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Monday, November 1, 2010

What the Pets are Saying


“My pack is gone!” Pepper, the black Labrador Sharpe mixed dog lamented. She was intently staring out of the kitchen window, looking for any sign of the humans that were part of her pack. “Why do they leave?”
                “To get us some food, I would assume!” answered Mimosa, an orange and white  American short haired cat. He stretched lazily from his perch on the pony wall next to the window where Pepper was standing. “Every time they come home, they feed us. “
                “I don’t get why they leave either, Pepper,” Stanley agreed, a grey long haired cat of Maine Coone and Russian Blue mix. He was laying across the kitchen table, the only time he could while the family was out. “Being outside it’s all that great! When I lived outside, it was cold, I was hungry all the time and I was miserable! Then I was brought in by this family, I was warm, happy and never hungry again!”
                “Yes, we can see you haven’t missed a meal!” Mimosa grinned, hopping off of the pony wall and next to Stanley on the glass table.  Stanley hissed at him in reply.
                “Stop arguing, Stanley and Mimosa!” Pepper refereed, turning away from the window and barking at them.  “I hate to see you two fighting! That’s another reason why it’s bad when the pack leaves. The Mom isn’t here to separate you two!”
                “Hey, you know I hate that name!” Mimosa howled, putting his paw on top of her head for effect. “Call me Big M!”
                “But why? Your name is Mimosa. The Boss, the Mom and the Boy call you that.” Pepper insisted.
                “Don’t remind me!” Mimosa took his paw off of her head and tucked it glumly under him. “I was really glad to leave that cage. The building was full of cats, meowing at all hours. And the people coming by, staring at you through the bars and poking at you.  When this family took me from the cage, the lady asked them what my name was going to be. The Boss looked me over and she said ‘I love his orange color! It reminds me of a mimosa!’ Then the Big Guy agreed and told the lady that’s what my name was! She filled out the paperwork and made me a tag with that name!” He shook his head as the tag jangled beneath his chin. “I tried to tell her that’s a girl’s name and I’m a boy! Once the paperwork is filed, there’s nothing I could do about it!”
                “Well, you do know that the humans can’t understand us.” Stanley pointed his paw at Mimosa. “All they can hear is meow, meow, meow!”
                “Why do you call the Boss the Big Guy and the Mom the Boss?” Pepper asked, completely ignoring Mimosa’s point of his story about his name, which caused Mimosa to glare at her. “I don’t think the Boss would like you to refer to him as fat!”
                “Because she is the boss,” Stanley offered, wiping the back of his ear with his paw. “And he is a big guy, not necessarily fat.”
                “How can she be the Boss?” Pepper cocked her head to one side, thoroughly confused. “She is shorter than the Boy!”
                “Trust me, I’ve been here the longest, I know she’s the Boss!” Stanley assured.
                “Oh, yeah, you have been here the longest!” Pepper mused, her tail starting to wag as she glanced out the window again. It flickered over Mimosa’s nose, which was annoying to him. He started to swat at it, but that action didn’t result in Pepper stopping. She figured it was a game and kept right on swishing it. “When I joined the Pack, there was another cat besides you, it was a black and white cat, right?”
                “Yes, that would have been Athena,” Stanley recalled. “Her fur had the markings of a tuxedo. Man, she was something!”
                “Was she even a real cat?” Pepper chimed in, turning away from the window again, showing her teeth as if she was grinning. “She hardly ever moved off of that refrigerator!”
                “Yes, she was a real cat!” Stanley reassured. Then, turning to Mimosa, he continued, “She was a lady through and through.”
                “She would have nothing to do with you,” Mimosa concluded.
                “No, I tried every trick I knew, but she wouldn’t have it!” Stanley sighed. “Pepper, you don’t remember her like I do. She was very old when you came to live here. I knew something was wrong, these last few days she was here. She didn’t have the right smell.”
                “It’s very important to check to make sure everyone has the right smell,” Pepper agreed.  “That’s why I sniff everyone that’s in the pack. I sniff because I care!”
                “Well, stop caring so much!” Mimosa yelled, swatting at Pepper’s wagging tail. “You make me very uncomfortable when you’re sniffing me!”
                “That’s another reason why I don’t like the outside,” Stanley intoned. “The family took Athena out with them one day and she never came back!”
                “I came in from the outside,” Mimosa offered. “From a shelter that’s outside of this house.”
                “Hey, me too!” Pepper added. “I came from a shelter where I was left in a box with my brothers and sisters. So I’m an outsider like you, Mimosa!”
                “There you go, two other reasons why I don’t like the outside!” Stanley huffed. “The evidence is piling up!”
                “Quit calling me Mimosa!” Mimosa fumed. “Do I look like the breakfast beverage?”  Then he compared his 9 pound body to the dog’s 75 pound girth. “Wait, don’t answer that!”
                “You know, you’re looking at your name all wrong. Pepper suggested, trotting happily around the round kitchen table.    “What is a mimosa anyway?”
“It’s a drink made from orange juice and champagne.” Mimosa answered, sticking out his tongue. Then he set about grooming himself, starting with his hind legs.
“See? Champagne is really expensive and classy.” Pepper continued. “That’s kind of nice to be associated with that, now isn’t it?”
“You know, I never thought of it like that,” Mimosa looked up from his grooming ritual. “I am a classy guy!” Stanley rolled his eyes behind Mimosa’s back.
“And maybe my name is short for a food also,” Pepper went into the downward dog position. “Maybe my name is short for Pepper Jack Cheese!!”
“Pepper Jack Cheese?” Mimosa and Stanley repeated simultaneously in the same incredulous tone.
“Yes! I’m spicy and the perfect compliment for any sandwich!” Pepper announced, jumping up from the downward dog position.
“And don’t forget cheese is melty, like your brain!” Mimosa muttered, as Stanley smirked.
                Suddenly, Pepper pricked up her ears and darted for the window again. “They’re coming home! I see their car!” she yelped. Then she started pacing back and forth, from the kitchen entrance to the front door.  “The Pack is home! But I need to pee! But my Pack is home, I’m so happy! And I need to pee!”
                “Unbelievable!” Mimosa announced, shaking his head. “You would think by now she would get used to them coming home!”
                “By the way, what if she was right and we were named after food?” Stanley asked. “That makes sense for your names, but what about mine? There’s nothing named after Stanley.”
                “Actually, there is something named Stanley that suits you perfectly,” Mimosa said, stretching out his paws in front of him. “I saw a whole bunch of them on a commercial for a hardware store.”
                “Really? On the TV?” Stanley sat up a bit taller, nodding to himself. “Not bad! Hey! Wait a minute! What do they sell again at hardware stores?”

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