samedi 9 octobre 2010

Fiat Fia

Fia comes home, Bliss

She is sleeping at my feet, a fire burns in the wood stove, Rapide is snoring gently from her bed and the cats are napping or on the prowl, Sam is up in his room, preparing work for school. If Hunka Munka lived here and did my housework, all would be perfect. As it is, the scenery makers could have worked just a little harder to make the "cadre" a bit more idyllic, but Fia doesn't notice. She only has eyes for me, and Sam.

It is an amazing thing how quickly they adopt us. All those days that I worried, mostly because my husband worried, but he is such a worry wort, that she would receive a chill welcome from Rapide, Shadow and Wisp, who would feel that she is quite unnecessary to their happiness; worried that she would cry, missing her brothers and her sisters, her mother. No, none of that. Oh, yes, Shadow has let her know that she would do well to keep her distance with a hiss and a threatening paw in the air, but Fia is hale and heartier than that, apparently. Sam chuckled, too, watching Fia crouch to pounce, thinking perhaps the best answer was to invite Shadow to play. Catching a glimpse of her tail in the corner of her eye as she turned and turned on her rear paws, she began to play with that. Shadow walked away.

She would have shrugged were cats to do this.

Rapide welcomed her with a sniff and an invitation to play, let her join her in her bed and curl up at her hind quarters, just like Baccarat did when she was a baby, and hasn't uttered a syllable of complaint. She seems to find it perfectly natural that this baby, like so many she had, should appear and join the household.

Wisp, well, as I thought, she has missed Baccarat, and, here, she is superior enough in intelligence to find a new playmate and patient enough to wait for her to grow big enough to cuddle with, since she has been made to understand by Rapide that she is not welcome to snuggle with her, ever. Shadow, yes.

I am rediscovering the constant vigilance that is required to guard against threat to household objects, inappropriate toileting, and the attention that is needed to make the bond you appreciate forever. The first poohs were out of doors (Bravo, ma Fia!), a first pipi occurred indoors, but I took her out for a first very brief walk in leash, which she sort of understood, and she stopped and did her first big girl pipi on the sidewalk at 10 pm.

In the car, she settled at my feet while Sam drove. She looked at me, and she looked at Sam. After awhile, while we were crossing the forêt d'Anet, I broke down and picked her up. Sam had asked me more than once why I didn't hold her.

"I want her to know her place and be happy to occupy it."

But, her place is also snuggling with us. Sam was right.

She leaned her chin on my arm, or my shoulder, and looked out the window, calm, content. For a moment, as we drove through the same villages I rode up in the cabin of the tow truck to cross yesterday, returning from my failed attempt to go get first Sam in Chartres and then Fia together, Sam moved his elbow closer to mine, and she stretched her chin out to lay her neck across my arm and her chin on his. How can one risk missing these moments?

Madame Sivadier said, "Elle est bien dans ses baskets," which she means she is at ease in the world, confident, and self-possessed. She is also sweet, playful, outgoing, and gentle.

She is all these things.

She just moved a little closer to Rapide's bed to nap. I am waiting for her to climb in next to her and find the companionship Baccarat and Rapide enjoyed those too few years they had together. I knew Rapide would accept her. She was a good mother.

All in good time.

My husband called from the hospital, where he is on duty, to ask how the welcome went.

"Tu avais l'aire si heureuse avec elle," he said to me. "J'ai été content de te voir comme ça."

I am happy to have little Fia with us. Sam came back down to get a drink, as a pretext, I am sure, to see what she was up to, and stroked her head.

"It's funny to see how small she is," he said. "Compared to Rapide, she is like a little doll."

Ca il y est, Fia is in Rapide's bed, and Rapide is grunting, unsure what to do. Now, she has gone to see her and is wagging her tail. Now, Fia's out and Rapide just got back in. Fia has approached to sit closer.

It's like a dance of acquaintanceship.

We're all happy, I think, to rediscover the joy of discovering a very small being, watching it grow and starting a new bond all over again. I think like with all second children, we'll all relax and enjoy it more this time. Baccarat taught us nearly everything we need to know.

And when you look at this picture, and remember a certain one of Baccarat, taken in exactly the same place in almost exactly the same position just months ago, you can only know that you did the exact right thing.

"And, in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make."

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