PippinTook is Gandalf’s little brother. Never mind that he is of a different species, he is the quirky, social butterfly younger sibling to Gandalf’s older, more sensible, kind of nerdy big brother. An odd couple by any definition, Pippin adds a certain flavor to our family; remember the movie Young Frankenstein and Marty Feldman’s character Igor the hunchback? When Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) asked Igor about the changing positions of his hump, Igor looked at him as if he was daft and replied “What hump?” Pippin is our own personal Igor:
Now that the snow is going Pippin has started accompanying Gandalf and me on walks. This began one dark night when we were not far from the house and I heard a cat meowing. Hmmmm…..sounded like a familiar meow and when I looked around I saw two glowing green marbles bouncing toward us. It’s quite difficult to juggle the camera and leash while honing in on a cat who moves more quickly than the shutter delay but this is what I came up with so you get the idea.
I was initially freaked out a bit about Pippin’s safety as we have a busy road not too far away but once I talked myself back from that ledge and thought about it, he grew up with a field of foxes, other dogs and a main road close to that house, too, and he managed OK. He has all of his claws and good sense. I have to trust that.
When he had to be an inside kitty at my apartment I put chicken wire on the balcony so he could at least go outside and I promised the furry kids I would get a place with a small yard so they could feel grass under their feet. The Universe presented us with just that and I have to honor my promise of an open-door policy. Keeping Pippin “safe” by keeping him inside made him sad and crazy, and helped me understand again that a life worth living is not without risk; therefore I have resumed my job as doorman for my critters and we are all happy.
The one downside in this arrangement is the way Pippin announces his desire to go outside. No sweet “meeeooowww” will do for him; he jumps onto a windowsill in one of the rooms and paws at the metal venetian blinds. The cacophony he creates can only be described as hellish and when he first did this several possible sources of this racket flashed through my mind in rapid succession. (A) every window in the house was simultaneously shattering, (B) a car was crashing through the wall in my kitchen or (C) a death-metal band had appeared and was tuning up in my living room. The noise is truly this epic. This could be pay-back for the chicken wire on the balcony, but then I remind him that a year of apartment living was a small price to pay for saving his life and he forgives me. But he continues to ask to go out by “playing” the blinds.
So our days roll on and are bookended by walks. As the winter wanes sometimes the air has a tantalizing softness to it and other days the wind comes right off the snowpack, lest we forget that spring is not for sissies. Every day I am beyond thankful for this life I never expected; and while generally I have to agree with the statement “If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes”, in this instance, I think it doesn’t get much better than this!