I was walking through Walmart, looking for my wife. She had forgotten her cell phone again and now I couldn’t find her. I walked out to the parking lot, thinking she was waiting by the car, and noticed that Walmart’s parking lot was part of the front lawn of my childhood home. That was a little disconcerting, but more so was the fact that our car was no longer in the parking lot and I still couldn’t find my wife. At some point, I looked down and found myself to be fully clothed, so I had that going for me this time, but how was I going to find my wife and get home? I heard someone talking to me and turned around to see Uncle Jerry, my wife’s uncle, asking me if I heard that.
He asked again, “did you hear that?”
“Hear what?” I asked him, wondering if he knew where my wife and car were. He shook his head at me like I was stupid and pointed at my forehead and slowly, like he was talking to a retard, asked one more time
“do you hear that?”
And finally I did. Or didn’t, because what I didn’t hear was the wind howling like it had been, but there was a sound I couldn’t place, so I guess that’s what Uncle Jerry was asking about. I opened my eyes and concentrated on the sound. It took me a minute, because this was not one of those sounds I had stored in my “what’s that sound” bin of my mind. It turned out to be Ms. Kitty snoring. I looked at the clock and it was 1:30am. Way too early to get up, and I still had a bit of angst over not finding my wife, but she was fast asleep in Minnesota, so mystery solved.
If you were thinking of Ms. Kitty as some weird reference to a certain middle aged hooker on the TV show Gunsmoke, and I’m just being all cutesy with how I refer to who I’m sleeping with, just stop that line of thought right there, buster. Ms. Kitty is my son’s cat. You guys have a pervy line of thought sometimes. I am taking care of his cat for a bit and I think her original name was Mary Jane, but we’re not having any Mary Jane in this house, so she became Ms. Kitty. Sweet Pea is not a cat loving dog, so the two of them are kept on separate floors of the house. Ms. Kitty is used to dogs and is getting a bit insistent on coming down stairs and saying hi, but I don’t need that kind of drama in my life right now, so the cat don’t get to meet the dog and the dog don’t get to eat the cat.
Finally got back to sleep after telling the cat to put a sock in it and it was blessedly peaceful, not having the wind try to blow the roof off the house. 4:30am comes and daylight’s wastin’. Never been one to linger in bed. I’m a morning guy and like to get busy as early as I can.
I had made a breakfast bake the day before, so I would not have to hassle with making breakfast every morning. Put a piece of it in the toaster oven and 10 minutes later, you’ve got breakfast. Now that the wife’s not here, I can eat like a savage and by that, I mean right off the warming tray of the toaster oven. I have to have some Rooster Sauce on it, but when you leave the sriracha on the table without opening the top, you get a temperature inversion which causes a buildup of pressure in the container and when you open it to apply to your breakfast, it helpfully sauces you before you can sauce your breakfast. I’ve had to wipe it off the ceiling, in times past.
I put Sweet Pea out after his breakfast, so he didn’t end up burping a little to vigorously, all over the carpet, like he likes to do. It was 4:45am and while he was out, I sat sipping my coffee and reading the latest lunacy being shouted over the web. My dog starts to barking at something, which is nothing new, but continues to bark with the sound receding. That interesting little doppler effect means he’s yapping and running in the dark. That’s the dog equivalent of us running with scissors. I jump up, slopping my coffee on the table, happy my wife’s not here to hear what I just said, and go outside to call him back to the house. Normally he is really good at returning to my call, IF his nose has returned total control back to his brain. This sometimes takes some convincing.
I give out 3 booming calls for him to come home and then start coughing like I’m gonna hack up a lung. My nearest neighbor is a half mile away, and I am pretty sure they heard me. Their dogs did, and now they start barking too. I don’t see my dog and walk to the end of the deck, thinking about calling again, but now I see him standing near the shop, looking at something in the front pasture.
There’s movement off in the dark towards where his nose is pointed, and I now see 2 other canines milling around, about 40 feet from Sweet Pea and just out of clear view of the yard light. I call him again and he comes to me. The 2 dogs look my way, and I’m thinking these guys are possibly some of my neighbors dogs, so I call them too, because I don’t want neighbors dogs running loose and getting in to trouble. They ignore me and are turning in circles, sniffing things, edging closer to the yard light. At that point, I notice they’re not just dogs, but coyotes. I had heard them yipping about a half hour ago. These stinkin’ thievin’ coyotes had followed my dog up the driveway, and did not spook like normal stinkin’ thievin’ coyotes would when they heard me. That’s bad juju. If these boys keep pushing their luck, a little prairie justice, old testament style, may be heading their way at 1200 feet per second. Hot lead for breakfast will make up for them making me spill my coffee on the table. I mean, somebody has to atone for that, right? But it’s nice to not have the wind howling any more, so I go in the house and clean up the coffee. Kinda miss my wife right now.