My mother was always busy, the busier the better.
One day, in the days of the reign of Dexter, our over-sized Standard Poodle, mama decided to take a bike ride. She thought Dexter might like to get outside, so she decided to have him walk him at the same time.
Dexter was not the only pet we had, we also had a Maine Coon cat named Black Orpheus, he was a dead-ringer for the young Marlon Brando. Like Brando, he could be provocative.
When Orpheus saw mama get Dexter’s leash he swished his tail slowly, rolled back, rested his haunches against the wall, raised his paw to his mouth, and gave it a thoughtful lick.
He watched mama clip Dexter’s leash on to his collar.
Mama opened the back door and called, “C’mon Dex, let’s go for a ride!”
Orpheus darted out the door past poodle and mother, more shadow than feline.
Mama pulled out her trusty red ten-speed, wrapped the leash twice around her wrist, and started off down the driveway. Dexter’s poodle head moved obligingly alongside the handlebars of the bike. They turned right, mama proud at Dexter’s carriage, she straightened up a bit full of her good idea.
Until Orpheus popped out from behind a hedge. He flicked his tail at Dexter, did a bronco buck, and swatted at Dexter’s liver-colored nose. Then he ran down the street, tail billowing.
Dexter reared up and ran. Mama, whose hand was wrapped around the leash, was dragged, bike and all a good four houses until she gained traction and hauled Dexter up.
She sat on the ground, legs straight in front of her, bike still under her, laughing as Dexter licked her face.
Let’s face it, mama had raised eight children and by that time, no cat, no matter how Brando-esque or dog, no matter how large, could diminish her spirit.