Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Never to Glub or Glurk Again

Bill the fish didn't make the day and now I'm pondering how elaborate a funeral he's to be given. Staring at me with those huge fish eyes, he doesn't look much different than he did in life other than he's completely motionless and his head is cocked at a somewhat awkward angle.

It was cocked that way a lot. The cats regarded Bill's home as a handy place to hydrate up with flavored water on the way to the nightly coaxial cable chew. It was kind of a symbiotic relationship, they'd slurp at his tasty fishbowl water, he'd lure them even deeper into the narrow-necked bowl hoping to get them cranially stuck and panicked with some sort of space-cat helmet now girdling their fuzzy necks. For once, they proved to have slightly larger brains than I usually give them credit for as, up until now, they still after several nights in the attic, outside, under the bathtub, in the garage, don't get the idea of doors that can only be operated with opposable thumbs.

But back to Bill. Burial at sea is out of the question in that one of my favorite bike paths passes by a sewage treatment plant. I say this only in that next April when I am sprinting past the thing that smells of a thousand farts, one particulary noxious whiff will no doubt be the remains of Bill and the last meal of bloodworms being digested in the thing that I was arrogant enough to flush him down to. Nope. Ain't gonna happen.

Digging him into the flower bed is more like it. I like the juxtaposition of burial of an aquatic on land for we are forever tossing our flotsam into their homes, fitting that they dump on ours. We bury at sea. Do you ever come across a fish buried on land? And I don't mean last night's Yellowfin which is primarily buried at stomach and if you follow it logically through it goes right back to burial at sea anyway. Nope, I'm going to ask Bill to push up some daisies for me.

The last time I buried a pet, it was my favorite cat; Crittur. She lasted a good 18 years but got a little Bill the Cattish, dotty and unkempt in the last few months. I remember her last morning, when she was weak and sprawled out on the living room floor, sprawling being the only physical act left that she could manage. I put her on a warm towel, brought her food and water, almost turned the TV on for her but knew it would wind up on the History Channel which she hated so thought the better of it. When I got home from work, indeed all that was left was a rigored corpse that kind of looked like a cardboard flat of a tabby.

She too wound up in the flowers as I remembered all the nights we used to play, "Catch me if you can" long before the popular movie of the same name. Crittur liked to go out in the evenings which was fine as long as she came back in before (my) bedtime. She mostly didn't so we had an evening ritual that consisted of me, a flashlight, a cat, and several scurries along the house foundation, behind the arbor vitae, up the rock garden to the flat spot on the dry stone wall she'd quizically stare at me from until I got within two feet of her. Then she'd drop off the back side, trot off into the woods beyond wondering why, after the eleven hundredth time, I didn't get it.

We played this game a couple of times a night over the course of a few hours and eventually Crit tired and wandered up to the back door and meowed to come in. Couple of nights, usually in the middle of summer she'd figure she was better off in the cool of the woods and I'd go to bed a little on edge. I always found her in the morning tuckered out herself. Seems that sleeping in the wild involves keeping one eye open, far from the slumberous abandon of the foot of the bed or sprawled alongside the kibble dish. She'd drag herself in, grab some chow and flop on the couch for the day to catch up on Z's while I went off to work pondering why if we are at the top of the food chain, the cat is watching Animal Planet re runs while I'm at a job I hate?

We had a rabies outbreak for a few years back then, which I why I got pretty insistent that Crittur haul her furry ass indoors at night. Racoons mostly got infected so you had to watch yourself around the trash and at the edge of the woods. I was out playing Catch Me if You Can with Crit one night when I thought she had given herself away by crashing through a small copse of trees and underbrush that separated my upper back yard from my lower one. I was ready to receive her in open arms when the biggest raccoon I've ever seen too close crashed past the last hosta. Shooing him did no good so I threw some two by four off cuts from a porch rebuild, a hammer or two and finally the contents of my recycle bin at him. Nonplussed, he gave me a dirty look and retreated into the brush. Crittur was of course right behind me watching and wondering what the great upright idiot was up to this time. I explained the yard o' trash to the neighbours the next morning, saying I was on a drunken angry bender. Seemed less embarassing than "a big raccoon scared me."

Good night Bill.

Bunny on.

2 Comments:

Blogger Kathryn said...

RIP Bill

6:03 PM  
Blogger Thimbelle said...

I think I would have liked Crittur.

Hope that Bill's funeral went well.

12:08 AM  

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