Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Small Mammal With Whom I Live a Lie

I have always been a fan of Kids in the Hall. A skit on the first VHS tape I ever can say that I truly owned (and still have) was about a dog owner who was trying to justify the life with his pet. He lamented that part of the problem was perhaps that he never named the dog because the only name that was appropriate was Small Mammal with Whom I Live a Lie. When naming the dog I suggested this as a name, but Tino stuck. Tino needed food.

I made plans to buy Tino dog food after work as I would have an early day. I like early days and use them for things like shopping. It rained most of the day but then during the early afternoon as I was finishing my last two classes the rain let up a bit. I was elated, hopeful, that it would stop. I was also suckered into believing that it might be a nice gloomy but dry afternoon. As soon as I wrapped up my classes and my afternoon meeting I grabbed my things to go. As I walked out from under the school awning the rain started to come down. Of course.

I pulled out the umbrella and began to walk. I had barely managed to get to the gate of the school when I stopped in the middle of the street and took of my socks. There was not point to the socks. The rain was coming down far to hard for socks. The socks had to go. I pulled the socks off, stuffed them in a jacket pocket and continued to plod on my way to the pet store. The pet story is about a fifteen minute walk from work on a dry day, but with the rain and me being cautious it took almost a half hour. A half hour in the wet that had me soon pretty much soaked through from the waist down. Cars plowing into puddles, runoff from roofs turning into mini-waterfalls, the bottom of my jeans turning into sopping sponges, all contributed to the wet through that occurred.

I started to think about that dog. The small dog who refuses to eat the cheap pet food that can be had easily from the Smile Mart around the corner. The dog that must have his special ten dollar a bag food instead of the relatively EXACTLY the same five dollar a bag food from the Smile Mart. The dog who will turn up his nose and starve at me if I refuse to cater to his tiny little whims. I plodded wet footed and annoyed through the rain, and though "You better appreciate this, Tino. You better recognize what I've done here for you today."

My umbrella is a great big golf sized umbrella. About ten minutes into the walk it decided to stop being what an umbrella typically is, a barrier against rain on my head, and instead turn into something else, a water enabler. The umbrella sprung a leak directly over the center of my skull and a Chinese water torture drip began to drop down on my head. Drop, shake head, drop, shake head, drop, shake, head, drop, shake head. The water started to pour down my neck and into the back of my shirt and jacket. Oh, yes, little dog, you better appreciate the lengths I'm going to.

I finally get to the pet food store and I realize I also must acquire dog treats. I get treats, I get insanely expensive dog food, I even get that little fluff bucket a new toy. I'm feeling happy about finally being at the store. I watch bleary as the Korean girl behind the counter extracts the claws out of her arm from a cat that has just been shaved. The cat is very unhappy. I can imagine why. Who shaves a Persian cat? The girl turns to me with blood dripping down her arms and takes in my rain soaked person and we have a moment in which we truly understand the torture we both go through for animals. She rings me up and throws in some free stuff for the dog. I turn and begin the steady walk home.

By the time I get home I've given up on the umbrella. What's the point? I open the door and try to untangle myself from the wet clothes so I do not make tracks along the floor. It's the kind of soaked through that pretty much requires disrobing at the front door. I get naked and grab a towel, dry up, put on a robe and let the dog in. He runs past me to the bag of food, smells it one time, and looks at me. It's obvious from his expression just how thoroughly unimpressed he is; not just unimpressed but downright disgusted. He says in that look, "I'm descended from the dogs of Chinese emperors whose high breasted half-naked concubines would carry about on a liter and whose food consisted of only the finest delicacies that money can buy, and YOU brought me THIS?"

He turns his tail up at me, jumps onto my bed, burrows under the blankets and proceeds to snore at me. I bend and clean up the puddle forming under my drying jeans while mumbling under my breath "small mammal with whom I live a lie."

No comments: