In the Best Interest of Mommy

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Mommy turns in front of the thingy that shows her back to herself. She flits in front of it and looks at her ankles, then her thighs, then she squishes her hands in front of her all funny-like and tries to look at her butt.

What is Mommy doing? I think to myself.

“Hey, sweet boy. Do these jeans make Mommy look fat?”

She swipes at my chin, then cups her hand under it gently and scratches in a circular motion. Even though this feels good — I know better. I’m not answering that question.

I look up at her, tilt my head gingerly, and lean back just a little. I bark once happily. I wag my tail. I want her to know I approve of these things she calls “jeans” and I wish I had a pair myself.

“You’re such a good boy. Yes, you are. You don’t think Mommy looks fat, do you? Who wants a treat? You do! Yes, you do!”

Well, yes . . . Yes, I most certainly do want a treat! Lately, she’s been getting these turkey jerky bits from my favorite pet supermarket and I just can’t turn them down. Go on and toss a few this way, Mommy. I can handle it!

“I’ve gotta find the right outfit for this date tomorrow night. Daryl sounds like a great guy. Maybe I’ll introduce you two if this date goes well.”

Daryl, who’s Daryl? I don’t know about all this. Is this guy gonna be my daddy? What’s this about some date? Is this why Mommy’s so concerned about her butt?

I jump down from where I’m sitting, sniff around her toes, then beg to be picked up — which she promptly agrees to, and I sniff behind her ears and then at her hair. No . . . I don’t smell anyone else.

Mommy acknowledges my curiosity, pats my bottom, and places me back on the couch.

“Okay, boy. What about this dress? Maybe I should wear my push-up bra for this one. I’ve got some kitten heels that’ll go nicely with this. I think this is it!”

Oh, no . . . No. No. Oh, no, Mommy, you will not wear that getup. A push-up what?! For what?! Where’s the rest of this thing? What are those shoes? I thought I chewed those up last week! Are these an extra pair?

“Yes, Zeus. This outfit is perfect! Everything is in its rightful place and I’ll throw a light sweater over my shoulders for the night air.”

Okay, Mommy, but just . . . I didn’t agree to this. You’re . . .

Mommy raises herself from the couch where she’d been sitting with me for the last hour, smoothing that God-forsaken dress with her hands, and asking me “How do I look?” every fifteen minutes. It’s the doorbell. She’s scrambling and I’m scrambling and I bark loudly at the door.

She must open it! We must see who’s behind it! Maybe it’s our new order of turkey jerky! I run toward her, then back to the door, then toward her. Open it! Open it!

“Hello, Daryl. Let me grab my purse and I’ll be ready. You can come in. This is Zeus. Zeus, this is Daryl. I’ll only be a few seconds.”

Mommy closes the door, and I look this Daryl guy up and down. I sit in front of his feet, carefully walk toward them, and sniff. Yuck! I don’t like the smell of these shoes. I sniff the cuffs of his pant legs, and he leans down to greet me. I growl. I growl a mean growl — a long, mean growl. I don’t approve. I don’t approve. I don’t approve. Daryl steps back and Mommy catches me maintaining dominance.

“Zeus! You will mind your manners and be a good boy! Now, I’m heading out for a bit and I’ll be back later.”

She leaves with Daryl and the only thing I can think about is my mommy with this guy who has smelly shoes and funny-looking pant cuffs. I don’t approve.

Two hours later, Mommy returns. Her face is a sad bubble and her eyes are red. Has she been crying? Those look like crying eyes. She stoops down to my level, scratches behind my ears, and picks me up. I shower her with kisses.

“The date was horrible, boy. You won’t have to worry about Daryl. He talks loudly, burps uncontrollably, was rude to our host and the waiter, and asked if he could drop me off two blocks away from home so he wouldn’t have to turn back around to get out of the neighborhood. What a jerk!”

I knew that guy was bad news. I lick Mommy’s face and press my wet nose against her cheek. She deserves so much more — someone who’ll know just how perfect she is. Someone who’ll be good for both me and her.

In the meantime, I’ll keep taking good care of her. It’s what I’m supposed to do.

©2021 Tremaine L. Loadholt

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I am more than breath & bones. I am nectar in waiting. Editor PSILY •You write like a jagged, beautiful dream. ©Martha Manning •

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