Name:Harrison Location:United States

The Original Lovable Little Fuzzball

Here's the straight stuff.

The adventures of Harrison are true.
Try a few of his Crunchy Bites for a taste.
--Alpha Human Mom

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I'm Writin' a Book

Okay, AHM and me are writin' a book. No, it's not part of that "write 50,000 words in November" program I've seen on some blogs, mainly 'cause I didn't know about it at the beginnin' of the month. And mine is takin' a lot of time since I always have to wait for AHM to type out my dictation, but I'm doggedly pluggin' away. It's not gonna' be one of those cutsey puppy books--it's gonna' be a murder mystery--with me as the star detective. (Cats have been floggin' themselves as great detectives for waaaay too long!) 'Course I have to let AHM be the narrator 'cause in a mystery story humans can go places those bigoted government regulators won't let canines set paw into.

Anyway, it might be fiction, but I'm stickin' in all of my adventures over the years to keep it interestin'. All the names are different (naturally) and Silly Human Female is part of it--as comic relief--unless I decide to fictionally bump her off, that is. (Considerin' what she's been up to lately, that's a real possibility. More on that later.)

I've written a little about Silly Human Female when I first started bloggin' to explain why I hate felyings. She's just a fe-lyin' person pretendin' to be a canine person. When she was around we all knew that, but we humored her 'cause she kept givin' us treats so we'd like her. (Hey, I'm as mercenary as the next guy!)

"When I was a really young pup, Silly Human Female was AHM's roomie and we got stuck housing her fe-lying as part of the deal. It was a big, fat, hairy, tabby-colored Persian fe-lying…"

Now along comes this story:

"[Jennifer] Ward, 30, was driving on Moore Road in northern Polk County a few days after Hurricane Charley's passage through the area when she glanced to her left and saw something she says has haunted her ever since. She describes it as a creature with a human form that was covered in dark hair or fur and had whitish rings around its eyes…

"Ward found an enthusiastic ally in Scott Marlowe, an archaeologist… Marlowe has long had an interest in cryptozoology, the study of legendary or unconfirmed species. Upon hearing of Ward's experience, he told her about a long-rumored creature known variously as the Florida swamp ape or Florida skunk ape."

Skunk ape terrorism. Will it never end?

The reason SHF and skunks are connected in my mind--aside from the fact she is one--is somethin' I included in the book. See, SHF had a habit of dramatizin' everything. Still does, I suppose, 'though we're not around to see and hear it anymore. In the story I exaggerate stuff 'cause, well, it makes it funnier, but it's based on a real experience. So here's a slice of life with SHF.

Continued… (Now you can use that "Read More!" link if you wanna'.)

SHF and the Skunk

Then came the screech. It seemed to echo from all directions. For a moment I thought it was an owl beginning his evening hunt a few hours early. It took me a good thirty seconds of intermittent screeches to realize the racket was actually coming from the direction of the Pugsley house. Unbelievable. That was one world-class screecher to make a noise able to travel nearly a mile down the road to my place, even allowing for prevailing winds.

But it was unnerving and didn’t seem to be stopping. Harrison and Hemingway merely raised their heads to glare in that direction, irritated the noise had interrupted their nap. Years of living on a California ranch had made them all but immune to animal noises—from bellowing bulls to the hunting call of coyote packs.

Should I investigate? I already knew from sad experience how ElizabethAnn could create a panic over almost anything. This, however, sounded like real distress and, even if I couldn’t stand the silly woman, I just couldn’t bring myself to ignore what could be a serious emergency.

Grabbing my purse from the Deacons’ bench in the front hallway, I ran out the front door, slamming the bottom half in the dogs’ faces.

"I’ll be right back," I called, ignoring their protests and jumping in my car to tear out of the drive.

Since the garage was now full of boxes and furniture waiting a yard sale or a visit by various antique dealers, I was parking in the front drive. That gave me a few seconds head start on Bea, and I whisked past the end of her drive a bare exhaust fume ahead of her.

Slewing into the spot beside the tan hatchback, I was out of my car and suddenly gasping for air. The usual bird-induced stench had been joined by an eye-watering rankness that I was surprised hadn’t produced its own personal mushroom cloud over the property. I yanked my tee shirt collar up over my nose and mouth while fumbling with the backyard gate latch. The stinkin’ Lincoln came in for a sideways landing at the end of the drive, blocking everyone in.

"I called the police," Bea yelled as she got out of her car. I flapped my hand at her and plunged into what sounded like Armageddon.

The back yard was indeed the scene of the action. From beneath the porch came a rich array of growls, yowls, snarls, squalls, and hisses, along with the throat-gagging combination of cat pee and a really pissed off skunk.

ElizabethAnn was crawling around the base of the porch on her knees, one hand swathed with a hankie clamped over her face, the other poking at the ornate lattice that hid the underside of the raised porch. Valencia was wearing one of those paper painting masks and following close behind holding a wicked-looking gardening tool—the kind that’s honed to a triangular point on one side and has three sharp prong-claws on the other. ElizabethAnn was shrieking something unintelligible. Valencia was howling in Spanish—or Portuguese or ancient Latin, for all I knew, considering it was distorted by the mask. Her voice went up and down the scale in cacophonous counterpoint to the racket emanating from the battle zone.

It was tough to tell if Val was preparing to use her weapon on whatever combatants emerged from beneath the porch, or on ElizabethAnn for plowing through the immaculate foundation gardens, flattening everything in sight. My vote was to use it on Edaline who had draped herself over an aluminum glider on the porch, one hand dramatically clutched to her bosom, the other waving a scrap of lace in front of her face—still screeching.

"Great grizzly horny toads, what is that stink?!" Bea had to almost yell in my ear to be heard over Edaline’s wailings.

"Here, Bo Bo Baby—here kitty, kitty," ElizabethAnn hollered.

Bo Bo Baby? Someone had been watching way too much Nick-At-Night. Then again I vaguely remembered Edaline calling her husband "Baby Boy."

Undoubtedly there were some major unexplored issues in that family.

"Get away from there," I yelled, but since my mouth and nose were still buried in my tee shirt, it didn’t come out with the necessary authority. ElizabethAnn kept crawling and poking.

"God Almighty, it’s a polecat and a pussy!"

"Save my baby kitty," Edaline blubbered.

Knowing what sort of cats Edaline and ElizabethAnn preferred, that "baby kitty" was probably grouchy, lazy, ornery, and outweighed the skunk by at least ten pounds.

The abrupt whoop of sirens joined in and the scene took on the audio ambiance of Happy Hour in a Tijuana back street cantina.

Seemingly undaunted by the stench, Bea marched up to ElizabethAnn’s jutting backside. "Get away from there, you stupid woman!" she ordered, far more clearly than I had, and bent down to grab the waistband of ElizabethAnn’s shorts with both hands.

I tried to untangle myself from my tee shirt in time to warn her—I really did. Honest. You see, because of ElizabethAnn’s--er--confirmation, shall we say, I knew she always wore clothes with a loose, very expandable waistband. Bea grabbed and yanked. Once. Twice. The shorts moved. The underpants moved. ElizabethAnn didn’t move. And the cops charging through the back gate were mooned by a pair of very full moons.

Now ElizabethAnn was screeching and Bea was trying to help her pull the shorts back up. The cops were swearing and fumbling for their handkerchiefs. I think Edaline fainted. Val had dropped her weapon then dropped to her knees, covering her face with her hands and moaning appeals (I think) to all the saints and the heavenly host en masse. Of course she could have been laughing.

I was certainly laughing. And choking and coughing and crying. Leaning against the fence, I tried desperately to catch my breath while filtering it with my cotton tee.

"Shut up!"

The older cop bellowed at the top of his lungs and everyone obeyed, except for the sound of our gagging, desperate attempts to find just one atom of untainted air. Only then did the ominous silence from beneath the porch become apparent.

"Bo Bo Baby," ElizabethAnn cried, and made another lunge for the latticework.

This time Bea grabbed the back of her shirt.

"Bo Bo Baby’s gone bye bye," she coughed. "He’s toast."

"More like toxic waste," I mumbled into my tee shirt. The younger cop swiveled to glance in my direction. He, like his boss, had his handkerchief firmly planted over his mouth and nose, but I thought he was laughing.

The senior policeman had gone around the area and was in the porch checking on Edaline. "Better call the Rescue Squad," he said. "She looks like she’s just fainted, but I don’t want to take any chances. And we definitely need some oxygen."

"Mama!" ElizabethAnn belatedly realized her mother had been silenced and lurched toward the porch steps.

"Call Animal Control while you’re at it," he added as his younger partner headed gratefully toward their patrol car. "They’ll have to haul out whatever’s left under the porch. Get those cars out of the way, too" he finished.


Bea and I lunged through the gate to our cars.

posted by Harrison at 12:26 PM


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