So it kinda went down like this, in case the police ever ask.
First, my mom called.
My phone was in my pants. We had, however, moved to the No Pants Portion Of The Evening. (This is not a euphemism. I just detest pants and take them off around eight-ish, where I move to pajamas or yoga pants.) So the pants were on the dresser.
To reach my pants, which were now playing a merry tune and vibrating, I lunged off the bed and fumbled for said pants.
The phone, like a greased otter, slid out of the pocket, skidded across the dresser, and fell down behind it.
I flung myself over the top of the dresser and pressed my eye to the crack between dresser and wall, attempting to make out the name on the front. Had it been my agent, I would, of course, have torn the dresser from the wall with super-human strength, but it was my mother. I love my mother, but my agent makes me money.
I went into the stoffice to ask Kevin to help me move the dresser to get my phone back. (It’s a BIG dresser. With attached mirror and things.)
Kevin managed to pry the dresser away from the wall a few inches, but in order to reach the phone, he had to climb over a wingback chair wedged in the corner.
Behind the wingback chair is the domain of Cassie, a feral rescued cat that never did adapt to humans. (Her brother acclimated fine, so go figure.) Eventually we will need to sedate her and have her back shaved, owing to a growing mat there, but I keep hoping we’ll get her calmed down enough that I can get a brush to her, as she does allow me to pet her occasionally. But this is neither here nor there.
What happened when Kevin put his foot into Cassie’s realm was that the cat exploded. A black-and-white blur came over the back of the chair, launched off Kevin’s shoulder, knocked most of the contents of the nightstand to the ground, banked off the bedpost and went down the hallway in a streak of fur. Kevin fell backwards and narrowly missed being impaled on the somewhat ragged tail-spines of a largemouth bass that is stuck to the wall with a hand coming out of its mouth. (It’s art. Don’t ask. No, really, it’s attached to a canvas with block prints of naked women, so it’s totally art. I swear.)*
The cat tearing down the hallway set off the beagle, who lunged from under the bed after the cat, baying hysterically, which did nothing for the cat’s nerves. Cat and beagle streaked down the hallway. Cat made the turn successfully and went off down the steps. The beagle…did not.
Unfortunately, his failure to make the turn meant that he hit a litterbox. At that time, Benjamin T. Cat, undisputed ruler of the household, was in the litterbox, taking care of some fairly serious business, which meant that he was staring into the middle distance with an expression of vague concentration, and then a beagle hit him.
At this point, the beagle’s life was forfeit. There is really no getting around that fact. Even given my decided partiality for Ben, I must point out that no jury in the world could convict him.
For Kevin and I, trying to get to the phone, all we heard was “YAWP!” Then the beagle tried to snarl. Then he went “YAWWWWP!” again, somewhat more shrilly.
I poked my head down the hallway to see Ben, with a more-than-usually grim expression, sitting in the hallway, while the dog cowered in the doorway of one of the kids’ rooms.
The phone was retrieved, the dresser replaced, Ben stalked back to finish the business that he had been engaged in when he was So Rudely Interrupted, and I called the idiot dog to see what had happened. I was expecting a clawed nose, which is not terribly uncommon, although the beagle has learned in the last year or two not to screw around with Ben.
His nose was fine. He put his head in my lap and looked piteous and I told him he was a very stupid dog but we loved him anyway and somewhere around there I realized that my hand was covered in blood.
Ben had torn up the beagle’s ear. It was almost surgical–one claw, inserted in end of long floppy ear, one claw removed, beagle dealt with, and now back to the litterbox.
Like I said, no jury in the world…
It bled like crazy for a minute or two—head wounds and all—but wasn’t bad enough to require more than cleaning. Unfortunately the beagle did one of those floppy-eared headshakes, which meant that a spray of red went all over the carpet, my pajamas, the walls…
The carpet was trashed already, but I do not wish to spend the year until we lay out for a replacement walking on beagle splatter wounds, so we got down on our hands and knees—assisted by a helpful and worried beagle—scrubbing the stuff up.
Then I called my mother back. Then Kevin went down the hallway and cleaned up the drips.
So, y’know. If they ever ask about the blood splatter in the bedroom. That’s how it happened.
*Not MY art. Somebody’s else.
I started laughing around the point the beagle hit the litter box. And you’re right, no jury in the world would convict Ben. It was clearly a case of self defense. But yeah, now my abs hurt from laughing so hard which is a nice way to end the evening. Should the matter ever come up, I will certainly be among the first to assure the police that those strange stains were from the beagle.
Did anyone else, round about the litterbox collision, get the Benny Hill theme running through their head? Or perhaps Benny Hill with a little Dukes of Hazzard southern thing going on?
Lady, I have been silently loving you for years now. Your art makes my world more interesting and richer, and your takes on life are delightful.
My wife just pointed me to this with the sentence “Just so you to know that we are not the only ones with this sort of life.”
I read and could not stop laughing, with oh so much fellow feeling.
Only one piece of advice: get rid of the carpet. Our life as the human minority in the animal house has become a thousand times better since we went clean and did all hardwood.
Thank you so much for brightening up my Friday morning! This is classic!
My handkerchiefs occasionally get spotted with blood from my nose. Hydrogen peroxide works a treat. It’s cheap, it’s harmless to everything I’ve gotten it on (though I don’t recommend eyes or mucus membranes), and if nothing else the foaming is entertaining.
So, clearly this is all your mother’s fault! 😉
Andrew Ragland ,
I should know better than to read your blog at work. Oh gods, I think I burst an artery in my head trying not to howl with laughter. The comment about the Benny Hill theme… well, let’s just say that I now hear Waylon Jennings narrating the sequence of events with that laconic tone of his and a comment at the end of “for Ursula’s household, that’s about par.”
OMG I almost peed my pants laughing so hard! Thank goodness I wasn’t at work – someone else shushing the librarian wouldn’t look good!
Yay, cartoon violence!
laughing so hard it took 3 tries to get my name typed correctly. this is as good as dogs in elk (http://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/dogsinelk.html#dogs) the original is gone.
No Jury in the World « The Singularity ,
[…] Nojh on Oct.03, 2011, under Blog, Culture, Entertainment A tale of woe for one beagle and lesson well taught by one cat. … The cat tearing down the hallway set off the beagle, who lunged from under the bed after […]