Life is never constant when one lives with animals. I have learned to go with the flow, to let them lead sometimes, to watch and interact with them as guides instead of always feeling like I am the higher power.
In previous blogs, I have written about my ever evolving relationship with my big kitty, Essie. She comes and goes as she pleases, rarely on command, a shadow that follows me one moment, a definite presence, or she simply disappears into the woodwork, becoming invisible for most of the day. She is a free spirit and that is what makes our life together so pleasant.
Recently she must have decided that I was doing too much knitting. Who knows why. Perhaps she realized that she needed my attention more than I needed those silly sticks I held in my hand. One day as I made a space next to me on the sofa for my knitting bag she quickly jumped into the spot and curled up. With my Border Collie, Razzie, cuddled against me on my right side I knew that any attempt to be creative was gone. With time on my hands, we all relaxed together. I didn’t move Essie and she sat and purred near my lap as I watched TV.
Later that day when I went into my craft room, she continued to follow me. Suddenly I had become her project, of some value to her beyond my fingers stroking softly against her whiskers now and then. I sat at the table and she uncharacteristically made the extra jump from my lap onto my crowded Rubbermaid craft table. Again, she spread out on the spot I had cleared for some knitting. But this time she turned her back, not asking for attention. I sensed that she was telling me to share this moment with her and to be still. I did a few things on the desk, puttering around as much as I could, considering her big butt covered the remaining space. Eventually I got up to leave.
I had recently replaced the craft room floor with hard tile. The green rug that would have afforded Essie a soft landing from her table, was gone. When I left the room she must have jumped down to the chair. As I turned the corner into the family room I heard the office chair make a whizzing noise. I knew that with Essie’s weight as she jumped to the black leather seat that she and the chair had been catapulted (no pun intended) across the tile. In panic I pictured Essie getting hurt. As I ran back to check on her, she turned the hallway corner, her ears back. She was definitely not happy. Cats do not deal well with surprises.
The same morning, as per our usual schedule I let the three Border Collies out into the big yard. The temperature was perfect, clear and cool, and they tore off through the leaves to start their day. Razzie and Bodie ran together, sometimes mouthing each other, sometimes growling playfully. But in a flash I saw them crash and burn. All I could think of was that one or both was seriously hurt.
They had galloped together across the yard when Razz took a sudden step in front of Bodie. Bodie ran into Razz and his built up momentum sent him flying over Razzie’s back, spinning him neatly into the air. While he was in flight, Razz moved around in front of Bodie, The momentum from Bodie’s perfect four point landing carried into Razz. He tipped her shoulder at just the right spot and sent her spinning over and over onto the ground.
Dogs generally do not get angry or feel sorry for themselves. All is fair in love and war. Stuff happens. Get over it. Bodie never seemed to care one way or another if he was hurt or who was at fault. He continued with his playing. But I called Razzie to me. She looked a bit dizzy, I thought, like, wow, what just happened? She was fine. We all remained calm, we all got through the unplanned but technically well choreographed event. But it just goes to show you. Things happen around animals in a heartbeat, unusual things, that we cannot protect them from or imagine. I shook my head and went inside after they had finished their play.
Because of the loss of their comfy green rug in the craft room, I felt sorry for the dogs and bought something I have never purchased for my dogs, a bed for them to lie on. I’m such a sap, feeling sorry for asking them to cuddle by my feet on the cold tile. But would the dogs figure out the purpose of the lush oversized, brown bed when I pulled it out of the Amazon box days later? Or would the cat take it over like you see on thousands of pictures on Facebook? The answer came within twenty-four hours. Tha cat looked at the bed, sniffed it, rubbed her face against it and never paid attention to it again. Razz and Tom paid little attention to the bed. Bodie simply went over one night while I was on the computer and made the bed his. Should I buy another for one of the others? I’m not spoiling them, right?
Who knows what adventures, misadventures and stories my four pack will spin around me tomorrow. Such is life with animals.