I like life to be simple, not messy

I woke up in the wee hours of Monday morning to the clicking sound of my dog’s toenails in failed stealth when he tried sneaking into my bedroom to catch a floor nap before dawn.
“Cash” knows better, but who am I kidding.
This is the same dog that kisses the bottom side of every skunk that pays a visit to my neck of the woods each spring. No amount of skunk squirt ever will be enough to teach that dog a lesson in boundaries.
The world was darker than usual that early morning when I walked through the house to make sure the dog hadn’t peed in the living room or some such nightmare.
Dark is really dark when you live in the country and when the power goes out (as I discovered it had that morning), I had my arms outstretched so I wouldn’t slam into something at eye level.
Unfortunately, that posture didn’t guarantee where I put my foot as I stepped into a warm and gooey pile that oozed between my bare toes.
I took up an impressively difficult pose that I have to master in yoga class and balanced precariously on my clean foot as three messy possibilities were considered: dog poop, dog vomit, or cat throw up.
I’d pick the latter because cat throw up isn’t quite as disgusting on your foot as the first two. Trust me.
I forgot, however, that I’d recently fed my cat worm pills and wondered if what I had just stepped in were the half-dead beasts he’d expelled onto the kitchen floor.
I had no electricity to shine a visual on my predicament and the flashlight was in the other room. I was afraid to move for fear of the unknown for my other foot, so I just stood there in the dark making improper use of the English language.
Sometimes I think the Universe likes to play games with me. I was static in my predicament when the lights came on and the phone rang. Still perched in a contorted tree pose, I reached out to grab the phone and was greeted on the other end by the recorded voice from the power company checking to see if the lights had come on.
“Press 1 for Yes or 2 for No,” said the computerized man-voice.
I pushed “1,” but wanted to leave a voice mail that said “352878273 spells Flat Stare!”
Of course with the lights back on, it was all I could not to look at what I’d stepped in.
They say curiosity killed the cat. Curiosity also killed my appetite for a good breakfast when I squeaked open one eyelid to see that what was between my toes looked like the unknown byproducts in a can of dog food after it went through a blender.
I don’t really know what it was or which end it came from.
By the time I had hopped to the bathroom and showered hot enough to cook a bird, Monday’s dawn had peaked over the horizon and I saw the white bane that is Mother Nature’s prerogative after a lovely stretch of warm weather.
My new wicker couch covered in a layer of snow white looked especially forlorn out there on the bank of the creek and I lamented it all until I turned on the television and saw the deadly twisters that tore a strip through the U.S. Midwest.
Besides, I refuse to be crabby about this small inconvenience when I see how entertaining it is for my dogs.
All I have to do is let them out and watch them tear across the yard, romp and play and shove their snouts into the same spots as yesterday, tails wagging as they find new excitement and new smells in the unexpected cover.
I remind myself that the canine capers in my world are better models of adaptability and upbeat outlook than most people I know, myself included!
It comes as no surprise that I admire simplicity and positivity in life, and the kindred spirits out there who are nodding their heads when reading this probably have dogs or cats that keep them grounded even though the pets they love occasionally leave gifts on the kitchen floor.
In a rare disclaimer, I do, however, acknowledge that pets are not required in order to be an optimist.
But they sure do make a difference in my neck of the woods.

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