Friday, July 07, 2006

It's all happening at the zoo.

There may be too many animals at the megastore, especially if you include teenagers.

That's partly because it's summer, and there are comings and goings at all hours. Running son works about 30 hours a week at a local movie theater (job: sweeper and ticket taker), one of the perks of which is that he can see blockbuster movies before they open, but only at midnight. This means that he sometimes will come and go a half dozen times (I might be exaggerating, but only a little) in an evening, with the last arrival being at 2:30 a.m., if you've just seen the overlong Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Blather (not that I've seen it--I'm just guessing). Add to this scenario college daughter, who sometimes has to stay up till God knows when talking to friends, and excitable dogs, who want to be in with the in crowd, so have to get worked up when someone pulls up to the house.

I am not early to bed, early to rise, but I think quiet past, say, 12:30 a.m. isn't too much to ask of a household. I have not been fully persuasive on this point, however, to either the teenagers or the dogs. I occasionally have to work up a big fit of MadMom (TM) to get my point across, but the point never seems to hold past a few days.

Add to the above the fact that Betty is an old dog. She is on the whole very well-behaved--mild-tempered, sweet, a bit prone to huffing and puffing in a rather warm way a bit too close to your face, and definitely a big shedder, but she's a doll. At the dog park, she's a big hit. "There's Betty," all sorts of people say, and stop to pet her, which she loves in any amount from any human. However: she can forget, apparently, how to hoist her middle-aged self up the stairs to pee outside. When this happens, none of us is quite sure. I formed a hypothesis that it may most likely happen during the night. Bruiser will come up and basically knock on the door and say, in a polite voice, "I need to be let out so that I can urinate on the lawn," and then remind you, if you're disinclined to wake and hear him, with a small, civilized whine or nose-nudge. Betty, on the other hand, will sometimes come upstairs, but you have to be a light sleeper and hear the clicking of her toenails in order to wake up and let her out. And she won't persist, which may then (I hypothesize) lead to the peeing issue.

Anyway, the upshot of my hypothesis was that we (a) let Betty sleep upstairs in our room, on the floor, and (b) left the door open. This meant that all night, I kept waking up at the smallest Betty-sounds, which meant in turn that I had a lousy night's sleep.

Add to that the fact that the cat, Tiger, has recently reasserted her primordial identity as a mighty, mighty hunter. We have found small spots of blood out on the porch where she sometimes sleeps; a day or two ago, I found feathers. Last night, however, at 2 a.m.-ish, she woke me (not that it took much, since I was already jittery from the Betty situation) with a low-pitched meow that sounded like a person talking in a whiny voice. I got up to find her meowing around a small mouse she had in her mouth. Tricky! Talking with a mouse in your mouth!

I awoke the historian, who made the cat let the mouse go--oh yes, still alive--and then shut her back on the porch. It took a few minutes after that to fall asleep again, what with wondering where the mouse came from--the field? under the sink?--as well as contemplating all the other critters that cohabit with us, such as spiders, which may run across my face all night long, who knows?

That is all.


  1. Erik and I have spent hours--hours! chasing mice down that the cats have brought into the house. They crawl behind hutches, sometimes shoot down heater vents. Usually, Erik empties a kleenex box and I scoot the mouse out and he traps the mouse in the box. Then he takes it next door to the field. This is the latest he and I stay up. Chasing mice. Because we have no teenagers.

  2. You should add a pygmy goat to your menagerie.

  3. thanks for reminding me of the benefits of the no pet house, which will not last much longer. We love the dogs, but not their bodily functions. Son, ever learning, understands that we do not want a cat because they "poop in the house."



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