“Oh, my goodness, you are slayin Cindee!”
The puppy’s comment caught me off guard and if I could have blushed, I would have. Surely, he was just being nice, but just in case I lifted my head to look into the standup oval mirror.
“Hold still Cindee, just one more to go” Mommy chastised me, and not for the first time this evening either.
A wave of tinglies raced through my body when I saw the brown-haired dog with the floppy ears staring back at me. I had to look twice to make sure it was really me that I was seeing.
Mommy had washed and blow dried my hair, then weaved a beautiful white bow into it. Next, she had put a sparkling sequined necklace around my neck and was just now finishing up my make over with a chic coral nail polish on my toes.
I must admit, I didn’t want to stop looking at my reflection. I shifted a little so I could see myself from a different angle then smiled, batted my eyelashes and closed my eyes, letting my mind fill with images of myself being swept off my feet by prince charming at the Queen’s Ball.
Daddy’s voice pulled me back into the moment. Opening my eyes, I could see the white puppy in the background.
“Wowwie, you look dashing Mylo,” I barked gleefully.
I turned from the mirror to face him and was met with a shy smile. Daddy had just finished fastening a bowtie around the puppy’s neck. The splash of sky blue from the material contrasted perfectly with the cream-white color of Mylo’s fur, drawing my eyes to his dazzling smile.
“He does clean up quite nicely doesn’t he?”
I turned to find the source of the deep melodious Latin tones and found it’s owner casually strolling into the bedroom. The tabby cat wore a rich orange coat of hair and sported a rather portly white stomach that rolled to and fro beneath him as he walked. His deep yellow-green eyes scanned my face and his lips curled into a smile that rose onto his chubby cheeks when he spotted me.
“He sure does, doesn’t Rapi?”
He drew closer, then took a seat next to me. He shifted his gaze from me to Mylo, then nodded in agreement.
“What’s the occasion,” the cat asked, his head swiveling slowly back and forth between Mylo and myself as he waited for an answer.
“We are going to the gallery,” Mylo barked out excitedly.
I couldn’t contain myself and let a giggle escape. The look of puzzlement on Rapi’s face clearly told the story of a cat who was clueless about what the puppy was talking about. The feline cocked his head to the left then looked to me for clarification.
“You know Griffin McKinnon,” I inquired of the cat.
“He is that kid from down the street that was following you around this summer right,” Rapi asked.
“Yes, that’s him. He was taking photographs of me for a school project,” I began to explain, my nerves tingling with pride as the words spilled out.
“Well, his pictures turned out so well that he was invited to show his photographs at an event featuring students throughout the state,” I finished with a super big grin on my face.
“Geez, that’s awesome!”
“Right? Even awesomer is that Griffin wanted me and Mylo to come as his guests!”
“Exciting right,” the puppy added.
“Very exciting,” the feline answered.
“Time to go,” Mommy voice called from the bottom of the stairs.
Both Mylo and I stood and trotted towards her sing song voice. I stopped at the doorway and glanced back over my shoulder at the cat.
“Have fun,” he called out to me with a smile.
“Thanks, Rapi,” I said grinning back at him.
“Let’s go Cinnamon!”
Hearing my full name, I quickly turned and trotted towards the stairs and my evening of art and culture.
Daddy pulled open the door and held it for us. One by one we entered the cavernous room, which to my surprise was packed with people. They moved about the open space in tight groups stopping to look at clusters of photographs hung on the walls. The whole thing seemed very strange and intriguing.
“Let’s check it out,” Mommy said before sauntering off towards the first collection of images.
Mylo and I glanced at each other, shrugged then followed along behind her leaving poor Daddy to bring up the rear. When we came to a stop, I had a great view of Mommy’s butt.
“Oh wow, that is interesting,” she whispered to Daddy.
“That is. It must have taken her a lot of time and work,” he answered in a hushed voice.
I turned to look at Mylo who was already staring at me, one eyebrow raised, and nose scrunched up. I surveyed our surroundings then jerked my head to the left. No words were needed, the puppy seemed to instinctively understand the gesture. We shuffled two or three steps in that direction and finally the photographs came into view. My mouth fell open and I stared. I found myself examining a series of images of the sky with a fluffy white cloud in the shape of an everyday object carefully positioned and serving as the subject. Each picture was more amazing than the last.
“How do you suppose she found all those clouds,” Mylo asked, his voice sounding just as dumbfounded as I felt.
“Dunno,” I whispered back.
Falling silent, we spent the next fifteen minutes admiring the works of art then moved on to the next exhibit … pool noodles. I am sure the photographer was talented and witty, but my poor little doggy mind couldn’t grasp the meaning behind the snapshots. Thankfully, we didn’t stay too long here and soon we were on our way to the next display.
The thought of clouds had made some sort of emotional connection with me, and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Even though the images were static, I could easily visualize movement in my minds eye. I began to smell the aromas of freshly cut grass and daisies. Birdsong and sprinklers could be heard playing in my head. I was suddenly in the middle of a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree panorama of life, and I felt myself drifting away as though I had sprouted extra large butterfly wings. I was about to take flight when I crashed into a pair of tall legs covered in black dress pants.
“Cindee, what are you doing,” Mommy asked in her annoyed voice.
I sheepishly glanced up at the owner of the legs, prepared to offer the sincerest apology I could think of, but instead of being met with a menacing grimace, I was greeted by two blue eyes and a look of delight.
“Why hello Mrs Cindee,” he said warmly, while reaching down to gently scratch behind me ear.
“Hello Griffin,” I exclaimed in a howl of pleasure.
“Look! It’s you,” he said, stepping to the side and motioning with a grand sweeping gesture towards an array of black and white photographs clustered into two groups.
My eyes were drawn to them. I examined each of them wide eyed and joyously. My heart began to pound and thrash about inside my chest. I had never seen myself this way before, and I felt … I felt … special.
The car came to a stop in the driveway and once Mommy opened the door Mylo and I made a mad dash for the house where Rapi sat waiting for us in the bay window.
“How was it,” the cat asked, eager to hear our response.
“It was awesome! We saw clouds and noodles and Cindee. She was spectacular Rapi,” the not so little white puppy barked out excitedly, obviously still worked up about the evening.
“I am sure she was,” Rapi agreed.
I stared at the cat, my cheeks feeling sore because of the smile that seemingly had become permanently frozen on my face since seeing myself on the gallery’s walls.
“Let’s go to our sofa in the family room so you can tell me all about it,” Rapi’s Latin voice beamed proudly.
“Yes! Everything,” he exclaimed.
Together, the three of us trotted off to our special place in the house where Mylo regaled Rapi with stories and I found myself still basking in the glow of my night at the gallery.