"I am not your slave" I said to the dog that stood whining outside my front door. Which wasn't true. The ridiculous mix between jack-russell terrier and bijan frieze only has to whimper near the door and somebody, a human, stops what they are doing and let's the dog in or out. Maybe the thought of the dog relieving itself on the carpet is enough to keep me on a short leash.  The animal is only outside in the cold for three minutes before its clawing and crying at the door again. Annoying, sharp cries, they are. High pitched and shaking for added effect. The dog has me trained. I am in fact its slave.

The cat I didn't want was trying t get into the dishwasher.  I stepped on it by accident for the tenth time in its already decrementing nine lives. In all, its a fine cat, except that it's never satisfied. The assigned bowl of cat food isn't empty, the cat just wants the scraps of the dishwasher. This house is too small to be a zoo. 

One of the 27 chickens was lost today. An escape that cost my daughter several hours of her elective Saturday looking for it. I perceive it as a waste of time, but when you're 12, what could be more fun than trying to recover a recalcitrant bird. The thing flew into the brambles which drove the yellow lab nearly into a frenzy as every gene in its body went into retriever mode. At last notice, it's still lost and will probably freeze through the night. 

The lab is a piece of work as well. She has a condition. The unfairness of it won't leave me alone. The disease sends her into convulsions when she runs too hard. I think there is even a name for it. Exercise Induced Collapse. Looks like a seizure to me. Recently, she fell into some bushes all locked up and eyes rolled back, and a stick punctured her scalp. That was a six hundred dollar cure at the vet, including the anesthesia and the drain tubes that remained for many weeks. 

We have special needs pets. One of the chickens when not even a day out of the egg, had been left for dead by the hen that brooded over it. I think it actually did die, but Mei An gave it mouth to beak resuscitation and it has lived ever since. It too has seizures. Just when you think it dead, its eyes blink and it's back to wandering in search of bugs. The cat is orally fixated with a strong ongoing nursing preference for polar fleece. 

We feed them on their terms. We let them in or out at their whim, I considered cutting a doggie door into one of the doors but I just can't bring myself to actually act on the notion of a private entrance for the throng of sub-human life forms that clutter my halls. Instead I numb my mind to the gross interruptions that are meant to be here for my pleasure. Slave or indentured servant ... either one is a notch or two down from where I thought I'd be.