It's been an interesting Saturday morning around the Howard house so let me fill you in on the players in this little adventure before I begin. Player number one is Red Dog. His actions today are more like the little brother who wants to do what big brother does instead of behaving like he was taught. Player number two is Maddie. She belongs to my Lubbock kids. Player number three is the new indoor kitten (whoopee) which I call "Stupid" because I can't remember what Debbie named her. Now let me take a minute to give some background on Maddie and Stupid before I begin.
Maddie was a One hundred and forty pound obese indoor Ridge Back until a few months ago when the vet put her on a diet and she is now down to 75 pounds. I'm thinking I need to go see this vet for my weight loss with those kind of results. She is a tad bit spoiled and rules the roost at her house. She lies around on the couch and sleeps in the bed with my daughter since her husband works the night shift for the police department. We have a totally different set of house rules for poor ole Red Dog which include no sleeping in the beds or lying on the furniture when we are around. One night Maddie started this constant low grumbling growl at the sliding glass door of my daughter's apartment which alerts her that someone might be messing around the back porch. So my daughter grabs her home protection 12 gauge shot gun and cautiously moves toward the sliding glass door. Maddie's growl gets louder and more aggressive as my daughter throws back the curtain to the door and brings her shot gun to full draw. By now Maddie is barking her head off ready to eat the face off of anyone or anythings that is outside the door. Things were pretty intense at this point. When the curtain flies open there stands some drunk college kid from the apartment complex in his birthday suit trying to be cute when he gets to see a 12 gauge shot gun pointed at his face and big red dog ready to eat him alive. I think the drunken humor quickly left this stupid college student and he instantly ran into the darkness screaming like a little girl. Unfortunately he had no britches to wet but I think the sight of his shiny hiney disappearing into the darkness was pay back enough for my daughter. Needless to say I am a big fan of Ms. Maddie for protecting my daughter so I am more than happy to put up with some of her habits.
The next player in this little Saturday morning adventure is "Stupid" which is a kitten that was brought to our house by our Wichita Falls daughter. She apparently found Stupid in a tree outside her house with the sniffles about a month ago. For whatever reason she thought the kitten might die up there after an evening thunder storm. Well to make a long story short she brought the cat to our house for Debbie to nurse it back to health. I asked her how many cat carcasses she has seen stuck in the trees around her neighborhood and she just rolled her eyes then said none. I was reassured that this kitten once sniffle free would be sent to a new home. Well it's one month later and the sniffles are gone and Stupid is freely roaming the house climbing on E V E R Y T H I N G like kittens do. I know it's supposed to be cute and all but cute went out the door for me about a thousand cats ago (I am obviously estimating the number of my wife's cats on the low side). Stupid climbs on the furniture purring her little head off waiting for the chance to curl up with Debbie and snuggle. They both think it is Wonderfulllll and I'm left wondering when it's my turn to snuggle with her (her being Debbie and not the cat). Maybe my snuggling chances would improve if I wore some fuzzy PJ's and started purring instead of wandering around the house in my boxers tooting (note to self buy fuzzy PJ's and stop tooting). Since both of our girls got married Debbie has been "OBSESSING" about grand kids but my math skills tell me that kittens are less expensive and I can laugh when Red Dog chases them. So to stay out of trouble with the wife, I guess Stupid can stay. Besides everyone in town knows it's much easier to adopt a child from Russia than a kitten from the Debbie Howard Cat Adoption Agency. Now the cat population has risen to a gazillion and one around here. Whoopee!!! I mean that sarcastically.
The final player of this story is Red Dog who needs no introduction and is surprisingly not the ring leader of today's adventure. He just came along for the annoying ride.
This story starts around six o'clock on Saturday morning with my Lubbock kids sticking their heads in the bedroom to tell me good by as they head off to Dallas for a weekend of Texas Rangers baseball and shopping. They drove in the day before to shorten their drive and drop off Maddie for me to dog sit for the weekend. They figured a seventy five pound dog stuck in a second story apartment doesn't do well by herself especially when it's potty time. I'm still in bed and Debbie is gone for the weekend to her thirty year high school reunion in Darrouzett, Texas in the north panhandle. (By the way you can read a good little story about this little Texas town on her blog over at Texas Tumbleweed Travels). I fall back asleep trying to catch up on my rest after a long week at work. Around seven o'clock I am suddenly awakened by Ms. Maddie because she thinks the best spot to place her cold wet nose is in the palm of my left hand as it hangs off the side of the bed. "YUCK"! Now I am wide awake. Some people wake up in the mornings to a soft rock radio station playing by the bedside while others wake up to their 3 year old staring at them nose to nose whispering "Daddy, Daddy, wake up" in their ear. But that's not the case here at Debbie's Mini Zoo (DMZ). You get the blessing of hearing cats and dogs whining at the door wanting outside for their morning constitutional or Oscar the Cockatiel squawking his head off because dawn is breaking and he doesn't want you to miss it. But now I get to add a freezing cold wet nose to the hand to alert me to the dawning of a new day. (Oh boy, what a blessing!) I guess I should be thankful it wasn't the cold nose right up the kiester like many dogs like to do. So I pet Maddie on the head and try to slip back off to sleep. The key word in this statement was "Try". Apparently Red Dog saw how much fun it was so here comes cold nose number two. Great, what a thrill! I am awake again. Since I didn't yell at Maddie I petted Red Dog on the head as well. Thinking that everyone has got some morning loving I could go back to sleep but I was wrong. Petting those two goobers just created a shark like petting frenzy. Red Dog and Maddie were both pushing each other jockeying for the best petting position. There was more pushing going on than an NBA basketball game and neither dog could get enough of it. They were acting like a couple of junkie's, each working hard to get their next petting fix. Finally I had to yell at both of them to "Knock It Off". By this time I was fully awake with no hope of getting back to sleep so I got up and headed to the bathroom to get ready for the day. As many of you older folks know you never pass up the chance to sit on the porcelain recliner first thing in the morning. While I was there here came Maddie to see if she could help. I shooed her away but as soon as she left here came Red Dog thinking he might be missing out on something important so I shooed him away as well. Out of no where Stupid shows up thinking she could be far more helpful than the other two yahoo's. I can't get her shooed away because she is a cat and cats are stupid. Hence naming her the same. Since Stupid is still in the room it was obvious to Red Dog and Maddie that I needed more company so they come trotting back. After hissing and shooing at them for a while the dogs finally left the room but Stupid kept hanging out just in case she was needed. I guess the Ridge Backs couldn't stand the thought that someone else might be vying for my attention so here they come back for round three. "OH MY GOODNESS". It was like a Forth of July parade in my bathroom at this point. All that was missing was a sheriff's posse, marching band, and grand marshal waving from a shiny convertible. "THIS IS INSANE". I am thankful that none of these animals could operate a telephone or they might have called the whole neighborhood to invite them for a block party in my bathroom. At this point I start yelling and yelling and hissing and yelling some more. They all just stood there staring at me wagging their tails and purring. I guess that seeing a fifty two year old gray headed fat guy sitting on the toilet in his birthday suit doesn't look very intimidating to these guys. I finally gave up on the yelling and finished my morning chores. Once I got back on my feet I popped the dogs on the rear end and stomped my feet at the cat to chase them out of the room. Now that was more like it. I stood there with my hands on my hips and my chest sticking out thinking I have restored my authority over the animal kingdom. The words truth, justice, and the American way were echoing in my brain and all I needed now was red cape and a "S" on my chest to make the moment complete. But then I realize I was standing there in my birthday suit and the air rushed out of my ego immediately. I was too scared to look at the mirror and see how ridiculous I must look.
Now for a quick disclaimer: For those who now have an image of me striking a Superman pose in my birthday suite stuck in their brain please feel free to shove a number two pencil in your ear to rid yourself of this horrible image. I will gladly reimburse anyone for the cost of the pencil if you send me a receipt. Now back to the story.
Now that the first order of my morning business is over it's time to hit the shower. while showering I looked down to see Stupid was back curiously pawing at the water dripping off the bottom of the shower curtain. What was wrong with this cat that she couldn't leave me alone while I get ready for the day. I quickly threw open the shower and aimed the shower head directly at her hoping it would chase her out of the room. Well this plan failed because she was too fast and out of reach of the spraying water to get my point across. But I did manage to make the bathroom look like a car that went through a car wash with its windows down. After finishing my shower and mopping the floor I found Stupid standing on the toilet staring into the bowl in a hypnotic trance. I thought with a little help she could have a whirlpool experience of a lifetime and scare her out of the bathroom forever. So I flushed the toilet and prepared to watch the outcome of her very first swirly. She sat there watching the water swirl around and around with her head moving with the motion of the water. As the water level dropped lower and lower she leaned closer and closer to the center of the bowl trying to touch the water with her paw. Just as I was about to give her a little nudge toward the swirling vortex in runs Dumb and Dumber and Stupid jumps off the seat and missed out on her first water park experience. Apparently Red Dog and Maddie thought they were missing out on something special so they crowded their way toward the toilet to see the magical swirling water for themselves. Great! Now I have created a mini water park for animals and these guys are going to stay in the bathroom the rest of the day waiting for the next performance of the magical water. I finally gave up on the rest of the morning by getting dressed and left for the emergency department in hopes of finding something less stressful to deal with other than a house full of cold nosing water watching peeping Toms. What a morning!
I guess the take home message for today is if I have a house full of critters and I want some Saturday morning peace and quiet, lock and barricade the doors then post security guards outside. I think I am old enough to take care of my morning chores without any help from these guys. I could easily see this plan working with future grand kids so maybe today's adventure preparing for a house full curtain climber and not so much about a bunch of four legged tail wagging bathroom assistants. Either way I've decided I don't want to be a victim of any future bathroom parades so I will be arming myself with a water spray bottle the next time I have a house full of animals or children. May be I won't look so pathetic sitting there next time. Until the next adventure. God bless you all.