When we came back from our trip to Missouri, the younger child made a compelling case for us to adopt a kitten. “Dad, you miss Piper. I miss Piper. We should get another cat.” She was right. Her mother and I agreed that a cat would be acceptable, but we wanted to find one that would minimize dander for the sake of the elder child’s allergies.
So Carissa adopted a half Angora fluffball.
Fezzik is undeniably cute. He’s also perfectly willing to sleep in a doll carriage and be carried around the house by anyone who scoops him up. He’ll attack your toes if he sees them wiggling under a blanket, and he’ll claw your hand if you make the painful mistake of messing with him when he’s got the zoomies, but he’s a good boy the rest of the time.
See, he also has a sister.
When man and dog decided that they were going to be best friends, I am 100% certain that the dog in question was an adult dog, not a puppy. If a puppy had tried to befriend a grown man, said puppy would have been fed to the nearest sabertooth tiger after it chewed up the man’s favorite club. And shoes. And tools. Said puppy would have been packed into a neat box and express-mailed straight to Abu Dhabi.
Puppies are hell. I say this because we have one. Again. The eldest child, who has always loved dogs more than everyone except Nonna (her mother may argue, but I am under no illusions about where I, personally, rank), made a compelling case for us to adopt a dog. “You left Ollie in America, and now we’re probably not going back. You should let me get a dog.” A father with a harder heart might have refused, but by acquiescing I hope to have climbed above Mom and possibly Nonna on the favorite person list.
So we have a puppy. She’s a border collie. Her name is Aela, as in the character in Skyrim. (Skyrim ranks somewhere below Nonna, possibly above Dad, and definitely above her sister. Ranked. Past tense. I’ve climbed the list.) In the first week Aela lived in our house she learned to sit, lay down, and rollover. She did not learn where to potty.
In the second week that Aela lived in our house, she learned to shake hands. She did not learn where to potty.
In the third week that Aela lived in our house, she learned where to potty.
No, really. She goes to the door, she whines, and if she’s let out, she uses the back garden (yard). If she is not let out, well, the chips fall where they may.
Back to the kitten. You know that line in “Ghostbusters” about cats and dogs living together, where it’s compared to human sacrifice and mass hysteria? I believe it, now.
I spend much of my days working from my desk in a corner of the kitchen. Aela spends most of her days hanging out with me and forcing me to distract her from eating the entire house. Fezzik waits outside the kitchen door. As soon as it opens, he darts inside. If Aela sees him, a chase immediately ensues. Fezzik, a perfectly capable climber, could escape, but he has no brains. None. Zero. Nada. He tries to brawl, as if all four pounds of him (we tossed him in a mixing bowl and put him on the kitchen scale to check his weight) can take 25 pounds of border collie. Reader, it cannot. The boy is a chewtoy. We have to separate them lest he be loved to death. It’s not as if Aela is trying to hurt him, but he’s approximately the size of her head.
The best (worst) part is when Aela doesn’t see him. He. Starts. Shit. He will bite her tail. He will bite her ears. He will leap three feet into the air and engage in vertical combat.
Fezzik is a complete and utter moron whose only redeeming qualities are that preposterous cuteness and a willingness to purr for anyone.
Aela is a guard derp who will probably know how to read by the end of summer. If we can avoid any murders (by parents or by pets), we’ll have two great pets in another year. We just have to make it until then.
If you spot any sabertooth tigers, let me know.