Topaz, you may recall, came to me with respiratory issues manifesting in the form of a weepy right eye. The vet promised me the condition bothered me more than it bothered Topaz so I let it go. As the temperature dropped, hatches were battened against the weather and the apartment felt snug, then stuffy. So did Topaz, who seemed to be constantly sneezing. On Wednesday, when I opened my bedroom door in the morning, the apartment felt like an oven and the sound of Topaz’s breathing was louder than the TV. I brought home a humidifier and set it up to run constantly. Minstrel advised what I pretty much guessed I should do, then the Chinese medicine consultant at the health food store agreed: eucalyptus drops in the humidifier. This morning, Topaz sneezed a bit but not much and was cranky enough to resist my efforts to wipe away a bit of snot. So: things are looking up. And speaking of looking up –
Topaz sits at Pete’s feet all the time and gazes up at him with all the sticky emotion one hopes to avoid in a torrid teenage love affair. Tuesday night, I was working on something and Pete said, “Get the camera.” Though Topaz usually sees the camera and takes a powder, this time Topaz sat still and blinked out her message of awkward, gooey love. Mostly, Pete ignores this peculiar source of unguarded affection, which reminds me that in high school he went out with the beautiful, shy blonde girl everyone stared at and sighed. I had forgotten he must have had awkward girls in pigeon-toed droves staring at him like this.
Yesterday was the longest day of my life, I think. I just have to get through today and then I’m off until 3 January; crucial, as I am running on fumes. Wednesday morning, I dragged a case of Joint Juice to my office, plus two packages to be mailed out, lunch and oranges for my co-workers. It was too much for me to carry, really, which I discovered during the quarter-mile trek from my car to the library. The wind was blowing in great gusts. I put up the hood of my coat and threw my messenger bag over my shoulder, which pushed hair in my eyes. I balanced the whole load and set off, pretty much blind. A minute later, I realized I was standing on a 30′ sheet of ice in 2″ heels, carrying more than I should. I wish I had this on video for you. You would enjoy it. I’ve recovered nicely!
Somehow, I got across the street before the case of Joint Juice shifted. Instead of plummeting to the ground it flew up in the air. I juggled it – juggled it – juggled it, then BLAM! It slammed to the sidewalk and one side burst open. I burst out laughing. A wide-eyed, almost hysterically earnest young woman appeared out of nowhere and helped me gather up the little cans. Still laughing, I said, “You have to admit: this is pretty funny.” She exclaimed, with deep feeling, “I have an exam. THANK YOU.” After she disappeared – whoosh! – back into nowhere, I toddled another fifty feet before I heard the shopping bag in my left hand tear. I put the bag down and marched into the library, where a man I know pretended not to be wetting his pants at my misfortune. He took the box of Joint Juice. I went back outside, gathered up disintegrating shopping bag and its contents. Then I went downstairs to tell everyone I was having a bad day with containers and should in no way make coffee. Fortunately, the office was out of bottled water.
Pete looks at Topaz and in his best Jan Brady voice says, “Drusy, Drusy, Drusy!” Pete claims Topaz has a Drusy doll stuck full of pins. As you can see, our long-legged princess doesn’t seem to care – not when there’s festive tissue paper to steal and destroy! Gift-giving holidays are a boon to the pussycats, who try to help with these chores. Tuesday night, Drusy stole and de-ribboned presents as fast as I wrapped them. I couldn’t get mad about it, though. She looked so happy, vanquishing the raffia. I almost didn’t have the heart to steal them back.
I have agreed to catsit for the people upstairs again. They bribed me with homemade pralines so good I wanted to slap them for the extra pounds on my butt. So next week: double your pleasure, double the cats.