We got up early one day last week. as we do most days.
On this particular day we (that’s me, Maddi, the dog, and Abby, the cat) were out of bed and into the living room at about 5:15. That is a bit earlier than the usual around 6:00.
I quietly closed the bedroom door and turned on a small lamp.
Still dark like night, Maddi had been out and was now back in, got her treat because that’s what I do. Abby was in her eager and expectant position as close as possible to the edge of the kitchen counter closest to the pet food-and-treat cupboard and refrigerator because of another thing I do. I went to turn the computer on so I could read The Skimm. (It’s a daily news email).
Maddi barked, just one woof. I got to her quickly, touched her snout and shusshed.
I thought she heard something outside, maybe a truck she thought was the trashman. She knows he comes on Wednesday mornings because she sees me put the barrel out every Tuesday night. A few minutes later I shusshed another bark because Mom was sleeping. Maddi was looking toward the big window facing the street through which she usually watches the trash truck lift the barrel with the iron arms and dump our garbage into the truck. The blinds were closed.
That’s how I solved the Why Did Maddi Bark Mystery.
Maddi saw a shadow on the blinds, a moving shadow. She thought someone, a snooper, was outside the window. She was being a good watchdog and I gave her the be-quiet shush, instead of the good-girl-who-is-out-there? shush.
But I figured it out when I saw the shadow move, a dark gray shadow big enough to belong to a grizzly bear or an NFL lineman. It actually belonged to a smallish medium gray cat named Abby.
Abby was still at the edge of the counter directly in line with the living room window and a glowing night-light at the other end of the counter. Abby’s when-will-I-get-my-treat fidgeting made the enlarged silhouette move on the blinds. It disappeared when I turned on the floor lamp by the sofa.
Abby, a remarkably patient cat, got her chicken flavored treat. I got mine, coffee. And Maddi, the confused golden retriever, got another.