Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Saturday in the Life...

Saturday morning is my weekend day to get up with Argos, so it starts early:  at 6:00 AM, when my alarm goes off.  Here's how the day goes:

 I stumble around, looking for easy to wear clothes,   in the dark, while trying not to wake up my husband. As I'm balancing on one leg in the dark, tugging on my sweats,  I will have one cat, Annie, purring and rubbing around my ankles to get my attention.  She will trip me, making me catch ahold of the bed to balance myself.  Which wakes the husband up anyway.  "Wha?" he asks, confused.

"Nothing, hon.  Go back to sleep."

"Mmmph."  *snore*

I'm finally dressed, and stumble across the floor to the dog crate, where Argos is already standing and turning around in circles in his eagerness to get out.  I open the door, and he comes out, stretching several times before he's actually willing to walk anywhere.  It's part of his routine to run over to the bed to sniff at the husband and get a quick pet, but then he's eager to go downstairs.  He knows what's next.

I come down the stairs, finally able to turn on a light without bothering anyone, tripping over Annie and probably Bit on the stairs.

Charlotte is sitting next to the refrigerator, waiting for me, and promptly starts demanding milk,  loudly, as soon as she sees me.  (Good morning to you too, Charlotte.)

I am a well-trained human, so give her milk to keep her happy and quiet.  I also have to give her half of a pill and .75 milliliters of lasix, which is always a joy.  Did I mention that she has sharp claws and teeth?  Most of the time I can get it down her without getting injured, but my fingers have gotten bloodied a few times.  Charlotte is nothing if not a cat with a serious attitude problem.

If Argos wants to go outside at this point, I take him into the backyard for a quick potty break.  Though oddly enough, he rarely shows much interest, and even if I do take him outside, he dallies around.

Then I feed him, which involves having him follow me across the dining room spinning in circles and cavorting with pure joy.  Food!!!  The cats scatter, alarmed at how much noise a greyhound makes when dancing across hardwood floors.  I dump his food in the bowl, then shamble, still sleepy, into the living room.

Then I crash on the couch.  Argos usually joins me after he eats, and we doze until 7:00, when it's time for his walk.  He's a male dog, so we spend a lot of time with him sniffing and peeing on EVERYTHING...  Oh, and his favorite time to poop is when we have a large number of people watching us.  If I see people gathering on the sidewalk, I am almost guaranteed that he is going to start pooping in the grass momentarily.

We finally get home, with him having pooped exactly twice, and watered at least a dozen trees, fire hydrants, telephone poles, and bushes.  I try to keep him away from anything that would get us yelled at, so no peeing on pretty flowers,  stairways, trashbags or cans,  or toys or small children abandoned on the sidewalk.

The rest of the day, assuming that I don't go anywhere, is spent with animals trying to get me to do things.  I have cats that want me to go upstairs and take a nap, presumably so that they can climb on top of me or beside me and steal all of my warmth.  They will meow at my feet and try to herd me to the stairs at EVERY opportunity.  And if I do go upstairs, they race ahead of me excitedly.

Argos will notice that I am going upstairs and hit the stairs at a gallop, and run all the way to the top.  Have you ever heard a 75 lb. greyhound run up hardwood stairs?  It sounds like the house is coming down around our ears!  The cats are usually displeased about this.  Argos will first go into the study, where he really hopes that I am going, because he has a comfy bed in there that he loves.  But he's also more than happy to sleep on either of the human beds, in our bedroom or the guest room,  depending on what I'm going upstairs to do.

The mundane things are the most exciting, at least to the animals.  Today, for example, I had three cats and a greyhound watching me avidly as I repotted a large number of zinnia seedlings.  They were fascinated.  I was on the floor beside the guest bed, and I kept seeing little gray paws (Bit) popping out from under the bed to try to drag my peat pots underneath.

If we have to leave, it's always a production.  We do a headcount of all of the cats to make sure that they're all upstairs, then shut them up there.  Argos stays downstairs.  We do another sweep of the downstairs to make sure that there isn't anything lying out that he shouldn't get into.  That used to just be food and plastic bags, etc., but now I've had to add to that list:  wash cloths, dish towels, socks, etc., since he's decided that these are magnificent sources of dietary fiber.

Argos sulks on the couch while we get ready to go.  He knows that we're leaving, and somehow he also knows that we're not taking him with us.

We go do our thing... and then return!

Argos has conniptions at the door the moment we walk in.  He acts like he was completely certain that we had been dead in a ditch, and it just made his entire week to see us walk in the door, still alive.  It takes us a good five minutes to get him to quit leaping and cavorting around us.

I go and open the door between the floors of the house, and cats stream down.

Then we go into the evening routine, which is very much like the morning routine, but kind of in reverse.  Argos gets fed.  An hour to digest his food, and then a walk.  Then we all relax for the evening.  Usually the cats join us.  Argos goes out for one more pee break, then gets put in the crate.

The cats demand that we go to bed, with Bit insisting that she get Petromalt.

ANYWAY, it's probably a lot of boring detail, which I hope that I made at least somewhat amusing, but I wanted to highlight just how much a part of your life pets can be.  Even something non-pet-oriented, such as potting zinnia seedlings, becomes a "family event."

And I love it.

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