Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Whining

Life is sometimes like a horror story. A Stephen King story, to be exact.

Our puppy, Juno, has finally started to grow. To get a belly. To waddle like the roly-poly puppy she was meant to be, before some cold-hearted criminal dumped her on the roadside. Two weeks ago, Hick decided she was big enough to sleep on the porch at night. To roam the grounds by day. A chicken hawk would have to be the world-class bodybuilder of chicken hawks to lift her now.

I am not so sure that Hick was looking out for Juno's best interests instead of his own. Since both boys were spending the night elsewhere, Hick would have needed to put Juno in her pen at dark. Thus, he decreed that she could sleep on the porch. I was concerned. The temperature that morning had been 39 degrees. And was expected to plummet again overnight. Because we live in what the chief meteorologists refer to as "outlying areas." Juno's thin puppy-fur did not seem like a warm coat to me. Plus, Hick refused to get her afghan out of her pen. "She'll be fine."

I argued for the afghan. It has holes to trap Juno's body heat. She slept on it every night since her abandonment, once my mom caved and decided not to let her die. Hick grudgingly compromised. He would not get the afghan, but he would get the wooden kitten house off the back porch and put it by the front door.

The kitten house is a contraption Hick made when we first got two kittens for the boys. Not to be confused with the hotel of cardboard boxes later constructed by Genius, who christened it "The Cathouse." Much to my embarrassment. But getting back to the small-animal safe-house...it's a rectangular box one foot tall and two feet long, with a round hole in the front the size of a two-liter soda bottle, with a hinged top so you can open it up and scoop out recalcitrant baby animals for meds if need be. The last resident was our full-sized long-haired calico, who was a pariah of sorts, always on the run from the other four cats. She moved in with the neighbors, so her little wooden apartment has been empty, save for a fringe of long white hairs around the entrance.

Hick set the box between the front door and the window. He said Juno went in and out of it twice. She would be fine. The next morning, I arose to hear whimpering outside the door. I stepped out and saw Juno shivering so much that she could hardly stand. I fetched her some Ol' Roy Hearty Loaf puppy chicken. She wolfed it down while shaking like a paint-stirring machine at Lowe's. I scooped her up in a towel and took her in the house. Hick was in denial. He declared that Juno had slept in the house and been plenty warm all night, and was just cold because she came out when she heard me get up. In any case, I held her until she warmed up. By then, the sunlight was hitting the back porch, so I put her down on the warm towel in a patch of it by the back door.

That afternoon, The Pony and I reclaimed Juno's afghan. I made Hick rinse it with the hose and hang it to dry on the sunny porch rail all afternoon. Except Hick marches to his own drummer, and hung it over a metal chair in the yard, so it was still damp. I tossed it in the dryer and went with The Pony to inspect The Box. We thought Juno's post-supper belly was too big to allow her entrance. The plan was to take off the top door, turn The Box on its side, and line the bottom with the afghan. That way Juno would have an open-sided sleeping box, with easy entrance, and a roof over her head.

The Pony lifted open the top door. It came off in his hand, because the hinges had rusted off. On the underside of the lid was A DINNER-PLATE SIZED WASP NEST!!! The Pony dropped the lid. Thankfully, the nest was inactive. I'm not even sure if it was this year's nest. But it was wasp nest of colossal proportions. I could only hope that our little Juno had NOT been in that box with it. Overnight. In the dark.

It made my skin crawl. I felt like Jack Torrance at the Overlook Hotel, gazing at the wasp nest under the glass bowl, the underside teeming with live wasps.

Hick's reaction to the scenario? "Huh."

8 comments:

labbie1 said...

Poor Juno! Yikes! A POX on Hick I say!

Tammy said...

Awww! If she did go in, hope the wasps were sleeping.

Linda O'Connell said...

Poor shivering baby. Toss Hick out on the porch. A friend found a wasp's nest, brought it inside and the wasps became active. Yikes!

Val Thevictorian said...

labbie,
Hick was treading on thin ice for a few days.

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Tammy,
We tossed that nest out into the yard. I there were any wasps, the chickens have surely consumed them by now. It was too cold that night for any stinging activity.

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Linda,
I read Hick the riot act. He is supposed to build Juno a house this weekend. She is thriving, and will soon be too tall for her cathouse. I want him to keep it small, so it will hold in her body heat.

And of course she will have her special afghan. She LOVES that afghan. When I took it out of the dryer and carried it to her house, she jumped up and down for it. In fact, she hopped on it while I was still smoothing out the wrinkles inside her box-house. That pleases my mom, who feels bad now about starving Juno for two days.

Linda O'Connell said...

my daughter's dog have a straw fro bedding in their dog houses, and they play tug of war with the blankets AND the puppy:0

Val Thevictorian said...

Linda,
We used to use straw. Now we use cedar shavings for the dog houses. The dogs smell really good first thing in the morning.

Juno has no collar because we were afraid of the tug-of-war. Our black German shepherd used to bring home mysteriously empty yippy-dog collars. We don't know what happened to the yippy dogs.

Bailey @OverYonderLit said...

Ha! Oh my goodness! Poor Juno! When I read this "She wolfed it down while shaking like a paint-stirring machine at Lowe's" I choked, spazzed, and hit my elbow on the desk top. *rubs funny bone* I swear, reading your posts keeps me sane.

Val Thevictorian said...

Bailey,
That pitiful pup could hardly stand. On a scientific note...did you know that your "funny bone" is actually your ulnar nerve? You can reach in and twang it if you get a hankerin' for some uncomfortable appendage-tingling when there's no humor available. Unwanted anatomical advice. Just one more service I serve up completely free of charge.