Photo Coyote Yet another version of an ordinary reality.

I Forgot To Mention…

Earlier this month, 20 days ago to be precise, I unabashedly nominated myself for the Good Samaritan Award of 2008. “Por quoi?” you might inquire. And my pleased-as-punch, thoroughly immodest response would be, “Babysitting!” But, lo, not just your ordinary, garden variety babysitting. Oh, no. Nothing so unremarkable as that. This was an unselfish, unremunerated, beyond-the-call-of-duty variety of baby sitting. For my former boyfriend’s pets.

Lucky guy, he’d been invited to spend a decadent 4th of July weekend at the ocean with a bunch of his groovy pals. In spiffy accommodations, no less. Psyched by visions of party aplenty, his misguided brain slalomed into the Land Of Denial and foolishly deduced that the appropriate solution to any pyrotechnic related pet-panic in his absence was to enlist one of his neighbors to administer a tranquilizer to the dog, and to simply assume the cats would be okay. Ahem. Given my longstanding and affectionate relationship with said sentient beings, I offered to babysit them during the dark and festive hours of our nation’s celebration of independence.

I arrived at Former Beau’s residence at dusk, figuring I’d get an hour’s head-start on the patriotic noise making. Silly me. When I pulled in the driveway, the neighborhood sounded like a firing range. I first sensed something was wrong when the master’s dog didn’t catapult out of the house through the pet door to engage in her usual bark-fest frenzy when yet another rabid and potentially life threatening guest arrives. Instead, I found her shivering underneath the kitchen table, a very odd locale, as her never wavering habituation is lying in the master’s walk-in closet whenever he’s away. With her head resting on a pair of his dirty underwear.

Something’s Amiss #2 became apparent when the cats made no attempt to disguise the fact that they were Very Pleased To See Me. Ordinarily, they may or may not casually investigate new arrivals to see if they can covertly elicit a serving of free love from friendly fingertips. The feline code of honor requires them to pretend that affection doesn’t really matter to them, but, the Royal We knows better. It’s what kitties’ dreams are made of.

I soon found myself engulfed in a rapidly accelerating cyclone of tails, toes and tongues, as a plethora of half-crazed, furry whirlers vocalized gratitude and delight at having a loving human in their midst who could protect them from The Evildoers. Attempting to calm them, I behaved as if nothing was out of the ordinary, and blathered a stream of cloying sentiments while portioning out hit-or-miss back scratches to the domesticated dervish. It was then that I realized I needed to pee. A lot.

Velcroed to my pant legs, the dervish proceeded to accompany me as I gracefully lurched and galumphed across the living room floor, up the stairs, and into the suddenly very crowded master bathroom. It wasn’t so much the unusually claustrophobic conditions that created the awkward scenario for actually utilizing the commode. It was the multiple pairs of adoring and attentive eyes, observing my every move and loyally promising to never again let me out of their sights.

I was reminded of my days of young motherhood, when I lived in a small cabin with no bathroom door. My kids were ever so young, and the most harrowing experience of their existence occurred whenever The Mom God was invisible, even for a nanosecond. Thus, they religiously accompanied me evvvvvvvvvverywhere. The silver lining of that adorable little cloud is that by observing my activities in the bathroom, they quite readily grokked the concept of potty training. And, as any parent will attest, this is a very good thing. Not so very good was the stellar occasion when, while wandering the aisles of our local grocery store, my toddler son excitedly exclaimed – for the entirety of the store to hear – “Mom! Look! O.B. tampons! You put those in your crotch!” Looking back, I wasn’t nearly as embarrassed at the time as I am while recounting the story. Sigh….. the good ol’ days.

Thankfully, dogs and cats do not talk, nor do they accompany me to the feminine hygiene aisle of the grocery store. Thus, my former boyfriend will forever remain unenlightened to the well attended powder room frivolities I engaged in on that fateful 4th of July night. And the only thing his abandoned animals will remember is how I loved and comforted them and dished out extra ear noogies until the celebratory cacophony of late night booms and bursts became a vague background noise in their reality of the moment. That, plus the shots of Tequila I poured into their welcoming mouths while we played poker and ate buttered-drenched popcorn on the absent master’s bed.

1 Comment

I have very carefully buried all those memories – too awful to remember!

Posted by annie on 24 July 2008 @ 4pm

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