Strange Bedfellows, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Strange Bedfellows

By Beverly Hicks Burch

There is one thing to say about being confined to a two story house with a bazillion packed moving boxes while you feel like your body is slowly but surely destructing one cell at a time…you have plenty of time to observe a thing or two.

Take for instance the two critters who share this abode with Tall & Handsome and me. They are your stereotypical feline and canine…dog and cat…and they act like it, too. They are why the stereotype was created. And at times, it make me want to take chopsticks and poke holes in my brain…or at least staple my eyes and ears shut.

They can and have on occasion provided some much needed comic relief. Today, for instance I was talking on the phone upstairs and had Watson with me. He is quite the little noisemaker sometimes and fancies himself a watchdog…or at least a noisy little bugger. Now, I must explain that like a child would have digression problems with potty training, since the move Watson has had one of his Willy Wonka moments…so we’ve had to keep a watchful eye on him and make sure potty time is in the proper place…outside! To make sure he doesn’t wander while I’m busy, I’ll keep him on the leash and tether it to the bed post where I’m using my laptop.

Well, today, I was using the laptop, talking on the phone and all of a sudden the doorbell rings. For a Miniature Schnauzer that’s like cutting open their adrenal gland and pouring every ounce of adrenal hormone into their little bodies…they turn into extreme sports machines! When the doorbell rang, Watson went from lying silent, prone and tethered on the bed next to me to letting loose with that little “I’m being run over by an 18 wheeler” scream. He the shot up, off and did a full Gaynor off the bed…all while still tethered on the leash. It would have been pretty impressive…except he didn’t go anywhere except to sit nicely on the floor by the bed (yes, the leash is that long…safety first).

Then, take yesterday for instance. I don’t recall what I was doing, but I had busied myself at something…reading or doing something on the computer. Now, I tend to like quietness…even when I play my music or have the TV on. I have discovered that the animals actually are quite fond of that themselves. I had just read something in the last day or two about dogs that said in research conducted, dogs reacted to classical music better than other types of music.

(I think I learned to appreciate quietness as some of the autoimmune disorders encroached upon my systems…noise just seems to “assault” my system. But, I will make sacrifices…case in point? When Tall & Handsome and I went to the Tim McGraw concert at the BJCC in Birmingham. Anyway, I digress…)

Picture yesterday. I’m quietly sitting on the bed with my laptop. The TV is very quietly running in the background…mainly to provide some “white noise”. Once, I happened to look up and notice that the cat, Winfield had graced us with his presence. Watson, the Wonderkin was cuddled up pretty close to me…asleep.

Winfield was asleep also, but on his back is a rather gawky, almost lewd pose…legs were splayed everywhere. He was dead to the world. It was rare that he was on the bed with us…lately he had been making himself sparse…exploring the almost doubled space of his new domain.

All of a sudden, Watson sneezed/coughed…from a dead sleep. Oh, boy! You would have thought Watson’s head had suddenly started spinning and he was spitting green pea soup. I had to scrap Winfield of the ceiling and figure out how in the world I was going to stuff him back into his skin…it was not a pretty sight…and you know things just never go back in the way they come out…

And then, there were the days and evenings it got cold…yes, you heard me…COLD! Even in Georgia, the middle to low 20’s can be considered cold!

Kramer, the Big OrangeFor background, let me give you a little history here. BW…Before Watson, there was Kramer, yes, the one I call the Big Orange Abomination. We had two cats…well, T & H pretended to have two cats. He got to slave at cleaning the caca from the liter box…and boy there was enough to fertilize a small third world country…feed the said sizeable cats…and start all over again. What did he get in return? Not much.

To top it off, the cats hated each other…most of the time…when I was home alone with them, I would hear catfights and crashes and caterwauling most of the day. Imagine a LooneyToon cartoon of two cats in one big ball of hissing, spitting, fighting, twirling action spinning through the house. THAT was Kramer and Winfield.

Or imagine this…when we lived in Northwest Alabama, we had a recliner/rocking chair in our bedroom. Some nights I would be awaken by the sight of the chair bouncing up and down, back and forth because the cats were in it fighting! It defied Disney animated graphics. T & H would sleep through this little ballet in moonlight and I wished many nights that it would be their “Swan Lake”.

What T & H got to see was what I can only call their “symbiotic” moments. Some nights, especially the colds ones, Kramer and Winfield would get up on the bed or in a chair and entwine in one big furry 45 pound ball of cat fur. He thought it was because they “cared” for each other…I on the other-hand knew they were purely having a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back moment”…and even then, sometimes they would end up fighting. But, when they would be lying there sleeping, T & H would look at me and say, “Aren’t they cute?” I usually took a Dramamine…

Well, as many of you know, Kramer went to live somewhere else. NO! I did not do THAT to him…shame on you for even thinking that…his fur just became too much for my allergies and he went to a wonderful family that worked with T & H in Tennessee.

Am I Cute or What?Enter Watson the Wonderkin…much to the chagrin of Winfield…he has not been happy with that addition to the family…and he’s let us and Watson know it many, many, many, many times. Usually by ambushing and thrashing the living daylights and poop out of Watson. How fair is this? 21 pound cat vs. 14 pound dog? You do the math…Well, Scoot (aka Watson) is a quick learn…and he developed a few moves himself, but long story short…there is no love lost between those two. Put it this way, if one was on fire, the other wouldn’t spit on him to save him…

So…the other day I saw a fleeting sense of doubt cross Winfield’s mind…as in maybe I shouldn’t have been so rash and done this…

You see, it had turned cold…yes, I said C-O-L-D. Watson was up on the bed beside me, asleep and peaceful. Mr. Winfield hops up on the bed and I can tell right away he’s feeling cold and needing some one to nudge up to. He looked up at me and then down at the sleeping dog. Decision crosses his mind…what to do…what to do. Gingerly, and carefully he decided to YES, hunker down and try to share the space with Watson…he was that desperate for a warm up buddy!

Watson sprang up like someone had yelled, “DON’T TAZ ME BRO!” No way, no how was he going to have any part of that or fall for that trap! He circled, moved to a different position…a little closer to me and flopped down…and I swore I could hear a “Are you crazy?! Thanks but, no thanks” when he did.

Winfield - I know Kramer’s around here somewhereSorry, Winfield, decisions do make strange bedfellows…or lack of…

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, dogs, Fun, Humor, Miniature Schnauzer, Moving, Pets, Tall & Handsome

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