Monday, August 18, 2008

Nursing the Baby

We had empty nest syndrome but did not know it until Mitchell’s friend adopted a kitten for us. I came home from work to find Kit and Renee talking to Kay, a little gray fluffy kitten bounding around the house. It didn’t take long to come up with a name, Mr. Hedley, his head and ears seemed so large for his little body.

The next day he was sneezing and sleeping a lot. Kay took him to the vet, we found out he was very sick. Dr. McCoy gave Hedley antibiotics and prescribed lots of bed rest. His short life had been tough so far. He was part of a litter left in a box outside the pound where all of his siblings died. Hedley was then neutered too early in life, poor thing. We gave him goat’s milk and wet cat food. He spent the next few days curled up on Kay’s chest sleeping. She held him and loved him, hoping he would be okay. After a week his fever broke and he seemed to be feeling much better. During his illness he lost his voice and it never came back as strong as it was.

Hedley’s body finally grew to match the size of his head and now he is a rambunctious teenager. As I look at my hand it is covered with small scratches. We play and wrestle a lot. My hand and foot bear the scars from his attacks. Kay doesn’t allow him to bite her and he knows it. While he is in full attack mode, both paws wrapped around my fist while biting and kicking with his back legs, she puts her hand in his face and he only smells her. I return my hand, full attack mode once again. At times he will stand on his hind legs and attack my calf, other times flipping on his back so his hands and feet a free to wrap around my foot, it tickles more than anything.

His favorite thing is a napkin or paper towel rolled into a ball. From a dead sleep he will wake to the sound of a paper towel wadding to be thrown. His favorite activity is fetching the napkin. While we sit in bed watching TV we throw the napkin; he dives off the bed and brings it back to us, over and over. After he tires, he lies against my legs and falls asleep. Sometimes we wake up with him between us fully laid out on his back. He loves to be near us.

Now when Kay is sick it is his turn to take care of her. He knows something is wrong with her and cuddles up close to keep her warm. The only time he lays on or against her is when she is in bed sick. He is laying with her today, taking care of her, sipping her water when she isn’t looking, gently touching her with his little paw as if to say “There, there, do you have a fever and chills, I will lay here and take care of you now. Thank you for loving me.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wilson House Bed and Breakfast

On your next visit to Pinckard, stop by The Wilson House Bed & Breakfast. Located on Highway 134, in the heart of downtown Pinckard, this quaint singlewide mobile home provides the finest of country living amenities.

Ronald and Lurleen Wilson welcomed me to their home upon handing over $50 for one night’s stay. I parked my car beside the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme on blocks in the front yard, which doubles as a doghouse. I immediately felt welcomed by the dogs when they proceeded to urinate on my tires. One of the younger dogs, I believe his name was Z71, really laid out the welcome mat by humping my leg. Ronald hollered out that Z71 shouldn’t take long and to come on in when he was finished. There, There, good boy.

A quick tour of the mobile home gave me a good idea of the sense of history the Wilson’s treasure. The den area was decorated with Confederate and University of Alabama regalia. Ronald is well versed in the history of the Confederate States and rich history of his beloved Crimson Tide. My bedroom was decorated with John Deere tractor logos. The bed was firm, but soft in places and I swear the thread count on the sheets was in the 200 range

After a light snack of Miller High Life and boiled peanuts I joined Ronald in the small, but comfortable pool. Lurleen mowed the grass while Ronald extolled his love of the Crimson Tide football team. Several Miller High Lifes later I was fully educated on the greatest coach in history, the number of national championships and expectations of future championships from the Alabama football team.

Lurleen finished the mowing and joined us in the pool. There was barely room for the three of us so Ronald excused himself saying he would take a nap. I think he drank several Miller High Life beers before I arrived. Lurleen asked if I would apply baby oil to her back to help her tan. Her skin was very dark and appeared to be a loose fitting leather jumper, but I did as she asked. Her leathery skin and raspy voice from years of cigarettes appealed to some primal yearnings in my midsection. That might be the beer talking. I engaged her in conversation about things to do while staying in Pinckard. She told me the two choices were going to MP Surplus or going to the store. Maybe later we could go to Midland City to see the Shrimp Man for supper.

As night fell we tired of being in the pool, Lurleen took me around to the back porch area. There she opened a box with a few cigarettes. She offered one, telling me it is a clove cigarette and really gives an appetite. I figured: When in Pinckard. We shared the one cigarette and she told me to quickly get dressed. A sports coat and slacks should suffice for a Saturday evening dinner. I started to feel very light headed, probably the cigarette and beer. I dressed as quickly as possible and met Lurleen in the den.

By this time the beer, whatever kind of cigarette and lack of food was taking its toll. My head was spinning. I stumbled into the den hoping to find Lurleen and Ronald and hopefully some food. Maybe I was a little tipsy, but gone was the leather, tanned woman with the figure of Barney Rubble. Lurleen was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. High heels, red spandex pants, a silky cowgirl blouse cut down to there and lots of blue eye shadow to compliment her stringy red hair. She was an angel.

Ronald was still asleep so it was just the two of us. Ever the gentleman, I held out my arm, she took it and we strolled out to the car. She drove to dinner in their truck. I didn’t mind, I was laid back enjoying the country air.

Somewhere along the way I must have passed out. When I woke we were parked on the edge of a cornfield. Lurleen was pulling me out of the truck and taking off my clothes. My head was really spinning and I had no control over this lovely woman. As we stood there looking at each other I saw something move in the corn behind her. I began to wonder what kind of cigarette she had given me when I saw a woman coming out of the corn riding a horse. The woman on the horse started screaming at us. I think Lurleen knew the woman as they were yelling all kinds of profanities concerning each other’s families.

I don’t think Lady Godiva and Lurleen were friends because the woman drew a pistol and pointed it at us. I tried to explain our situation, but a shot was fired in our direction. My love for Lurleen vanished as I turned and ran screaming naked through the cornfield. Shortly behind me I could hear the horse following and the occasional gunshot. At the end of the cornfield I scrambled a fence and began running through an open field of cattle. I turned back to see Lady Godiva and the horse jump the fence, following me.

Her next shot missed me, but spooked the cows. I didn’t care where I was going as long as it was away from Lady Godiva. I was hoping the cattle knew the quickest route to the highway. And they did. I could see the streetlights. Only a fence separated us from civilization. I bounded the fence, along with several cows, and of course of course, horse lady. Shouldn’t she be out of bullets by now?

Our running bovine parade went through downtown Pinckard where I saw the Wilson’s mobile home. I dove behind an azalea bush and watched the parade pass. After a few minutes I caught my breath, then Lurleen drove up. After she went inside I checked the truck and thankfully my clothes were in there. I dressed, grabbed my keys and said a silent goodbye to my overnight bag and the Wilsons.

This place was too crazy. I am heading into Dothan to stay someplace safe, like The Heart of Dothan Motel.