused to start again. So, a single lap in, I stopped and frowned and told Sprout - who had magically found his way back in the house by 7AM Saturday morning - that he was not allowed outside again since he'd displayed no respect for curfew and I'd waited up past 2AM for him.
I returned to the yard this morning, coaxing the mower to life while Chienne wandered carefully around the yard. The grass and weeds continued to choke the poor machine so I abandoned the self-propelled feature and propelled it myself. I paused, waiting for the grass and weeds to be chewed up and spit out when I saw a creature clumsily leap from within the towering (to said creature - not necessarily to me) growth.
Frowning, I nudged the mower forward another couple of inches and gasped when the amphibian reappeared, hopping as though he was unsure of which direction to flee.
"Well, hell," I said, voice unheard over the roar of the mower and stood there indecisively. I saw a smaller frog hop frantically toward the clippings at the fence, burrowing beneath while I smiled at his intelligence - I was obviously done over there. The larger one remained in my path, however, and the thought of mowing him down was awful.
So I left him a patch of tall grass in the corner of the yard, pausing each time to make sure he wasn't inadvertently hit while making his way to the little oasis. I will admit I hope he doesn't die - I think the length of the lawn provided a moist underlayer for our ribbetty guests. I'd go to take a photo for you but I'm afraid I'd find sun-dried frog.
Creature Three - Chienne Marie
Upon my triumphant completion of the lawn, I beamed at my tiny, fenced kingdom and patted my pretty puppy when she trotted to my side.
"All done!" I reported. "Now we just put the mower and gasoline back in the garage and call it a day!" She wagged her tail and, appreciating the support, I decided to let her out the gate and in through the garage rather than going out of my way and coaxing her back up on the deck and through the sliding door. Then she gets inside in a way that's more convenient for me. And - being blind and all - it's not like she'd revert to old habits and run away.
Except that she did.
"Wait," I called warningly when she trotted down the driveway. Away from the house - which was the way I had nudged her - and toward the street. I called her name and praised when she paused, but she continued on her way when I approached, stumbling off the curb and into the street once again.
I repeated her name as she stumbled into the curb on the other side, climbing up and running promptly into a tree before continuing on past the houses across the street. I cursed under my breath and smiled with evil satisfaction when she smacked into a shed. "I hope that hurt," I told her, then she thwarted me by running past my grip.
I broke into a jog, lost one flip-flop and finally wrapped my fingers around her pink collar. Without a leash, I walked the block or so back home bent over her.
"Bad Dog!" I scolded when we finally reached the driveway. I shoved her inside the gate before putting the mower away and making sure avenues of future escape were firmly closed. She obligingly put her tail down and lowered her head, lapping at water in her dish before settling on the couch for a nap.
Which I now need as well.