Patti Soldavini

No Mixed Signals

In Uncategorized on 12/30/2010 at 4:20 am

Olive has finally gotten a bit more vocal about her needs. Thank God, because I have gotten a bit rusty reading minds. Who would have thought that when she had an urgent need to empty her bowels, she would trill and growl. Yes, TRILL and growl. Not whine, not bark, but trill and GROWL. The trilling has an Irish lilt to it, like when you vibrate your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Sounds a bit lyrical and a bit like a demented leprechaun. The growl makes me laugh though. Is she annoyed with me because until that moment, I was too stupid to anticipate her gastrointestinal need? It’s a very clear signal. I need to get her out of the house INSTANTLY. The good thing is, after I remove the barrier to the rest of the house, she races ahead of me like she’s running the Kentucky Derby. I open the sliding glass door just as she sails across the sill, like a reindeer taking off into space. Less than a minute later, a small brown pie rests atop the bright white snow in the yard. Triumphant, Olive trots back to the door, ready to come back in and find something satisfying to chew on. But wait, I hear slurping noises that sound somewhat hollow coming from upstairs. COULD IT BE? Yes, it’s Olive drinking from the never-ending porcelain bowl of water. It’s like there’s a man living in my house now. Often when I sit on the toilet seat, it is now wet, evidence of Olive’s sloppy drinking style. Do you think she’ll stop if I treat her water bowl like my toilet? Right now, she is laying contentedly beside me curled up in her sage-colored Orvis donut bed in my office. I can hear her stomach gurgling. I look at her sleeping so peacefully and my heart fills with joy. I am so happy to have this crazed little nuthatch in my life. The one who now takes my place on the couch whenever I get up. Is it because it’s warm? Or, is she literally taking the pack leader’s spot? Does she question me as much as I question her? What a complex relationship we have. I love it.

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