It’s 3:00am and time to start my day. My belly was a little upset just an hour ago from the full bag of treats I ate, but that has passed, and thrillingly I was able to generate some treats of my own. I left some centered between the doors of the boy’s bedrooms to greet them in the morning. I also put some by the front door on the yellow tiles for guests. I tried for the side door too for the older people but there was nothing left. I am only 8 lbs so my belly really can’t hold much. I will try again later.
Now that I feel better I think I should have a drink. Things look good in this area. Usually I have to leave the bed to find my water bowl but in these wee hours of the morning I see she has left her water within reach on her bedside table. Well, within reach if I climb on her face. Which I do. Ahhhhh. Water.
4:00 am. I think I smell food. How did I miss this before? I smell food and it is HERE. Upstairs. Snuffling around the small boy’s room I find them. The meat treats wrapped in dough that get delivered by that man that I bark at so loudly. Delicately, so delicately I hold one in between my tiny teeth dragging it away from the other. “I will be back for you.” I tell them. Back in our bedroom I find the food has left me off balance. I can’t quite make the herculean jump from the floor to the bed without help. I am eager to get up there. The new comforter smells so detergenty. It doesn’t have all of the lovely wafts of food and puke and pee that I have provided them with over the last year. They are back to the beginning and a little late night snack will help with that “too clean problem.” But first I need to get there. I whine softly. If I do this they will reach over and pick me up. A little more loudly. She is UP! But she doesn’t help me. “The dog needs to pee” she tells him. She is SO WRONG. The dog just peed. What the dog needs to do is come up and eat this meat on her bed and then snuggle under the covers. But the fake news has been passed along and he lumbers out of bed almost hitting the wall on his way out. Down the stairs we go and he misses the present I left for him in the hallway. Oh well, he will see it in the morning when it is light out.
He forces me outside into the cold but it is OK. I have my dumpling to keep me company. When he opens the slider to let me in I hold my head high. I have eaten a bit, but there is enough to bring back to bed. I hop on the couch to take high ground and protect my treasure. He look at me. “Drop it.” He says. “No. No. Shit. My dumpling.”My body betrays me. But somehow against my own will I drop the dumpling.
He heads up the stairs so slowly, the curse of only having 2 legs. So sad for them. I take a quick detour back to the dumplings in the boy’s room. He is surprised now. Again he tells me to drop it. Again my body drops the dumpling against my will. Damn that training. He gathers the dumplings and drops them in the trash. It will be hard work but I will have to deal with that situation later.
Back in bed she asks him what happened. “Go back to sleep.” He tells her. He must be saving the dumpling news for later as a surprise.
I figure his advice is good. I flip the covers with my nose and begin to wriggle under. Something isn’t quite right. Oh no. Oh no. I have climbed into the pillow case again. This is NOT GOOD. Last time I neared death. That would be horrible. Who would protect her from hugs and keep people out of the house. They NEED me. Just like last time she grabbed me by the rear legs and pulled me from the pillow. It is hard to pretend I meant to do that. I tried my best though, shaking it off and burrowing under the actual covers this time. She is clearly too close to the middle of the bed. She usually sleep on the edge so I remind her with my cold wet nose and she moves a few inches. I press my nose against her again, then she moves again. When we are finished I have her right where she likes it, on her side, with only a thin strip of mattress to support here. I know she will mistakenly roll back so instead of my comfortable dog ball I turn my 12 inches sideways and stretch my limbs superdog postion and brace against here. She will be safe now.
At 6:45 they interrupt my rest to tell me it is time to pee. Don’t they know that I peed on the boy’s door to thank him for the dumplings. Despite that I realize my bladder is full from the bedside table drink. I should do that again. So again I climb, shoulder to hair, to head, and stretch to the glass. The water is further down now so I have to adjust a few times but I don’t worry about falling. My long claws have a sturdy grip on her cheek.
7:00 We head downstairs. I am not in the mood for kibble. Steak would be good, or bacon. I could even settle for the dumplings but it is just these dried bits. They expect me to eat them and I don’t like to let them down. So I take a few halfhearted bites and am quickly distracted by my reason for being.
I tell them.
They don’t move. Why do they never seem surprised that this evil beast is in the house?
“Cat cat cat”
“She’s in the house! She’s on the COUNTER! She is going to ruin everything.” I hold onto my trump card. “She is going to break your PHONES!”
Still nothing. My people confound me.
I am on my own now.
I charge at the cat, telling it to get out of our territory but it just hisses back. “You are pathetic. I own you.”
7:05 Even though she is right I have to keep going. I must. “Cat” I tell them surging forward. Her paw slices my face so quickly. “Ow ow ow my nose! My nose” I retreat. But she is still there “Cat!” I tell them. Finally the big boy has heard me. But what is he thinking. “Apollo” he yells my name. He doesn’t sound grateful. He doesn’t know how I have risked life and nose for his family. I am being scooped up. Usually I like this but I need to get back to the beast. This is the time I will win.
7:25 But it is not. I am placed onto the couch in a pillow nest and I have no choice to curl up. It is naptime after all. I rest there while the rest of them bustle around and the cat stares at me from the window sill. I can feel her staring but I won’t give her the satisfaction of meeting her icy blue eyes. I might be resting but I still know EVERYTHING going on around me.
7:35 Too soon they are all leaving. The big boy first. I ignore him because my most beloved is still home and then she and the little boy leave at the same time. This is super confusing. They leave out of opposite doors. How do I know which one to stop. I run to him then her and him then her and as I watch him sidestepping my poop treat I hear her door close and I run back, too late and then am too late for the front door. I have failed. The day is ruined.
8:05 I walk slowly to the office looking for just the right rawhide along the way. The people don’t seem to know the difference. Yet this is a vital distinction. Found it right where I left it outside the door to the bathroom where I had to wait to protect her. I head to work. The cat is already at work curled in the chair and we both know that work time is truce time so I don’t yell at her and she doesn’t call me pathetic.
I offer a brief hello with my curled tail but she ignores me.
8:07 The big problem with the office isn’t even the cat. It’s that weird other dog who lives through the window. Whatever I do he does. But strangely he has no smell. What kind of dog has no smell? No dog I want to know. So I keep an eye on him just in case.
8:10 The male person is standing working at his computer. This is tricky. I will rest for a while on the bed. I used to be able to drag my bed around with my teeth, flip it in the air. I loved that bed. I loved it so much that I opened it up to taste the inside which were wonderful. I took out bits of its insides and left some for me in all of my spots. Each bed in the house. Each room in the house. Each couch in the house. Then one day it was all gone and this big bed arrived. I heard them say it was actually a cat bed and the cat laughed at me. She was way too fancy to lie on the floor unless there was a perfect slant of sunshine. So it is mine. And it is too big to throw around and it is too big to pull apart. Sigh.
8:12 I am recharged. Clearly he has worked too long and too hard and needs a bit of a break. I gift him with my favorite rawhide at his feet. Nothing. I lift it up and drop it again. Nothing I call out quickly. “Hey.” Nothing. “Hey lets play” I tell him. Nothing. Clearly work has made him catatonic. Wait I never noticed the word cat is in catatonic. I’ll totally have to tease her about that. I turn and she is sleeping. Catatonic if you will. And I certainly will. Back to play though. He needs to get his exercise. So I jump up and nip his butt. “Time to play play play.” And we do. I let him think he can have my rawhide but then I take it back. We go on like this for a bit but clearly he is getting too attached to the rawhide. Does he think it is HIS? “It’s mine.” I tell him. But that isn’t enough. I need to take it back. “MINE” I declare and bring it into my bed. Maybe some crusty rawhide drool will help it feel more like home. I can try.
8:15-2:50. It must be time for them to come home soon. I will stand guard. I will stand on two legs and hold one paw delicately against the door. I will wait. During this time there are 6 squirrels “Squirrel” And 42 cars. “Car? car? Car?”
On the warm days they would walk home and I would be in the yard and could greet them in the best possible way. Hugs? I’m in. But it is cold now and there is not walking. There is only driving and it is very difficult to track all of the vehicles.
Then finally it is the right car and I run to the door. Something goes wrong. I can’t run straight. I can only run in the circle. In this circle in this circle. She is reaching for me. It’s too much. I am jumping and circling and wagging. I feel every muscle in my body and try to calm down. But it is SO SO SO exciting. she wasn’t back until the 43rd card. She was never going to come back. Never. I was going to have to live with that boring man and that bitchy cat. There would be no kids. There would be no beloved.
I need to tell her.
Finally I am in her arms. I am slamming my head against hers. Hello Hello. I thought you were never coming back. So I kiss her. Forehead to chin. I try to kiss her nose and lips but she turns away, denying herself my most fervent love. I need to tell her about my day. I race to the office to retrieve my best rawhide. I drop it at her feet for her to have. I jump so high 42 times. I tell her about catatonic. Somehow she doesn’t understand. I love her but I worry a bit about her intelligence.
2:50 So quickly the little boy is home but he has brought a friend. Luckily it is not the bad friend so I only need to give him a light warning to keep his hands off my people and then I can greet my little boy. I jump 42 times and circle six times and kiss for as long as he lets me.
5:30 Food. I smell food. They are going to need my help cooking. First I need to find a place to pee. They are all in the room so I guess I could go outside. How about this. If I walk to the door and stand there for 5 seconds and they notice me and open the door in 5.5 seconds I will go outside in pee. But thats such a pain. Maybe I will wait 3 seconds. She sees me though and tells me about peeing. Duh.
6:00 Dinner. They have stopped feeding me my dinner. I mean, I have kibble but everyone knows that is not dinner. I have never ONCE seen them eat kibble. Well, actually I saw the little one eat kibble one time but then he spit it out right away. So insulting. So I stand under the table and move from leg to leg. Maybe tonight is the night? It’s chicken and broccoli. Sometimes the little one gives me broccoli. And sometimes that broccoli has brushed against the table. I stick with him.
6:20 Clean up. This is the best. When it is one of the boy’s loading the dishwasher it takes them so long that I can rinse several plates. What would they do without me?
6:30 Nap time. Rinsing the dishes was delicious but exhausting. Too tiring to be bothered to eat kibble. I guess I could go check the sand box and see if the cat has left me any goodies. But I am just so tired. Soooo. I need to get a toy to snuggle up with. I think I left monkey on the bed. Returning downstairs she pins me in the stairway “CAT!” Cat! It is right there. “See the cat?” Still they can’t see the cat. I am worried about their hearing, their vision, their intelligence. They are so lucky to have me to look out for them. To do that. To keep them safe I need to get down the stairs. But there she is.
7:00 Doorbell. “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away””Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away” “Go away”
7:04. Whew, He is gone. I have terrified him.
7:06 Time to check the floor for crumbs. The kitchen and dining room need to be fully snuffled.
7:30 We head upstairs. I double back for the best rawhide which I hide under the covers. I will entertain us with a game of hide and seek. All hide and seek must be done at full speed. That is probably why she is so terrible at it.
7:35 She gets in the shower. I stand in the doorway. Please don’t take me. Please don’t take me. Please. Don’t. Take. Me. When the water stops I know I am safe and it is time to bound into the bathroom. I will lick her legs first then drink the nectar of the shower water. Nothing has ever been so good. Wait? We are leaving the bathroom. Fine. I grab my rawhide and take to the bed.
7:40 Something is wrong. Terribly horribly frighteningly wrong. She is sitting on a blue and white pillow on the floor. She is not moving at all. Her eyes are open but she is not looking at anything. SHE IS DEAD. Only I can save her. I will tempt her back to life. I select pelican. I know she likes pelican. I drop it at her legs. “Wanna play?” I ask. She says nothing. I move to the edge of the bed as close to her ear as I can get. “HELLO” I yell loudly. I think there might have been a flinch a small bit of movement. I try again “HELLO” this is the loudest I can be so I stay at this level. Over and over again I yell. This is it. She is dead. I am so sad. So incredibly sad. I give her a last gift. I pee on her comforter.
It is time to sit vigil with the body so I go to the blue chair. I will dig my own grave and we will go down together. I will dig and dig until it can fit my whole self. Finally I can sit. So I do. Leaving my giant weeping bug eyes on her unmoving face.
Then it happens! I have willed her back to life with my love. She is getting up. She is putting away the pillow. She is seeing my tribute on the bed! She is so excited. Apollo! She says. She is getting her special towel and spray. She likes to cover my scent with her own. It is something we collaborate on.
9:00 Finally it is bedtime. I have less of a job to do because my pee and her spray have mingled into a giant soaked spot on the bed. She will lie right at the edge in order not to disturb our good work. Maybe she is not so dumb after all.
3:00am. I am thirsty.
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