"It looks like a parrot exploded in here," I said.
I was in the cat room, on the phone with my BFF, Joanne, and Swiffering under the bed. Moonie's prized "birdie", the stick with the abundance of red, blue, and green feathers, had been deplumeiated (if it's not a word, it should be). Only a few worried-looking little feathers remained.
"I had a Chinese enamel vase on the dresser. It's in the trash. And, you know those Russian dolls, the ones that are nested? We have a cat version. It's under the bed in pieces and one of the ears is broken off the biggest one."
Joanne was laughing.
"That Harvey is going to be a handful," she said.
"It's not him," I replied, "It's her. Every time I come into the room, she's on the dresser or on the bedside table. The minute I come in she runs under the bed but she is playing with all the toys. She carries them in her mouth to the back of the bed so Harvey can't have them. I guess she's been pushing stuff off of the dresser too. And someone must have run through the bowl of food. There's kibble EVERYWHERE."
I was using the Swiffer to force the mess into a clump so that I could pick it up. Feathers and crunchies, mixed with some scattered cat litter to make a small mountain on the hardwood floor.
I hung up the phone and finished cleaning, watched interestedly by Harvey. Juno, as usual, was under the bed waiting for me to finish so that she could get back to the important business of batting around a mousie.
I heard a noise and turned to see Ray at the door. I hadn't bothered closing it because, as yet, neither cat had seemed that interested in leaving their safe-room. I put aside the bag of trash and went to put my arms around Ray's neck. He leaned his head into me but I noticed his ears were deployed and his eyebrows were going. Harvey slowly approached, curious but cautious. Ray, obviously knowing something was there, dropped his head to his knees. Harvey backed up, never taking his eyes off the big dog, then slowly approached again. When he got within about a foot of Ray's head, Harvey's tail puffed out and he backed away. Ray's head went up alertly. I watched his tail for imminent signs of yelling (yelling is always accompanied by tail-curling) but Ray's tail stayed relaxed.
I backed Ray out of the room, picked up my bag of trash, closed the door behind me, and headed down the stairs to the trash bin, leaving the big dog with his nose pressed up against the crack at the base of the cat-room door. I saw little cat feet on the other side of the crack and thought that, as initial introductions go, this was probably the best way to do it.
I had just opened the bin to dump the little bag of litter when I heard the first yell. I dropped my trash and ran.
By the time I got back upstairs Ray had yelled three or four times and was digging at the base of the door with one paw. His tail was wagging happily.
"Hey! No yelling at the cats!" I (ironically) yelled at my dog.
Ray stopped and turned to look at me, surprised, I'm sure, that the enthusiastic greeting of his new siblings had been misinterpreted.
I put a hand on Ray's collar and opened the cat room door. Oddly, no cats were to be seen.
I closed the door softly, led my dog away, and left them to recover.