Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Muffin Saga, Part XIII

There were excellent parking spots at the end of my apartment, between the buildings and the creek. When available, that’s always where I parked. As I walked the few yards from my car to the apartment, I saw Muffin through the sliding glass doors that were between my kitchen and patio. Muffin, of course, also saw me and stood smiling with her tail wagging fast. By the time I entered the hallway and opened the door to my apartment, Muffin had left the kitchen and was waiting for me in the entrance way. She stood on her hind legs and I bent down so I could pet the mop that was her hair and she could lick my face.
That had become our routine most days of the week. It was an adjustment for both of us. In southern Indiana my study had been in the parsonage where we lived. Here in Louisville my study was at the church. In southern Indiana Muffin and I had spent quite a bit of time together. Now I was gone much of the day. My homecoming had become a special ritual for both of us.
I walked through the living room and hallway into the kitchen with Muffin beside me. I glanced at Muffin’s food and water dishes, noting that she’d eaten well. When I reached the sliding glass door, I took the leash off the hook beside it, and said “Outside.” Muffin’s response was to leap up and down, making it difficult to attach the leash to her collar. That was O.K.—we had been doing this so often that she knew when to hold still so that I could fasten the leash.
As soon as the door opened, Muff sprinted out and turned left. I allowed her as much play as possible on the retractable leash and we jogged toward the grassy area between the apartment buildings and the concrete wall that separated us from the Henry Watterson Expressway.
In the grassy area, Muffin sniffed, squatted to urinate, sniffed some more, squatted to defecate, jumped forward, wiped her paws on the grass, and looked up at me quizzically as if to ask, “Where do we explore now?”
Our walks in the apartment complex took different routes each day. Today we followed the wall separating us from the expressway to the opposite end of our building and I sat down in the pagoda that was behind the complex’s office. Muffin jumped up beside me on the bench and I petted her for a while until she was ready for a more vigorous adventure.
We continued walking along the wall until we reached the creek—Bent Creek—that was the southern and eastern boundary of the apartment complex. Before the fence was installed to keep undesirables out of the complex, Muffin and I could go down the hill to the edge of the creek and follow it back toward our apartment. In Spring and Summer there were mallards in the creek and we both enjoyed watching them in the water and on the bank. In late Spring there were always hatchlings swimming with there mamas in the creek. Of course, with Muffin and I on the bank, they stayed in the water and didn’t climb out—normally.
As we climbed back up the hill from the bank so we could go around the bridge that led into the complex, two large drakes ran up behind us and took flight when they were within five feet of Muffin and me. I ducked. Muffin leaped. After that experience, Muffin decided that we should watch the mallards only from a safe distance, like on top of the hill above the creek bank. I agreed.
Gleanings over the past 24 hours: Never take a snowed-in cat into your arms and begin grooming him unless you are willing and able to continue doing so hour after hour, with breaks (of course) for (lots of) meals, litter box visits, catnaps (he demands that you join him), playing wildebeest stampeding across the Serengeti Plains (he doesn’t want you to join him), attacking a moving nose-hose, and opening the front and back doors about once an hour to see if the nasty, fluffy, white stuff is still there.

Above: View from my front door at 7:00 AM this (Saturday) morning. The Winter Storm Alert, which had been scheduled to end at 4:00 PM today, has been extended through Sunday morning.


  1. Good morning kind Sir.

    This particular chapter of the Muffin Saga strikes a very familiar chord with me. I once lived in an apartment complex that sprawled to include a pond and a gazebo, both of which my Molly an I visited in the evenings when the weather permitted. Always by various routes and with no destination in mind.

    Thank you for calling to mind those happy times.

  2. Hi Nick ~~ Another good Muffin story and that pond should have had a "Beware of the Ducks" on it. Or
    rather Drakes!
    Glad you liked "The Dash" as I did
    too. And it represents our lives.
    Take care, Nick, Sorry the Audio test is off until the 28th, Regards, Merle.

  3. Ducks are scary! Loved the latest Muffin story Nick, thanks. x

  4. Thanks for another wonderful Muffin story. Alex really doesn’t like being snowed in, does the little stinker?

  5. Muffin reminds me of my Maggie and how they get their paws around your heart. Thanks for sharing Muffin with us.
    I have not made a Snow Angel since my youth so today we have enough and I plan to make a big one.

  6. Ducks! I remember them from how mean they can be on the golf course (I play sometimes but poorly) and also from the time one decided to make a nest right next to my front door to my house. It was a struggle, especially when the eggs were about to hatch. That duck really got protective.

    I lived in an apartment complex once that had a lot of spread out land and several ponds with fountains in it. It always had plenty of ducks. I made the trip myself a few times but, not having a muffin the trips were very few. But this sure does bring me back to that time none the less.

    I can not believe all the snow. I always start to think of my trip to Louisville at the end of April and how wonderfully green it is that time of the year. Somehow this snow is not helping me dream about my trip one bit.

    Take care and STAY WARM.

  7. muffin don't you want another little muffin type??

  8. Your pictures makes me feel cold! I think Alex would blend in too well with the snow, but like Jess, my own cat, I doubt he will stay out for long! We have had very high winds here recently and Jess stands at the back door contemplating freedom on the farm or warmth on my bed. For her, it's a difficult choice but the bed usually wins over.

    Crystal J xx

  9. Nick I don't know who enjoyed the walks more, you or Muffin!

  10. I love the unconditional love with which our beloved dogs gift us when we return home! Muffin is adorable!

  11. Sweet meandering segment of Muffin's saga. Her insight regarding the drakes was wise--I don't blame you for following her lead on that one.