Monday, July 25, 2011

Aidan Misses His Daddy

Davey was gone the whole weekend at a music festival, leaving me alone with the pets. Rex couldn't have been happier that his evil step-father was gone, but Aidan seemed to be having a hard time with it.

The first day went all right, what with the BBQ and the wealth of dirt meats (see the previous post for the tale) to keep him engaged. When we got home Aidan was wiped out, and promptly plopped onto the bed and dozed off.

I joined him on the bed for some television soon after that, and then Rex joined the both of us before running off again to pursue his mysterious night hobbies. I drifted off, enjoying the center of the bed and all four pillows to the fullest.

When I woke up, I discovered the boys had taken over my side of the bed in the middle of the night. Rex was curled up against my hip, Aidan against my calf. I smiled. Rex had long ago decided that he does not want to sleep on the same bed as Davey, so it was nice to have him next to me again. When he felt me shift, he woke up and scampered off to begin his morning routine, while Aidan popped up, dashed over to my face, gave my breath a vigorous and thorough smelling and then fell down onto the pillow with his head next to mine on the pillow, his chin cradled between his fat, little paws.

"Promise you'll never leave me," he said. "Because... I think Daddy has left me."

"He'll be back, because he loves you." I rubbed him behind the ears and tried to go back to sleep, but with limited success as Aidan kept farting doubtfully, despite my reassurances.

Later that morning, after the smell had encouraged me out of bed and into the kitchen for some breakfast, the neighbor dog, Mischa, started yapping in the back yard. Aidan and I were seated together on the couch, the pug having glued himself to my side all morning, and when Aidan heard the high-pitched barks he pricked his ears and stared out the window until he heard the familiar yip once more. His body began to heave silently, faint squeaks beginning to issue forth until he was whining at full force.

"I, waahhh, want, wahhhh, to, wahhh, play!" Aidan gasped between whines. I was more than happy to oblige, thinking he needed to get his mind off of things and knowing that he and Mischa could be out there having doggy fun for up to 30 minutes if he was feeling frisky. I let him out the door and he ran up to the other dog, whose gender I am not 100% on, and followed it around the yard, his short legs pumping to keep up with Mischa's casual trot. I smiled and went to go to the bathroom.

When I returned, Aidan was standing anxiously at the door, looking around for me while Mischa stood a distance away, looking somewhat peeved at Aidan's party-pooping. I looked at the pug quizzically. He shifted his weight anxiously.

"I'm tired of playing, Mom! I want to come home!" he said.

"What about Mischa?" I asked. "Don't you guys want to play?"

"No, I want to be with you," Aidan said.

Mischa tilted his/her head in what seemed to be contempt at Aidan's babyishness.

I opened the door and he hurried in, getting up on the couch and waiting expectantly for me to sit down. I did, and collapsed next to me.

"I thought you would leave me like Daddy did if I don't stay next to you to make sure you are with me," he garbled at me.

A little later Sir went to go next door to Mac's, and brought Aidan with him. Never one to turn down an invitation, Aidan followed him outside. I went to take a shower. When I came back, Aidan was at the door again. I opened the door and his little sausage body exploded.

"Look Mom!" he screamed, literally screamed, as he spun, literally spun, around the living room. "I'm home! I'm home! Oh, how I've missed it, and you! Where's Rex? Where is what's left of my family!? Rex! Mother! I LOVE YOU! I love being home and I hate being away! I never want to leave again! I'm not like Daddy! I'll stay!"

He draped himself across the couch, worn out from his outburst. "I'll be brave for you, Mommy, if you will promise never to go away."

"I have plans this evening, dear, but I'll be home after a few hours," I said.

"Oh, how I wish I could believe you," Aidan mooned, uncomforted.

I spent the rest of the weekend with Aidan attached to my body at any contact point he could reach. On Sunday, he was extra despondent, Davey having been gone for two whole nights. I had cramps, so I spent the time when I wasn't at work laid out on the couch watching TV and feeling like a victim, with Aidan tucked securely under my head since he refused to get off of my pillow.

"Does this make me an orphan?" Aidan asked. "I know you're not my real Mom, so what's going to make you stay with me if not even my real Daddy will?" He sniffled pathetically.

Every time the door opened Aidan would look up, waiting for a sign that Davey had returned, but he was always disappointed. I figured it would be a wonderful moment when his pappy got back.

Except that when Davey returned, he came in without any of his usual gusto or sense of showmanship. He opened the door and went down the hallway with no fanfare, just like our roommate would do after one of his cigarettes. Aidan heard the door open, perked up his ears, decided it was Dan and was about to put his head back down when he noticed what my ears noticed: whoever had just gotten home had gone into Davey's and my bedroom. Aidan cocked his head and, without another word, jumped off my lap to go see if maybe, just maybe, his wishes had been granted.

I don't know what transpired between the two of them. I didn't hear any squeals or shouts from either of them, but Aidan did keep himself stuck to Davey like velcro for the rest of the night, never letting him out of his sight for a moment. On only two occasions did Aidan abandon Davey for me.

Aidan was sitting underneath Davey's rolly chair, where Davey could not see him. Davey scooted back to model his new shirt for me, startling the pug and causing him to shriek.

"Aidan! I'm so sorry!" Davey said. The thing to understand is that the Blakes are a loud clan, who boom when stimulated by emotion of any sort. Davey in particular uses pretty much the same pitch and tone when he is booming no matter what it is he is trying to express, so to someone like Aidan who doesn't speak English, Davey's loud proclamations of sorrow at scaring the pug and entreaties to come be comforted sound exactly like Davey telling the dog he has misbehaved and is about to get his cheeks squished (gently). Davey reached for Aidan to soothe his frazzled nerves. Aidan's eyes bugged. He hopped out of reach in the nick of time and hid behind my chair under my desk. For some reason, Aidan has the misguided notion that I am the one who will always protect him and make the terror go away.

"Aidan!" Davey wailed. "I'm sorry, buddy!"

Aidan looked up at me, his eyes wet. He looked hunted.

"Davey," I said, "I think he thinks you're mad at him. Try being more quiet, maybe?"

"Aidan," Davey said in the normal coo he uses when talking to his precious puggy pug pug. "I'm sorry."

Aidan squeezed out of his hiding spot and popped into Davey's arms, resting his head against Davey's chest. "Hold me, Daddy," Aidan begged. "And never let go."

The next time Aidan favored me to Davey was in the middle of the night when Aidan, obviously still wound up from all the excitement of having Davey realize the error of his ways and return to the pug, was startled by nothing and emitted an ear-piercing shriek that woke me up. I rolled over to go back to sleep while Davey set about soothing him, but all of a sudden I felt a warm, furry weight on my neck.

"Why are you going to Mommy?" Davey asked, a pout in his voice. Aidan had rested his chin on my neck and jaw, and was jiggling his head around to get nice and comfortable. Once again, he was under the impression that I would make the scared go away, if only he was near me. I don't know why I am his rock in the chaos of pug life, but I imagine it's because I never freak out when Aidan gets freaked out, and so he assumes I am more powerful against enemies than his much stronger and braver Daddy, who gets worried when Aidan is distressed. I fell asleep with the dog still nuzzled up on me, refraining from making him sleep elsewhere this time because he was so obviously feeling vulnerable after his confidence-shattering weekend of abandonment.

When I woke up in the morning, though, Aidan had removed himself from the comforting bubble of my personal space and had stolen Davey's pillow, curling against his Daddy's scalp like a jelly bean. They spent the morning until Davey left for work gazing lovingly at each other and canoodling  on the couch.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Aidan Swims in a Sea of Meat

Davey left this morning for a music festival in Santa Barbara. I was glad he was leaving because he needed a vacation, but I realized that I had nothing to occupy my time with now that I didn't have my roomie.

The solution to my lack of plans or money was, obviously, a barbecue. I had meats, both real and fake, condiments, and soda pop. I had access to moneyed people that could lend me some cash to buy a box of wine (Yes. A classy, classy box of wine. Franzia. I only serve the highest quality to my guests when I entertain). I farted out a facebook event invite and annoyingly posted something every hour about how there was a barbecue that night. Naturally, people being busy and having lives that were more exciting and booze-fueled than mine meant that on such short notice most people had to work or had prior engagements and could not come. In the end, there were ten of us in attendance, with three of that number being close blood relations to me. I had a lot of fun, though. I hope everyone else did, too.

I brought Aidan.

I felt bad for him being left with no father for three days, and a step-mother who was about to abandon him in favor of fresh air and 5 liters of burgundy. So my brother, Kris, and I gathered the barbecue essentials and loaded the car with soda pops, beers, wine, plates, napkins, forks, cups, veggie burgers, flesh burgers, and 25 lbs. of pug. Kris carried that last one on his lap.

Aidan was pretty pleased with the barbecue. A group of people were having their own barbecue at a nearby table when Kris and I were getting there to set up, and apparently when they left they scattered various meats on the ground for God knows what reason. All I know was that after they left, as the sun began to set and we finally fired up our own grill, Aidan kept turning up with random meat.

"Hey, Kariana," Kris yelled to me.

"What?" I asked, my eye a little squinty from drinking wine on an empty stomach.

"What's your position on Aidan eating ribs?"

"That's okay if they're soft enough," I said. "Why?"

Kris shrugged. "Aidan found a rib bone, it seems."

I strode over. "Let me take a look at it, in case."

Aidan saw me coming and scuttled away with the goods.

"I doan hab a bode im my mouf," he said, his words mangled by the bone in his mouth.

"Aidan, just come here and let me see that bone," I said, trying to reach for it.

"Noooooo!" Aidan protested, scurrying ahead of me determinedly.

He reached the end of the leash.

"Poo!" he cursed, trying to hide under the table so I couldn't reach into his mouth and steal his treat. I pried it out of his mouth.

"I hunted for it and I found it and I want to eat it!" Aidan said. "That's my animal!"

I felt the edge of the bone where Aidan had been gnawing with my fingertips to confirm what my eyes were telling me in the half light. "This is too brittle," I said. "I'm not letting you eat it."

"But I love it!" Aidan pouted. "Don't take what I love from me."

I gave him an unimpressed look and tossed the bone in the trash bin. He sulked for a few moments, but soon got over it.

A little while later my Dad was walking Aidan around waiting for the remaining guests and I to finish playing a drawing game so he could go home. Aidan was jingling around and my Dad was wandering and they were hard to see because it was so dark out. We were playing our game by the light of a solitary street lamp in the middle of the picnic area, and everywhere else was draped in the indigo and ebony veils of nighttime. When they entered the lighted area, Aidan had another rib bone in his mouth, which he was industriously chewing as he walked.

"What do you have in your mouth?" demanded my father, snatching it away. He held it up so I could see it. "Aidan found another rib bone."

"Throw it away," I said, strictly.

Aidan stomped his paws a little as he watched his precious meat-wrapped rib bone go into the garbage. My Dad wandered back into the near invisibility of the darkness with the pug again, leaning against a rock while Aidan scampered from table to table peeing and investigating the interesting scents. When they came back into the lighted area to check on the game's progress, Aidan waddled towards me with bright, shining eyes and a whole sausage hanging out of his mouth.

"Aidan! What the hell?" I said. "What does he have in his mouth?"

"He has something in his mouth again?" said my Dad incredulously. He grabbed it from the dog and inspected it near-sightedly. "Is this one of ours?"

My Dad had brought bratwursts, all of which had been readily consumed immediately following their being done.

"No, that's not ours," I said. Aidan looked appealingly up at the sausage.

"You already had a whole hamburger patty!" I said, referring to the snack I had given him earlier for being so cute and sociable. Aidan maintained his stance of adoring the brat from below.

"Let him have the sausage," I relented. It had no bones and it made the little king happy.

My Dad gave it back to him and the pug began snarfing it. I grabbed my camera to take a picture, but by the time the power had been turned on, the sausage was already gone. I took over Aidan's leash and he sat under my bench at the table while I played my game and my Dad packed up the barbecue stuff so he could leave faster after the game. I couldn't see what he was doing in the darkness so well, but when he emerged into the light he held a hamburger patty with one bite taken out of it.

It was Aidan's hamburger patty that I had given him, uneaten. Of all the meats strewn across the dirt, the one Aidan was allowed to have was the one he did not consume.

I will never understand what goes on in that pug's head.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rex and Aidan Get Their Snuggle On

Always I over-analyze everything Rex and Aidan do for proof that they are becoming more than just step-brothers, but friends. Bear with me as I rejoice, once more, at their growing closeness.

When I got home from work today Aidan was scrabbling at the door as usual, leaping about, wagging his tail, and oinking joyfully that finally -FINALLY- someone was home with him. Once I had gotten settled in the arm chair and Aidan had stopped tripping over both my legs and his own and got himself nestled between my thigh and the arm of the chair, Rex perceived that he was safe from Aidan's wild gyrations and emerged to say his hellos. He crept onto my lap, giving me a somber look as if to set himself apart from Aidan's silliness as the more serious animal. He leaned over to give Aidan a long sniff.

Aidan glanced briefly over his shoulder. "Hi, Little Rex," he said.

"Hey, King Aidan," said Rex, ceasing his sniffing and taking a look at my lap to see where he would curl up. He peeked over at Aidan, then back at my lap. Casually, almost as if he weren't purposely going for a snuggle, he lowered himself onto my lap so that his back was mushed up against the pug's.

"Hey, cool!" said Aidan, looking over his shoulder at Rex again. "That's a great cuddle, huh, li'l brother?"

Rex just closed his eyes and pretended not to know what Aidan was talking about.

But I know what he's up to. I think he's working his way up to buddy naps. The other day, Aidan was lying on the bed in our bedroom and Rex was following me around needily, the opposite of what usually happens. When I finally quit my wanderings and sat down to go on facebook Rex decided that although today he needed me within eyeshot at all times, my lap was not a place he wanted to be. He strolled casually towards the bed and, I swear to you, if cats were capable of whistling nonchalantly, I believe that he would have been doing that right then. He jumped casually onto the bed as if on a whim, feigned mild surprise at Aidan's being there, gave him a sniff, and laid down next to him, not even a foot apart. I had never seen Rex willingly place himself that close to Aidan until that cuddling business today. 

I am thrilled.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rex and Aidan Wait at the Door

I went outside for a cigarette today, as I do most days. When I left, the boys didn't seem to care. When I returned 10 minutes later, Rex and Aidan were both waiting for me, their noses up against the crack in the door that I would be returning through.

Later, when I went out for another cigarette many hours later, I opened the door and there was Aidan, waiting where he would be the first thing I saw. I stepped in, said hello to the pug, and then heard a petulant voice saying, "Don't say hello to me, then." I peeked around the door and there was Rex, hidden out of sight and obscured by the shadows. "Hi, little Rex," I said, shutting the door.

"Hi!" he said.

"Hi! Hi! Hi!" said Aidan, trying to get the attention back. I ignored them both in order to keep from offending one or the other of them, and went into the bedroom, where Davey was editing pictures.

"I wonder if they sit at the door when I leave every time or just when I'm smoking," I mused. There's a big enough gap under our front door that I'm pretty sure their sensitive schnozzes would be able to pick up the smoke scent and, from past experience, they could figure out that I would be back in a moment.

"No," said Davey. "They do that every time you leave."

"I wonder how long they wait at the door like that," I said.

"Probably a long time," said Davey. It almost sounded like he thought our pets were losers.

I imagined what that must be like, both guys waiting at the door for me until eventually they gave up on my returning any time soon. I imagine it would go something like this, if they could talk like I pretend they can:

"I wonder where she went," wonders Aidan.

"When she takes me, she usually puts me in a box and goes to the man who puts needles in me, but sometimes we go to a new house and then we stay there forever," says Rex. "So I'm glad she went by herself."

"She takes me to the park and the store and to Grandma's and Nana's and everywhere," brags Aidan, then stops to think. "Why didn't she take me this time?" He slumps down and puts his head on his paws in sorrow.

They sit quietly for a moment, each thinking their own opposite thoughts. Rex reflects on how little he enjoys going on trips in the car, and Aidan wishes he were interfering with my driving right now.

"Wanna play a game?" Aidan suggests.

"No," says Rex. "You're too rough."

Aidan cocks his head thoughtfully. "We could smell garbage."

Rex rubs his face on the wall. "I can smell it from here."

"Me too!" says Aidan, ecstatically. "It's nice to do things together, isn't it."

"I guess," says Rex, because he is aloof, although I suspect he secretly likes the company.

They are quiet for a few minutes more, united only by their waiting for me.

"Your Daddy is a jerk," says Rex.

"My Daddy is a saint!" protests Aidan. "He is the most tall and handsome and smart and rich man in the world."

"I don't like him," says Rex. "He doesn't pay attention to me, except when Mom is watching, and then I turn my butt at him, so they both know I think Aidan's Daddy is a dumb jerk."

"I like him!" says Aidan.

"I don't," says Rex. "He doesn't pet me or tell me I'm cute or give me treats. All he likes is you."

"I like him a lot!" says Aidan. "He has the most wonderful voice, and his muscles are bigger than anyone else's and he always says the most interesting things!"

"He's not good enough for my Mom," sulks Rex, who dislikes Davey out of a bruised ego more than anything else.

"No one's good enough for my Mom!" agrees Aidan, dreamily. "Not even my Daddy, and he's perfect."

"My Mom," corrects Rex.

"No one's good enough for our Mom!" Aidan accedes. Rex doesn't press the issue any further, proving that they are much better friends now than they used to be.

"She has all the best haircuts and her feet are so small and she sings like an angel and she has many interesting hobbies and she makes little calzones and she smells like something and her eyes aren't brown and she has lots of clothes and she's so strong she can pick me up and carry me and she has treats in a drawer that she gives me- hey, and she gives them to you, too! She's so great!" Aidan enthuses.

"You're right. I hope she gets home before your ugly, farty Dad," says Rex.

Check out the following photographic masterpieces by Davey.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Momma's Boys

Aidan had the chance to go on a car ride with his Grandpappy. They went out the door together, happy as clams. One minute later Aidan was being ushered back inside with a shout of, "He doesn't want to leave you," and the sound of the door slamming. Aidan trotted back inside looking relieved. Presumably he had wept for me upon being placed in the car, although I didn't ask. I just know from experience from being in the car with him while Davey is without. Aidan is stepping on a lot of toes right now, because he doesn't want to go anywhere or do anything without either me or Davey.

When I got home from my hike today, Aidan flipped out. I'm going to put the video on youtube soon, so keep an eye out for the link, which I will post on here. He yipped and yapped and gummed my fingers. Rex didn't even realize I was home at first until I went out into the backyard for a cigarette (I figured Aidan would just about die if I walked back out the front door after the conniption he had when I got home a few minutes before). I had pulled a plastic patio chair into the shade near my bedroom window and was puffing away with Aidan laying away from the smoke when I heard a meow. I thought it was coming from under the house and wondered how my little rascal had gotten outside, but it turned out to just be Rex at the window, demanding to know what I was doing out there while he was stuck in there. We pressed our noses together through the screen, and it was super cute. When I went back inside he jumped into my lap and stayed there for half an hour.

Just a quick post about cuteness, nothing fancy today.