Georgie Doggy called me up this morning. "Hi Uncle Jim. Havent seen you in awhile, I don't think. Have I? "
"You saw me not too long ago, " I lied, and settled into my patio chair in Margaret' s garage, about 700 miles from where Georgie was calling. Connecticut, our old stomping grounds, and where my sister, his Mommy, still lives. Still seeing the New Guy. Going on spontaneous trips, spending all my inheritance on fun , God bless her and I hope she and Gary whoop it up another 20 or 30 years, well into their late 90s. Maybe get another dog, a smaller better behaved one, when Georgie kicks off in a few years.
"Oh yes, we walked, we ate pizza, we sniffed that lady you brought to meet Mama. She smelled good. So did you , that day. Kinda...the same. But different."
"Mmmm hm. Yeah, uh, I will be around in awhile. Right now I am , ah, visiting a nice family with two nice doggies you would like. A neurotic deeply anxious and seemingly depressed corgi named Arthur who is twice the size he ought to be because his mommy and his grandmom give him too many fucking treats, and another freaky little doggy called Fuji, a Japanese chin who thinks he is a cat. "
"Do you take them on long walks in the woods like you do me?" he said a bit petulantly.
"Actually, no, I walk them around the block and drag em home they get so darn exhausted, ha ha."
"Oh good, " Georgie said. "Mommy still walks me, and the dogwalker Mr. Mark too, but I like walks with you. Remember the time we jumped on those pretty girls, the girl in the orange shorts and her puffy white little girl dog Fluffy? "
"I don't jump on girls anymore, Georgie. Or...only on one girl. Her name is Margaret and she is very soft and tastes good and smells great."
"Oh wow. Bring her by some time. I will sniff her middle and tell you all about her. I am sure I will like her, though."
We chatted awhile, him telling me of my sister's household---still the same---and her adventures with the New Guy, and trips all three of them take to "hotels that don't discriminate against doggies...there aren't a lot of them, yknow".
After I got off the phone I realized I forgot to tell h im about two recent additions to our household, Frank and Emy, a black male cat and a smaller, younger female taken a bit too early from her mother but mothered by Frank. The two are inseparable.
They are currently down in our bed room because their grandmother , Margaret's mother, has not yet reconciled herself to the inevitable: that they are here to stay. At first we snuck them in the house and hid them , but Frank escaped and came to the attention of Margaret's son Alex who lives in the basement with us and the cats, and he ratted us out.
"Get. Rid. Of.Them. I do not want cats. Take them to the Red Cross. I mean the AS, P? C. The shelter. Get rid of them. Now."
We didn't and they escaped again.
"I thought I told you to get rid of those cats! Now!"
We didn't, and aren't going to. We are in a Mexican standoff but we are gonna stand longer than she can.
I went down to see Frank. He was curled up with Emy on their cat condo scratchpost.
"Hello, Father, " he said. He swatted Emy awake. "Daddy!" she squealed.
"Hey guys. I just talked to, oh, I guess you would call him your cousin. A dog named Georgie. He is named after my dad, Frank, like you are named after Margaret's."
"Isnt that interesting," said Frank dubiously. He has the natural inclination as a cat to be uninterested in human things unless they are fun or fascinating, but he at least pretends to listen to me and says polite things in response. It is because he sees himself as the alpha animal in the house; his meeting with Arthur the corgi was comical. Arthur slunk out of the room, overcome by his alpha status immediately. Frank now of course considers Arthur torture-able because of his extreme non-threateningness. It is painful to watch sometimes.
"yeah he misses me terribly, " I sighed.
"You aren't going anywhere, are you?" Frank tried to say disinterestedly.
"Nowhere, except back upstairs. See you later."
As I opened the door a crack the little shithead made a run for it. I slammed it and swatted him out of the way gently with my foot. "Nice try, buddy boy."