Dog Days

Every day of this past week, I have seen dogs doing intense exercise mid-day in the sun.

Because dogs would follow you–their person, their beloved person–to the end of the Earth, doesn’t mean you should ask them to.

I have observed that people who own exotic pets, farm animals, birds, fish, etc. know a lot more about those species than than dog or cat owners know about their pets. Dogs and cats are so integrated in our lives that we forget that they are a very different species from our own. Continue reading

Rain, I don’t mind.

(The title is a lyric from ‘Rain’ by The Beatles)

Ruts on wet lawn

Here we are in the second week of non-stop rains, snow flurries and hail. Forgotten tools are rusting, puddles are appearing all through the garden, so are ruts from wheelbarrows, and bicycles.

I have seen imprints from three coyotes on the move in Oaks Wildlife Refuge, ant colonies taking residence in our domiciles, cats on porches hunkering down, waiting for better days. I do not have that choice.

Continue reading

Bon Voyage

This month I have cat clients galore. Scat Cat and Misty, Pushkin, Bee, Diablo, Prado, Kazi, Snow Pea, Lily and Omar.

Snow Pea

I have a picture of my beloved cat ‘Breakfast’ on the fridge. It has been ten years since I buried her at the very back of my garden, where she liked to take naps. I could see the place from my bedroom window. I even tied a little japanese bell to the maple branch above her resting place, wanting to make sure the wind would not let me forget. There was no need.                    She still has my heart.

The people who call me to care for their felines are not the kind of people who ask me to ‘check in every once in a while’. They want me to have a relationship with the being who has their heart.

They leave me detailed lists of what’s to be done. The quirks/desires/dislikes, who should get what, when; the meds and how to administer them with utmost care. They describe the games, the naps, the neck scratches, which brush, which treat, which bowl and how full or empty it should be. 

And that is indeed what I give. I read short stories of their lives together. I tell Misty to please eat her treats with the pills hidden inside. I tell Omar that he will be strong as an ox, while injecting his heart medication. I whisper to Kazi about his person, swimming in warm oceans and walking in sands soft as silk.

Almost every day I send them a picture a text, an email, a little movie. This is my life, I say, with the one who accompanies you through yours. All is well here.

And when it is time to leave, I write the shortest of notes; my presence no longer needed. They have stories to tell.

 

See you out back…

Tip of the day: don’t hesitate to write every word, every detail, and use as many pages as you need to feel comfortable that your sitter has all the information needed. Ask for texts and emails. I would!