So. If you ever come to my house, it’s hard telling what you might overhear as you’re visiting over a cup of tea and cake. Between my son with his video games and our general, oddball conversations with cats, ourselves, and each other, there are just all sorts of umm…interesting outbursts going on over here.
Just the other day, my daughter’s tutor, such a prim and proper, lovely young woman, had the occasion to snort lemon water out through her nose as she sat at our dining room table discussing the intricacies of AP Physics, when out of the blue “Would you stop licking me!?” wafted from the inner chambers of our humble abode. Admittedly this exasperated utterance came from me. To Sarah’s credit, she didn’t bat an eye.
You see, this phrase has been repeated so often in our house that it has become normal for us and we just don’t even pay attention to it any more. We don’t ask, “Hey, who are you talking to?” Or “What the hell is going on?” Or simply “What??”
Would you stop licking me!? And it’s not what you think.
It’s blurted out on average, oh probably 125,000 times a day, easy. You see, Petra, our hide-and-seeker extraordinaire is also apparently unable to keep her tongue in her head for any length of time at all. She has this obsessive need to show us every few minutes that, “Hey, I looove you!” and to give us a quick swipe. Bless her heart, I can understand her anxiety…we’re pretty sure she was in an abusive home before she came to live with us. Rest assured, we would never seriously berate her for behavior. But after almost two years of this, you can understand that we’re a bit on edge.
Petra sleeps under the covers, and if you move, she takes it to mean that you might be leaving her, so she’ll reach out and lick your foot, your leg, or your elbow, whatever happens to be in reach, in an attempt to say “hey, don’t leave me, I’m here, I looove you!” But here’s the thing…you’re asleep, so you don’t even realize you’re moving, all you know is you’re suddenly waking up to a cold nose and a dog’s tongue once again just as you were about to zoom down the Autobahn with Bond. James Bond.
It’s not just when you’re asleep. She does it when you’re awake too. You’ll be sitting there, hanging out, watching t.v., even petting her and if you stop…oh boy…if you stop…she somehow cranes her head around backwards in a freakish impression of Regan from The Exorcist and out comes the tongue. You’d think you would just be able to avoid it, easy-peasy, right? But no! Somehow you can’t!
Now you’d think that while you’re on the move, you’d be safe. That surely she can only lick you when you’re trapped in the bed or stuck on the couch. But, you’d be wrong! You seriously underestimate Petra’s desire to prove her devotion. Walking through the house is an exercise in acrobatic skill worthy of a circus act as you simultaneously try not to step on the dog dancing around your ankles — did I mention she likes to hop around you as you walk through the house? — (and not fall on your ass) while also avoiding the tongue constantly flicking out at your legs.
Just walking by her as she’s lounging about isn’t even safe. Oh you may think she’s asleep. She may even look asleep. You might think the coast is clear, but once again, a thousand times, no! She just has to get in a quick swipe as you walk by! And I simply don’t understand how she does it, but she’s successful every damn time! She’s truly amazing.
So. Yeah. We’re not as crazy as we might seem, I promise. We’re just loved. Okay. Well, maybe a little crazy.