I am a worrier. (People may or may not be aware of this.) I came downstairs this morning and my elderly dog, Dakota, had managed to wipe out in the kitchen and couldn’t get back up. The floor is tile and he doesn’t do so well on that these days, but we’ve put down area rugs and runners all over the place—it looks strange, but it’s mostly effective. Every so often he manages to step in just such a way that none of his paws are on a rug and he goes slip sliding away.
Pause for Paul Simon break!
I picked him up, helped him outside, cleaned up the mess, and now he’s sleeping; understandably, depending on how long he’d been stuck there, he might have had quite the stressful night. Meanwhile, I’m drinking lots of coffee, not wanting to leave the house, and staring at him periodically—is he in pain, and would I even be able to tell?
The vet isn’t sure quite what’s wrong with him—it could be something neurological and they could do an MRI to see if there’s an intracranial tumor, but even if there were, there’s nothing they could do for it. So, like the song says, that information’s unavailable to the mortal man.
(That’s Dakota to the right, by the way—taken a few days ago.)
Well, what can you do? They come and they go eventually, which I was reminded of yesterday when—well, I should preface this by saying that we are not complete slobs. We keep a reasonably clean house even with two dogs, but inevitably some corners are going to be neglected.
So, that said, let me talk about the recliner at the top of the stairs.
I tend to move around the house when I’m writing. Sometimes I sit at the dining room table, but that chair isn’t very comfortable. Likewise with the kitchen chairs (though they are impressive). I have a desk in the basement (don’t ask), which is comfortable but is like working in a cave. (Sometimes, that’s nice, though.) If I work on the sofa, chances are a nap will follow.
There’s also, at the top of the stairs, a little spot that’s big enough that we put a bookshelf there along with a small recliner from my old house. It’s not fancy, and it’s been well-loved, by which I mean my dearly departed cats Boris and Natasha frequently slept on it and used the back of it as a place to dig their claws in and stretch.
There’s a window at the top of the stairs, and a little table next to the chair, so it’s turned into a nice little spot to sit and write. The chair is comfortable, but not so comfortable that I’m liable to fall asleep (at least, not as much as if I’m on the sofa). I open the blinds, prop my water glass on the window sill, and sit down and write.
Yesterday, when I finished writing and got up, I picked up my water glass and found a strand of hair in it—white, perfectly straight, and just the right length that it very likely came from the guy pictured here on the right (Natasha’s the Siamese on the left):
Mind you, we’ve vacuumed the chair and around it many times in the intervening years since they’ve been gone, but as any pet owner knows, the fur flies… and sticks, and reminds you to miss them when they’re gone.
Pause for Anna Kendrick break!