Ian Pike noon, Dec. 8
One morning, Fudge woke up in a laundry pile. It was the best of times, until Momma yelled at him.
"is fudge laying on the down blanket?" She asked upon hearing the jangle of his dog tags as he stirred from snuggley slumber.
"No, he's.." Daddy paused, and laughed. "No, he's sleeping on our laundry in the corner."
"What? No! Dog out!" Momma yelled.
Fudge defeatedly trudged out of the bedroom and curled up into a tight little ball on his bed in the living room. He wrapped himself up so tightly that his tail covered his nose.
Daddy came out into the living room and saw why little Fudge had snuck, late at night, into the bedroom and onto the clothes, where he knew he shouldn't have been.
It turned out that when Momma and Daddy had gone to bed last night they'd forgotten to close the windows or the door. The living room was damp and drafty, since it had been a stormy night.
"Poor Fudge!" Daddy exclaimed. "He must have been freezing last night!" Daddy looked down at his cinnamon rolled rover, and Fudge looked up at him, apologetically.
"Oh, Fudge, we love you. Looks like we're gonna have a stormy Saturday, huh?"
Fudge knew what this meant.
It meant pee quickly, for right now the rains had temporarily ceased, and who knew how long this reprieve would last.
It also mean that Momma and Daddy would most likely stay in all day, cooking and doing crosswords, all the fun rainy day activities that kept them warm and cozy. These were the things that were oft forgotten on solar charged sunny days, but on damp ones they were, not so reluctantly, forced to hole up and take it slow.
Fudge was right.
Momma and Daddy woke up slow, and the day was filled with coffee, radio, crosswords, and casseroles.
Fudge spent a lot of his time lounging about on the floor, which was thankfully a lot less drafty now that the house had been properly closed up. He was also invited up to the couch to help cuddle, keeping Daddy's tootsies toasty warm.
The rain started to come down in cats, and fudge scurried to the window. He wanted to make sure that he was in position in case he needed to keep his family safe. He positioned himself at the window, keeping watch like a stoic sentry.
Fudge saw the landlord's son, and he raised his left ear in greeting. The boy waved and Fudge gave a wag. Fudge also got really excited when a delivery guy came up the stairs.
The delivery wasn't for Momma or Daddy though, so Fudge didn't get to say hi to the poor wet pizza man. He looked so tasty and drippy, and Fudge was pretty sure he could smell hot wings.
As it got darker outside, Momma and Daddy lit candles since their home didn't have a fireplace. Momma said it still made the house feel warmer.
Sunset was amazing! If you looked out the front windows, the sky was a dark and foreboding indigo. But, if you looked out the kitchen windows, the sky was pink and a meringue white, buildings little more than a silhouetted skyline, as flat and constant as its neighbor the ocean.
The rain slowed to a gentle sprinkle and Momma decided that this was a good time to take Fudge out again, this time taking him to a neighbor's lawn since his own backyard was full of tall grass.
Tall grass is no fun in the rain, even though Fudge was a pretty tall dog.
Sometimes, when the grass was tall and wet in his little yard and Momma and Daddy pu thim out there, he'd make sure to pee really quickly. Then, while he was waiting for someone to let him back in to the house, he'd hop up on the side ledge just to keep his paws dry.
Fudge and Momma made it back to the apartment relatively dry, except for the fact that Fudge had decided to splash in a puddle.
Because of that, he had to have his paws dried when he came in to the house. Fudge didn't mind though, he liked when Momma and Daddy gave him extra attention.
Since they knew they would need something for dessert later on in the evening, Momma and Daddy decided to make liquor muffins. Fudge wasn't sure why his parents kept giggling about them as they made them, but he sure did enjoy getting to lick the bowl a little bit.
Fudge liked the batter, even though it tasted funny, because it was sweet and sticky on his tongue.
As Daddy set up the living room for movie night, Momma cleaned up the kitchen.
Fudge knew that soon, there would be snuggling on the couch again and he was very excited.
When Momma and Daddy went out to get a movie, Fudge stayed home. He didn't want to go out and get wet again, and anyway, his parents never let him choose the movie. (He'd even strayed from his usual puppy requests and begged for Gerbils in Space, but still, Momma and Daddy rented another boring human movie.)
As it turns out, Momma and Daddy maybe drink too much when they watch movies, because they rented a movie they had already seen. It didn't matter, they turned on the radio and listened to some blues, drank some fancy beer and ate liquor muffins.
They had to keep warm, somehow. It was like Russia in San Diego, with constant precipitation and cold, cold winds, temperatures sometimes dropping as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fudge didn’t know much about Russia, but he knew it was cold there, and so this must be what it's like. He snuggled up on the couch with them as they did another crossword.
They started with a Thursday, thinking it seemed fun and about the right level of difficulty. (Crosswords are easiest on Monday, and get more difficult throughout the week.)
That Thursday was hard.
They tried another Thursday, and that was hard too.
"Let's try an idiot puzzle - a Monday."
That one they were able to complete, and Fudge got to cuddle with then on the couch the whole time.
Then, daddy saw a flea. "Off the couch!" Daddy yelled. "Oh no, he has butt gnomes!"
Tomorrow Fudge gets a bath, and his coat will get a good run through with a flea comb. Then, in a two days, he'll get dosed with flea medication.
Silly dog, it's winter. Fleas are for summer.
Now Fudge doesn't get to cuddle.
He'll get to cuddle in a few days, don't feel too bad for him.
He really is loved.
Butt gnome bug blues.
Sing it, Downtown Fudgey Brown.
Yeah, brother. howl at that moon.
You got the rhythm, you got the blues, you got the right to howl those tunes.
Fudge was feeling pretty groovy, and wondered if the batter he'd licked was stronger than he thought. He went to lay down in his bed, which was wasn't as cold as last night. All the cooking that had been done during the day had heated up the apartment, and he was able to sprawl comfortably, instead of having to curl up.
It was nice. Fudge had a lovely rainy Saturday with his family.