Monday, February 23, 2009

It's MINE!

That's what Betsy is still saying to me 12 hours after she found a piece of broiled chicken on the kitchen floor this morning. I don't normally let the cats or dogs into the kitchen, so I can only assume that the chicken fell off the plate last night after dinner. She zipped into the kitchen ahead of me this morning, which she does every morning, zooming around the floor once or twice, then dashing out the door. Betsy doesn't do anything slowly. But this morning, she skidded to a halt mid-zoom and started pawing frantically under the kitchen counter. Before I could get over to her, she had the chicken, holding it down with both paws and gnawing on it. I was afraid it might make her sick after being unrefrigerated for so long so I took it away from her. That sounded easy, didn't it? Well, it wasn't! As soon as I said, "Oh, Betsy, give..." she didn't even wait for me to finish the sentence but took off, chicken firmly in mouth. The fact that the piece of chicken was hanging down between her front paws didn't slow her down one bit. What slowed me down was that her siblings (canine and feline) immediately realized that she had a goodie and started chasing her, thereby getting between me and my quarry. So there I am, chasing the whole herd, all of whom can run much faster than I can, through the dining room, across the living room, through the foyer, up the stairs (and I'm really running out of steam by now), down the upstairs hallway...and Betsy reaches the end of the hallway and turns around. She turns around while I'm still standing, sides heaving, gasping desperately for air, certain cardiac arrest will occur any second, at the top of the stairs...and the whole herd turns with her and thunders back down the hallway right at me. Their paws didn't even slip once on the hardwood floor! The only thing that saved me from being knocked down the stairs by the vicious herd of galloping mountain lions and slavering, I mean cats and dogs...was that the door to my husband's den was open and I leaped into the opening, a mere nano second ahead of my supposed-to-be-loving-children-in-fur. This brush with certain death renewed my adrenalin and I charged down the stairs after them, yelling words that probably couldn't be said here, and cornered the lot of them in the laundry room. Betsy had leapt up to a narrow ledge where I keep the soap and was gloating over her prize ("I have it and I'm not going to share, I caught it and it's MINE"), when I shoved my way through her whining siblings ("Mom said we have to share, I'm gonna tell") and snatched it from her, saying "Shame on you, shame on all of you!" Her siblings walked out with a "yeah, whatever" attitude and Betsy, my sweet little Betsy, swatted at me! Was she embarrassed by this bad behavior? Chagrined by her attempt to hit her loving human mother? Not in the least. She just stared at me and grumpily said, "Well, YOU dropped it, I caught it, it's MINE!"

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