Saturday, July 10 2021

the wrong grapes, the cat story, and the happy dance



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Dear Journal,

Happy Saturday, everyone. It’s good to be here now, isn’t it? This is the good part of Saturday. To be fair, all of Saturday is essentially good, but it gets even better when the kids are in bed. I hope that you got your fill of work, rest, hobby time, and time without kids bothering you.

Sip. It’s been an action packed weekend here on the homestead. Marissa picked up her new fish tank from the fish store. Half constructed in the living room, it already looks like a spaceship from the future compared to her old set-up. The new tank doesn’t even have water in it yet. Marissa still needs to make up her mind on how she wants to set up the rocks, and readers let me tell you that you haven’t seen anyone anguish over imperceptible details the way Marissa arranges rocks in an aquarium. I certainly appreciate the attention to detail, and I hope her fish do too. We’ve joked that both Ibb and Obb have tried to put in a formal request to be transferred back to the ocean. I guess that paper work must have gotten lost in the mail, but hopefully they enjoy their new place just as much.

In other news, I think I’ll take a few paragraphs to embarrass my five year old son. Rodney accompanied me to the grocery store to pick up dinner. Moments after I had him buckled into his car seat, he floated an unexpected question.

“Can we buy grapes?” he asked. I stopped before closing the car door and stared at him.

“Grapes?” I questioned.

“I super want them this time,” he said.

“I don’t know, dude,” I waffled. “They’re not good for the dogs, and…”

“We can put Ollie and Zig Zig in their crate while I eat them in a bowl, and Minnie can’t jump on the table because she’s too small,” he said.

Rodney had put so much thought into this, and that impressed me. “We’ll get some grapes, dude,” I nodded. “If you like a food that’s good for you, you should be able to have it.”

Later in the produce aisle, I fished a bag of grapes from the center of the pile and placed it in the shopping cart. Rodney stared into the plastic bag like it was a treasure chest. I broke off a small vine of grapes for him to enjoy while we shopped. The decadence! The luxury! You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten grapes while being pushed around in a shopping cart. He continued to indulge on the forbidden fruit, standing up in his seat to reach for more.

Cut to later that evening where Rodney was poking at the rest of his dinner. “I really have to go poop,” he said breaking the dinner table silence.

“You’re almost done,” I interrupted. I also suspected he was using the old I have to go poop for the remaining 20 of time between dinner and bedtime trick. “Just finish your dinner, then you can go.”

Rodney grimaced. He squirmed in his seat. “Dada I really have to go,” he repeated more seriously. Rodney flew up the stairs. We heard his feet thumping through the hallway and the slow creaking of the bathroom door.

I think I can forgo the details if we focus on the main idea that Rodney ate too many grapes at Hy-Vee, and in the car, and back at home. But on the plus side, he got to add a new, colorful term to his vocabulary. The Hershey Squirts. It made Rodney laugh the first time he heard it. As his final thoughts on the ordeal, he muttered “I think we got the wrong grapes” to himself as he climbed into bed.

Oh and I definitely have to tell you the cat story. Marissa and I were cleaning up after some company last night when she saw a dark figure crawling through the backyard. We filtered out onto the deck to check it out.

“Oh it’s a cat,” she said relieved. “Oh crap I think it has a collar.” Marissa trotted into the driveway in her bare feet whistling the cat over. The dark grey cat, wearing a little silver bell around its neck, cautiously tiptoed over to Marissa. Marissa swiftly bent down to scoop the cat off the ground. The cat panicked and back-flipped back down to the ground. Marissa scooped it up again, holding more tightly. The cat dug its claws into the side of her shirt and tugged at her skin.

“Well what the hell do we do now?” she asked. Marissa searched nextdoor. I searched Facebook. The cat just continued to meow loudly and dig into Marissa’s skin.

We put the cat in one of the dog’s crates on the deck and covered it in a blanket. We poured some dog food and water into bowls. The cat flipped the bowls over. The cat scream-meowed in the crate on our deck for an hour. Marissa’s Facebook post got a few bites, but none of them were as helpful as we hoped.

Why is it in a cage?

I thought that was obvious, because otherwise our post would say, “Saw a greyish cat, it’s in the street now - good luck!”

That’s Moxie. She has a large hunting radius.

“So do our dogs, and it’s their backyard” laughed Marissa.

Just let her walk home.

Out of frustration, we opened the door to Moxie’s borrowed crate. Moxie squirled down the stairs, and in a single bound flung herself over our three foot fence gate like a creature from Avatar. She was gone - good luck out there Moxie.

moxie

It was nice having you, Moxie. Now I would like to unsubscribe from your hunting radius.

We’re not cat people. We’re dog people, fish people, worm people, and most recently spider people. Today was a big night in the Recker family animal kingdom. I set out the cages on my desk and began to search for small, juicy worms. Marissa stood behind me to observe. Rodney, butt naked on his way to the bath, also stopped in to observe. I fished out a small, weak superworm I found in the bottom corner of the bin. I placed it at Spidey’s feet, letting the wriggling tail brush his leg. Spidey circled on his legs. He towered over the little twitching worm. He sank his teeth into the soft belly and hoisted it up with his pedipalps. The strike was so unsuspected that I didn’t get it on video, but I did get a video of his “happy dance”.

Tarantulas like spidey wiggle their butt and swivel in circles after a kill. Some scientists think they are creating a “food mat” to preserve their food, and others think they do it to keep prey from dripping in their living space. But some people actually think they do it just because they are feeling happy with themselves - the “happy dance”.

I’ll let you be the judge - what do you think?

Oh, and happy birthday to my big sister Kelly. Love you : )

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great weekend everyone.