Welcome to what may be the July Long Weekend for many! Today’s chapter is offered as a cheeky ‘nod’ to those special people who have yet to discover that they are indeed “pet people”…..
Chapter 25—Grandma Brown’s Cranky Friend
I have heard the term “Cat Person” a few times in my life, and have always found it confusing. After all, isn’t everyone a “Cat Person”? After my dealings with dogs, I can understand how some might find dogs an “acquired taste” so to speak, but cats are so much less smelly, and more refined by comparison. I never met a person who wasn’t a “Cat Person”: never, that is, until I met Grandma Brown’s Cranky Friend, Mrs. Kater Hasserin.
Mrs. Hasserin was very different from Grandma Brown. She didn’t live in the country, she didn’t enjoy gardening, she had no grandchildren, and she rarely—if ever—ate tuna. Also unlike Grandma Brown, she was very tall, thin, and when she spoke, my little girl seemed to shrink away. I can’t really prove it, but I don’t think Mrs. Hasserin liked children any more than she liked cats. She didn’t speak to my girl like adults normally speak to children. Her voice was very gruff sounding—so gruff in fact, that when Bailey first met Mrs. Hasserin, she thought Mrs. Hasserin could speak dog.
One day, while our Lolly was at school, Mrs. Hasserin came over to visit Grandma Brown. Grandma Brown baked some yummy smelling treats for their tea time. Bailey and I could not leave the kitchen—it smelled so very yummy. I was so intrigued by the yummy smells that Mrs. Hasserin’s voice startled me into a big orange puff-ball when she said, “Ahhhhke zhere is zhat shtoopid pussay-cat of your daughter’s—SHOOO kitty you make me AHHHSHOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Mrs. Hasserin’s sneezes didn’t sound like anything we were used to at Grandma Brown’s house. Bailey must have been just as startled as I was because before I knew it, she started barking with an intensity I had yet to see. Oddly, the more Bailey barked, the more Mrs. Hasserin sneezed. The more Mrs. Hasserin sneezed, the more Bailey barked. Not only did Mrs. Hasserin inadvertently sneeze in dog—she sneezed in angry dog. I have never seen Bailey so insulted, angry, and growling. The only word Mrs. Hasserin could say in between sneezes was “allergies”. It was all poor Brown Grandma could do get us far away from Mrs. Hasserin. Normally, I would have been long gone, but I was absolutely awestruck by Bailey’s ferocity. I just couldn’t look away—let alone run away.
Grandma Brown used my state of awe against me. She snuck up behind me and scooped me up quick as a wink. Before I knew it, I was somewhat unceremoniously dumped onto the top stair of the basement stairs. Grandma Brown closed the door on me before I could see how she got Bailey to stop barking at Mr. Hasserin. Based on what I heard, I would have to guess Grandma Brown grabbed Bailey by the collar and dragged her barking and growling all the way outside.
Allergies? Hmmmm. I struggled to remember where I had heard that word before. It had been a very long time ago. It was during the time I spent at the animal shelter. I seemed to recall cats coming in because of something called “allergies”. Before that day, I never heard Mrs. Hasserin sneeze—let alone say “allergies”. It was, to say the least, a surprising turn of events. I stayed at the top of the stairs and listened closely to Grandma Brown, Mrs. Hasserin, and some kind of loud booming horn sound.
It turns out the horn sound came from Mrs. Hasserin—I think. Grandma Brown said something about Mrs. Hasserin “blowing her nose”. I am not sure exactly what that means—but it sounded awfully disturbing. In between those jarring horn sounds, Mrs. Hasserin explained to Brown Grandma that had suddenly developed a very severe allergy to something called “Pet Dander”. Pet Dander? I couldn’t help but wonder what that had to do with Bailey, Allergies, and me.
Mrs. Hasserin explained to Grandma Brown how poorly she felt, and how it was all my fault. I felt this was rather unfair of her—especially considering she only started this whole angry dog sneezing thing since Bailey moved in. Grandma Brown tried to say as much, but that Mrs. Hasserin would not hear her. As far as she was concerned, her allergies were a direct result of me, and all the cats that ever walked the earth.
Personally, I am glad my girl wasn’t there to hear that—she would have said something mean to Mrs. Hasserin, and then Lolly would be in trouble for “mouthing off to elders”. That cranky Mrs. Hasserin, probably would have enjoyed that too! Humans may not necessarily agree with me, but I have a hard time trusting anyone who would blame a guy like me for uncontrollable, angry dog sneezing. Suffice to say, both Bailey and I were very happy to watch Mrs. Hasserin go home that day.