I used to show cats. Showing a cat is, in essence, a beauty contest, and so cats need a bath and a blow dry in preparation for this. Some cats take to this better than others. Some cats are not amused. Lumpy, the cat I was showing at the time this all happened, fell into the We Are NOT Amused camp. Actually, Lumpy is rarely amused. The expression you see in his picture here is his habitual one. He was not a great success as a show cat. But I digress.....
Another piece of back story is our mail carrier Reggie. Reggie has been delivering our mail for 18 years and is a neighborhood fixture. He will often ring the doorbell just to say hi, to deliver a package, use our bathroom etc. Reggie knows everything that is going on with the people on his route. He is a font of information.
That morning I had been getting dressed when I discovered a lovely, lacy, sexy, slutty bra. Now I usually tend toward sensible cotton, $10 bras from Target, so this was a definite departure for me. I was talking to a friend that morning and told her about the marvelous new-found Suzy Slut Bra (hereafter to be known as SSB). I told her how lovely it looked. I was terribly pleased with my find. Along with The SSB I had on a pair of ratty undies, a pair of equally ratty sweat pants and an old t-shirt. I was, after all, going to be giving a reluctant cat a bath.
Our kitchen and dining room are one long room with big windows that look out to the front yard and front porch. It was a lovely spring day and I had all the windows open to let in the cool air. I got Lumpy into the sink and he managed to flail enough that my t-shirt was soaked. Since I was alone in the house, in the privacy of my kitchen, I just took it off. All the better to admire the SSB don't you know. I hauled Lumpy out of the sink and toweled him off, then set him down between my knees, his head pointing out and his tail towards me, me squatting over him to blow him dry. This was NOT Lumpy's favorite activity. He reared up and peed all over me. Intact, male cat urine, which if you have ever gotten a sniff of you KNOW you do not want soaking your sweat pants. YUCK. But no matter, since I am in the privacy of my own house, I just took them off. I did take note of the disparity between the lovely lacy SSB and my gray, torn, granny panties, but no matter, the cat wasn't going to care.
I got Lumpy's back parts dry and turned him around with his head shoved firmly between my legs, me squatting over him in my lovely, lacy Suzy Slut bra and the gray, torn, granny panties. Lord only knows what it must have looked like I was doing to that poor animal. He struggled a bit, and I said to him (out loud of course) "I don't care if you don't like this. We are going to keep at it until I'm good and satisfied." I heard a sort of.... strangled sound. There on the front porch, looking in the front window which was open to let in the lovely spring breeze, was Reggie. Mouth agape, face full of horror he just sort of .... sputtered. Oh dear. I can only imagine what it must have looked like to him, and I'm forever grateful that he didn't call either the Humane Society or the mental health authorities.
Reggie disappeared hastily from the front porch. We never did get our mail that day.
I know that many of you have already read this tribute to my much loved Bridge dog Sam Bear, but I don't keep my writing and I didn't want to lose this one. Sam was a Very Special Dog. Very special to us all. Thanks for reading about him.
Sam was my first dog. He was very patient with me as I learned to train and care for a dog. He never quite got the hang of walking at heel, he tended to bound down the street towing me along in his wake. He LOVED to go for "frisks" as we called our walks, and would run to get his leash when he heard the word frisk. He smiled. The way his face was arranged it looked as if he had a permanent grin on his face.
Sam was gentle and loving. He had the softest ears of any animal I've ever met, and he loved everyone without reservation. Sam was a neighborhood fixture riding in my car with his big doggie head hanging out the passenger side window, seeming to smile at everyone we passed. People would always smile in return, he just looked so darn happy. He loved grilled chicken. He would sit next to the table and drool like a garden hose when we had that for dinner. We always shared. He hated to have his feet touched. He would bark fiercely, but the whole time his tail was wagging happily. It was handy when someone came to the door - I would grab his foot to make him bark, then tell the person I didn't know if I could hold back the dog. I just had to hide the wagging tail from them.
Sam loved turtles. He didn't eat them, he apparently wanted one for a pet. He was always coming to the door with one in his mouth. The turtles would be squeezed tightly inside their shells looking quite annoyed as we freed them. Sam was an A Number 1 turtle finder.
His favorite place in the world was our house in North Carolina. He seemed to sense when we were on our way there and got SO excited. When the time would come to leave he would often dash down and sit in the middle of the creek, hoping I suppose that we wouldn't put a soaking wet dog into the car. Then he would howl mournfully all the way down the mountain when we did. He and Mike would hike for hours there. Sam would bound off following his nose towards an interesting smell, but would always circle back to show Mike that he was still right there. Sometimes he would flush out a nest of grouse and bark with delight at his find. He had a corner of the deck where he loved to sit with his muzzle resting on the cross bar to watch the world go by. He's still there. His urn, wrapped in his bright red bandanna, and the headstone carved by my father in law are in his corner to this day.
Sam died of cancer. He had a very aggressive form of nasal sarcoma. It was inoperable, and there was no treatment that would have provided him with any quality time. We chose to let the disease take it's course. We took our cues from Sam Bear. His nose would often bleed, his breathing became labored, but through it all his banner of a tail wagged at us, and he still seemed to have that smile on his face. The day came however, when he let us know that it was his time. We all went to the vet's office, Mike, Rob and I. I sat on the floor and Sam rested his head in my lap, Mike and Rob knelt behind us. He looked up at me with his big, trusting brown eyes and seemed at peace. We all cried when that harsh, labored breathing stopped, even the vet.
Sam Bear was a true gift. There could not have been a better dog to have for your very first, and I will never forget him. Rest in peace Sam Bear. You have been, and continue to be, greatly loved.
Well, after a month and a half in the mountains of western North Carolina I am back home in Florida. Several people have asked me why in the world I came back home, and frankly I've wondered about it myself. I missed my son who is boycotting NC until we get wireless internet and cell phone capability. I missed my husband who came up alternate weekends. I missed my shower in Florida which features good water pressure and water hard enough to actually get the soap out of one's hair (oh come on! that's valid!!). I was tired of bug bites, and I needed a hair cut. The fact that several other groups of people are going to use the house in the coming weeks also meant that I had to come home. So here I am. The morning we left North Carolina I woke up to 54 degree temperatures. Let me assure you that 54 degrees has not been seen in these parts for some time. QUITE some time. The heat is debilitating. On Monday I went grocery shopping, cleaned up the house and generally bustled about until I literally became ill. I don't do heat well. I plan to stay in the air conditioning until sometime in mid-October.
As for the son who I have missed so much. Well, he moved out. I knew that this plan was afoot, and he has only moved about 5 blocks away. From the condition of his room I could surmise that he took none of his clothes with him, and none of his toiletries. Still, moved out is moved out. The house seems empty even though between school, work and social commitments this kid wasn't here much anyway. On the bright side I won't be tripping over his size 12 shoes and won't be subjected to the boom-thumpa-thumpa of his music at all hours. The house seems awfully empty though.
My hair was, as I mentioned, in a state of complete disarray. 9 weeks without a cut or coloring. NOT attractive. I had an appointment set for the Thursday after my arrival home, but my hair dresser's daughter is apparently ill, and she isn't working right now. This isn't as big a tragedy as you may think since this woman took over my hair when the lady who I ADORED moved away. This stylist was..... okay.... but not great. As luck would have it tho, I saw an ad in a magazine for a salon that boasts people WILL ask where you got that incredible hair cut so I gave them a call. Attempting to be as honest as possible I described myself as a plump rutabaga with feet and 4 inches of pure white roots. My new, and FABULOUS, stylist is named Jim. If you ran into Jim on the street and had to guess what his profession was, you would NOT pick hair stylist. (English teacher comes to mind for some reason.) First thing he did was to pick a new color for me that is FAR more flattering than the faded blonde that my old stylist used. Second thing he did was give me an adorable hair cute that, wonder of wonders, I am able to recreate on my own! HURRAY for stylists who are talented that way. We are pleased.
So. Here I am. Mid July in Florida. Welcome home to me. Now turn down the a/c and pour me some iced tea!