Christmas in my family is chaotic. Divorce doesn't really make for fun holidays. And traveling with two 50 lb. Chow Chows doesn't really make things any easier. And so, I usually make my trips minimal. I'd like to tell you about my latest holiday saga. Sit back and feel free to laugh at me.
December 24, 2009
I got off of work and threw my amply-loaded bags in my truck. (Yes, I drive a truck. You may not have known this about me yet.) I then began the extensive undertaking of also loading my pets in next to my luggage. Now, Holly's a great car rider. She sits up straight in the front seat like a little human, alert and ready to bark at any passer-by. Paddington, however, isn't quite as accustomed to the high life, being an ex-stray and all. He prefers to wander the car, hopping from seat to seat, attempting to gain control of the driver's seat every now and again. As this is the case, I was a bit concerned about our first two-hour drive home together. Fortunately, he was able to find a spot in which to settle, bizarre though it was:
And so, for the entirety of our drive home, Holly sat in the front seat, docilely keeping me company, and Paddington sat on my luggage.
We made it to my aunt's, where we would be staying in the Wild Wild West, recreated (aka my 4-year-old cousin's bedroom):
Holly didn't seem to mind the decor.
December 25, 2009
Christmas morning. After the festivities (which we will skip here, as they consist mostly of the hysterics of my dysfunctional family) the whole herd of us got ready to make the trek out to good ol' Tallapoosa, Ga., where the head honchos reside. The pups were going with, so we headed out to my aunt's big backyard, where I enjoyed being able to let them run freely without having to walk them on a leash. Previously, the cat of the house had been contained in the laundry room, so I didn't stop to consider her whereabouts. Unfortunately, it was then that I named my downfall.
You see, while Paddington's fault may be car riding, Holly's is cats. She like to chase them, threaten them and dominate them, in no particular order. As I stood on the porch rambling on to my aunt about the perks of having a fenced in yard, I neglected to keep a close eye on my dog, and it took me a moment to realize that World War III was breaking out down below.
Holly spied her prey and dashed across the yard towards Peanut. Peanut tried to climb a tree, but much to her dismay, she has no claws with which to climb, and fell backwards, with hind legs still attached, to the ground. When I finally became aware of the scene taking place, I clambered down the stairs in my cowboy boots to break up the fight. The thing is, with a cat shaped so much like a basketball, it's hard to get a good grip, and she kept slipping through my fingers. When I finally picked her up and out of harm's way (read: Holly's fangs), she turned her head, presumably to thank me, and instead bit into my thumb as though it were a steak. (Or a fish? I suppose a cat would prefer a fish.) Not being a cat person, I immediately dropped Peanut, gave Holly the first death stare she's ever received for me, and dashed for my aunt, the doctor. (Well, physical therapist, but still. She knows stuff.) In sum, it was on Christmas Day that Holly and I had our first fight.
Peanut went into hiding for the next 36 hours.
December 26, 2009
At the insistence of multiple family members, I went on to spend 2 hours and 45 minutes in an emergency care clinic, where I was so unimpressed with the nurses that I later wrote a very nasty online review summarizing my treatment. :-) Don't scoff at my pain, you rude nurse, you!
The pups, however, must have sensed my pain, because on the ride home, they melted my heart. The two of them spooned in the front seat all the way back to Athens:
Needless to say, my fight with Holly didn't last long. How could I stay angry at that sweet face?
Peanut probably felt differently.
And thus, Christmas in the life of Caroline. It's a good thing I love Jesus, or I might swear off the holidays altogether.
P.S. I ate three clementines today. Is that unacceptable? I figured it was better than eating three pints of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream, which is what I felt like doing on this Valentine's Day weekend.