A Key Task

An easy task it seemed at the time…head over to Jeanelle’s house and let her two dogs outside for twenty minutes or so. Put them back in their crates, pick Jeanelle up at her office, and we would be able to head to Atlanta earlier than planned.

I arrived at her house and the dogs were eager for a romp in the yard. Layla aka “The Horse” was a ten-year-old Great Dane. Patten was a four-month-old Boxer/Heeler mix and 100% puppy. Patten also didn’t need to go to the bathroom. He had already relieved himself in his crate. Puppy poo was smooshed against the metal bars of the crate and he had “covered” it up with his towel that was now plastered to the door. Gross. I found paper towels and a plastic grocery store bag and cleaned up what I could. Leaving the side door open, I flung the bag at the driveway’s edge.

Since I couldn’t return the puppy to the crate, I gingerly carried the crate outside in search of a hose. As usual, I was wearing appropriate footwear: 3-inch sparkly sandals that I purchased at Nordstrom’s in Atlanta the month before. My heels sunk into the grass as I circled the house looking for the hose. I found it but the water wouldn’t turn on. I eyed Jeanelle’s koi pond as a water source but figured that might not go over well with her. I called her up and asked her how to operate her hose. For some reason she seemed more focused on my inappropriate footwear.

I blasted the crate with water, creating a muddy mixture of clay and poo, all the while praying to the shoe god that my sandals remain unadulterated. Satisfied that the crate was clean, I retreated into the house and began a search for a towel. Jeanelle called to check on my progress. I told her that the dogs were back in the crate and all four cats were still in the house. There was a long pause on the phone and I was then informed that she only had three cats. I determined which cat didn’t belong and made attempts to retrieve the orange and white stray from under the bed. No luck. Cats are not as easy as dogs and the world is definitely on their time, not mine.

I concluded that since Jeanelle already had three cats and she could handle another one. Executive decision made, I locked up and got in my car. No keys. I looked on the passenger seat, the dashboard, the floor. No keys. I returned to the house and looked around inside, retracing my steps. Her gigantic grey man-eating cat lounged alertly on the dining room table in the exact spot that I was sure I had left the keys. As I approached cooing “nice kitty” as I never bothered learning her cats’ names, the fur began to rise on the back of her neck. Static electricity is always a good sign with cats. I asked the cat to move. She hissed. I begged the cat to move. She looked away with complete indifference. I scanned the immediate area for weapons and picked up a stack of mail. Not unlike the scene out of “Shawn of the Dead” where the main characters flung vinyl records at deranged zombies, I flung bills, postcards and other lethal mail at the hissing and spitting cat that now had all claws out. The stubborn cat did not budge. Using the longest envelope I pushed and prodded the monster, until she finally obliged. No keys and I now had a friend for life.

Through the entire battle, the other cats became interested in the sounds and the stray cat came out for a peek. Enough time for me to grab him and toss him out. I locked the door again and approached the plastic grocery bag of paper towels and poo I had left outside earlier in my adventure. I began praying that my keys were not inside the bag. I shook the bag and listened for the sound of keys. None. I squeezed the bag like a package of Charmin toilet paper. No keys. As I remained in a kneeling position on the ground, I spied my keys on the front lawn. I grabbed them, jumped in the car and blasted the air conditioning for a few minutes before heading down the road. One last phone call came through before hitting the dead zone. It was Jeanelle wondering what was taking me so long.

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