I ‘cook’ breakfast for Ari, he’s 99 and his teeth don’t chomp as well as they used to. Warm water, crumpled oat alfalfa, salt, carrots, bran and molasses snuggle tastefully in a pail. Old age has a price, but I think it’s worth it. He does too. Nose deep in the bucket–chomping contentedly– his ears peek out. He started out 45 to 55 million years ago–Eohippus–a fifty pound critter, 18 inches high at the shoulders, with 4 toes on the front feet and three toes on the hind feet. He’s come a long way, baby.
He has fresh water, in the trough, garnished swimmingly with tiny mosquito eaters.
Duke ruffles blue and gold, munches macaw food, peanuts, raisins, bananas and cookie crumbs. Everybody here loves cookies. We’re cookie monsters. He spread his wings as I give him a wispy shower at the same time I hose down potted plants in the courtyard.
Carefully hanging the pitchfork on a hook, I wipe my hands off on my pants. Sweaty, and smelling like a well-groomed horse in a well- maintained barn, I brush fresh straw off the seat of my sweats. The combination of fresh straw, horsey pooh, and horse is irresistible. I flicker the broom, whisker the floor, then set this tool in its stand and head for the people end of the residence.
My gown up puppy, Boots, and the growing up kittens, Reba and Rosa, breakfast on dog and cat food with the grown up–me–who sips freshly brewed Kauai coffee. I scatter some organic chicken food to my feral hen in her tiny abode anchored down to defy hurricane winds. She often lays a free-range egg a week. She cackles sweetly. Today, I’m honored with an egg. Her eggs are petite, light pink in color, with yolks so high and golden they poke the eye.
Tossing my sweats in the hamper, I fall daintily into my sunken tub. When I arise, I’m Venus rising from the waves. I towel quickly as the image in the mirror denies the claim. At my dressing table, I install my face and coif my hair. Remember the Houston lady who has a three-story wardrobe with a champagne bar? Well. I have a one story wardrobe with a champagne bucket and two champagne flutes from a thrift store.
Selecting my wardrobe for the day, this fashionista shoves both feet into a pair of sparkly red shoes, very Wizard of Oz, and with Bootsy–groomed- to- perfection– depart for Petco in Lihue. The greatest animal department store in the whole wide world. Inside is breathtaking. Both Boots and I gasp. Wide aisles filled with stuff. Boots selects a box of gourmet canines biscuits and a bottle of shampoo. I had to get her out of there. It was a struggle.
At the counter, a couple dealt with a kid and a dog in a cart fighting over a doggie toy.
Go. Bring money. Leave animals home. They’re welcome, but they’re kids in a candy store. And, please, managers, plant more greenery.