Friday, July 30, 2010

Of Dogs and Cats

For those of you who have been following along and whose memory has not been completely destroyed by the pleasures of sin and corruption, you may remember that Main Lady has three little darlings; Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. Cottontail in an accomplished veterinarian who specializes in internal medicine and is married to Que Bee One (Q-B 1), also a veterinarian and a newly minted veterinary surgeon. The critter doctor duo used to live in the frozen wastes of the Twin Cities of Minnesota, but desirous of change they accepted new positions South and East of the frozen tundra, and so packed up their menagerie and headed for the new digs, stopping off at Main Lady's chateau on the way through.

Cottontail and Que Bee One have two dogs (Banana Nose and French Pig), one cat (Mojo) and one loud, vicious green parrot that bites and shrieks loudly enough to rattle the fillings in your teeth, and which has not been turned into something useful, such as cat food and a feather duster.

Banana Nose and French Pig

Here are the two dogs, Banana Nose and French Pig with Excellent Rachmaninoff in the foreground. Rocky is the perfect host and really enjoys having canine company, indulging the other two in such games as dogs are fond of.

Mojo the cat is a stray that was adopted by Cottontail. Being cat-like he moved before I could get a picture of him, but Mojo is mostly white with a few black spots here and there. I'm told he enjoys playing with French Pig, but Excellent Rachmaninoff was a bit much for him.  Anyway, the circus stopped on the way East and eventually everyone got bedded down for the night. The manager (likely Cottontail, but perhaps we'll discus this later) had plans for an early start in the morning and Main Lady had to go to work, so a leisurely breakfast was pretty much out of the question. Yes sir, we're going to get right up and get on the road. Except, you see, Mojo vanished.

Now you have to understand a few things here. First of all, both veterinarians really are accomplished people, and that's significant. I am reminded of their station every time I talk to them about animals and animal behavior (here) because there is always a slight condescending attitude towards me. This is nothing I can put my finger on, but I'm convinced that it's brought on by differences in background and lifestyle as well as the perception of the amateur presuming to know anything about the professional's field. Secondly, Mojo the cat is a foundling in name only. Mojo was brought to the veterinary clinic by someone for a general checkup and found to have a severe heart condition. I think the phrase "Bummest ticker this side of the graveyard" might be a slight overstatement, but it's in the ballpark. Since the previous owner was unwilling or unable to care for Mojo, it was decided that Mojo get in line to cash in his chips without further ado. This action was preempted by either Que Bee One or (very likely) Cottontail, who agreed to adopt Mojo and provide him with a good home until his number comes up. This is a laudable action and I applaud the good intentions. Except that now, you see, what with all the excitement of traveling and visiting a new home, there is a 500 pound gorilla sitting quietly in the corner. Why, exactly, is Mojo missing?

When I heard about this particular train derailment, I naturally spoke without thinking.

"You gotta be kidding. You mean the two veterinarian animal experts actually let the cat run around the house by itself all night?"

Okay, maybe I should have kept my yap shut. All I can say is that I didn't add, "How dumb can you be?" or something.

The search started around 6:30 AM and by 9:30 AM Cottontail was getting snappish and Que Bee One was staring sheepishly at the floor. All 2,352 square feet of the house had been searched thoroughly. No Mojo. Personally, I would have enlisted the aid of Excellent Rachmaninoff, but that thought didn't occur to anyone. The recurrent question of why Mojo won't come when called was voiced several times and repeated, but sadly no one responded with the obvious answer: Mojo isn't coming out because Mojo is a cat. Cats aren't dogs to come when called or alert the owner to their whereabouts. Moreover, there is every possibility that Mojo's number has come up.
Que Bee One suggested that everyone relax and wait a while to see if Mojo would appear. Cottontail, always the pragmatist, suggested in persuasive terms that it was late and the circus should leave town without Mojo. He could be retrieved later. I refused to comment on this, seeing as how the first thought that came to mind involved the delicate mephitis of decomposing feline.

To give credit where credit is due, Main Lady held her composition very well through all this, and though she didn't say so she rejected both courses of action as impractical. Instead she used her powers of psychological persuasion to conduct another search of the spare bedroom upstairs, this time pulling all the boxes of stuff out from under both beds. Voila! Mojo appeared, happily rolling around on the floor under the bed and staying just out of reach. Que Bee One managed to effect a catch by moving the bed, thus causing the errant feline to seek improved real estate elsewhere. Mojo was caught by one of the women in the room.

The circus train finally did pull out, arriving at their new destination about 10:00 PM that evening, only to discover that the house Que Bee One had rented sight unseen did not live up to the description provided by the real estate agent. Cottontail sustained herself during the long drive East with visions of a late night swim in the pool that was supposed to be in the back yard behind a privacy fence. That didn't happen.

I'm trying to give Main Lady some reassurance about the situation involving the youngest of her three little darlings who has married someone who makes many family decisions and rents houses sight unseen. So far I haven't been able to come up with anything better than, "You can't save people from themselves."

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