Two Animal Moments

The first, and great news–the slate-sided juncos are back at the feeder! (Well, under the feeder.) These little grey-and-white birds are my personal sign of winter. I love them.

The other was…well, inevitable, really. I was working in my studio and Gir the beagle started up downstairs in his usually beagley fashion. And then…


Good lord, I thought, did the collie step on his head?

I opened the door, and Ben stomped by me on his way to the bedroom, growling under his breath. My grasp of feline language is minimal, but I’m pretty sure that was "…stupidgoddamnDOGmesswithMEwillhe…."

I went downstairs. Gir was running wildly around the room, stopping to paw at his face. Sadly, this is pretty normal behavior for him, so I grabbed him. "Come here, idiotbrain. Did you finally piss the cat off…?"

Gir gave me a pathetic look.* Blood welled from the lengthy cat scratch scored across the top of his muzzle, and from the rather short scratch across his jowls.

"You’re lucky he didn’t ride you around the house like a little pony," I told him.

Gir wedged his head against my knees and attempted to convey that he, Gir, had been minding his own business like a good beagle, sitting quietly, knitting bandages for lepers, and the Devil had appeared and hit him in the face. (Beagles have very expressive eyes.)

"Sure he did," I said.

Gir protested his innocence. They had been festive holiday bandages. Fororphans. Who were also lepers.


Gir attempted to convey that the Devil had then eaten a whole turkey in front of him and hadn’t shared any of it, and maybe I would like to rectify this gross injustice? For the little leper orphans?

"I don’t think so…"

Gir sighed heavily, and followed closely at my heels so he could hide under the desk. I went to check on Ben, who looked at me as if nothing that happened, allowed a brief petting, and went back to sleep.

Gir was already leery of sleeping on the bed if Ben was up there–my feet need to be between them, in a kind of human demilitarized zone, but he may not come off the couch for a few days after that.

*Beagles have no other kind.

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