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Story ID:9704
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Gilboa New York USA
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By Fred Wickert

Three years ago my wife Tae, suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. It happened the night of April 30, and after a couple of weeks in Intensive Care, she was transferred at a nursing home where they could wean her slowly from the respirator. It was a sixty two mile trip each way to go to see her, which I did three days a week. A hurricane came in September, taking out roads and bridges and I was unable to get to see her for two weeks.

By the time roads and bridges were restored with temporary repairs so I could go to see her, I had suffered the loss of both my legs from peripheral neuropathy with complications from the polio I had as a child. I was unable to drive and had to find someone else to drive me to see her or I could not go.

The following February she had been weaned from the respirator and could be moved so she was relocated to a nursing home closer to home. It was only a 23 mile trip one way and a little easier to get someone to take me. At the same time I was getting a little better gradually, and after a while I was able to drive there and back by myself and I resumed the three day a week visits.

Gradually Tae’s condition worsened. Both Tae and I are elderly. Friends and relatives were concerned about me living alone. I told them I was not living alone. I had some parrots and more than a dozen cats living with me. I was taking care of them twice a day and taking care of myself and going to see Tae three days a week and going to Oneonta 40 miles away for my weekly supply trip. It didn’t matter. They still worried about me. One day a friend e-mailed me that he had to get out from where he lived. He was being evicted and did not know what was going to happen to him. He had a part time job as a grocery store cashier and is 60 years of age. Getting a full time job was hard to come by. I told him if he needed to, he could bring his cat and move in with me. My legs did not allow me to clean the house. I told him he could do housework in lieu of rent. He said he’d let me know.

Eventually he moved in. It was almost a year ago and the people who were worried about my being alone were relieved. That seemed to satisfy them. The friends name is Randy, and he and his cat Bentley have settled in just fine. Last summer a high school friend of Randy’s came and spent the night. He was leaving to live in Michigan. It turned out Randy’s friend Ken is a brother to a friend of mine. Now Ken has left Michigan and stopped over for a few days on his way to New York City to a new job.

Ken has married children who live in the area. Something came up with the family of one of them and there is a crisis. They have a dog a little more than a year old. He is a wiener dog with long hair. They cannot keep him. They are moving and can’t take him. They have been trying to find a good home but have failed and are going to put him in the pound. Randy asked if I wanted him. I said no. I cannot properly take care of a dog because of my legs. At the same time, I don’t want any dog forced to go to the pound. I agreed to let him come here and said we will try to find a home for him. If we cannot, then somehow I will manage. Randy’s future here is uncertain so I cannot assume he will always be here to walk the dog several times a day and I will not tie a dog outside all day.

The dog was supposed to be delivered yesterday morning at 10:30. At 1:00 P.M. I had to leave for a small boy’s birthday party. Still no dog had showed up. I went to the party and from there to Cobleskill to buy some things I needed. Then I returned home arriving about 6:30 P.M. When I reached the top of the stairs I was greeted by a friendly little black wiener dog wagging his tail. Only after I stopped petting him did he begin to bark. A good watch dog he will never be. A few minutes later the fun began. Casey, the dog spotted one of the cats. The cat slapped him and took off running. Casey was in hot pursuit and was in his glory. This was great fun. Or at least Casey thought so.

Now we have about 15 cats in hiding most of the time. Several of these cats eat almost nonstop, but today they have barely eaten at all. The cat litter boxes are clean. The cats have not gone near them. In the bird room down stairs my Scarlet Macaw is anxious to take a piece out of Casey and Casey is too dumb to recognize the danger that bird presents to him. I have to lock Casey in my office before I can open her cage to take care of her. It is my habit to allow her to roam the bird room floor while attending her cage. The Blue Front Amazon also wants a piece of him. The Mollucan Cockatoo screams and carries on in her cage so much I fear she will hurt herself and during all the bedlam the noise is enough to burst ones ear drums.

Tonight when I finished the birds I wanted to take a shower before returning up stairs. Casey came with a nylon leash and three short pieces of plastic coated wire. Not enough to tie him with. I wanted him to spend some time outside before I went upstairs and I wanted to take a shower. I found about thirty feet of plastic coated wire clothes line on my work shop bench. I put on a hat and jacket and tied one end of the clothesline to Casey’s collar. I took him outside and tied the other end of the line to an end support post for the upstairs deck at the end of the patio. Casey had 3o feet in which he could go in any direction. I went back inside to take my shower.

When I completed my shower I put on clean underwear and clothes, wrapped the dirty clothes in the towel and placed them at the bottom of the stairs. I went to the door and put on my hat and jacket. From the time I came out of the shower I could hear Casey outside barking at something and hoped he did not tangle with a skunk. I believed he could either see or hear something that excited him. Just as I was ready to go out the door Randy yelled from upstairs. He asked if Casey was with me. I told him I had tied Casey outside and was going out to get him. Then I went out the door. Casey continued barking. I walked over to the post where the line was tied and began to untie it. Casey continued barking. I could see the line had been pulled up the front steps in front of the house. Just as I finished with the line, Casey stopped barking. I began rolling up the line and called Casey to come to me. As I continued rolling up the line, I noticed it was slack and no resistance on it. I believed Casey was on his way to me.

As I continued rolling up the line, I expected Casey to come in to sight any second, down the concrete stairs, but Casey did no such thing. The end of the line soon came in to view and Casey was not on it. I began calling Casey, trying to get him to come. Earlier when it was still light outside, Randy had Casey slip out the door on him. Casey began chasing a cat on the deck. The cat left the deck and Casey ran after it. Randy went after him and got him at the rear of the property at the edge of the woods. The cat had vanished. When he could no longer see the cat, Casey came to Randy when he called him. The cat arrived later at the door and was let in.

I called and called and called but Casey never came. I believed he had chased whatever he had been barking at. In the dark with my bad legs it was useless to try to go after him. I hung my head and prayed. I asked God to protect Casey and allow no harm to come to him. I asked God to make Casey come back and to come to the door on the deck when he did return so we could see him and let him in. I went to the door after hanging the clothes line on the post and went in the door. I turned around and closed the door and began removing my hat and jacket. I saw movement out the corner of my eye on the floor. I looked down and there at my feet stood Casey wagging his tail. I immediately bowed my head and thanked God for his quick response in answering my prayer.

I realized then what had happened. Randy had gone out the front door, untied the line from Casey’s collar and let him in the house via the front door, all unknown to me. When I got up stairs I told Randy he was a little late to be playing April Fools on me. He said Casey barking was driving him nuts so when I told him I had tied him outside he went out to get him. Of course he neglected to tell me.

Randy thinks a woman he knows wants the dog. She is alone, living in a trailer park but does have a fenced in yard where he can run. She has an old little mixed breed female and thinks she needs a friend so is looking for another dog. She lives somewhere in the Hudson Valley. Randy is supposed to take Casey to meet her tomorrow. She has no cats. Maybe she will take him.


While I was writing this, Casey went in to Randy’s room. Randy was there on his computer. Three cats, his cat Bentley and two of my cats were in his room with him. Snuffy is one of my cats that was there. Casey has chased Snuffy more than the other cats. Casey saw Snuffy and went for him. I heard Randy scream. Bentley, Randy’s cat came running to the living room and went behind the sofa. Casey was crying loudly and ran down the stairs. Soon Randy appeared calling Bentley. He told me Casey went after Snuffy. Snuffy jumped in the middle of Randy’s back and sunk in his claws. Bentley clawed Casey in the face and took off with Casey crying as if hurt and chasing him at the same time. I saw Bentley make it to the back of the sofa and then saw him no more. Randy searched the sofa and found only Shaugn, one of my cats. He was on the other end of the back of the sofa. He must have been the third cat in Randy’s room. Casey came back upstairs and Randy put him in a crate his previous owner sent with him. Since then Randy has been trying to find Bentley and as far as I know, Snuffy has not been seen again. I am confident both Bentley and Snuffy will show up in time. Meanwhile, Casey is now asleep in the crate where he shall remain for the night.

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