Willy the Poodle's Hymns

1. O Master, when I throw myself on the ground before your sneakers, and turn over so cravenly on my back, do not think that I fear your anger. I just want you to rub my belly.

2. O Master, I gaze up at you all night, snuggling between your elbow and you chest. When will you awaken, so I can lick you in the face? You do not seem to mind when my flea escapes into your sheets. It is such a small thing, I do not even think you know it.

3. Beloved Master, for three days I waited, pining away for you, staring at your empty parking spot with my chin resting on the window sill, every golden hair on my body wired for the sound of your Birkenstocks. Rick the plumber gave me a rawhide chewer, but I could not chew. Mom and the girls tried to stroke me, but I only moaned and sighed, and growled when they tried to touch the chewer I could not chew.

My heart is so full of you, Master, I weep dark tears whose stains will never be washed away. No one loves you as I, no one in the universe. So why did you have to go to Pets-Mart and get a fucking cat?!

4. Master, I am a Watch Dog. Does any other animal have "Watch" in front of its name? I bark rationally at suspicious noises. I don't wander around the house at 3 AM yowling like a neuro with ADHD. When you call, I come. I point my ears and tail abjectly downward to signify, "Not my will, but thine!"

Some animals are so moody you can't depend on them to do anything but eat. You need not waste your time figuring out MY moods. I have no moods. I am pure submission, the incarnation of a singular passion, which is what every human secretly longs to be. And when nature calls, I go outside - unlike the little Siamese asshole who needs a litter box.

5. Master, I must confess something. I am starting to tolerate Chester, our new lavender-eyed Siamese kitten - not just because he runs away, like the coward he is, when I fake the slightest lunge or nip the long and useless tail that he himself, evidently too stupid to recognize the rudiments of his own body, chases in circles on Mother's precious oriental rug, which is showing many signs of cat-wear - but because he enjoys wrestling, often ambushing me unfairly from his perch on a dining room chair, hidden under the gable of the table top, and sinking his kitteny teeth into my throat. I flip him easily with my superior strength (we poodles were bread for war, and people should not forget it). I pin him on his back. I bite his neck in self-defense. Then he slithers out of my paws as only a cat can slither. Poodles never slither.

But what's fun is, we don't hurt each other. Somehow, Chester retracts his claws so they barely get tangled in my beautiful golden fur. I can't do that with my claws. To be honest, I really
don't have any claws to speak of. When Chester bites, he doesn't bite ferociously. It's only a hickey love-bite, which is how I bite.

Then we get tired and relax in each others arms and rest awhile. When I bury my head in the warm fur of another animal, I start to remember something mysterious from long ago, too simple to comprehend. I can't quite figure it out, but it's even better than sucking on my blanket.

After we nap awhile, I chase him in a huge circle through five rooms, until he recedes back into chaos, burrowing amongst the seven hundred pair-less shoes in our weird family closet.

I must admit that when you're gone I don't spend whole days sighing by the window any more. I wrestle and chase my new brother, Chester. I am losing weight. Thank you for getting me a friend.

No comments: