Welcome my friend. Please, sit down and relax for a spell while I regale you with a tale of pain, betrayal, and intrigue. It is of import to note that this is no ordinary yarn mind you, rather it is a tale of true events, a day in my life if you will.
You may be thinking, ah, but you are a mere dog Cindee, how can a day in your life entertain me? Perhaps you are right, and I am a dog of no stature, or maybe, just maybe, you may find something of interest in my story.
There is but one way to find out for sure, so if you allow, I will begin my tale. As for me, I pray that you will hear me out and share this journey with me. With no further ado, let us begin …
The day began just like any other day, there was nothing special or unique about it at all. The alarm clock chirped, as usual, waking us all, well, all is a relative term I guess, because Mommy groaned, and Daddy hit snooze and returned to sleep leaving me to curl up with Boop, my stuffed turtle.
“Good morning Cindee,” Rapi croaked through a yawn, revealing that at least someone in this household heeded the wake-up call. The orange cat stretched, climbed to his feet then hopped from the bed, landing masterfully on all fours with a thump.
Inspired by Rapi’s will to start the day, I lifted my head and surveyed the room, only to find a plump grey and white cat glowering at me from the other side of the bed. Her stare was so deep and penetrating that I could feel it burn into me.
“Morning Bella.” My voice was kind and my intent pure. She responded with narrowed eyes and a guttural grunt as a means of wishing me a pleasant day.
Beep beep beep, nine minutes had passed already. This time Mommy rolled over, and Daddy sat up in bed. The movement caused Bella to scatter, but not before she glanced over her shoulder and gave me a parting “Humpf!”
At last, it seemed, the day had begun. I heard the familiar sounds of Daddy crashing around and of the coffee machine roaring to life in the kitchen below. Mommy was out of the shower and drying her hair but the most significant sign that the day was off to a good start was the loveliest aroma of blueberry pancakes. It was as if the scent was being personally delivered to me upon the wings of an angel.
“This is going to be a great day,” I howled as loud as I could.
“Let’s go potty!” Mommy scooted past me and dashed down the stairs, giggling as she went. It happens every single day, yet I fall for it each time she does it.
“Fantastic,” I shouted. With a leap and a bound, I was off the bed and halfway across the floor when I remembered that I had left my turtle behind.
“Cindee? You coming?” Mommy called from below.
“Just a minute, I gotta get Boop,” I barked back.
In a flash, I darted to the bed and scooped the stuffed turtle up into my mouth and together we were off to go potty. We trotted out of the bedroom and towards the staircase almost running Bella over on the way. The cat side-stepped to the left and I dodged to the right, narrowly avoiding crashing into her and that is when it happened.
The turtle jumped from my mouth and landed on the floor then bounced right in front of me.
“Boop,” I shouted, trying my best to avoid stepping on my friend.
Instead of avoiding her, I stumbled right into her and lost my balance. It was not until I looked up that I realized I was in trouble.
“OMG!” I yelped. My legs had clumsily gotten tied up with each other and I was tumbling over the precipice that was the top step. Everything began to happen in slow motion. The last thing I heard before going over the ledge was the sound of the gray and white cat laughing at me.
Unsure what to do, I followed my instincts. So, I pretended I was superman, I mean he can fly, maybe if I put my arms and legs out, I could fly too. Newsflash. I could not.
Boom, bang, clunk, bang, thud, thud, boom. On and on went the noise, matching the sound of my body bouncing off each step on the way down.
“Cindeeeeeee,” Mommy was screaming from the bottom of the stairs. If this was not humiliating enough now I have Mommy drawing everyone’s attention to the dog who forgot how to walk down the steps. No fun! At last, I reached the bottom with a loud crash.
“Oh my God, Cindee fell down the stairs,” Mommy was still screaming. I tried to lift my head to look at her but decided I just wanted to lay on the nice cool floor and relax for a minute. Poof. Boop had fallen down the stairs too and decided she was going to use my face to break her fall. The misery of it all.
“Traitor,” I shouted at the stuffed turtle, then stood up and stormed off.
A pair of sparrows flitted around the backyard, laughing, and singing as they carried on with their game of chase. I had slunk off to the sunroom after the embarrassment had happened. I felt so humiliated and let down by the whole affair. Several hours had passed now, and everyone had the good sense to leave me be so that I could brood in private.
“You going to stay here alone all day?” The warm voice was laced with a thick Latin accent.
All good things must come to an end I thought to myself. I wanted to ignore Rapi, but he was my best friend. I could not be that uncouth, no matter how rude I wanted to be.
The orange cat accepted my answer but made no move to leave. I could see his portly figure reflected in the window. His eyes were filled with compassion, pleading for me to look at him. He took one tentative step towards me and stopped.
“We are all worried about you. Cindee.”
He waited for a beat, then took another step, followed by another until he drew close enough that I could smell the tuna on his breath.
I turned towards him, the cat’s eyes met mine and held my gaze.
“Are you okay? Are you hurt?”
“Mommy said I am okay, just that I have a bruise on my ego, whatever that is.”
My head dropped and my eyes shifted from him to the floor and my front paws.
“But do you hurt anywhere?” he asked again.
I was silent for a minute, letting the question roll around inside my head. I knew the answer but wanted to deny it, yet I had always been honest with Rapi, and deep down in the center of my being, I knew I needed to share my feelings with someone.
“It hurts inside, in my heart,” the words spilled out between us.
“I am sorry,” Rapi purred.
“I feel … I feel betrayed.”
I found the courage to name the emotion that was nagging me and felt a little relief, but not as much as I had hoped for.
“Because Bella was laughing,” the orange tabby asked.
“No. Because Boop pushed me down the stairs.”
Just hearing the words stung me to my core.
“The stuffed turtle? It was just an accident Cindee.”
The orange cat glanced over his shoulder at the toy still lying face down where she had come to rest after the fall.
I turned away from him, my cheeks on fire with embarrassment.
“Can I just be alone please?”
The cat did not say anything, instead, he stood watching me languish in self-pity.
“Sure, if that is what you want, but if you need someone to talk to, well, you know I am here for you Cindee.”
I didn’t answer him but watched him stand there for a few more minutes before he finally turned and walked away in surrender.
Once he was out of sight, I let myself break down and cry.
At last, bedtime had arrived, and believe me, I was happy about it. I had spent most of the day in front of the big glass windows staring sorrowfully out at the backyard and quietly weeping. Soon everyone would be asleep, and I would not have to worry about anybody bothering me with their pity, at least not until morning.
The sound of Mommy’s feet padding up the stairs had managed to reach my ears despite the loud grinding noise of Daddy’s snoring. She bounced into the room and hopped into bed next to me. The mattress shook and Daddy grumbled for a second then went back to snoring. Mommy and I looked at each other and giggled.
“Here, you forgot this sweetie.”
Mommy tucked Boop the turtle under the covers next to me. Out of instinct, I began to snuggle up to him, then remembered what had happed and scowled at her.
“It was an accident, and he needs you,” Mommy said with a smile and a kiss on my nose.
“Good night, sweetie!”
She turned out the lamp and darkness took over the room, save the glow coming from the night light.
I looked over at Boop and saw that he was looking back at me, his eyes coated with sorrow. I was so tired and stressed that a family of butterflies took flight in my tummy.
Maybe Rapi and Mommy were right. Maybe it was an accident. I mulled this over for a moment.
“Saudade,” I whispered.
Mommy had said the word many times when she talked about her family. Now I understood.
Saudade is that deep emotional feeling of profound longing for a special someone that is absent. It is such a sad feeling that weighs on us, and we wonder that maybe we might never be the same again.
I looked at Boop and realized that this is what I had been feeling. In that moment I resolved to never let anything stand in the way of my relationship with my turtle.
Having reached the realization, I pulled the turtle close to me and kissed him on the top of the head. “I love you Boop!”