It’s been a trying time lately. I won’t bore you with the details because these times are trying for just about everyone, so if you imagine you and I share some of the same frustrations, use your frustration level as the baseline.
It’s almost the end of the school year so the activity level is high, the interest level of the kids in being in school is low and things are in that end of year tizzy. You buy enough supplies for the kids’ lunches in the form of chips and snacks; they then decide that they should be able to eat up the 2 extra packs not needed for school but actually eat three, so you have to make an additional grocery run. Interest in practicing music has dwindled and the kids have this crazy idea that it is my responsibility to justify to them WHY they must study piano. Add in soccer tryouts, soccer parties, etc. and you get the picture.
If I may go off topic for a moment. Some of you may remember Erma Bombeck who wrote humorous columns about suburban life. There are times that I believed my life was something Ms. Bombeck would have experienced in a nightmare. It would be hilariously funny, but still a nightmare. At other times, I believe that my life is entertainment for the celestial ensemble. I figure when you die and have eternity in heaven with everything perfect, it gets boring, fast. You learn to fly and how to get your halo adjusted just right. Then there’s a brief period learning how to play the harp (not the big orchestral things with pedals and such – just those little ones they show in the children’s Bibles – kind of the ukulele of the harp family.) Of course, in heaven, singing is no problem because in heaven everything is perfect and therefore everyone has a perfect voice. Got flying, halo, singing and harp. What to do next?
That’s where I come in.
People in heaven watch me as their number one situation comedy. What will happen next? What challenge awaits? What stupid thing will he do? They can’t wait to see… I figure I outsell Glee, Seinfeld, M*A*S*H and The Office put together when it comes to the Heavenly Arbitron ratings.
Okay, sorry, back to my blog.
One of the traumatic events of the past week is that Dexter disappeared. Dexter was a cat who showed up at our house one day and became a member of the family. It was 2002 or 2003 when someone dumped him in the country back in Wyoming. Dexter was already neutered and declawed but he was feisty enough to take on the fox that lived in the neighborhood. He was mainly an outdoor cat, not because he really liked the outdoors but because the lady who lived next door fed him well and had a nice little doghouse into which she put a heating pad when the weather got cold.
Dexter would visit us, then the lady next door, then scout around and then return to the visit circuit. Our neighbor’s husband had insisted that she have no more indoor cats, so when we moved, we brought Dexter with us. If you’ve ever moved by air with a pet you know that this is a bureaucratic nightmare rivaling the income tax process. Veterinarians have to sign off on their health; the airlines have all kinds of waivers; in the meantime, the only humans the animals see are baggage handlers. Ouch!
Dexter’s time in Virginia was fairly enjoyable, except for a brief period when another cat appeared. As far as I know, Dexter must have been boasting about the great deal he had and the other cat decided to move into his territory. That cat made Dexter’s life a living hell until we relocated him to a friend’s house and Dexter once again reigned supreme.
Over the past winter, Dexter became a mostly indoor cat. In previous winters he still liked to go out at night, but this past year he mellowed – and yes for the previous years we did the heating pad in the kitty house trick. Dexter had picked the downstairs closet for his personal bedroom and he’d sleep there most of the day. He’d eat, go outside for a while and then come in, usually spending the night on my son’s bed. He liked to begin his day about 4:00 AM, which was fine, because my wife likes to get up around then to go the gym and work out before anyone else is awake. On those rare occasions when she slept past that time, Dexter would loudly express his confusion and discontent outside our bedroom door.
Dexter loved our dog, Jazz and would do all kinds of things to attract the dog’s attention. Jazz, however, would not acknowledge this, although she knew Dexter’s schedule and made sure he was on time for his scheduled entries and exits.
Dexter’s physical world encompassed our yard, the neighbor’s yard, the woods behind our house and a small woods across the street. This area was somewhere around the size of a football field, and to my knowledge he never traveled beyond that.
This week Jazz has not done well dealing with Dexter’s absence. I’ll spare you the details, but it has required a major effort by her regular vet and an unexpected late night visit to the emergency vet, drugs, medications, etc.
Bottom line is that I’m writing this line at 11:59 PM after spending hours dealing with the dog.
Erma Bombeck! Wake up! You’re having another nightmare!