I am allergic to cats.  Cat dander to be more specific.  That's the flaky, microscopic bits of dried skin that cling to surfaces and float around in the air until finding their way into your poor, unsuspecting nostrils.  As luck would have it, we have three dander ridden, sneeze inducing felines wandering around our house on a regular basis. Most people would call them pets, I call them allergens.

The other day, as I walked past my bedroom, I noticed much to my horror, the door had been left slightly ajar.  Why was this a problem? Well, I just so happen to have the coziest bed on the
planet.  The mattress is piled high with not one but two of the fluffiest comforters available for purchase. Unfortunately my kitties think so too.

As I pushed the door open, my worst fears were realized.
Because there, all nestled up, taking a "cat" nap on my cloud-like bed was one of those dander distributing, pointy eared, yellow eyed creatures.  This one just so happens to be a black and white domestic short hair named Jane.  Jane is the feistiest
of our three cats; I call her "Crazy-eyed Jane". Now don't get me wrong, Jane can be very loving when she wants to be, nuzzling up against her human companions, humming with contentedness.  On the other hand, Jane can also be quite ferocious when she is not in the mood. She can become all claws and teeth faster than you can say "watch out for that psychotic cat!"

I wondered what mood Jane was in today as she blinked her eyes open and peered at me through the scrolled iron bed frame.  I quickly scooped up the temperamental kitty.  I held her out in front of me, dangling like a baby in need of a diaper
change and headed for the door.  Wouldn't you know, at that very moment Ruby,  my one year old 145 pound American Mastiff came loping in, tail wagging.  Jane began to squirm and
hiss.  I knew I had mere seconds before she did a number on me with her razor-sharp claws, so I did the only thing I could ...I tossed kitty like a hot potato, up and over the giant puppy.  Unfortunately not before she managed to sink a dagger-like tooth directly into my finger. 

As soon as the terrified cat hit the ground, she was off and running.  The ground shook as Ruby took off after her like a heat seeking missile.  Man did my finger smart!  I uttered more than a few choice words as I examined my wound closely.  Soon blood began to trickle out. Within seconds the trickle became a geyser.  I ran to the bathroom and quickly applied a toilet paper tourniquet which was later replaced by a Bandaid.

Lesson learned: Let sleeping cats lie (you can always get out the lint roller later).




Ruby looks out over her kingdom
Long faun-like legs drawn up like a pretzel
knobby knees poking out in opposite directions
She sits still and quiet at the top of the grassy slope
Looking toward the neighbor's house below
Does she notice the squirrel scampering up a nearby tree
tail twitching hypnotically  
Does she hear the squabbling birds
fluttering and bouncing from limb to limb
Does she smell the earthy sweetness of the freshly mown lawn
Perhaps she is deep in thought  
Contemplating the meaning of existence
Or the origins of the universe
Has she entered a deep meditative state
Found that quiet within
That point where her being becomes one with the world around
No borders no boundaries
No differentiation between dog, squirrel, or tree
Only atomic particles vibrating and dancing
A lone seagull struts along the roof's edge. He cries out over the garbled voices as he surveys the scene below. A large beach ball floats about the crowded pool.  The strong smell of chlorine and fried seafood hangs heavy in the air.   A rush of wind, and the ball skitters across the rippled, seemingly-blue surface.  Alternating stripes of yellow, white, baby pink, and sky blue swirl and roll.  Goggled faces warm and caramelized bob up and down.  They disappear here and there and reappear with a sputter. Legs protrude with pointed toes reaching for the sky then flop down sending water spraying all about.  Choppy waves shudder across the width of the pool as rowdy splashers dart and dodge. An arm toned and tattooed with inky black hieroglyphics reaches out and swats at the ball sending it over the edge on an unexpected detour.  The ball rolls past a tiny sparrow as it flits about pecking at the soggy remains of an old hotdog bun.  The ball continues along a row of lounge chairs filled with sun bathers wearing suits and swim trunks in a multitude of colors, patterns, and styles.  Bright solids in reds, turquoise, fluorescent oranges and pinks, plaids, polka-dots, paisleys, stripes that crisscross and zigzag in all directions.  Workers dressed in white polo shirts and khaki shorts deliver food and drinks with fully-trained hospitality. A sandaled foot, well-manicured and polished in plum kicks at the ball sending it splashing back into the pool.  A moon-faced child with deep sparkling eyes and shiny black hair plunges in after it leaving a half-eaten slice of pizza in his wake.  The boy belly flops on top of the ball pushing it just below the surface as the triumphant seagull swoops down and claims its cheesy meal.