Saturday, July 12, 2008

NPR - Alexander

Alexander was a half Siamese, half domestic short hair we and then I (after the separation and divorce) had. He lived nearly 21 years and was nearly blind and deaf and had arthritis when he was put to sleep with failing kidneys. But he was funny for many years before that, and every time I make the bed I remember him.

When we and later I made the bed, and we flicked the sheet high into the air over the bed like a tent suspended in air by air, he would jump underneath it onto the bed and watch in amazement as the sheet slowly floated down over the bed. He thought he would disappear and be invisible to us when the sheet finally settled over the bed. He forgot about the physics of lumps.

We would then play with him. If we scratched the sheet somewhere on the bed he would try to find the sound and race to our finger and then try to grab it through the sheet. We would grab the tip of his tail and he thought it was some ghost, and turn around to see who's pulling his tail, to find nothing.

When we grabbed the sheet and flicked high in the air again, he would race around the bed trying to hide under the first part that was settling onto the bed, and when the sheet settled again, he would lie there motionless, thinking he was invisible. We would then peek under the sheet and find him still with his eye wide open and ready to strike any imaginary enemy that tried to find him.

It always made making the bed fun, until he tired and simply stopped and fell over on the bed asleep. We had to lift him off to finish, in which case he always came back, and took one for pillows for his bed and take a nap. Playing hide and seek just wore him out.

When we got Benjamin, a gray short hair domestic we got from the Animal Shelter, he would just sit on a nearby chair in wonderment, really thinking, what is going on. Eventually he got the idea and when the sheet settled and he saw the lump he would attack the lump. He couldn't discern either end, or likely didn't care, he just leapt and ran, leaving Alexander to chase the fleeing invisible demon.

Benjamin wasn't into beds and sheets, so he would play a little, watch us a little, and wander off to his favorite place, either the food bowl or his nap place. We never learned what happened to him early that made him like being alone, but he was. He was loyal to a fault once he learned to trust you, but he never got close, only to your feet or at arm's length. Just to be there but not to be close.

The two made a good pair, but I always remember Alexander when making the bed. We all should have such fun with our imagination.

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