vendredi 8 octobre 2010

And baby makes...

Home, sweet home

Well, that depends on the day. If it's during the week, but not on a Thursday, it makes 6 (if you don't count the fish, which are really hard to count, and the frogs, which are worse, not even considering the even more elusive toads). If you count Thursdays, well that would make 7, and if you count the weekends, then it would be 7, also, except the first and the third, and eventually the fifth, if there is a fifth weekend in the month, in which case, depending on the hour of the day, it could get to as many as 9.

In any event, today Fia comes home. Her bed is ready, the gate is reinstalled, except for the hook, which I can't find, but I'll throw something together to keep it closed and her in there. I think Rapide might be suspecting something is up; the gate appears to evoke an association in the fog of her memory. Not to mention the washing of the various dog cushions and their placement behind the gate. She watched with especial interest as I took Baccarat's food bowl out of the pots and pans cupboard, filled it with water and placed it in the furthest corner from the smallest cushion. She was not present when I scattered some "cookies" in the other corner, hoping to associate it with feeding and not with the relieving of one's tiny, unprincipled little bladder.

Fia nearly didn't come home today. The breeder called this morning, sounding very upset. She told me that several of the puppies were sick in response to their weaning, and Fia was one of them. I knew she fears this because she talked to me about it early on, and it's what she is firm in not releasing puppies to their new homes until they are at least 2 months old -- to the day, and not one before. But, it doesn't always happen.

Today, it did.

There was worse: one of the black males had died. Fia had lost a brother, and this was what explained her sounding so particularly distraught. I felt so badly for her. Who says breeder's don't feel for their animals? She told me that she would call as soon as she thought Fia was out of danger, as soon as she was eating properly again, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. I told her there was no rush. The important thing was that she felt reassured and safe releasing her puppies to their mistresses and to their masters. We could certainly wait. I sent a text message to Sam and consoled myself in The Mill on the Floss.

The phone rang again. It was the breeder a second time. She still sounded frazzled and upset, but she said that it turned out Fia was not affected. She was fine, and we could come and get her as planned. It was, she explained, the upset over the little boy puppy that had thrown her off, but with more time, she could better tell who was at risk, and who was not. Fia was alright.

I felt a little surge of pride in her. Absurd, but it's true, I did, and I threw down my book, put my cup of coffee, grown cold beside me, aside and headed to the kitchen to prepare my scrambled eggs and the only thing for which I had all the ingredients after the two eggs for my breakfast: more raspberry financiers. Then, I went and retrieved the garden gate I bought for Baccarat to make a little fenced-off corner in the otherwise open ground floor of the house for Fia, plugged in the power drill and screwed the hinges back into their old places and discovered the hooks I had bought would not work. Tant pis, I thought, I can use what I have and tie it shut until I find the right thing again. The guy over at the nearest Bricomarché had been particularly and singularly ignorant and unhelpful when I went for new hooks the day before yesterday.

"Er, vous les avez achetez ici la dernière fois?" he had asked, looking at his offerings like he had no idea what was in front of him even, let alone what I was describing.

"Oui. Je les ai acheté chez Bricomarché." As if that mattered. It is only about the most basic thing in the world, but this is only the worst Bricomarché I have ever seen. They carry only the most obvious basics, terrified of stocking what might not sell and going out of business. Merci beaucoup.

Now, the financiers are packed and ready to go, the sun has come out after a gloomy morning, Sam will be heading out to meet me now that his classes are over for the week, and perhaps Fia will be relieved and grateful to be here after the trauma of the morning. I expect her to cry this night, alone for the first time behind her garden gate.

Perhaps I will paint it this time and see if that cheers her up if she is sad.

I really do need to get that old door out and get the new kitchen entry built, too, not to mention change the cabinetry and refinish the table, and get something to put on the floor under it and refinish the walls and take the bottles to the glass recycling.

Note the empty Lillet bottle, those of you to whom this might mean something.

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