Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jessy the Mad Dog and Me

My boyfriend has a mad dog. But first:

I moved. It's a small apartment with absolutely no insulation or central heating, but I got an electric heater that I turn on at night and in the mornings. The temperatures drop to 8 degrees Celsius at night, and don't climb over 15 in the days now.

The kitchen is super small and I can barely stand up straight in the shower, but I'm slowly getting the place into shape. My boyfriend put up new blinds in the bedroom, tomorrow the carpenter is coming to fix the bed, we will get covers for the sofas in the living room, have the place painted, and I need to buy oranges and red ribbon so that I can stick them full of cloves and hang them in the window to get the right Swedish Christmas Feel.

There are no pepparkakor or lussebullar here. Nor glögg or julmust.

But I bought two pinkish red Christmas star flowers and put up some candles.

The apartment is on the ground floor of a building that is owned by a vet and Great Protector of Cats. There's a tangerine tree in the yard and about 20 cats that, rather fittingly, pussyfoot around when I enter. They approach cautiously and sniff, stop and listen--some hobble, most are blind and all look quite knocked about. All of them were rescued off the street.

They won't let me pet them, but if I leave the door open, they come sneaking in, checking what I'm up to.

There's a small turtle wedged in between my bedroom window and the iron bars outside it. He sticks out his head sometimes, also checking what I'm up too.

Animals are sweet. But not always to be trusted. Like I said, my boyfriend has a dog. A white, tousled, seemingly sweet dog who (although she barks like crazy when anybody she doesn't know, or perhaps doesn't approve of, come to the house... or walks past it, or thinks of maybe visiting) has treated me like one in the family for more than a month and doesn't even bark when I enter the house without Tarek.

Jessy the Mad Dog after Plowing the Flower Beds

But last Friday, Tarek was barbecuing fish in the backyard, and I was standing next to him, petting Jessy the Mad Dog when she suddenly starts growling, throws her head back and bites the hell out of my hand.

Shock. Excruciating pain.

Tarek got Jessy off me before she could do any real damage, and I was left with only one cut on the inside of my hand, below my thumb. My whole arm was icy cold and I couldn't move it for the rest of the day, but I got a shot and had the wound cleaned at the hospital and now, not even a week later, it's healing well and I can use it almost like normal.

But I don't talk to Jessy the Mad Dog anymore. I think she tried to say sorry a couple of times by putting her head on my thigh, but I don't trust her. I don't go near her if I can avoid it, I don't stay alone with her and I do not pet her.

She's watching me right now, as I type this. But her puppy eyes don't fool me--I know she's got fangs sharper than a vampire's.

I decided once and for all that I'm a cat person.

In other news, I think I want to be a writer again. I stopped wanting to be a writer after I had maybe three different book manuscripts refused when I was 18 or 19. Decided it wasn't for me. At least not until I turned 40 and had lots of life experience, or maybe until I found something really important to share with the world at 35 or so.

But today I wrote a three-page press release for work, and dammit, it was good.

Still need to think of something important to say before I can write a book, though.

I let Jessy the Mad Dog out, because she was barking at the window for no good reason.