Tosser

“How’s my favorite brown-haired girl?”

Daddy’s big hand reached down and mussed up the fur on top of my head.  I couldn’t help but look up at him and smile the biggest smile I own.  That familiar warm sensation started to grow inside of me, you know the one that says that I am the luckiest dog in the world.  I know, every dog probably thinks that, but I truly believe it.

“I love you Cindee.  I’ll be back shortly, okay?”

He sealed it with a gentle kiss on the top of my snoot and then headed for the door.  I watched him go, still wearing that silly grin on my face until he pulled the door open.  That’s when it hit me. I forgot to say it.

“I love you too Daddy!”

His lips curled up and crinkles formed at the corner of his eyes.  At the last moment, he blew me a kiss and closed the door shut behind him. 

I knew he would be back soon.  He did promise after all, but still, I couldn’t resist that urge to run to the window and watch him get into the car, pull out of the driveway, and pull away.

“Soon.  He will be back soon,” I whispered the promise to myself.

In this house, myself is a place that you are never in for very long.  No sooner had I returned to the sofa when a tan beagador came tearing around the corner and screeched to a halt directly in front of me.

“Mwah fwah waw haw bwaw?”

There was nothing I could do but look at my adopted brother with incredulity.  Sure he is cute, brave, and lovable.  Intelligent, however, is not at the top of the list of things that he is.

“Mwah fwah waw haw bwaw?”

“I heard you the first time Mylo, but maybe if you said it without that stupid ball in your mouth, I could understand you better!”

“Huh? Wah!”

The beagodor’s big honey brown eyes grew wide.   He relaxed his jaw and the ball rolled out of his mouth, hit the ground once, bounced, and came to a stop between his front feet.

“I said, have you seen Daddy?”

“He just left,” I said, indicating the door with a nod of my head.

Mylo sucked in a deep breath then blew it out.  His expression transformed from excitement into despair in a breath. 

“Why?”

“Never mind Cindee.”

Never one to let bad news keep him down, he scooped up the ball and dashed off around the corner and into Mommy’s office.  I knew what was about to happen, but I decided to eavesdrop anyhow.

“Mwah fwah bwaw?”

“Not now Mylo.  I have a deadline to meet, ask Daddy!”

You see this happens every day.  You think by now he would know that whenever Mommy is in her office, she has a deadline to meet.  I don’t really know what a deadline is, but I do know it must not be nice.  I mean, it would appear to have to do something with being dead, right?  Plus, Mommy always looks worried about meeting it.

“Wawwa?”

“Mylo, not now!”

“fwah”

The beagador came out of the office, his body slumped over.  Defeated.  He glanced up at me.  A glimmer of hope showed in his eyes, which I quickly extinguished with a scowl.

“Humpf!”

Having made that exclamation, he schlepped his way across the room to the stairs where he stopped just long enough to look over his shoulder and glare at me before beginning his ascent.

Mylo had seemed particularly intent on finding someone to be his tosser and with nothing else going on in the house, I decided to follow him up the stairs to see for myself what he had in mind.

Once he had reached the landing he turned right into the spare bedroom.  Sitting on top of the desk that Daddy uses to write my stories was a small black and white tuxedo cat.  The feline was seated in front of an open book, studying the words with such intensity that she had not heard us enter. 

“Mwah fwah bwaw?”

Startled, the cat leaped into the air and landed on all fours, her face alert and fierce.

“Relax, Yehudi.  It’s just us,” I said in a calming voice.

“Oh, hey Cindee!  Mylo!”

They say that cats are curious creatures, but I will let you in on a secret.  Dogs are almost as inquisitive.  My eyes went from the cat to the book and back to the cat again, wondering what was so riveting. 

“Mwah fwah bwaw?”

Yehudi looked at Mylo as though he had lost his marbles. 

“He wants to know if you will throw his ball for him,” I translated for the cat.

The feline looked at Mylo compassionately.  Maybe he had found his tosser, but then the cat shook her head.

“I am sorry, I can’t right now, I need to finish this story.”

“Humpf,” the beagador muttered before turning and wandering away.

“What are you reading, Yehudi,” I asked, more interested in the book than Mylo’s quest.

“Ovid,” the cat squeaked with glee.

“What’s an Ovid,” I asked.

“Ovid, Cindee!  Surely you know Ovid, he wrote Metamorphosis.  You know, mythology?”

Waves of regret began to roll in.  I should have known better than to ask that bookworm what she was doing.

“Mwah fwah bwaw?”

Saved by the mutt. 

“That sounds … um … interesting Yehudi, but I need to go help Mylo!”

I dashed across the hallway and into Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom just in time to find a rather large orange tabby sitting on top of the dresser staring down at the beagador with an annoyed expression on his face.

“Mwah fwah bwaw?”

“A little help Cindee,” the cat asked in a deep voice with a thick Latin accent.

“He wants you to throw his ball, Rapi” I said, relaying the message yet again.

“Oh sorry, I can’t right now Mylo.  I have a date with Luna!”

The tabby’s eyes lit up at the mention of the Siamese cat’s name.

“It’s our anniversary.  We have been dating for a whole year.  Can you believe it?”

“Really?  You two are perfect together.  It seems like you have always been a pair,” I said, thinking back dreamily on the night they met under the tall maple in our backyard.

“Fwah,” Mylo grumbled and rolled his eyes before turning and exiting the room. 

I sat silently, listening to the sound of Mylo padding down the stairs while watching Rapi groom himself in the mirror.

“Where are you taking Luna?”

“I made reservations at Le Grotto de Gato,” he said, turning to smile at me.

“Wow, that is a chic restaurant, Rapi.  I bet she will adore it!”

“Mwah fwah bwaw?”

I heard the familiar phrase come from the dining room and broke out in a sudden inexplicable cold sweat.

“Sorry Rapi, I gotta go, Mylo is in trouble!”

I reached the bottom of the stairs with Rapi and Yehudi in tow just in time to hear Mylo repeat himself.

“Mwah fwah bwaw?”

Standing on top of the dining room table glaring down at him with teeth bared was a chubby grey and white cat.

“What’s wrong with him,” she asked, her eyes flashing with anger.

“Bella, he wants to know …” I began to translate.

“I don’t care what he wants.  The answer is no.  Now go away.  All of you,” she hissed.

The ball fell from Mylo’s mouth.  Silently, he shifted his gaze from cat to cat until he finally settled on me.

“You are all a bunch of tossers,” he barked angrily.

“I think he means the English kind,” Yehudi interjected.

“Jerks,” he muttered under his breath, but loud enough that we could all hear him. 

It began as a tiny point in my stomach then grew to a full ocean of guilt, washing over me in wave after wave. 

He scooped up the ball, hung his head, and slowly plodded through the kitchen and out the pet door onto the back porch.

I wanted to say something, but I couldn’t find the words to describe how I was feeling, instead I followed him as far as the door.

“He is right.”

I turned to see Yehudi standing behind me.

“We are tossers,” Rapi added in his Cuban accent.

“Jerks, we are jerks,” Bella chimed in from across the kitchen.

I wanted to go out and comfort Mylo, but I knew what he really needed was some time alone.  Still, I didn’t want to abandon him, so I did the next best thing.  I climbed up onto the sofa in the family room and looked out the window.

He sat in front of the door leading to the backyard, his shoulders slumped, his head still hung low.  I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. 

“Guys, come here and look!”

All three cats scampered across the room and lined up next to me on the back of the couch.

“No?  Do you think,” Rapi whispered.

The silver SUV rolled to a stop where the asphalt ended and the grass began.  Daddy got out, closed the door, and strode towards the back porch. 

“Please, Daddy,” Yehudi mumbled.

Mylo’s head rose slowly until his eyes locked with Daddy’s.  The beagador dropped his head to look at the ball that was resting on the ground between his front paws then back up at Daddy, then back to the ball again.  We all held our breath when the tan pooch gingerly picked up the ball.

“Mwah fwah bwaw?”

“Say yes, Daddy!  Say yes,” Bella pleaded.

Daddy reached out and mussed up the tan fur on top of Mylo’s head, then reached for the ball.

“You wanna play fetch My?”

Mylo leaped excitedly into the air.

“Don’t just stand there My.  Goooooooo … get it!”

Daddy threw the ball across the yard.  Mylo sprinted as fast as he could, and the three cats and I leaped joyously in the air and howled with such unquenchable happiness.

That’s the thing I will always remember about life at 6 Autumn Lane.  There will always be those moments that are filled with trials, tribulations, and tragedy, but at the end of the day, we have each other, and we have love.

© Copyright 2022

Author: H. Scott Moore

H. Scott Moore is a native of Western New York, where he grew up enjoying the rhythm of life in the changing of seasons. Intrigued by his pets and curious about what they were thinking led H. Scott to combine his passion for animals and love of reading and writing to create a world where everything is experienced from their point of view. When he is not working or creating, H. Scott likes to spend his time in nature with Cindee, Mylo, Rapi, Mommy, and the rest of the gang!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.