Happy Fake-Out Day! My roomies got me good this morning when they convinced me that the Terminix man couldn’t get in because they were both asleep. Yes, we are riddled with termites. But what self-respecting wooden house in South Florida isn’t? Anyway, the roomies got me good while I was at my dad’s shredding papers. Dad died a little over a month ago and left us a mess to sort through. But I digress.
The day started with me taking my Bichoodle, Chloe, to the vet to get her teeth cleaned. I can’t spend the money to have my teeth done but I will go without to make sure the animals get what they need. Is that fucked up? Or am I just a devoted Mom? Anyway, knowing that Chlo had to be put under made the day a tense one for me as I once long ago almost lost a cat-quite an old one- to teeth cleaning. So I dropped off my baby around 8.30am and spent the rest of the day, til about 3pm worrying about her. Chloe is my angel, my god-send, my comedy channel, and with her life is a sitcom. I’ve always been a cat lady, but I got Chloe almost 4 years ago after I lost the cat that was my mother. I pined for Dulcibella and finally my roomie said, “Just get a dog already”, so I did. I rescued Chloe from a kill shelter. When we met the first time, she was brought into an enclosure to sit with me. She was horribly withdrawn, so I sat on the floor next to her and massaged her neck. She pressed her little body against mine and I knew in that moment that we were meant to be. She was a physical and emotional mess when I brought her home. Abandoned and depressed, riddled with fleas and parasites, matted to the skin, terrible diarrhea. But it only took her a day to become a member of the family. At first I had fears about dealing with the neediness of dogs. Cats are so self-sufficient; dogs are small children who never grow up. But I rose to the occasion, much to my surprise. Chloe needed me the way a child needs its mother. She had to be walked at least twice a day-rain or shine. I couldn’t just leave food out for her and expect her to eat when she was hungry like I could with the cats. She had to be fed. She had medications to take. She needed attention all the time. Especially in those first months, she needed encouragement and plenty of stroking, both physical and emotional. But over the years I have discovered I can be very nurturing, very maternal, especially with my animals. And Chloe was responsive to all the positive energy she got from me. She recovered quickly and eventually took over the running of the household. I could ask, “What cute little dog doesn’t?”, but I don’t have to. You know.
I wasn’t very foolish this April Fools as I was too worried about my baby. But I got got good by my roomies, my sisters. I’ve never been a prankster and I usually do not enjoy making other people feel silly. But I think feeling foolish is highly underrated. It brings us down to earth and, if done right, can lighten things up a lot. We all run the risk of taking ourselves far too seriously and April Fools reminds us that being too serious is what foolish really is.