There is a heirarchy where I live. The sole human male in the group, you might imagine me outnumbered and therefore not at the top of that heirarchy. And you'd be 100% correct. Without giving it too much thought, I suspect it goes something like this:1. She Who Must Be Obeyed2. He Who Must Occasionally Be Heeded3. "S"4. "M"5. The Ultimate Animal6. The Other Ultimate Animal
(especially when The Ultimate Animal is not around)7. The Poopster
These names can be deemed either affectionate or descriptive, depending upon the circumstances. "S" and "M" are the two outrageously appealing human beings who, by a strange coincidence, are also my two only daughters. (And, no, we are not Opus Dei and the S&M joke was not planned - those just happen to be the initials of two young female humans, who are beautiful, amazing, and related to me.) Both are currently at camp - "S," the elder, actually gets paid to be there as a camp counselor, while "M," the younger, must pay to play. Or, rather, He Who Must Occasionally Be Heeded and She Who Must Be Obeyed pay. But it's all good.
When you look up the definition of "blog newbie," my picture is right there. Uploaded by someone not me, of course. So I will probably never upload actual photos of my own to any blog. But here is an image which approximates The Other Ultimate Animal:
And here's one which captures (for me) The Ultimate Animal himself:
He's actually rather fit, not quite as chubby as the specimen featured here. But he has more than a touch of that same "Lord of All I Survey" attitude - and his real name, Casmir, in fact derives from a king in a story. He's also a skilled hunter, who has brought down mice, birds and - most recently - a bat. For some reason, he's attached himself to me (often literally) and regards me as the source of all things good: shelter (I let him in and out of the house); warmth (he likes to curl up on me, or next to me); food (not only does he expect me to feed him, but he also possesses the odd quirk of wanting me to lead him to his food-dish if food is already there). The Other Ultimate Animal, though smaller, is nevertheless clever and determined (opens doors, for instance).
Leaving The Poopster (aka Poops McGee, Poopsy Galore, The Mad Pooper, and Pu Pu For 2, among other charming nicknames - there's a theme there, by the way, if you look hard enough). He is a Bassett Hound, mostly black and brown, with white paws and belly. Very good-natured, but about as sharp as a block of wood. Always playful, and oddly lovable - even the feisty my-claws-and-teeth-are-out-and-I-will
-hurt-you calico likes him and plays with him. He closely resembles this creature:
Now that you have some passing familiarity with the principals, on with the anecdote. "M" sent home a letter from camp. Not addressed to either of the two at the top of the food-chain shown above, but addressed to The Other Ultimate Animal, the calico. "M" and The Other Ultimate Animal (real name: Madouc) share a strange but special bond, whereby this fighting feline will permit "M" all sorts of liberties (hugging, squeezing, etc.) which are totally off-limits for everyone else.
Letter from "M:"Dear Madook,
I miss you very, very, very, very much, and I'm sure "S" feels the same way. Tell Mom and Dad that I miss them, too. I also miss Cass, and please tell him that, but I miss you the most.
Since we have a game where I make up things the animals say, I figured I'd respond in kind. My letter is a wordpad document from The Ultimate Animal (whom "M" refers to above as "Cass," also spelled by us as "Kaz"), who often amuses "M" by his personality and antics (such as his habit of walking on the computer's keyboard when he wants something). His letter follows:Dear "M"
Was lying on the windowsill next to the Center of the Universe. (That's what I call your Father.) He was making words with his fingers on that funny window. Borrrrring.
My neck is wet from Big Smelly Tongue chewing on me. (Big Smelly Tongue is what I call the Dog.)
But I like doing that, too. I walk on the clickers all the time, even though no one ever reads what I write. That was when I got the idea to plug in the printer and write you this message. (Actually, Madouc plugged it in for me because she knew I wouldn't let her eat today till she did.)
I am watching a squirrel and some birds outside. The squirrel is on top of the building out back, nibbling on an acorn. I've never been up there, but there is a tree I could use to get there if I wanted to badly enough. The squirrel would be gone by the time I got there, anyway. And then I'd be stuck way up high waiting for the Center of the Universe to get me back down. Maybe someday. The birds are more interesting. They go under the bushes to look for food. That's where I got the last two I left on the back porch.
No bats today.
Your Ultimate Animal,