Monday, October 11, 2010

Mythological Bull

In Greek mythology, Zeus is the father of gods and men…the god of the sky and thunder.  So if “Zeus” chose to move next door to me and present himself in the form of a four-legged, slobbery-mouthed Pit Bull…who was I to judge?  And no, he didn’t change his name to try to blend in.

Zeus shed his Mt. Olympus swagger and became a dog of simple means and pleasures.  He loved belly rubs, head scratches and chasing after his favorite toys.  He was larger than most Pits I’d seen and more often than not, many people avoided walking past us.  Understandable, sure.  But you have no idea how upsetting that was to me. Breed-profiling, I call it.  “Breedists!”

One day as I was making my way towards my apartment building, I heard one of my neighbors screaming from her car, “April!  Run!  Oh my God…RUN!” A split second later I saw Zeus tearing around the corner at full speed, headed right towards me.  It all happened so fast. Unfortunately there was nothing that neither I nor his owner could do to avoid it…I was covered in dirt and slob!  My neighbor was still safely tucked away in her vehicle, no doubt convinced that I had been mauled to pieces.  I poked my head above the cars that obstructed her view of the carnage, and informed her that I was fine.

Pet sitters are like postal workers, not that we go postal but that we have to work come snow, rain, heat or gloom of night.  However, with Zeus being the god of the sky and thunder and what-not, I should have better prepared myself before walking him in the rain.  All was going well; in one hand I had my large golf umbrella that I paid $16.95 for at OSH, and in the other, Zeus’ leash.  We were almost done with our walk.  One block away from home, without any warning, without any rhyme or reason…Zeus’ chain prong collar broke away!  I’ve never been one to panic, outwardly, but my immediate thought was, “Oh, $#@!”

Zeus was not yet aware of what had happened until I started calmly approaching him with the collar and leash.  The look he gave me when he realized that he was no longer restrained made my heart sink and his leap for joy!  Thoughts of angry villagers chasing Zeus away after his reign of terror and them hanging me in effigy, swept through my mind.  I had to get him back.  To Zeus it was all a game of ‘chase.’  I abandoned my large golf umbrella and proceeded to get drenched while Zeus exploited my mortal limitations.  This game of cat and mouse continued half way down the block.  I was losing all hope.  This was it.  I was going to lose my pet sitting business all because of some mythological Bull and a faulty collar.

It may have been the other gods from Mt. Olympus showing favor upon me, but the thought to give the king of the mythological gods a command, struck me like an anvil on Wile E. Coyote’s head.  “SIT!” Great bolts of Thor, it worked!  I was just as shocked as Zeus was.  He was leashed.  The game was over.  I retrieved my umbrella; its purpose of which was moot at this point.  Visions of torches and pitchforks were now replaced by joyfully animated woodland creatures dancing about my head.

Zeus and his owner moved downtown, out of my service area.  I do miss him a lot.  But I often wonder what other mortal pet sitter he may be toying and amusing himself with now?

Bye Bye Black Cat

One of my little fuzzy babies passed over the Rainbow Bridge earlier this year. He was an older cat but had lots of vim and vigor in him towards the end. 

My clients instructed me to allow him to venture out, supervised, in the backyard during my visits. The backyard itself was more like a patio area. Eight feet out from the back door was a fence that cordoned off a steep hill with a 30 foot drop into the back of the neighbors back patio area. You see where I'm going with this?

I let Mr. Black Cat out (we'll call him B.C.) as I went to the other side of the house to dump some kitty litter in the bin. I came back around and B.C. had disappeared! I found him traipsing down the hill. I panicked! I found a space in the fence to crawl through and had to kick off my shoes to get a better grip on the hill's terrain. It was that steep.

B.C. led me on a goose chase. Just when I almost had him in my hands he dashed back up the steep hill towards home, leaving me to struggle back up the hill. Twigs in my hair and mud oozing from between my toes, I was not happy. But was very glad I got B.C. back home.

It wasn't until I was on the road to my other assignment that I busted out laughing at myself. I imagined what I must have looked like to one of the neighbors if they had seen me. I will miss B.C. very much. But not that hill.