Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I'm No Dr. Doolittle But...
Sally, did I tell you about the time all the woodland creatures in Olcott Beach came out to make sure my Dad was dead? Yes, I am on the real. A hawk with full-grown possum in its’ clutches stopped by Mom’s house, a swan flew over the porch and a coyote met me at the door. “Is it true? Is the coast clear?” the coyote asked me. “Yes, but Mom kept four rifles. Don’t get cocky,” I said. My father was a hunter – I anticipated their inquiries by land, sea and air.
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It was weird. There I was calling relatives about Dad dying and the animals kept dropping by. I think the scent of meat and cheese platters being delivered to the house was making them crazy. Has anyone in your family died? People love to give you food when it happens, and let them. The urge to carb-load when grieving is insane.
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Back to the animals – specifically, coyotes. Ever since Dad died coyotes started biting the crap out of people (the link is here). It’s like they coordinated their efforts and had a schedule! The coyote that came to Mom’s door ran away after I told him about Dad, but everyone I met at the post office was bitching about their rabies shots. Boy-howdy, they were so pissed. One guy was mad at me because the coyote did not bite me, too. “You’re next!” he warned. I can hardly wait because I am delicious. Mr. Coyote should be so lucky.
The hawk with the possum was flat-out wrong. Talk about showboating! Sure, it was impressive. How many times have you seen a hawk hanging onto a fat, fresh possum in front of your face? OK, but the Hammertime footwork and gang signs were over the line.
The swan thing was cool, but only because Mom had been complaining about never seeing a swan up close. It started weeks ago when we heard that swans were roosting in the marina parking lot. The day the swan flew over the porch I put Mom into the car and drove her there. At last she saw a swan! It was taking up most of a handicapped parking space. I pulled up next to it, careful to hang Dad’s handicapped placard from the rearview mirror. “Well I’ll be darned,” Mom said, “he doesn’t seem disabled at all.”
These were odd experiences but I kind of liked having all of those animals stop by. It was in improvement over the flies. The last time I saw Dad alive there were flies buzzing the screens of his window at the nursing home. Flies in Western NY in March? I wondered if it was a sign, if I should cancel my flight.
Last but not least I should mention the cat. It came walking down the street one night while I was sitting outside looking at stars. I sat at the end of the driveway and it looked so much like my Dad’s late cat, Pistol Pete. I laughed in spite of myself because the cat sat down and stared at me for the longest time when I told him how much he looked like someone I used to know. Then off it went, under the neighbor’s steps and out of sight. It was not until the next morning that I realized our neighbor has solid cement steps that nothing can crawl inside of, and I had a very happy cry. My Dad’s nickname was Tom because he loved tomcats best.