Mike and Heather took off somewhere and left me home with my girlfriend Lynn, and this time it took me a few days to settle into our routine. I did a lot of vocalizing for Lynn’s benefit, making guttural howls that sound like I’m gargling marbles. I was hoping for some sympathy and attention, but after I realized my singing wasn’t getting me anywhere, I shelved the vibrato and let Lynn coax me into some serious snuggling instead.
Lynn supplied me with a steady stream of Mike’s Milk and a frozen PBB (Peanut Butter Boney) every day when she went to work in the morning, and a few hours later my new friend Jill came in and walked me for an hour, which I quickly became the highlight of my day. That exercise was a major contributing factor in me calming down so I wouldn’t give Lynn a hard time if she wasn’t into throwing Wiffie around after work. I was generally feeling more “chill” than I usually am when Lynn stays with. While I still performed some degree of whimper, trill, foot stamp or dance for her from time to time, more often I rested, comfy in a pile of covers or in my bed in the office. I was content and confident that Lynn and Jill were more than capable of attending to my many needs.
Except for ferreting out a used tube of toothpaste one day before Jill arrived, I saved up all my bad behavior for my pal Charlie when he came to take me for a walk on the weekend. When Lynn opened the door to let him in, I car-péd the diem, so to speak (seized the day, if you can’t follow my French). In a flash, I was gone down the block, but there was no panic behind me. Both Charlie and Lynn knew my ultimate destination: The trail of Ted and Fred , the Bartons’s cats, invariably leads into their back yard two doors down, a yard enclosed by a locked chain-link fence. Mike knows the spot by the south gate where I can squeeze in and out, but it took Charlie and Lynn a while to figure it out. If Mike were there, he would have sped things along by yelling, “Treat Party!” and luring me through the gap between fence and house, but as I know only too well, Mr. No-nonsense Charlie always prefers a stern command to make me come. He will never use treats. And that’s why, as much as I like Charlie, he can never get to be #1 in my book. As that smart-alec fish said in the Seventies Sarkist tuna TV commercials: Sorry, Charlie.
On the other hand, Charlie’s arrival gave me the opportunity to tree Fred, the smaller of the two Barton cats, and after Charlie sprung me from the back yard, he walked me more than two miles in the park. As Charlie later told Mike and Heather, when I bolted out the door he was not worried as he had been the last time it happened to him, and “all’s well that ends well.” Who knew Charlie was a Shakespearean scholar to boot?
The other big excitement while Mike and Heather were soaking up the sun was the weird and wild Seattle weather over the last few days before they came home. When Lynn came from work one night it was so windy that our empty waste can flew 15 feet down the sidewalk, and on walks my ears were flapping in the wind like the Snoopy balloon in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I almost got airborne. Later on a package arrived on our front porch, but I didn’t think it had come via UPS… unless my new driver Craig left my bickie without adequately securing it under the package, and a big wind gust blew it away. Personally, I thought the new U.S. Mail carrier had delivered this package, and he can be so stealth that I might have just slept through it. I guess I’ll never know.
My last morning with Lynn, loud claps of thunder rang out for over an hour, so I ate my breakfast in the kitchen before even venturing outside. I am not a big fan of thunder or rain, and when Lynn finally got me to go outside, rain was coming down sideways, with swirling leaves and more thunder. As much as I felt safe with Lynn, I JUST WISHED MIKE AND HEATHER WOULD GET HOME ALREADY!
And wouldn’t you know it, but the next night they arrived out of nowhere, and I greeted them at the front door with all the pent-up energy I had been holding in while I was trying to be such a good citizen for Lynn, Jill and Charlie. I jumped Mike, tackling him down to the carpet and biting his nose for several minutes. Then I ran to the office recycling bin and got a prezzie or two for Heather. She refused to get down on the floor and let me jump on her head, but later on she let me sleep with her under her blanket all night long.
Sigh. It’s like they never left.