Sunday, July 3, 2011
It's hot. I stare at my thermometer in my car, watching as it climbs from 91 to 94 as I cruise down the highway. Orion's head is positioned over my console, eyes shut, seemingly passed out from exhaustion but I'm fairly confident the heat may have excellerated this sleepiness. I pat his head and tip the air vents to blow on him, knowing full well the air vents are just recycling the hot air as the AC once again doesn't work after $100 mechanic visit.
"I know. I like to pretend they work." I say, cranking the windows all the way down.
Orion lifts his head to reposition and the windows in the back roll down.
"Oh? Yeah I suppose we should put those down too," I say, wiggling my fingers under his elbows to adjust the windows all the way down in back.
We fly down the highway, hoping for the speed to circulate enough air that we both don't melt into the leather seats.
"We'll stop off at Judy's for a visit, then I'll drop you back off in the river."
Orion has been in the river four times this day--starting with an 8:30 cool off dip, mid morning, lunch and just a "I'm so hot I won't move from the shade of under the car" dip.
I sympathize with his desire to just sleep it off. I am trying my best to embrace the heat, having never enjoyed the midwest humidity since my family moved us here in the ninties.
"Surely it can't be that bad," I thought when I moved back to Ohio. "I went to college without AC..." There is a fan that travels through every room in my house with me, and I am almost always trucking about in my bikini top to avoid any additional clothes.
We pull up to Judy's house, and three cats lazily lie scattered about the sidewalk. Judy probably has close to 20 cats if I had to guess, but she is the most responsible pet owner with each spayed, named and accounted for so I was not concerned about their temperament towards Orion, just expected the usual hiss and batt of paws when an oversized fifty pound dog pounced around.
I step out of the car, unhooking Orion as I go, and sure enough his excited hop is on as we begin to cut around the back to meet up with Judy. Yellow cat tips his head up as Orion barks. I distinctly get the impression this cat is thinking, "Who on earth thought to bring such a young dog around on such a hot day when clearly I'm not in the mood." Yellow gets up and saunters off. Grey cat--later to discover, named Fox, jumps up and takes off. Third cat hisses and whacks Orion with his paw.
Judy circles around the back and Orion is momentarily distracted as she scoops him up and gives him an overjoyed hello.
I explain that Orion would love nothing more than to play with her cats, but none of the cats ever want to hang out with him.
"Oh, give me a second to see if I can find one."
She loops inside.
Orion sits, tail flipping from side to side with anticipation as he can see cats in the window, cats under the car, cats so very close.
Out pops Judy with a pale yellow cat that looks half asleep.
"This is Bubba. He's the most laid back cat and loves dogs."
She sets Bubba down next to Orion and sure enough, there's no hissing, batting, pawing. The half awake cat instantly has a new best friend that is licking his face. Orion's butt's in the air, tail wagging so hard with excitement and lick, lick, lick. This cat is getting the equivalent of a car wash.
"Be gentle Orion," I say, slightly concerned at his overall enthusiasm.
"Oh he's okay."
Bubba steps closer and tries to rub against Orion but Orion's prancing all around Bubba trying to play, not knowing how, so tossing a kiss at the cat. Bubba lays down, rolling onto his back, letting Orion lick his belly. And sure enough Orion takes the hint. Bubba's paws wrap around Orion's nose, gently holding him, and lick, lick, lick, Orion continues his happy greeting.
"I've never seen anything like this before," I say to Judy, amused completely at the small cat being fine with my overly big puppy.
"When Emily comes in, Bubba snuggles up next to her."
"That's awesome. It just looks so peculiar."
Orion sticks his head in the water bowl. His tongue apparently drying up. Bubba leans over and sips the surface as well. Orion lies down. Bubba saunters over and lies down near him. Momentarily, Orion pauses on the self-prescribed bathing of the cream kitty.
"Bubba, I think you just made a new best friend," I say.