Saturday, July 02, 2011


The whole idea of being the animal custodian (one dog, one cat, ten days) is to deliver the animals back to the owners in basically the same shape you received them. In exchange for this, the people don't mind that you drank some of their beer and ate the marinated artichoke hearts in the back fridge.

A month ago I was charged with watching a friend's 14-year-old dog for a weekend. In this situation, you just hope she--the dog--doesn't croak on your watch. With the animals currently in question, general health wasn't such an issue. But you can't lose the damned things--that's for sure.

All of which brings me to the events of yesterday evening. Late afternoon, the dog and I are coming in from the backyard. At that exact moment, the mailman is delivering the mail. The dog goes bananas; I rush to identify the problem; the cat slips out the back door.


I spend the next several hours watching Mets/Yankees and periodically taking a dish with some dried food out back and kind of shaking it so it sounds to the cat like dinner is being served. No luck. Plus, the Yankees are killing the Mets. So glumness rules. Around ten pee em, the dog seemed to sense that something was up so we went out the back door and looked around. Sure enough, there was the cat. You have to find him out the corner of your eye (black cat, dark night) because of that whole cones and rods thing. But there he was and, after a bit of thissing and thatting, I nabbed him.


Nonetheless, the question remains: Was it planned? And if so, who was in on it? The dog and the cat? Just the cat? God help us--the mailman? I physically inspected the cat, who I trust about as far as I can throw the dog, closely to see if, perhaps, the floor-plan of the house was tattooed on its chest like in that TV show. Nothing.

Me? I'm out of here tomorrow, so I'm not gonna worry about it. All I know is that I've been spared that whole "Welcome back ... the cat's missing" conversation. Which is a relief.

That said, I'd like to think that the dog was on my side.


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