continued from Part III – “I hadn’t wanted a puppy,” I heard her say, “I planned on adopting an older dog, but Lucy’s my dog and I’m hers. It felt like the choice was less of a choice and more of a fait accompli.” From my perspective, I’d applied those puppy-dog eyes to many people, but she’s the only one who got it. At this juncture, those reasons didn’t matter. What did was that I had a home. Recollections of my fractured past began to fade from my mind, except for one repetitive memory: my sister’s eyes as she watched me be carried away from her.
My new life kept me busy. There was the woman and two teenagers, various family and friends who came and went, and two cats: Gracie and Mr. Bean. Gracie was a decent being. She walked around the house and screened porch minding her own business, occasionally greeting me by touching my nose with her nose. Mr. Bean, however, well, suffice it to say that we had our differences.
Mr. Bean was an odd fellow. He’d been rescued from an Amish farm, and by 6 weeks of age the small chunk removed from his ear had already healed, he was starving, and he had worms. His personality was, shall we say, edgy. You can tell by the look in his eyes. He’s the one on the right.
When I met Mr. Bean, he puffed up like a dandelion puff ball and screeched. This hurt my ears and annoyed me. Our relationship went downhill from there. When Mr. Bean walked by henceforth, he narrowed his eyes at me. Sometimes my eyes got a prey-drive glint, of which the woman extremely disapproved. Apparently among my hound mix background was greyhound, a magnificent sight hound, one of the oldest of breeds used by early man for hunting on the plains. This ancient instinct in me was not triggered by Gracie, who was, to my mind, a reasonable being and more like a dog than a cat, but it was, intermittently, by Mr. Bean.
The woman spent a great deal of time intervening between us. She hired a trainer to soften this edge of my otherwise beautiful behavior. This was only partially successfully. I did enjoy the treats she offered when she diverted my attention away from Mr. Bean.
I knew the game, and I really did want to please her, but my instinct sometimes got the better of me. I never actually touched Mr. Bean, though he increasingly became afraid of me.
to be continued… Part I