Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Work in Progress

Their eyes meet. Each locks their gaze upon the other, drinking deep the measure of their opponent. Which will move first?
Silence fills the space between them. Silence and anticipation.
Who shall blink?
They are ill-matched for combat. One weighs in at 10 pounds; the other at 72. She is the yin to his yang; the black to her white.
They were born for combat.
A flick of a tail is followed by a low, purring trill.
Game on!
Callie leaps at Doyle, who has expertly hidden underneath the living room chair, which slides a few inches while she strains to reach the nimble cat, whose paw are now wrapped around her muzzle. Suddenly, the jaws of death bite into Callie, holding her tight and ceasing her attack. I wonder for a moment just who is attacking who. Callie slips her nose out from Doyle's "Ten Claws of Death" attack and lunges ahead. Doyle's head briefly disappears inside her mouth before Callie readjusts her hold. Now Doyle's neck is gone from view. Undaunted, Doyle bides his time and ceases struggling. A second passes...then two...then three...then Callie releases her grip. Too late she realizes her mistake, as Doyle breaks free from her grip, darts out from under the chair and streaks across the living room into the hallway beyond.
Legs scrambling, Callie starts the hot pursuit.
She bolts through the french doors but cannot negotiate the sharp turn due to the runner in the hall. The rug slides out from under her and she sideswipes the pew along the staircase. A teasing "rowr!" from Doyle is heard from afar as Callie scrambles into the kitchen and the battle - now unseen - continues. A kitchen chair scrapes along the floor and the patter of eight paws slap against the marble flooring. Doyle breaks for the hallway again, narrowly missing the water dish that Callie cannot avoid. Water splashes the floor as Doyle turns the corner with the grace of an Olympian. Callie crashes along, her sharp eyes following Doyle even if her legs cannot keep up with him. Doyle is back underneath the chair and the games begin again.
Welcome to any night of the week in our house.
Callie joined our family one year ago today. To say that this has been a year of trials and tribulations would be an understatement. The last twelve months have been filled with broken furniture, destroyed rugs, a late, lamented espresso maker, puppy Prozac and vet bills. But, somewhere along the way my fear of the sharpness of her teeth on our home gave way to the softness in her big brown eyes. The irritating early morning barking (mostly done away with) has given way to hugs at first light when she greets me each new day with a loving look and a gentle nuzzling. Her impatient anxieties have given way to a wagging tail when the three pets - two dogs and a cat who thinks he's a dog - greet us at the back door each evening as if we were the second coming.
For now, I look back on the last year and, perhaps for the first time, it is without a twinge of regret. It's somehow like when we view our children through our mind's eye. When doing so we focus on all of the good times while the bad times are diminished somehow. For example, you can forget the dresser drawer full of kittens dipped in baby oil and instead remember the random hugs that were ever present in your house. The pains of child-rearing give sway to the more important knowledge that you have given love and you are loved in return.
Yes, it's been a trying time and Callie is still a work in progress; but aren't we all? Today, when I think about Callie, I know that I have given her love and that I have been loved back in return. That's enough for now.


Blogger Fox In Detox said...

Bravo friend. Nice post. Kittens dipped in baby oil? Jenna would never do that.

All I can say is.. "Prozac! Tiny little teardrops from heaven."

9:25 AM, July 15, 2008  

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