I threw my big brown body against the door, which swung upon and slammed into the wall with a loud crash.
“Stupid squirrels,” the white lab mix grumbled under his breath as he stumbled in behind me.
Together we stormed into the living room, where a large orange cat sat perched atop a green Queen Anne chair. His gaze was fixed on the front lawn. Something clearly held his attention because he somehow had managed to ignore our outburst. The mere sight of him was enough to cause my heart to sink deep into the pit of my stomach. We had failed in our effort to protect our fall display from a band of vagabond rodents, and he was disappointed in us. I could feel it in my bones.
“Mylo, do you mind closing the door,” I asked, glancing over my shoulder at the white pooch.
The puppy didn’t say anything, instead, he gently pushed the solid green door closed. The click of the latch engaging with the strike plate stirred the orange cat back to awareness. He swung his head in our direction until our eyes locked on each other.
“You tried really hard, Cindee.”
His round face was filled with compassion, his lips had curled to form a conciliatory smile.
“You too Mylo, you had those bushy tailed rats on the ropes!”
The cat’s voice was filled with energy and verve. He had a way of making our insecurities melt away. He certainly was working that magic on us right now.
“Thanks Rapi,” both Mylo and I answered simultaneously.
“Jinx! Your it,” we barked out in unison, then fell into a wild fit of laughter that was so contagious that even the cat had had to join in.
“American Airlines,” the white puppy barked at the airplane as it roared overhead.
“Wow, Mylo you are getting good at this game,” Rapi said, his chubby cheeks rising on his face to accommodate his growing smile.
‘Guess the Airplane’ had become our favorite thing since moving closer to the airport. The object of the game was to guess the name of the airline as the plane was coming towards us, but before it reached the fence in the backyard.
“How have things been going with you and Luna,” I asked, curious about the Siamese cat that Rapi had been dating these past six months and because we needed small talk between planes.
“Everything is fantastic,” his face lit up at the thought of his better half.
“So, she is okay with you hanging out with Faberget,” Mylo inquired.
The puppy’s eyes were focused like a laser on the big orange cat’s face, searching for any hint of a reaction that Rapi might have.
“Yes Mylo, she is,” Rapi answered with a scowl.
He knew what the young labmix was doing. Mylo was developing a reputation for doing and saying things just to get a rise out of his friends. Rapi recognized this tactic that Mylo was employing for what it was, and he wasn’t going to play into the dog’s hand.
“Who is Faberget?”
Somehow I had fallen out of the loop and now, well, I was completely lost.
“She is a calico that has been hanging around the neighborhood lately,” Mylo answered.
The familiar roar of an incoming jet filled the air around us. We all tuned towards the back fence and looked skyward. A white airliner was fast approaching.
“Jet Blue,” the orange cat blurted out.
From our place on the porch, we gazed towards the gleaming machine streaking through blue sky above us. Printed in bold letters on the tail was the name FEDEX. Mylo and I roared with laughter at the cat’s understandable miscue.
“So why would Luna care about this calico,” I said, drawing our conversation back to the new lady cat.
Okay, I will also admit I had some ulterior motives. I am a gossip hound and it had been quite some time since anything juicy had come up, so I was a little hopeful about this new information.
“She wouldn’t,” Rapi declared emphatically.
“C’mon Rapi, you ooze machismo, and Faberget is a real looker. I just mean. It makes sense.”
The puppy concluded his prodding of the big cat with a sly smile. Rapi’s face transformed from playful to angry in a split second. It took every thing I had to suppress the giggles that were rising in my throat.
I opened my mouth to put my two cents into the conversation but stopped short when I saw Mylo’s eyes grow to twice their normal size. I turned my head just in time to see a small Cessna Skyhawk flying low on the horizon, it’s engine making an unmistakable sputtering sound.
“It’s going to hit the house,” Mylo barked.
The aircraft’s motor cut off causing a dramatic dip in altitude. Mylo was almost right. Miraculously, the small plane just cleared our roof and zoomed over our home.
The three of us raced inside and sprinted through the house until we reached the bay windows on the far end of the living room. We arrived just in time to see the pilot maneuver the plane between two houses across the street before banking to the left and disappearing behind a large two-story brick home.
Before I had a chance to blink a plume of thick dark smoke rose into the late afternoon sky. Mylo’s mouth dropped open and Rapi sat in stunned silence.
Friends, iIt was all I could manage to say.
Flames were shooting from the front of the aircraft, which the pilot had managed to masterfully land in one piece.
Mylo and I had arrived with Mommy and Daddy in tow. The man who had been flying the Cessna was sitting on the ground, rocking back and forth with his head buried in his hands.
“Sir! Are you alright?” Daddy called to the man.
“No, I am fine, just a little shook up,” the man mumbled then rose to his feet and immediately tumbled back to the ground.
“I will call an ambulance,” Mommy said, her voice trembling.
She hurriedly pulled her phone out and started dialing, but Daddy stopped her, then pointed towards the road where several fire trucks and an ambulance had pulled into the open field and made a beeline through the tall grass until they were right in front of us.
“C’mon guys,” Daddy said, nodding towards a spot off to the side.
“Let’s let them do their thing,” he added.
I glanced over at the puppy and could see the concern in his expression. I wanted to say something, but I couldn’t find any words to describe what I was feeling.
Overcome with emotion, Mylo and I watched on silently as the fire fighters put out the flames and the paramedics wheeled the pilot to the ambulance, where he would be taken to the hospital.
Friends, I have never felt so helpless.
Mommy turned out the light and rolled over. In no time Daddy was snoring and Mommy was putting her ear plugs in.
The sounds of the night enveloped us. Outside, a crescent moon kept watch over the world. I could see its silver reflection in Mylo’s eyes.
He had not been his usual active self all night. Come to think of it, none of us had. The pilot was not seriously injured. We learned that he had a broken leg and a concussion. I was thankful for that, but still, I felt different. Changed.
Sometimes things like this can alter who we are. Mommy says that it is all part of growing and maturing.
Tonight, as I think about everything that has happened today, I realize for the first time, I am not the same me that I was this morning; and tomorrow, I will be a different me than I am right now.
All this thinking about life and sense of being was starting to wear on me. My eyelids grew heavy until at last I could not hold them open a moment longer.
Then, the burdens of the world were gone and I was in that special place that I like to call dreamland.