The cage door rattled and creaked then fell open, exposing a clear path to freedom. Meeka poked her tiny black nose out of her bed and sniffed the air,
vaguely interested in the goings on. The water bottle clattered free of its restraint and vanished into the air, returning moments later, full and fresh smelling, a faint bite of chlorine rising from the droplets that gathered on the shelf beneath the nozzle. Deciding she smelled nothing of interest Meeka withdrew again into her sleeping bag and resumed her curled position of warmth, content to let the sun fall down without her opinion.
“Hey!” The cage walls rumbled as a large body clawed its way through the open door. The steep, plastic ramps trembled beneath the weight of the intruder. “Hey! Come play! Hey you! You in the bag! Come out!” Meeka curled tighter into her ball and grumbled.
“Hey. Are you awake?” A big white head with beady red eyes bumped against the brown cloth sack hanging from the top of the cage by four clips. Very slightly the bag swayed. Meeka hissed shortly and began to chatter.
“RUDE! Leave me be. I do not want you here. Get out!” Her voice, though muffled by the fabric was still very high and on the ears. The intruder halted in surprise.
“I am not rude, I am Everette. I am daddy’s boy.” A rustle followed by nails scrabbling along hard plastic resounded from a second cage cornered to Meeka’s. A high, falsetto humpf judged his words.
“You are adopted.” Everette’s head swung around to confront Honey, a mid-sized, sable ferret with deep greying over her muzzle.
“I am daddy’s boy,” he repeated firmly. Honey dead-eyed him.
“Honey, you’re mean. Why are you mean?” While easily the largest of the trio, Everette was undisputably the youngest. Honey humpfed again and dooked away, unconcerned. There was no doubt of her position as matriarch. She was here before either of them had arrived. Everette watched her go, whiskers twitching then poked again at Meeka’s sleeping bag. “Come play!”
“GET OUT!” Meeka struggled free of her bag and glowered at him. “Do you know nothing? Intruder!” Everette leaped backward in surprise and his back legs slipped off the ledge. In reflex he splayed his front paws, long, curling nails gouging for a grip on the plastic. For two seconds he hung there, his whole length stretched out, back feet peddling the air, muzzle strained forward. Meeka trailed her hairless, opossum-like tail under his nose as she skittered past his face and down the ramp. “Just fall,” she stated as she rounded the lower ledge and headed down the last ramp. Everette’s feet were barely a ferret’s head off the floor. Meeka stopped and nipped his toe, giggling. Alarm shot through Everette and he lost his grip completely, dropping heavily to the bottom of the cage, his back end flattening Meeka beneath him while his breath dooked out of him. He laughed with delight.
“Get off! Bully! Get off me!” Meeka squirmed and thrashed, nipping repeatedly at him, especially his thickly furred tail. Everette pushed away from her with his back legs and shot out the open door of the cage.
“Come on! Come out!” Dook, dook, dook. “Meeka, come play!” He stopped to watch the small silvermit make her way slowing out of the cage, her bare tail trailing behind. Everette dooked forward and back, front feet pounding the cream colored carpet in excitement. “What happened to your tail? Where is your fur? See my tail? I have lots of fur.” He whirled around so that his fluffy tail puffed through the air. “Even Honey’s tail isn’t as big as mine.” Dook, dook, dook. Dooking sounded from the distant hallway and Honey’s humpf reached his ears.
“Mean Honey.” Everette dooked along behind Meeka, nearly landing on her in his eagerness.
“Go away. Bully! Leave me be!” Meeka raced along the baseboard, trying to leave the prattling boy behind.
“Where did you come from?” Everette raced after the silvermit. “Meeka? How did you get here?” Humpf! Honey strolled into the room from the hallway.
“She came from a porch.” Her voice dripped judgement. Meeka halted in mid dook and swung her head toward the sable.
“What do you know about the Porch? You are nothing. The Porch doesn’t want you.” Everette’s eyes widened in surprise at this statement while Honey continued toward her cage.
“Adopted.” Pausing at her cage door she gave the albino a stern look. “Leave her be. She smells funny.”
“You smell funny!” Meeka pounded her front feet on the carpet in anger, her muzzle quivering at the sable. “I am Porchly!” Honey clambered through her cage door and up the first ramp to her water bottle, chittering crankily to herself.
“You are not porchly, you are crazy.”
“WHAT!?” Meeka dooked violently toward Honey’s cage. “What did you say?”
“I said go away!” Honey shot back down the ramp and filled her cage door, her fur standing out on all sides. “Nuisance!” Everette flattened himself to the carpet and tried to be invisible. Meeka glowered at the sable.
“I don’t like you.”
“Good.” Honey held her position in the doorway. Meeka stared at her for another second or two then turned away, muttering.
“I am Porchly. The Porch told me things. I was visited by a Beetle. It sang to me. I ate it. It sang in my belly.” Honey humpfed. Everette peeled himself from the carpet and crept toward Meeka.
“You ate a beetle?”
(I will draw the curtain on this scene now as it was continuously repeated every time the trio was freed for playtime. Over time they did manage to form a grudging tolerance of each other but it was never a true friendship. Honey passed away first, several months ago after reaching a level of discomfort with her adrenal disorder that left no doubt that her quality of life was greatly diminished. She was my wife’s special pet and will always be missed. Meeka was called back to her Porch a mere two weeks ago at the ripe old age of eight. Her time on the porch was not nearly the blessing I have fictionalized it into. She was sorely mistreated before we took her and spent a horrible four to five days outside, in a small carrier on a porch with very little food and even less water. She never fully regained her health from that event and her emotional state wasn’t anywhere near what a healthy animal could have had. She passed painlessly under the anesthetic. I am still dropping shameless tears over her. Meeka’s time on that porch and the oddness that we came to know as ‘her’ was the root of the name for this blog. It is only right that I acknowledge her passing here.
Everette is alive and well, dooking about the house as if he owns it all. He is Daddy’s Boy.)