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May 12, 2011

This is not going to become one of those blogs obsessed with cats. Or death. Or dead cats (Is there a blog obsessed with dead cats? If there is, I don’t think I want to know about it). But I’m not quite done with it yet. Please bear with me. I’ll find something else to write about before too long.

It was a dark and stormy night. Really. Most nights, of course, are dark. But the storms were fairly impressive. It was sunny when I drove to Studio 2 to teach yesterday afternoon. By the time I got there (it is only 10-15 minutes from home, depending on traffic), we had gone through several stages of pre-tornado-like weather. I had to sit in the parking lot for 10 minutes while golf-ball-sized hail pounded the roof of the car. I was glad I’d driven the 20-year-old van with the cracked windshield. Not much damage to be done there.

I was glad to be busy for a few hours. When I got home, AJ was waiting for me. We spent the last hour or so before his bedtime playing games and talking about Mrs. Stein. “I really miss her,” he kept saying. We looked at pictures of her sleeping in AJ’s beanbag chair, chasing balls of yarn around his room, sitting in his bookshelf as we were trying to assemble it. Later, when he came down to get a glass of water, he looked at the blank wall over the stairs – a decorating problem, because it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the front door and it looks very empty, but anything we try to hang there seems incredibly wrong. “I think we should hang her pawprint here with a picture of her,” AJ said, “so we can see it every time we go down the stairs.” (The vet will give us an ornament with an impression of her paw in clay – we will pick it up tomorrow). “Hmm,” I said, scrounging for diplomatic replies. “I think we’ll have to see what it looks like. I’m not sure this is the best spot for it. I was thinking that maybe we should hang it in your room, because that was her favorite spot.” Before she got sick, it was. Afterwards, she stopped going up all the stairs and took to sleeping underneath the purple chair in the living room closest to the fireplace. But AJ’s room gets beautiful morning sun and before that, Mrs. Stein was frequently camped out in front of the glass doors to his balcony or curled up in his beanbag chair. AJ seemed pleased with my suggestion.

Bedtime was hard, at least for me. There was a Mrs. Stein-sized hole next to me on the bed. There was no one trying to sit on the book I was reading. But we made it through. I had planned to go down to the basement after AJ went to bed and start cleaning up her things, but I found I couldn’t deal with it. That’s today’s project. The last time a pet died, we still had another pet, so we didn’t need to get rid of things. But there’s a surprising amount of stuff for a small animal. Litterboxes, food dishes, small furry mice and catnip balls. Extra cans of food and a tub of litter. I am trying not to think about it too hard.

This morning I woke up to the sun streaming in where I’d left the curtains open around the open window. The frogs in the backyard creek were kicking up a colossal racket. In my half awake state, I tried to figure out what they were singing. There were three distinct pitches – a low note and a major third and perfect fourth above it. They didn’t all enter at once though. The low note always started first and the third and fourth took turns coming in second. They were still at it while AJ and I were eating our breakfast in the kitchen. “It sounds like a frog organ out there!” He’s spot on. It does sound like a frog organ. And now, of course, I’m wondering what a frog organ would look like. Probably something like this, except with frogs instead of cats:

Of course, this doesn’t beat yesterday’s wake-up call, which was a trombone serenade from AJ’s bedroom. It was either that or he was sitting on a moose. Come to think of it, the moose thing might explain the smell from his closet. And I thought it was just his laundry basket.

Today, AJ has been lobbying for a dog. Actually, first he was asking for an owl. They are studying owls in school and someone brought a barn owl in for a visit and he was quite taken with it. And also, he is reading Carl Hiassen’s Hoot, which is really fantastic. But then he remembered that it’s illegal to keep an owl as a pet, so he went back to dogs. He’s been wanting a dog for a long time, but we’ve been stalling him by telling him it wasn’t fair to Mrs. Stein. I’ve told him we’ll think about it, but first he needs to take care of his trombone. He rolled his eyes when I pointed out that the trombone sounds like a pet.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2011 12:58 pm

    I roll my eyes at you for that comment, too. No one to sit on your book and get in the way is so sad. That’s one reason I keep the maximum number of cats our house can support at all times, although it doesn’t help because one cat doesn’t ever get in your way quite like another.

  2. eleanorio permalink
    May 12, 2011 3:19 pm

    Are you sure it’s katzenkavalier? It would be more accurate if it were katzenklavier. Either way, it’s going to sound terrible, worse than howling wolves.

  3. May 12, 2011 3:44 pm

    Oops. I’m sure you’re right. I took it off the name of the image, but yours makes much more sense. Changing it now. And Jeanne, you are right. You miss them all differently.

  4. freshhell permalink
    May 12, 2011 6:11 pm

    If I were in your house, I’d lobby for a cat. Because they’re a lot less trouble (and softer and less smelly) than dogs. Dogs are a serious commitment. I assume this means he’s no longer afraid of them? That was a while ago, wasn’t it. How fast time flies. *I’m* the one in the family afraid of dogs though Red is a close second. She likes ’em smaller than her and I have to agree with that. Cats come in only one size – shoebox sized. Perfect.

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