So I’ve decided that my mornings are like being a stage hand in some kind of demented theater production. It starts with a call somewhere between 5:15 & 5:45 in the morning by Mela, our 15 year old German Shepard, affectionately known as the Grumpy old lady. She is often joined by Mamma Charlie, the feline hair, make up, and wardrobe specialist, who vigorously attacks my bed head and an eyebrow or two with her tongue. Enter (sans harness) the Flying Baby Bella. 3 pounds of cat that can control physics enough to make her feel like 30 pounds when she lands square on your stomach. (I have to wonder if I have a target painted on me given the accuracy of her ability to hit dead center of my stomach?) Anyway, the final player in the preset stage is the set dresser Yasa – who is making final touches to the props by systematically knocking everything on the dresser to the floor.
(Stay with me here – we haven’t left the bedroom yet. The play has not yet begun…)
The troupe (all 6 cats, 2 dogs, and one human stagehand) make their way down the stairs to the main stage led by Victor, 60 pounds of pit bull with the attitude of an overgrown puppy. He cues up the drummers in the orchestra with a rhythmic tha thump, tha thump, tha thump down the stairs. (I guess I forgot to mention this was a musical.) Flying Baby Bella, the spoiled brat, must be carried to the stage. I think this is the consequences of an overly doting stage papa. The stairs present their own challenges as Darby Underfoot, the Hobbit kitty, is hiding in stair number 7. Not sure why? God love him, he is one light bulb short in his makeup mirror.
The stairs successfully navigated, the troupe heads to the green room for a quick meal, as you can’t go on stage hungry. The troupe has a number of divas in it. Jasper Goldberg Nevin, requires a special diet that must be fed in a special glass bowl, in a special area away from the other players. (What a special little guy he is). Darby Underfoot shares his diet, but must eat alone. Picky picky picky. Nutmeg Nevin (stage name Meggy Sue) will eat only the finest of the generic soft food, with a side of cream… Someone help me….. The other three feline cast member are less picky and only want the food bowls filled. They are more than willing to help you in any way they can – pushing the lids open with the noses, jumping on your back as you bend over to pick up the containers, and attempting to steal morsels from the divas.
(Ever hear this one? Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.)
Meanwhile, the canine cast members have been let out the back stage door for a quick relief (or smoke break – I’m never really sure). Mela, being the oldest in the cast, does have a few problems and may have left some of them steaming on the floor for me to clean up. Ah, job security! Re-enter the canine contingent, ready for their meal. Here is where I have my only official lines.
Stage left (Victor sits patiently in front of his bowl, drool leaking from his lips. The sound of a quickly thumping tail can be heard in the background)
Ange: Ah hem (sounds of throat clearing). Victor wait….Victor wait…. Victor wait…. wait….wait….WAIT……..Okay. (Releasing the dogs to inhale their…….,and they’re done.)
Quick now, we only have seconds before curtain. A fast check to make sure Mela has made her way to the stage – let Victor out of the green room – Darby has already let himself out (he handles the magic acts.) Meggy Sue is released from her dressing room only to watch her run to my purse to puke her meal up. She must suffer from stage fright. How kind of her to let me know by depositing it directly into my bag.
“Places everyone!!! Where’s Jasper? Who’s seen Jasper? Mamma Charlie? That sock you are carrying belongs to – Hey, who’s missing their sock? Victor – go get daddy. Victor – where’s daddy. Can you take him a toy? Darby! – Move! Oh crap, I forgot to let Jasper out! Okay now, places everyone!”
The curtain rises on a new day. Now,,,where’s my coffee? Exit, stage left.