Critter Friday

I turned on the bathroom radio this morning to hear about another campus shooting, this one at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Last night, during a fight in a dormitory parking lot, an 18-year-old freshman pulled a handgun out of his pocket and shot four students, killing one and wounding three. If the kid hadn’t had a gun, the toll might have been contusions, black eyes, maybe some loose teeth … standard for a late-night fight between drunk college boys. Things are different now and I wonder what we were thinking, letting this new standard sneak up on us.

Good guys with guns, congressional Republicans, 24/7 Trump coverage, Syria and Afghanistan … it’s too exhausting. And what can I do about any of it anyway? So I’m pulling in my antennae and focusing on enjoying life, thankful my family, friends, and I aren’t refugees.

Donna hosted bridge Wednesday. I had planned to go to the movies, but after a full day at the air museum the thought of going out again was too much, so I retreated to the bedroom with a library book instead. Donna came back and asked me to keep the bedroom door closed so the cat wouldn’t get out and disturb her guests. A few minutes later, she popped back in with a dog under each arm and asked me to keep them locked up too, because of course they were underfoot, hoping the ladies might drop food on the floor.

The dogs started whining the second the door closed, and pretty soon they had the cat worked up. Maxie, the auxiliary dog, usually settles down in bed, so I put her there. Schatzi’s more physical, so I held her on my lap. After a while the cat jumped up on the bed with Maxie. Here we are in our jail cell:


And what do you know, it worked! The critters quit crying and I was able to read. A few chapters later the bridge party broke up and we were released. You know, prison wouldn’t be too bad … so long as you could bring a good-natured animal and some interesting books with you.

As our cat has gotten older her behavior around water has changed significantly. A few years ago she started sleeping in one of the bathroom sinks. A couple of years after that, during a hard winter freeze, we cracked our indoor faucets overnight so the pipes wouldn’t burst, and she discovered she could drink water straight from the tap. From that day on, if Chewie wasn’t sleeping in a sink, she’d be under the faucet trying to drink from it. Her face and paws get wet when when we crack the faucet for her, but that doesn’t seem to bother her.

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Chewie’s become quite the water boss lately, muscling her way between us and whichever sink we try to use, yowling at us to turn on the faucet.

Then, this morning, a new development: she’s no longer afraid of the shower. Donna had just finished toweling off and the shower floor was still covered in water, and here was Chewie, stretched out full length on the wet tiles.

Chewie’s 20 years old, so we indulge her eccentricities. If she wants to start getting into the shower with us, fine. She can do whatever she wants in the little time she has left. The dogs seem to sense the onset of kitty Alzheimer’s, and they keep a close, protective eye on her. Schatzi would normally never get in the shower, but she was so concerned about Chewie’s odd behavior this morning she went in to sniff her and ask her if she was all right.


I wonder if the dogs’ personalities and habits will change as they get older. No sign of that so far. Nor in us, though others may disagree. I admit I’m not an impartial observer.

Donna is teaching a sewing class tomorrow. She’s practicing her spiel and the things she plans to demo, and once again I’m staying out of the way, hunkering down in the office. Sunday morning we’re going out on our bicycles to scout trail for a bike hash the following Sunday. It’s finally cooling off, and we’re enjoying opening the windows and sliding doors again.

More soon. Hope you enjoyed taking a short outrage break with me.

© 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.


3 thoughts on “Critter Friday

  • You, sir, bring pleasure to my life. I want you to know how much I appreciate you and your blog. An oasis of sanity, civility, decency, and intellectual curiosity–in short, a gentleman. Whether you are writing about your aging cat or the vagaries of the beknighted new Repubs, your commentary is fascinating. I found you because I have always loved the F-15, and airplanes, in general, and I would stay if for only your pictures, but the fact is, I enjoy your little home life essays at least as much. We have not met, and we never will, but I wanted you to know that with this site, you have brought a little more joy into the world, and that is something pretty grand.

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