Pet therapy

March 10, 2007

Yesterday, I celebrated the end of winter by slipping on an icy patch in front of the local Shopko, and spraining my knee.

Feeling much better today, after much Advil, and ice. (And probably not going to sue you, Shopko, since I don’t think I need surgery. But we’ll see next week, shall we?)

And my spirits have improved with stomping around the house, waving the cane I bought from Design Toscano with the pewter death’s head on it. I changed my standard threat to the children from, “Do that again and I’m going to hit you” to “Do that again, and I’m going to hit you WITH THIS STICK”.

#1 Son informed me that it was an idle threat, because even on two good legs, I wasn’t fast enough to catch either one of them.

This is the kind of respect I get, in my own home.

And it is even worse, when I try to talk to the pets. I am incapacitated. I do not want to do animal husbandry. I want a helper monkey, or perhaps a visit from Lassie, who could follow simple instructions, like, “Get the phone, girl.” Or “Get me some ice. And while you’re up, slop a little brandy on it. Good Girl!”

Instead, I have Mohawk, Fluffer, and Kaiju.

In Fluffer’s last life, she didn’t have owners. She had servants. She has been staring at me for a day and a half, reminding me that while I am laying on the couch, no one is filling the water dish, and if I think for a minute that I can get away with putting out a bowl of dog food because we ran out of senior feline, hairball control, I am sadly mistaken.

I am useless. She’s always suspected. But now she’s sure.

Mohawk is my cat. Mohawk was abandoned as a feral kitten, when his mother met the front end of a truck on the road in front of our house. He has been stuck in extended kittenhood for almost 10 years now, and has imprinted on me as his new mom. To actually do anything useful for ME, goes against his grain, since he assumed, when he move in here, that he would never have to lift a paw to take care of himself.

If I am inert, he will use it as an excuse to rub against me until I give him a spit bath and some milk.

His idea of pet therapy is to lay down in front of me on the stairs, thus rendering me immobile. While I balance between the banister and the walking stick, grimacing in pain and begging him to move before I fall again and finish myself, he is rubbing his head on my toes, and biting me in the bad ankle, trying to get a more enthusiastic response.

Keep waiting, Mo.

And then, there is Kaiju. Kai is a golden retriever. When I look into his big, brown eyes and explain that 100 pounds of dog laying across a doorway is making it difficult for me to navigate, or that I do not need him to sit between me and the footstool when I am trying to elevate my leg, he looks at me and says:


It is the bright eyed look that a golden will give you, which I think means:

“God, I love you. I so am happy. I want you to be happy. And I have no idea what you just said.

I mean, you said something, right? To me? But I really, have no idea. You want me closer? So you can pet me?

Well, OK. But I’m about to pass gas. As long as you don’t mind…”