When I say fluff, I’m not talking about the cavity-enhancer that complements peanut butter. I’m referring to an accumulation of hair, organic matter and whimsical stuff that spills from the cushions on the couch. Over time, the house current spins these substances into a homogenous fabric that magically balls together yet lacks the structural strength to serve a useful purpose.
For lack of a better term: fluff.
We have a word for it because my dog eats it.
She’ll saunter about the house in her slow Slinky Dog gait, spot a tumbleweed of fluff and straightaway lick it up. She has continuous access to the finest grain-free kibble, will pitch a fit if chicken is not shared and is fed from cans of soft organic goodness twice daily. But fluff is a delicacy.
When she stops and stares catatonically at a spot on the carpet, you know she’s thinking, could it be?!
However, unlike late-night Taco Bell, not once has the consequence of eating it crossed her mind. The problem is, what goes in must come out. Try to keep a straight face at the dog park when your dog passes pink fluff.
Now that it’s winter, she’s decided not to leave the house. It took a few instances of “time out” to convince her that although she might not be going outside until March, her poop will. To compensate, she drops trow just outside the door. Later we discover what she thinks of us.
Owing pets is an endless treat.
We also have a cat. Because we brought her home on Thanksgiving, her name is Pilgrim. We rescued her from a barn where they take no prisoners. She lived through hell, has a generally good attitude and is grateful to have a home.
Here’s how we know: she keeps us safe.
At least that’s how we explain the murderous rampages on which she embarks. By the time late summer rolls around and she’s killed all the mice, moles, voles, snakes, chipmunks and the low-flying birds, she’s been known to pick on worms, cicadas and nests of defenseless babies.
I know all of this because daily she gifts me the token treasures of her kills: a tail, a foot, a brain, a heart or my favorite: just the face. It’s an endless array of clues. You’d think this practice would at least earn her an episode on CSI but no. She’s a cat. The next time you screw up, try that as a defense.
We also have a rabbit. I’d call it a bunny but that would make caring for it sound like a fairy tale. He doesn’t have a regular hutch because that’s on the to-do list for a time period that will obviously require time travel. I don’t know what the lifespan of a rabbit is but my family can procrastinate for far longer.
Our rabbit has long hair. And because he lives on newspaper and not wire mesh, the turds he doesn’t drop in his litter box, cling to the fur on his hiney as he circles his cage. That’s kind of disgusting. Or completely disgusting. Our remedy was to put bedding in his cage. Like straw. It seemed like a sound idea.
It was followed by another.
Instead of taking time to walk a carrot or apple over to the rabbit, we bought a bag of rabbit treats—fat and sugar conglomerations that get him hyped up so he sprints laps around his box dragging the poo stuck to his hiney hairs through the straw that, very quickly, formed what I believe is a brick. Now, pasted to his ass, is a naturally occurring adobe outhouse.
Like he’s Aztec.
While he runs off his sugar high, he also flings tiny turds out of his cage so when my dog slinks by hunting fluff she runs across the nuggets—something she prefers to anything considered not gross. I question whether she can taste at all.
Between the rabbit with the ass-caboose, the dog with the numb palate and the serial cat, it’s just one giant circle of life that ends with pieces of anatomy dropped at my door.
When I was out, my neighbor wanted to send her son over to drop something off. He’s eight.
“Nooooo!” I panicked. “I have no idea where my dog pooped or what my cat killed. Don’t go near there!”
There’s a reason we don’t invite people over.
And it’s not what we’re having for dinner.
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