SOCIAL DISTANCING, Chapter 51: In Which We Spring Headlong

By Liz McLeod

Still Your House Manager


“THE CROCUSES ARE UP!” I bellowed as I flung the back door open and charged into the house. I needed to charge into the house to be avoid being blown into the next block by the ferocious gusts of wind.

“Indeed?” commented Miss Carol T. Cat, sprawled on my desk in an attititude of “What Makes You Think I Could Possibly Care Less?”

“It’s true,” I declared, picking a chunk of broken shingle out of my hair. Did I mention I’m really sick of the wind? “Spring is well and truly here. And do you know what THAT means?”

“I shall soon be plagued by hordes of insufferable goldfinches, taunting me from the perch of their feeder, secure in the knowledge that they need fear no attack from me so long as I am confined in this dungeonous shanty?”

“Well, yeah,” I acknowledged. “But more than that. Did you know BASEBALL SEASON BEGINS ON THURSDAY?”

Miss Carol opened her eyes just enough to roll them.

“Don’t you know what that means? Millions of old ladies across New England will at last have a reason not to go to bed at 5 PM!” I quivered with barely-controlled excitement. “I got it all planned out! Thursday I’m gonna wear my Red Sox cap an’ my Red Sox jersey – an’ my RED SOX SOCKS! Can you beat it?”

“The entire American League can, no doubt, ‘beat it,’ if my media sources are to be relied upon,” sneered Miss Carol. She was not yet born when “The Curse” was finally lifted, but after a late night game from the Coast disrupted her slumber once too often, she proceeded to pronounce another Curse all her own. Hence the exodus of Mookie to Los Angeles and Jackie B. Jr. to Milwaukee. Bet you didn’t know that.

“You can’t do nothin’ to break my mood,” I laughed. “Spring is here! The world is reborn! There is hope anew!”

The phone rang, but I refused to answer it, knowing that it was that robot calling about the medical bill. That’s how determined I was not to let my joyous Springtime spirits be shattered. We waited all winter for this, and I believe in living Spring to its fullest. If I had spring flowers at hand, I would twine them into a garland and dance a Springtime dance. Fortunately for the spirit of Terpsichore, I do not have spring flowers at hand, except for four desperate little crocuses, so you can consider yourself fortunate.

“Speaking of hope,” rumbled Miss Carol, “have you yet had your vaccination?”

“I got my name in three places,” I declared, “but nobody’s called yet. I wonder if you can buy vaccine on Ebay?”

“I advise against it,” warned Miss Carol. “Recall the many times you have purchased items from that platform that did not in fact prove to be bona fide. That ‘Amusing Cat Toy’ you purchased last year proved to be anything but. I was forced to seek my entertainment by devouring the shipping carton.”

I moved into the living room,  sunk into the big blue chair and sighed with frustration. I want to get back to normal. I want to get my shots. I want to run movies again and sweep up the floor after concerts again and see people again without having to worry about the stupid screen freezing up. But instead, even though springtime beckons, still I “hurry up and wait.”  Oh well, at least we’re at the opposite end of the tunnel compared to where we were last year.

Miss Carol cleared her throat. Have you ever heard a cat clear her throat? It’s like the sound the cushion of an old leatherette office chair makes when you stand up quick on a hot day. She made that sound, and spoke. “You mentioned,” she began, a bit cautiously for her, “your Red Sox Socks.”

“Whattabout’em?” I queried, with eyes narrowed.

“You will recall that you left them on the bed this morning after you tried them on and pirouetted around the bedroom.”

“Shut up,” I hissed. “You think I want the world to know about that? Ridiculous fat barrel cat.”

“I found,” she continued, “that these articles interfered with my comfort. I took steps to remedy that situation.”

“Ahhh,” I sighed, “what’s one more thing thrown on the floor.”

“I did not throw them on the floor,” Miss Carol replied. 

“Then what..” I began, but I trailed off as I noticed a long string of red yarn trailing down the stairs and into the living room, ending in a frayed and chewed up end strewn absently on the rug.

Spring is here. And summer can’t get here soon enough.  

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