Saturday, October 05, 2019

A major family crisis—and I slept through it

The Cavaliers--Cricket is the black and white one
They are inseperable

This morning when I raised the blind in my kitchen door, I noticed that the cars in the driveway were all rearranged. I knew Jordan and Christian has been to a big do last night—the American Cancer Society’s Cowtown Ball—and they planned to Uber home. So why were the cars moved? Then I booted my computer and got a chilling message, “Cricket missing. Plz watch for notices on neighborhood newsletter.”

Cricket is the older of their two beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, a placid girl of ten years or more who would never bolt out to explore the world the way Sophie would. But Cricket could wander sort of without knowing what she was doing or where she was going. Still, this morning, the house was quiet, so I figured she was home and safe. In fact, I thought she was probably in some hidden corner of the  house and they just hadn’t searched hard enough. I lost Jacob that way once when he was still a toddler—and after a neighbor and I searched the house and called and called, I had the phone in hand to call the police when I saw him under the dining table.

No such luck with Cricket. Turns out they came home about midnight and sat on the front porch for a nightcap, letting the dogs wander in and out because they had gates across the two sets of stairs. Cricket had apparently slipped by the gate and was gone. There ensued frantic phone calls and driving around the neighborhood. No sign of her. Jordan spent much of the night siting on the front lawn, sobbing, as she waited for Cricket to come home. Got to say Cricket, like our other two dogs, has no street sense, no car sense, and probably couldn’t find her way home from next door.

About five this morning, they got a text. Some good Samaritans had picked her up at the school across the street and taken her home, about a mile away. Christian went to fetch her at ten, and when I saw her Cricket looked blasĂ©, like “What’s the fuss about?”

Of course, that threw the day off. Jordan and Christian were both exhausted from lack of sleep and worry. The errands we planned to do were first postponed to late afternoon and then cancelled. I did go pick up groceries from curbside at Central Market, but I am still in urgent need, of all things, of a block of Velveeta.

But at 9:30, the house is dark, and I assume everyone is sleeping. Jacob missed the excitement because he stayed over at a friend’s house. And that’s another story. At 8:30 last night I let him walk about six blocks to the friend’s house, though he was met halfway. I knew he was safe, because I talked to him after he got there, but I am of the school where you don’t walk alone after dark. It’s a hangover from growing up on the south side of Chicago. So at three a.m., when Jordan and Christian were searching for Cricket, I was lying awake beset with guilt for letting Jacob do something dangerous.

I am clearly too old for all this trauma. May everyone have a peaceful sleep and sweet dreams.

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