Monday, August 3, 2009

Shh !

Shh. The baby's asleep. It's after eight. It's been a busy morning.

The Pooch(our cat) comes up to wake me a six. He curls around my sleeping form. When I reach down to pat him on the head, he plays a game we invented early on. I tickle his feet and he pretends to attack my hand. He mouths my fingers gently, gnawing like a puppy. On occasion his sharp claws will catch my skin when he fights with his back feet. I decide to arise and check on the Pup( our dog). The cat nips and bites a feathered chirping bird which I remove to a bookshelf so's not to wake up Dawn. While I get my sweats on, the cat hides under the comforter waiting to attack my feet. When he does, I chuckle. I'm reassured that he's back to his normal playful self. Yesterday afternoon, I tossed a book at Grandpa Grumpy when he attacked Mandy causing her to whimper and tremble.

Dawn says I shouldn't throw books at the Pooch. " It'll drive him away," she says. I counter with, "He aggressively maneuvered himself closer to Mandy and took a swipe at her." Dawn is right, however, the Pooch's behavior bothers me. It's one thing to be defensive about a puppy who can be inquisitive and pushy. Mandy, however, stays wide of the cat, having been attacked several times. The cat hovers, either out of jealousy or concern for the new arrival. I watch the two carefully to avoid bloodshed.

When I get downstairs, I let the Pooch out through the deck door and open the garage. On Sunday, I constructed a new containment center. Using an old door and a piece of oak plywood from the kitchen remodel, I cordon off the entrance way to the garage. Then, I place cardboard in two prominent places. Mandy learns quickly. She uses the cardboard when she has to pee, missing it only once. I give her an 8.5 for ability. I discovered that unlike the cat, Mandy doesn't like the cardboard box inside her pen. When I open the garage door, she's standing in the cage giving me that where have you been look.

It takes two hours to prepare breakfast for myself, the cat and Mandy. Dawn only gets coffee. Mandy gets a small dish of milk and scarfs down leftover raw pork from the cat's dinner. Each time I make a trip to the garden for green peppers, jalapenos and onions Mandy follows me nipping at my heels. The Pooch follows at a distance.

We ( I should say I) have broken every law of dog training. Mandy has learned to jump at your leg to get attention. When Dawn picks her up, the Pup licks her face. Left outside in the breezeway, Mandy whimpers. I ignore the whimpering which Dawn says reminds her of a chimpanzee. The transition to wailing gets my attention. I let her in. The Pooch has been watching the scene. It's better than TV.

In the kitchen Mandy crushes a dog biscuit and throws around a canvas circle toy with a squeaker. She tries out a chair rung for taste and I scold her. Then she retires to a pair of shoes gnawing at the tough leather. On the deck are rawhide chew toys and what's left of a miniature head of cabbage that Mandy shredded. I put her in the laundry basket. The Pup chews on the band of my underwear. Then she jumps down and lies underneath the table. If it becomes all too quiet, I go in search of Mandy. She'll be destroying something, peeing on the carpet or chewing on a toy mouse that belongs to the Pooch. Ain't life grand?

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