Dorothy Harris

Doggone it, we're tired

Dorothy L. Harris

Recently we've been wondering if we'll ever get to "cats" up on sleep. Pardon the pun, but it's been one furry dilemma after another around here and I'm desperate for a full night's rest.

Sadie Girl, our Florida brown dog or dingo, loves to eat. She'll eat her dog food, the cat food and any people food she can possible pilfer, beg or find. On walks, we watch every stop and sniff because if there's a chicken bone within reach, she'll snatch it up and hold it in her mouth until she thinks we're not paying attention. You have to see it in her eyes because she has almost mastered the art of silent chewing, with nary a facial muscle twitching. She'll have this look that says, "Please don't watch me," as she attempts to swallow in one gulp, whatever she's found. Needless to say, this bad habit leads to intermittent digestive issues.

I figure you are savvy enough to read between the lines and know this same issue had me up, over and over again, all night long. The dog would wake me up and I'd let her out. After she was done, back to bed we'd go, only to do it all over again about an hour later, continuing through the night.

It was only one night, so I shouldn't be whining, but it followed the night Shere Khan, our big orange cat, became extremely ill. Spontaneously, he began sneezing and within hours, it looked like he wasn't long for this world. Considering his checkered past as an outdoor menace and his being 12 years old, I was saddened, but not really surprised. He went from being Mr. Nasty to being a stable object. He wouldn't be budged and the next morning, I found him right where I had left him the night before. With his mamba mouth open, gasping for air, he didn't look good at all. He was so sick, I could actually touch him.

Shere Khan has a bit of a reputation and once at the vet, Mr. Cranky Pants, even in his depressed state, still impressed a few folks in the waiting room. Listening to the guttural growls emanating from our pet carrier, their eyes grew wide. I kept the door closed lest I chase away customers. Later in the exam room, he did his best to impress and everyone knew Shere Khan was in the house. The third and final injection raised the hair on all of our necks as our orange screamer shared his displeasure. When I brought him home, I swear the other cats were like, "Oh man, he's back, she actually brought him back." I really thought he was leaving us, but after this handful of shots, he's slowly returning to his miserable wretched self and will likely be smacking the dingo whenever she walks within range again real soon.

On top of these two pet issues, Shasta Cat, a.k.a. Boogey, for reasons none of us really know, needed some minor surgery. All went fine, but apparently he did not read his discharge instructions and sure enough, my screen room looked like a murder scene later that evening. Mr. Harris helped me clean up the bloody cat footprints and more dog puke. Later we were woken up once again by Shere Khan repeatedly sneezing and I began to understand why so many of you no longer have pets. I adore my fuzzy freeloaders, but I really need a good night's sleep. Was that Shasta Cat I just heard sneezing? Here we go again.