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The Creatures Where I Live
There are lots and lots of good things about living in the Keys.

The weather is sublime, I get to see the ocean every single day (I think a lot of the world’s problems would shrink if more people got to see the ocean every single day), and I get to see lots of cool wildlife. I’ve swam with dolphins, and seen mama and baby dolphins in the wild. We catch crabs and lobsters for dinner. I’ve touched a manatee.

But some of the creatures are not so good, Al.

To take advantage of the beautiful weather and my cute little neighborhood, I’m trying to take more walks. Beaker and I set out after dinner the other night, and get about three houses down the road before he points out a scary, scary scorpion walking across the street.

We both stare at it, then look down at our own feet, both wearing stupid little flip-flops, exposed to the elements. Then, we look down the dark road. I cling to him like Scooby to Shaggy, and we about face and go home. Some walk.

But last night was worse. Last night, Beaker LEAPED out of bed at 4 a.m., because he felt a bug crawling up his leg. Mid-dream and not knowing what the hell was going on, I just stood there while he ransacked the covers, wide-eyed and panting. When he finally stopped and noticed the look on my face, he came over and apologized, giving me a hug… god, he scared me.

And of course, there was a bug in the bed. And one on the floor.

And who the hell can get back to sleep after that?!

The worst animals of all, however, may be the ones we own, feed, and love.

Freaking Miss Budina, man. She’s like the Mr. T of the Cat A-Team, she’s so tough. If she started sporting a Mohawk and tiny gold chains, I would not be surprised. Upstairs lives a good-sized, friendly, but very hyperactive golden retriever.

Friday morning, as I step out the door for work, I’m confronted with those two, confronting each other. Miss Budina is making this low, steady noise – somewhere between a hiss and a growl, with a little howl for spice. The dog is growling, and I immediately step between them.

I’m yelling, “Stop it, you two! Play nice! IT’S GOOD FRIDAY! Jesus would NOT like this!” It occurs to me that the dog could totally bite a hunk out of my calf, but by that time she’s crying like Gwyneth in a pink dress and I don’t think it’s going to happen.

“Miss BuDINa! This dog could eat you!”

Could, but won’t, because that cat is psycho. The golden retriever’s owner came downstairs to get the dog, and just shook her head, going, “That is the toughest cat alive.”

She’s also fond of making a nuisance of herself while we’re cooking chicken or fish, so Beaker a couple of times had taken a little of the food and put it outside for her, then he’ll close the door while she chows down. She caught on to that one, though, and wouldn’t take the bait the other night.

So he picks her up and carries her outside.

So she walks over and pees all over my new bike.

Next time? I’m peeing in her litter box.

Try me, cat.

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