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HighApril

highapril
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: At the Circus: The Spanish Walk
[Au Cirque: Le Pas espagnol]
(1899)


"… maybe saunter over to the neighbor's …"


Both Max and Molly, our cats, were scheduled for their annual vet visit Tuesday morning. Anticipating trouble from Molly, who remains steadfastly standoffish and feral, I dosed her with enough CBD to mollify a moose. Even so, I slipped into my heavy leather yard gloves before attempting to pick her up and tuck her into her carrier. I pulled off that move without a hitch, but Max had witnessed the kitnapping and just to help, Molly began crying most plaintively, which clearly alarmed Max. Wary then and probably remembering his past cat carrier experiences, he bolted. Then we played an extended game of catch or, more properly, failure to catch. I did manage to nab him twice as he passed by, but only because he's so deep down good natured that he likely couldn't quite muster the belief that I intended him harm. I stuffed him into his carrier, or tried to, and he managed to contort himself into a ghost and exit while I shoved him in. After two failures, I gave the game to him and decided that I would just have to explain his absence and seek another appointment, taking Molly in alone, which would probably be better, anyway.

Molly, probably thanks to the CBD, performed beautifully, submitting to touching and probing from a stranger, something she won't usually agree to at home among family, and all was well with the world.
She can be both bite-y and shred-y if need be. Both Molly and Max are just turning three, siblings, and just coming into the very prime of their lives. They're no longer kittens but not quite yet adults. They maintain a few rough feral edges, but seem to have settled into themselves and their circumstances. Molly's up and out each morning. She speeds over to the neighbor's backyard to watch their BIG chicken, who pecks around untethered in the yard. Molly finds a comfortable spot beneath a bush and as near as the neighbor can tell, just settles in to watch that chicken. She does not harass it. She does not appear to be plotting anything nefarious. She just watches. She'll also sometimes jump the six foot fence surrounding the chicken coop, wherein lives a whole flock of laying hens, but, again, not to hector or harass, but just to canvas. She's a keen observer of chickens.

The following afternoon, preparing for Max's delayed vet visit, I easily snatch him up off his favorite tuffet and attempt to gently stuff him into that cat carrier again. He again performs a perfect double back gainer, exiting while entering. He could become an Olympian! I stalk him in frustration. I sit on the couch looking up the vet's phone number, expecting to have to cancel this appointment, too, when Max comes sidling up, inquisitive and, amazingly, still innocently trusting. I nab him again and attempt a second stuffing. He somehow unzips the backdoor escape hatch and slips his bonds. I'm beside myself. I call the Vet to report that I might not make that second appointment. "If I'm not there by two, I'll call you and set up a third appointment."

Max, back on his tuffet, seems unperturbed as I approach, almost desperate. He submits to my grab, even leaning into me as I nab him. The stuff even goes easily enough. I've succeeded! I walk into the vet's like a champion, Missy behind the desk giving me a standing ovation! I'd succeeded in capturing the elusive Max! Max warily eyes the joint, especially the small dog in the corner. He, also, charms the vet, submitting to the probes and poking without a fret. He, too, showed as in the absolute prime of his life, inhabiting his HighApril, healthy, happy, perfectly lovely. He seemed to harbor no animosity toward me as I released him once we'd returned home. He fluffed up his feathers and headed for the exit, for it was high Springtime outside and he had his rounds to attend to. Off to the rose garden to dig a fresh trench and fill it, then maybe saunter over to the neighbor's to see what his sister's up to watching those chickens.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved







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