Monday, April 12, 2010

A couple mornings ago I woke up to the sight of Diablo and Astrid sprawled on the rug at the foot of the bed. Astrid was lying on her back, a look of dopey joy on her face, while Diablo meticulously "cleaned" a part of her body that I really didn't want to see, or know anything about, at that time or any time, thank you very much. It's bad enough when he cleans her ears--that licking sound! His breath afterwards!--but this, well, this was nasty. If it hadn't been for the look on Astrid's face, which was so cute, really, and the comedy of the situation, I would maybe have kicked them a little, but I didn't.

Yesterday, after roasting a turkey breast, covering it with plastic wrap, and leaving it on the kitchen counter to cool while I picked Lula up from school, Lapis got on the counter, chewed a hole through the plastic wrap, and ate a significant amount of the turkey. I barely kept myself from drop-kicking him out the door (I just hurled him) when I got home, but my annoyance was quickly replaced by incredulity when he got BACK on the counter (how the hell'd he get in the house?) while I was administering snacks to the kids and went right BACK to gnawing on the turkey. In broad daylight, so to speak--as if, heck, this was a totally normal, acceptable thing to do.

Coming as it was from the cat who used to "catch" footlong submarine sandwiches from the trash can behind our old house (which we shared with the submarine sandwich deliveryman), drag them in through the open window, and leave their half-eaten plastic-wrapped carcases behind the couch, under the bed, and in the closet, I guess chewing through plastic wrap to get to freshly roasted turkey was a normal thing to do. Or maybe it's that my view of "normal" has changed--after all, I'm the one who put the turkey, half-chewed plastic wrap and all, in the cabinet above the stove, so Freaking Kittle Buns couldn't further vandalize it...

After exiling Lapis I thought I'd feed the dogs. Usually Joedy does this, but since he was gone and since we'd recently bought two new kinds of dog food--in hopes of conducting a scientific experiment that would hopefully tell us why Diablo's breath stinks like you-know-what--I poured what remained of Bag #1 in both dogs' bowls and a little of Bag #2 in Astrid's bowl (she's bigger). While Astrid immediately hunkered down and starting loudly eating, Diablo began to bark. I'd gone upstairs to change Malko's diaper, and I recognized his bark as the "give me something I want NOW, I will not stop barking, ever, until you give it to me, even if you slit your throat with exasperation first" bark. It was a demanding bark. A determined bark.

I ran back downstairs, ready to shake Diablo for being such a pain in the you-know-what when I had, like, enough going on ALREADY, but when I found him sitting on the kitchen floor next to Astrid I was mystified: you don't want to go out? You don't want your food? Still barking, he looked at me and then at Astrid's bowl, back and forth a few times, and then it hit me: he wanted some Bag #2 dog food, just like Astrid had. Bag #1 was not sufficient; she got some, so he should get some. Half irritated, half impressed, I poured some of Bag #2 in his bowl, and he contentedly lay down on his stomach and began to eat.

After Malko and Lula were bathed and in their pyjamas I put Malko on the living room rug and went around putting dinosaurs away and scraping oatmeal out of bowls; when I checked on Malko, I noticed he was playing with something grey and oddly shaped. Looking closer, I saw it was a piece of bone--a piece of bone with a thick wedge of marrow on one side and hair, disgustingly scary hair and dirt and grime and probably poop, for god's sake, stuck all over it. Grabbing it out of Malko's hand, hoping he hadn't yet "sampled" it, I thought: this is ridiculous. This is ridiculous, and it's disgusting. And then I thought: thanks, animals. Thanks.

Tonight I was tired from the constant go-go-go of the last few days and when we came home from the bank and the post office after picking Lula up from school I didn't want to have anything to do with any (annoying) animals, especially two dogs who were totally hyper from not having been walked for two days. "OUT. Get out," I said, banishing them from the kitchen, and for a while--ten minutes, while Lula and Malko silently gorged themselves on watermelon--it was peaceful. Calm. Almost relaxing. Then Lapis started meowing loudly, DEMANDINGLY, to have his back scratched, and the dogs saw a person on the sidewalk and started barking like the Apocalypse was coming, and then, guess what?

It wasn't calm or relaxing anymore.


uncleremus said...

You crack me up!!!
me thinks the reality of your situation is that you have 5 kids, not just 2!!!
Izzy---the Wonder mom!!!

Nadine said...

Jesus those dogs are a handful! Your "real" kids seem like a piece of cake in comparison!

nadine said...

We have 2 cats and they're actually more like dogs. They CONSTANTLY want to be fed and do the most annoying things to get our attention. I'm afraid we haven't been the greatest pet owners in that we've let them control our lives. But they're freakin cats! Who would of thought they'd be so goddamn difficult! I love them to death though :)

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