As I found myself really being single for the first time in years, I was getting out more and more with friends. Every weekend was consumed, then there was work, along with the evenings after work. Rosie was now living with me and I started feeling guilty for leaving her alone all the time. We had a chat, I told her one day “Rosie, you need a playmate since I am gone all the time. I am going to get you a kitty.” She looked at me with that “Whatever…” look that she can give and carried on with her nap. I posted on Face Book that I was thinking of doing this for my Rosie, and it just so happened a former classmate reached out to me. Her husband and her have a somewhat exotic animal type farm. At that time she had Bengal kittens for sale. She had 3 left, and I could go and pick one out which I still wouldn’t be able to take home for at least another 6 weeks. I went and found my little beauty. She was adorable! She would become my EmmieLynn. Emmie stemming from her emerald eyes, Lynn being the middle name of my closest and dearest friend I’ve know for years, and EmmieLynn’s Godmother.
Prior to all of the events from getting Rosie, and buying her a kitten, several of our former classmates were meeting once a month for dinner. We had all reconnected through FB and enjoyed our “How We Met” dinners. Kim, the lady I was purchasing EmmieLynn from decided to join us one evening. We hadn’t socialized much except for little things here and there on FB and then of course more recent in regards to the kitty transaction. I sat next to Kim at dinner and as always conversation among all of us was abundant. At one point Kim said to me, “There is a guy I know that I think you might really get along with if your interested.” I said “Oh, ok, how do you know him?” without hesitation she said “Well actually we were engaged at one time.” Of course my first response was “Aaaaall righty then!! Not sure how this will pan out, but ok.” She asked if she could give him my number, and my attitude was pretty much just “Sure”, and blew it off. A few days later I got a text message from him, and immediately after the text message, came the “phone call”. His name was Luke. We chatted briefly and decided we would meet up once I got back from a trip I was getting ready to go on to see my kids in Michigan. When I returned, we did indeed meet for lunch at a little diner in Tulsa called “Darby’s”. We both had an hour for lunch, and there was not a lag at any time in our conversation. It was great! We ended up going on our first “real” date the following weekend to see the Christmas lights at Rhema Bible College. As we started our walk into the lights, he kept bumping into my side, and I told him, “You can hold my hand if you want to.” From that moment on, we became a couple.
Forever it seemed, when Luke came to the house, Rosie would bark, bark, bark and EmmieLynn would hide, I think it was actually several dates down the road before Emmie came out to meet this new man in my life. Rosie would bark, would come to a calming point then lay on the floor and give him “the look”. Now Luke had moved to Broken Arrow just not long after we started dating and lived only two miles away. I will admit when we first met he lived in Inola and I was quite fine with that. Yes, the drive was longer but we only saw one another on the weekends so that was a safe distance for me. We started dating right before Thanksgiving and he moved into his new house the week of Christmas. It was a short time that I had that “safe distance” feeling. But with it being made clear as we became closer that I would not remarry for at least two years, the arrangement worked out beautifully. Now, back to the pets. Of course the nights that were spent at my house were changing up. Rosie was accustomed to sleeping on the bed with me, that changed. EmmieLynn liked to walk the halls during the night and meow, especially if the food bowl was dwindling. Luke was not fond of a dog watching him eat his meals as he considered her begging. Begging in my eyes is when the dog whines or tries to stand up on the side of your chair to sniff your plate. Emmie by this time had learned she had quite the jumping capabilities, so up on the bar or table she would jump! She has since learned she is not allowed on the bar or table when food is present, and is quite content with sitting in a chair watching me prepare food. I really have no problem with her walking along counter tops as I find a cat to be cleansing themselves on a regular basis, much more so than most humans. However, Luke did point out cats walk in the same area they go to the bathroom, so he was not as content with counter walking as I was. He was good though about making adjustments since he had not been around pets for at least fourteen years, and also was beginning to understand the soft spot and love I have for my fur babies. All in all that was clicking along pretty good, until….the skunk incident.
It was a cold, rainy night and Rosie needed to head out to take care of business. Not long after I got Rosie we had an incident with that whole skunk thing, but her and I got past that and I thought we had an understanding. Well, not so much. As she ran past me when I opened the back door, it hit! Oh GAWD!!! She ran over to Luke, rubbed up against his jeans, ran down the hall as I was chasing her to get her into the garage, meanwhile the stench was attaching its self to anything she got near! I finally got her in the garage, and could see in the florescent lighting, the direct hit! It was huge! So here I go into the house to mix together the ingredients I had used before to deskunk her. Needless to say, a dog not only wet from rain, but showered with skunk scent is not good, not good at all! Luke smelled of skunk, I smelled of skunk as did everything in the house, it even soaked it’s way into some of my jewelry! Luke went home that night, imagine that! It seemed like weeks before the air cleared, I must have spent a fortune on incense, candles, air fresheners, carpet cleaners. It finally left, but not quickly. As for Luke, he still came to the house, and learned as I did, once the sun has set, or before the sun rises in the morning, we now take Rosie out on a leash, especially during skunk traveling season.
One year and eleven months later, Luke and I got married. He tries to have conversations with Rosie, and she will be attentive until he finishes what he needs to say, then she will graciously lick herself, and that ends that conversation. She still stands and looks at him while he eats, he shooshes her away, she backs up two feet and continues to stare. Rosie will occasionally find her way to my side of the bed, as long as it does not disrupt Luke we all sleep in peace. Well, until EmmieLynn jumps on the bed, then she has to make her way up and down both Luke and I before figuring out she really wants to lie next to her dog. Emmie still has her moments of cat calling in the middle of the night, or if she decides to play in the wee hours of the morning, you will hear her bounce off a wall or two. Then I feel the bed shake a little as I hear Luke laughing at her. Of course she has an occasional hair ball, Luke doesn’t do throw up so that cleaning is all on me. Rosie gets excited when she sees Luke head out the back door with a fine cigar and beer as she knows she is going to go out and stay for a lengthy amount of time. She is not one to go out and stay without one of us being with her. Emmie will sit in the window longing to go out and might rebel once in awhile with an attitude, but then is grateful for her cozy indoor life and has just recently started snuggling up in Luke’s lap as well as mine at night, on the couch.
I also remind Luke if the pets get a little out of control now and then, that if it weren’t for them, we may have never met as it was the dog, who brought me to buying the cat, which reconnected me with Kim, who knew Luke. He agrees. Once again they are off the hook.
So you see, even after 50 when you think there will be no more adjustments in the family life, they do still occur. It’s just in a different breed of children. Yes, we also love them unconditionally, they have feelings too.
From our den to yours, my Lion King and I wish you a Valentine’s Day full of Love, Hugs, Peace, and Roars!