Friday, February 3, 2017

Kitten and Dog Games

So, Blitzen and I have a game that we play. Today, Teddy was so jealous that he came to the top of the stairs and just whined while I sat there and got it set up.

He forgot all the times I played almost the same game with him and he also forgot that eventually, he just stared at me like I was making him work or something. So, he sat down next to me, ready, in case I decided to include him. I knew I'd try. I'd try to include the big clunky dog with the tiny crazy kitten in the game that we all played together. 

I love games for which everyone around me runs in circles. I sat at the top of the fuzzy stairs and imagined leaning back and sliding down while I waited for everyone to get ready. Bump, bump, bump. I could slide. Only bumps don't feel as nice to me any more, seeing that I'm 56 years old and lumpier and crunchier than I used to be, so I just imagined bumping down the stairs while everybody got ready at the top.

Before I sat down, I had gathered up all of Blitz's kitten toys that I could find and I stuffed them into my pockets. This is my daily dose of walking around the house and performing downward facing dog alternately with deep squats. It's my exercise program, people, so just leave me alone and try not to imagine what the real me looked like when I was doing it. This almost made up for me sitting at the top of the stairs after collecting all the toys I could find while everyone else planned to run up and down in circles. Almost.

Blitz has a couple of dozen tiny mouse toys and fluffy, fuzzy, tinkley, and crackly toy balls. He actually likes some of the balls intended for Teddy better than what I bought especially for him. I guarantee that ownership and jealousy factor large in their popularity. So, I piled all of the fluffy, fuzzy, tinkley, and crackly balls next to the top of the stairs along with some of Teddy's big, but still soft ones.

My house isn't particularly unusual except that the builder installed some very nice wooden windowsills and banisters. On either side of my carpeted steps, there are matching four inch wide boards that I have always loved for the sheer woodenness of them.

I especially loved them when Nick, as a toddler, realized they were perfect ramps for racing Matchbox cars. I knew I was supposed to tell him not to, in case his cars could mar the perfect woodenness of those ramps, but the excellent speed accumulated down those ramps and the abrupt stop at the end just fed my inner child. For years, before we got new flooring downstairs, there was a red spot where the red cars crashed on one side, Nick's cars, and a blue spot where blue cars crashed on the other, my cars. I kind of miss those spots now that they're covered over.

So, one day when Blitz was playing with a small green ball that Teddy had abandoned, I used my toe to push it to the beginning of the ramp.

"Ready?" I asked him. He stared at me, uncomprehending.

And then I pushed the ball down the ramp. He went bounding after it, nearly ramming headfirst into the treasure chest across the hall at the bottom of the stairs.

What an awesome game. Blitz caught on soon enough that whenever I said, "Ready?" he would leap to the top of the stairs and stare at whatever toy I had lined up for him. That was the part that I loved the most, that total doggyness when he stared at the ball just before I let it roll.

So, I sat at the top of the stairs with all the balls I could find.


Over and over, I got to watch Blitz scrambling, rolling, bounding down the stairs and in between, Teddy took turns chasing the bigger balls. Blitz got tired at the end, stretched out on one step, reached his paws over his head, and melted onto the next step, one by one, like abandoned silly putty.

It's an awesome game right to the very end.

Thank you for listening, jb

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