I really didn’t want to be there with so many dogs coming and going. Dogs looking bewildered, people looking troubled. Mostly I saw big heads leaning on big paws – the dogs not the people. The people sat still and glum and stuck to themselves. Not Sue. She was talking to a lady with worn hands and blue jeans. Who had a farm with lots of animals and she let them run around the place freely, except for the cattle which is only right.
“I never thought I’d have a pocket dog,” she told Sue. “I found him by the side of the road and he wouldn’t have made it if I hadn’t brought him home three years ago. Some things are meant to be.”
I knew exactly what she meant. I was rescued too.
She held a dog on her lap named Tom who was even smaller than me. Tom got bit but the lady didn’t blame the other dog.
“They usually get along, play together all the time. Something must have startled him. I’m not mad, that’s what I told the owner. Things happen. I took care of the wound already. Just came in for antibiotics.”
Sue thought that’s what I needed too, though she didn’t know why or what happened. I let her know I wasn’t feeling my best by hiding under the chair, but couldn’t tell her about the other cat. Maybe she wouldn’t blame him either.
“I feel bad telling people I let my cats go outside,” Sue was saying. “I’ve had cats my whole life and they’ve always been indoor-outdoor. They love it. I don’t know how I could change that now.”
I hoped she wouldn’t. It’s paradise really. Fresh grass. Flowing fountain. Birds and bees to chase not to mention those pesky moles. I can hold my own. Usually.
The lady said no, she understood. “It’s part of nature for animals to be free like mine on the farm. Animals in nature don’t live in houses do they?”
They laughed together.
“So many dogs here,” Sue continued. “I wonder why.”
The farm lady laughed. “Cats are smarter than dogs,” she said and Sue agreed. So did I.
They were quiet then and Sue knelt down and peered into my box.
“Benji, sweet boy, I love you boy. It’s going to be okay.”
I knew that. I wish I could let her know. The most I could do was be still while watching and waiting.
Tom finally got to go back to the farm and we said goodbye. I finally got to see the doctor and I was brave while they poked and prodded. I don’t remember much after that until Sue came and got me. It’s good to be home again. And it’s a good thing it’s raining so I won’t miss going outside for a while. At least that’s what Sue says.
P.S. This is Susanne and Benji is doing fine. This post was inspired by real events and Lorna’s prompt – People Watching – over at Gin & Lemonade