Some houses contain stacks of books.
In some houses, you find mounds of cat toys. Tidy piles of receipts. Dozens of empty Fresca cans in the recycling.
And in some houses, there are ear plugs on the floor.
Dolly Gee Squeakers, formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers, trots excitedly from one end of the living room to the other, a pink and green ear plug in her mouth. She drops it, upon reaching the far end of the room and, with a tiny guttural exclamation of joy, bats it in ever-increasing displays of ferocity.
Dolly Gee Squeakers, aka Dali Gee, aka No Kitty, No!, has discovered pride in ownership.
They are, of course, not her ear plugs to own, but mine.
In an effort to romance the sleep back into my life, I take a sleep-aid. I take warm baths, get read two bed-time stories, and I wear ear plugs.
There. I said it: I wear ear plugs.
And I don’t really get two bed-time stories.
But I do wear ear plugs, because when you live in a duplex in the city, a gal could wake up several times a night shouting, What?! I never! and various other nonsense answers to the city’s nonsense questions.
The discovery of these little rubber life savers has turned Dolly’s world on its fuzzy, slightly dimwitted head.
“Mrrrow?” Fixed somewhere between the shape of a pampered badger and a speed bump, the cat skitters by, her bright blue and slightly crossed eyes blazing with the pride of ownership.
The cat drops the ear plug at Willie’s feet. He bends over, picks it up. “This doesn’t seem right to me,” Willie says, side-arming Dolly’s latest craze into the other room.
The long-haired Siamese mix lets out a cry, somewhere between desire and heartache, and dashes across the room, only to drop the ear plug at Willie’s feet.
“At least she’s through with her reggae phase,” I say. “That was driving me crazy.”
Willie looks at me, shakes his head, throws the ear plug again.