I did the housework. I restored all the cushions to their proper places. Ani, however, rearranged them. She disapproves of neatness I think. This, as readers of Notes from a Small Dog will know, is no regimented dog. She has a mind of her own and rules the household… well, me… with a pair of big brown eyes and a tennis ball.
It has been said, by one who has been subjected to those big brown eyes, that she is my need for mischief and anarchy externalised. This may be true. And I love her for it. Certainly she is not the world’s most obedient animal. She knows what to do… but whether or not she chooses to is a different matter. If she has other ideas, I don’t stand a cat in hell’s chance of getting her to do anything.
At present she is curled up at my feet. Snoring. She will inevitably wake again shortly to patrol the perimeter before bed, checking for intruders such as the ginger tom next door. She has done her duty tonight, attacked the feather duster and done her bit for the preservation of my waistline by eating half my dinner. But for now she is quiet and peaceful.
It is difficult for anyone else to get a true picture of this beautiful creature, as she invariably pretends to be a lunatic if we have visitors… and does it very convincingly, I might add. She gets excited as we get them so seldom. Then the tennis balls come out as a means to focus all their attention where it needs to be…firmly on her. This happens also when the phone rings. This too is an opportunity for attention focussing… this time mine. I cannot blame my friends for thinking she is the mad dog I call her. She just is…
Yet for all her madness she is the most joyous and loving creature you could meet. She may not stay still often long enough for a cuddle, but she will give you the Disney grin (and a tennis ball) and radiate laughter. She is a healer in her own right, reading a mood and giving unreservedly all she is to the moment… your moment… sharing it with you in bouncing glee or quiet empathy. She knows.
Ani bounces and bounds, a furry whirlwind… except with fragile creatures like babies, even the baby sparrows she directs me to when they fall from the nest. Then she is incredibly gentle. Or with my son… she knows which hand works best and only takes the ball to his left. Or me, when like tonight, I need a little comforting. Then she sleeps on my feet and I look down at the small black angel, feel her warmth and see her looking up at me, wagging her tail because I smiled.
““I’ve just worked out the game of ‘fetch’.”
“Yes really, the Ball of Power is… Love. And no matter how hard you try to get rid of it. It just keeps coming back to you.”
The Ball of Power flies through the air. Quick as lightning Anu leaps skyward, catches it in his jaws, lands with a thud and proudly trots back to me to again lay it at my feet.
“You’re a clever Bird-Dog, Anu, aren’t you boy?””
Giants Dance: Rhyme and Reason, Stuart France & Sue Vincent