Wednesday, December 28, 2005
It Must Be Love
My kids were really to blame this time. They had left the front door unlocked. Repeated jerks to the doorknob in a mad dash for the morning bus left it in sad shape, unable to perform its function efficiently. This means that every time we close the door now, we must deliberately, thoughtfully, jerk the knob UP in order to make sure it is really closed.
That didn’t happen last night when the kids came home, so this time Becky didn’t need to knock. Uninvited, she strolled in and made a flying leap for her favorite spot on our couch.
Sussi, of course, was overjoyed. They mouthed each other eagerly, long sharp teeth happily juxtaposed as Becky soundlessly drooled all over Sussi.
We didn’t even bother to try to separate them. It was easier to wait until their initial energy was spent.
About a half hour later Becky had stopped panting and Sussi had stopped mouthing. Becky sprawled on the length of one sofa, her friend Sussi took over another. I made my move.
Sara, on the other hand, tried a more friendly approach. She stood by the door, calling invitingly in her more cordial voice. “Come, Becky! Come on…. Come on Becky…”
It was useless, of course. Becky had made up her mind. She was staying.
I fixed Sussi with a baleful eye. “It’s YOUR fault,” I told her. “She comes to play with YOU.”
Sussi looked sheepish. She knew the truth.
Finally I lost my patience, strode over to the couch and demanded that Becky leave. I spoke in an authoritative tone, like her owner Avi. “That’s it. OUT. NOW.”
She hopped off the couch, looking around uncertainly, probably seeking support from those standing around her. No dice.
“Let’s go. Out,” I repeated firmly. I chased her to the door, opened it and shooed her out. She went, compelled by my tone. I closed the door and locked it.
BAM. Scratch scratch claw scratch…… Becky was clearly going to batter down the door, or claw it down.
I opened it, glared at her, and chased her out of the yard. She waited on the sidewalk, sizing up the situation. It looked good from her point of view. All she had to do was wait ME out this time.
Uh uh. This time I was walking her home. It was a beautiful, crisp evening and Becky trotted ahead of me, looking behind her every few seconds to see if I was still there.
When we got to her house, I went to the front door and knocked politely. There had been no answer when I called, but I had left a message. The air was becoming chilly.
“Avi! Lili!” I peered in the window, which was slightly open so their cats could jump in and out. (This is Arad, after all.)
Sigh. I would have to do it myself.
“Come here Beckalush,” I called. It’s the nickname of their house, and she responded accordingly. I slowly reached for the chain while petting her. She stood still, obviously conditioned to obey – at least when she sees the leash. I hooked her up. She looked at me reproachfully, her liquid brown eyes pleading for release.
Waving goodbye, I walked away. She sat at the end of the driveway, watching like a rejected suitor. The fact that both she and Sussi are female was clearly irrelevant to both.
I know she’ll be back to drool all over my house and my dog. I know she’ll be greeted with open paws. I know Sussi’s head will be dripping again.
I am resigned, though. After all, it must be love.