I was awakened at about 4:00 a.m. by what sounded like a cat in heat, a low, sustained moan that that trailed off and rose up, trailed off and rose up. Eeeewoooooooaaaaahrreeeeooooooaaaaaaa! “Damn,” I thought, “it’s like that cat is sitting right outside my bedroom window.” And then I realized that the window was to my left while the caterwaul was to my right. And very close. I glanced over at Jelly who was sitting up on her pillow, staring back at me. On cue, her tummy did a dead-on imitation of a cat in heat: Eeeewooooooaaaaaahrreeeeeeoooooooaaaaaaa! And then she threw me the look. You know what I’m talking about:
The look that says: “Look out! I’ma gonna blow!”
I scrambled out of bed, threw on a t-shirt, a pair of jeans, scooped her up, and took her out to the backyard. In the nick of time.
Jelly and I went back inside. I propped her back up on the pillow, then crawled back into bed. I had just settled in comfortably when – scrtchscrtchscrtch. Shakeshakeshake. Scrtchscrtchscrtch. Shakeshakeshake. Then, merciful silence. For about a minute, at which point said silence was broken by: scrtchscrtchscrtch. Shakeshakeshake. I looked down at Lulu, sitting up at the foot of the bed, head cocked as if deep in thought. Beat. Then, she scratched her right ear. Scrtchscrtchscrtch. And followed it up with her patented head shakeshakeshake. Infection or just itchy? A good dog dad doesn’t take any chances.
I sighed, crawled out of bed, found Lulu’s medication in the bathroom, returned to the room and cleaned her ears.
I put the medication away, stepped back into the bedroom, and tried to crawl back into bed – only to discover Bubba had taken my spot. “Bubba,”I whispered reproachfully, not wanting to awaken Akemi. No response. He lay, sprawled out on my pillow, seemingly fast asleep. “Bubba.” A little louder this time. Still no response. “Bubba!” He twitched. And then I realized – he was just pretending to be asleep! “Okay, I’m coming to bed,”I informed him. The tone of my voice no doubt let him know I wasn’t in the mood to play around. With a sniff, he crawled off my pillow and slunk down to the foot of the bed where he loosened a huff ‘n snarfle, then curled up and dozed off.
Once I was back in bed, I checked the clock. It was a little after 5:00 a.m. I pulled the covers up and pulled my second pillow over my head. I was just about to drift off when –