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In the Night

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She’s taken to sleeping on the couch in my room of late.

In the dark of night, when she hears me stir, she comes to my side. I cough, a weak cough—but a persistent one. One hand on my forehead, the other on my backside, she stills me. Comforts me. Then cradles my head in her lap and says, “Old age isn’t for sissies, my pup.”

Her eyes scan my body like a searchlight. She brushes the dandruff from my once beautiful coat—now a patchwork of ailments. She smoothes the hair on that spot that’s just begun to grow in, and she traces an outline of skin where nothing grows anymore.

“Pup, I used to think this was a psychological thing with you. Now, I’m convinced—you’ve got a metabolic problem.”  I tell her it’s both. “We’ll get you fixed up,” she says and rubs the underbelly of my chin ‘till I am almost lulled to sleep.

We hear a mouse, scratching somewhere behind a wall; he desperately wants to get in—inside, where the lights are warm and the comforts real. I think to myself, how lucky I am that she invited me to stay.

When, with my eyes, I asked her from her door, “Will you please take care of me?”

“Yes, I will,” she said. I will.

Momma, I wonder half asleep, “Did I thank you for being there when I needed you most?” “Every day, pup,” she says. Every day.

One Response to “In the Night”

  1. maria in sydney, australia says:

    oh,pup! your bed looks so comfy and i love your pet toy too. they are important, aren’t they? someone to shake, or cuddle, depending on the mood. That cough, pup, your momma is taking care of it. as for your hair, oh dear, mine is thinning too and you know what? it WAS a metabolic problem.Thyroid my doctor said. so now with one pill a day i am hoping my coat will be brilliant again. Spring also helps, it’s the time when everything grows.The mouse, pup, I’m sure he would change places with you anytime. Pity we cannot provide for everybody. you made me think about those who want to come into the warmth and cannot.Let’s hope mouse finds enough to eat and enough material to line his nest to make it warm.One thing he won’t have though, is your momma’s healing hands on his forehead. I know you love her, pup, I can tell by just looking into your eyes…

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