WHAT'S IT TAKE TO ENJOY A "NORMAL" DAY? MAYBE IT'S A MATTER OF WHO'S OUT OF THE PICTURE
It’s Sunday, Veterans Day AND the birthday of Our Humans’ granddaughter, whom Phoebe and Cat are crazy about because she is consistently nice to us, and, in fact, a delight to the whole world.
The only downside of being so smitten is that she lives 3,316 miles away in London, so that we don’t get to see her that often.
But we do talk to her a lot, usually over the Skype internet service, which we do today, given it’s her birthday. And yes, we do take into account the time difference so as not to wake her up in the middle of what otherwise would be early the next morning and no longer her birthday. We may be what some consider “just pets,” but we can tell time.
Anyway, that’s one major thing we do today, and here’s the rest.
Understandably, you might ask: “Why should I care how Cat and Phoebe spend their Sundays?”
The answer: Be patient....
The Grouchy One takes Phoebe “out” to the backyard, which for privacy reasons, we won’t go into in detail. Upon returning to the house, Phoebe gets a MilkBone treat.
Cat now is in the kitchen, because Phoebe often gets a treat just for the amazing feat of returning to the house, and Cat has convinced the Humans that whenever Phoebe gets a treat, he should, too. (Humans are so gullible).
After breakfast, the Grouchy One and Phoebe take their regular morning walk to a nearby park, and Cat sacks out on the living room couch.
The Nice One devotes her morning at the kitchen table, working on what the Humans call “the bills,” an activity that neither Cat nor Phoebe understand, except that they know that the bills must be “paid,” a process widely viewed as too important to be entrusted to the Grouchy One.
It being Veterans Day, Grouchy hangs an American flag on the front porch.
In the early afternoon, Grouchy and Phoebe go for another walk, to a different park. We are very fortunate in that the Humans live near lots of parks, as well as a college campus, which makes for some decent places for Phoebe to explore.
On her return, Phoebe reports it is a great day for a walk. Brilliant sunshine; some trees still have their leaves in full fall color. But there also are tons of leaves that have dropped to the ground, some blown into large piles by brisk winds. Phoebe tries to spend an appropriate amount of time sniffing out each pile.
This park happens to have a volleyball net, with lots of clean sand in the players’ area. Phoebe goes bonkers, digging furiously in sand with her front paws, making multiple shallow holes. She cannot explain the thrilling compulsion to dig. Just that it’s an expression of joy.
A little later, a very cute and petite Golden Retriever named “Princess” comes out of her house with her guardian Human, and Phoebe and Princess chat briefly before going their separate ways.
Finally back home, it's getting dark, and the Grouchy One takes the American flag from it holder on the front porch, rolls it up and brings it into the house.
Phoebe goes to the sunporch, where she pretty much has exclusive use of an entire couch, which the Humans usually avoid, because, for some reason, when they get up, they’re covered with dog hair.
Cat, in a major maneuver, gets off the chair, lumbers onto the couch, and curls up on the blanket. Later, Cat throws up on the blanket. Nobody gets mad at Cat, beyond initial expressions of “Oh, no!” because it’s pretty much accepted that, periodically, Cat throws up. The Grouchy One collects the blanket and puts it through the washing machine and dryer.
That’s about it. A nice, leisurely Sunday, with excellent weather; with time well spent in a place where there’s enough to eat; with a washing machine in the cellar when something needs washing right away; where some shallow holes have been dug in the sand; a call has been made to loved one far away; and where the flag has been put out on Veterans Day.
BY NOW, YOU ARE asking yourself: “What’s missing, here?”
The answer should be obvious: this has been one of those rare days in which the President of the United States has been largely out of mind.
And it’s been great. We haven’t awoken in terror of learning what insults, threats and lies he’s unleashed overnight via the Tweetersphere; we’ve gone through an entire day without freaking out about what he’s just said or done; we’re expecting to fall asleep without being terrified by what new horrors we’ll wake up to in the morning.
In other words, we’ve just experienced what it’s like to live in an America where a president isn’t a sadist, a liar, a bigot and a bully.
We’re not recommending that we and everyone else boycott the news or play ostrich, pretending that this isn’t a dangerous time in the country’s history.
By surely our day is an example of what a “normal” day could be in America; a reminder that in a democracy, it’s up to all of us to make sure that our country is a place where “normal” isn't all that unusual.