Sunday, December 4

Bustin' out

This morning, I'm dreaming: I'm at my great-grandmother's house, walking on her patio out back, marveling at the trees, especially one whose branches form the outline of a skeleton, in repose, with an extraordinarily defined ribcage. And then somehow I find myself inside, though the interior of the house isn't laid out like it is in reality, and I'm frantically trying to get someone to help me trim the ferrets' nails and clean their ears and give them a bath (it's a two-person job). Phil says he can't because he's got to go to work. And it's so urgent that I have to get it done right that second, so I figure I can ask my brother, who I somehow know is in the house too. So, ferrets in hand, I walk into the living room into a cloud of smoke and see Evan toking up, playing a video game. With our nephews in the room! I flip out and tell him to go outside NOW, but he hands the spleef — which is a fat blunt he's holding using roach clips — to Casey, who is 10, who puts it up to his lips like it ain't no thang. I flip out again and scream at him to put it down and get outside.

Then I wake up, thinking I heard a noise in the bathroom (Phil's at work, so I can't ask him about it), but just figuring it was a dream noise that carried over into reality just a bit. I lie there and contemplate what a fucked-up dream I just had, and promise myself I won't forget it. And then, when I start to try and determine what the hell all that crap means, I realize that the feeling of urgency — the ferrets need attention! — might have been imposed on me by my brain for a reason. So I open the bathroom door, and there's Gonzo, lying on his back, poised to scratch at it again.

He had busted out of the cage (which has two doors, the bottom of which is secured with a twisty tie to prevent just such mischief, but he opened the door anyway), lumbered upstairs and into the bathroom from the hallway, and was trying to get me to open the door from the bathroom into the bedroom by scratching on it, which is a surefire way to wake me up and launch me into a foul mood. Turns out they were out of food and water in the cage, and I guess he was hungry. Fair enough.

So I take him downstairs and refill the food and water and put him back in the hammock. I close the bottom door and make sure the twisty tie is secured tightly. Then I make my way back to the bed to snag a couple more hours of weird dreaming.

I'm lying there, trying to doze off despite the cat resting on my sternum, and I hear what sounds like claws scratching the carpet. A singular, short, staccato scratch. I raise my head and look down and there is Gonzo, reclining next to the bed, looking at me like, Twisty ties are for chumps.

This time, he and Felix made their way out of the cage by opening the top door, which is much harder to do since there's no floor from which to grain traction. So I figure — just to be nice — I'll clean the entire cage so it'll be nice and non-smelly. So I do, and I put them both back inside, which pisses Gonzo off so much that all he can do is claw at the bars and give me dirty looks. But it's better than A) getting up or B) letting them roam around the apartment, because they will inevitably find their way over our handmade cardboard barriers and into the dishwasher through the insulation, which they tore to shreds one time when we weren't paying attention. So I put twisty ties on both doors and went back to bed.

No more weird dreams. But that's because the fuzzies were safe in their cage and my brain didn't have to try to wake me up with the craziest scheme it could think of.

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