It was dark, it was early, and it was raining. I crawled out of bed to start the final preparations for my trip. Gregg turned on the light and wandered off down the hall. Ray, sleeping on his futon, lifted his head to look in my direction. He was ready to go, I just had to say the word.
He had followed me closely all day the day before. He knew I was getting ready to travel, and I knew he thought he was going with me. He always had in the past (except for a two-day trip to Paris (Virginia), so there was no reason for him to expect any different this time. But for the first time since I brought him home, Ray would be spending a few days home alone with his dad. And for the first time since we've had him, Ray won't be going to daycare.
I quickly finished my travel preparations and went to say goodbye to old bag-of-bones then headed downstairs. (Yesterday, Moonie had another trip to the vet. Despite the fact that we feed her about five times a day - whenever she howls for her gruel, Moonie has lost more weight and has been extremely active lately. The Vet tested for hyperthyroid. Results are pending.) Hugo followed me to the landing. I gave him an ear rub and told him to take care of his sister.
Ray was waiting at the foot of the stairs. I took him out to pee, then Ray came back in and curled up on his favorite pillow on his favorite couch. I went to say goodbye.
"Ray, your Aunt Sandra is going to come and walk you everyday. And Bill and Cindy will take you for walks too (Ray's girlfriend, Cindy, is married)."
Ray gave a very human-sounding 'harumph.' I laughed, thinking it wasn't a reflection of his thoughts about being tended to by Bill and Cindy and Sandra but more because he is being left behind.
"Ray, keep and eye on the house and take care of the cats. I'll see you in a couple of days."
Ray got up off of his couch and followed me to the door. As I left, I closed it gently in front of him.
I'll be back Sunday.