Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Life among the animals

I've been gone. I went north to California for a wedding.

My friend Cynthia, fifty-something, inveterate hugger and pet-sitter extraordinaire tied the knot last Sunday afternoon in a green belt park where a significant portion of the invited guests had room to frolic and play.

Jerry, the groom, gentle, patient man -- has family. Lots of family. Cynthia has friends, furry and otherwise. A lot of us met each other for the first time, being introduced as "Shadow's parents," or "Bentley's people." I must say that everyone played nicely together and performed their appointed tasks just as they were instructed.

Bentley, a Wheaton terrier recovering from an unfortunate encounter with a German Shepherd, was particularly delighted with the opportunity to stretch his legs. His stitches had just come out, but the satin pillow covered the damage quite nicely.

"The Bob" (I didn't catch his breed) replete in tux and tails, mugged for the camera.

Everywhere I looked there were reminders of the fur-face I left behind. Well, actually TWO fur-faces, but it was Kody the Keeshond who kept me up the night before I left, whimpering and butting his head against the bed. Suitcases by the front door raise his anxiety level.
I'm happy my friends love animals. Life without them can seem pretty tame. BUT.... was on my last morning in Orange County that I was reminded in spades why dogs are invited to weddings and cats are NOT.

At 4:30 a.m. I was making an unobstrusive exit from Laurie and Andy's house. Suitcases were already in the car, but my arms, armpits, back and fingers were all filled with stuff, as I struggled to ease myself out the front door.

He'd been lurking at the top of the stairs, waiting for this chance. Max, that feckless, butterscotch, tabby-striped, gold-eyed mischief STREAKED past me into the night.

I spent the next fifteen minutes coaxing, pleading, swearing and cajoling. All in vain. Sitting just out of reach under a shrub beyond the birdbath, he looked at me with disdain. "Foolish woman," he seemed to say. "You think I can't tell the difference between a bag of cat treats and a bag of croutons?!"

At last I rousted my hosts from their bedroom. Maybe Max would respond more favorably to less murderous thoughts than the ones I was by then entertaining. On the contrary. With an audience of three, Max decided to go wake the neighbors -- the ones who were still asleep after I'd set off the rental car alarm instead of opening the trunk.

It was not a graceful exit. I had to give it up and head for the airport. My last memory of our time together was Andy poking through his neighbors' bushes. I got word today that Max was eventually cornered and brought inside.

So here's a public apology, posted for eternity in cyberspace: Andy and Laurie, I am SO sorry.

And Max, if you're reading this....hey Max! I'm talking to you. Kitty, kitty, kitty. Sit! Stay! Oh never mind.....

No comments: