In spite of what some people probably think, after reading my on-line posts and stories, the Shady Rest isn’t always a laugh-a-minute circus. It’s never dull, mind you, but often it is, as its name suggests, a place of peace, where the quiet rhythms of daily life predominate. Days without “episodes” so much as “moments,” the kinds of moments you take for granted unless you consciously stop and think about it.
Moments like running the obstacle course from the office to the kitchen for a coffee refill. I’m sure it would seem troublesome to those who have no pets, or maybe one, but here it’s a taken-for-granted routine. Move Spencer off my foot, warn Sammie I’m moving so I don’t run over his toes, roll the chair back, get up. Pick up the coffee mug, step over Freya dozing in the doorway. Down the hall, veering to the right so as to not step on George, who is once again sleeping half in the hall and half in the bathroom. Get to the kitchen, dodge to the left to miss Archie, who has guard duty in the kitchen arch this afternoon. Slow down while passing the sink because Peapod will be running over to watch me pour the coffee. Fill the cup, then carefully reverse the whole process to get back to my desk without sloshing hot coffee on myself or anyone else, then evict Loki from my desk chair before sitting down again. Not a problem, not unusual, that’s just how you get coffee here.
Of course there are times when just leaving the office at all is fraught with adventure. Yesterday, for example, Spencer was sound asleep and Cj got up and left the room. He didn't notice, but when she came back down the hall, he woke up, saw movement in the hall and charged her! Back up, barking his head off, and nearly bit her! He slid to a stop by her ankle, sniffed it, and his little tail just unrolled. He felt so bad about attacking his mama. His head drooped and he came back in the office and flopped down on the snuggle bed, barely looking in her direction. Of course she came in, rubbed his head, told him he was a very good boy for defending the mamas, and that any misunderstanding was forgiven. He perked up a little, but still looked a little discouraged. My brave defender.
Sometimes, it’s not even “moments,” so much as snapshots. You know the ones. Images you see in passing that stick in your mind for years, or forever, and always make you feel good when they bubble to the surface of your mind. Waking up yesterday morning to Sammie, flat on his back, paws in all directions, head on my pillow, sheet covering him up to the armpits, and snoring softly. Nothing “happened,” but that picture will stay in my head in Sammie’s file of memories. Walking by the bedroom and noticing Freya and Spencer (who don’t always get along really well) sound asleep together on the bed, with her muzzle resting on his hip. Peapod, lying in the path of the fan, head back, eyes half-open, just enjoying the breeze ruffling his ears. George, standing in the kitchen, barking fiercely at the bookcase for no reason that anyone but George comprehends. Snapshots.
It’s late, but the day isn’t done yet. I still have to go out to the kitchen and strip a chicken. I tossed a whole bird in the stew pot this afternoon, just for the dogs, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of supervision for that project, canine and feline alike. Nothing like a chicken to bring a fur family together.
Yep, just another day at the Shady Rest. Y’all take care now.