Wednesday, April 20, 2005


This morning, while cleaning the cats' litter boxes, I heard Franklin the dog barking in a tone that was different than any other I'm used to hearing. It was both protective and yet of some personal pain. Had he fallen off his window seat?

Mornings are often about feeding animals and dealing with their poop. There was a play that made into a movie a few years ago on HBO. A character, referring to his unhappy life, said that he was in the poop management business, taking care of the cat's, dogs, gold fish and children.

I dropped the litter scooper and went to the living room. Franklin was standing on his window seat and was barking in that strange tone. I looked outside and saw the rabbit that lives in the large juniper hedge next to the driveway. He was sitting out on the grass in the middle of the garden. He has tiny ears -- for a rabbit -- is brown, with a white tail. He/she? I don't really know its gender.

After finishing the litter box clean-up, I took the trash outside. The rabbit continued to sit in the middle of the garden, watching me but not moving. I got the trash cans out to the curb, and my neighbor from across the street came out. She has been admiring my pink (while closed, but apricot when opened) tulips. Her husband is in the hospital. We both look at the rabbit. She shares about her husband's health.

And then I return inside. The dog finally calms down. But a bit later, he is barking again. The calico cat, one of a few creatures he truly appears to hate-feel indignant about-fill-in-the-blank is walking across the neighbor's yard. I pet him and tell him to calm down. When he gets agitated, he hops and jumps and makes his leg feel worse. But this is what he was bred to do, and he does it with relish, often looking up at me to discern if I appreciate how serious this all is. He and I are very close, but I would be a fool to think that in someways we do not live in a parallel universe.

When I left for work, he was back at the window, watching the yard.

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