Tuesday, December 25, 2012

LT's Christmas Vigil

LT is sitting in the window in the living room, waiting.  The Daddy left last night and it's now getting dark again and he's still not home.  LT isn't worried about food, there's plenty of that and he knows the yarn lady will come by if the Daddy isn't coming home tonight.  She'll bring them a special dinner - he heard her tell the Mommy she would.  LT just wants the Daddy to be home.  

It's Christmas Day, but that doesn't mean anything to LT, especially this year.  There was no one cooking bacon to share with him this morning; no one cooking a ham or a turkey this afternoon and feeding him bites.  There's no company come over who will share bits of their supper with begging cats.  It's just another day, and not even as nice a one as usual.  

Most days this fall since it's become cooler LT has passed the evening in the house with the Daddy.  LT trots up to the house when the Daddy calls him, happy to come inside and spend time with his oldest and best friend.  Cold, damp weather is hard on LT; he's getting older and his joints are stiff in the cold.  It's a lot nicer to be inside sitting near the Daddy while he eats or reads.  It's heavenly to sleep indoors on a soft blanket in a toasty warm room. 

As it grows steadily darker LT sees headlights coming up the driveway.  They're low to the ground, so it's not the Daddy's truck.  He hears a car door open and close and sees the yarn lady approach the house.  She's calling his name, but LT sits quietly in his spot.  She'll find him eventually.  The back door opens and he hears her greet Miss Rudy.  There's the sound of food being spooned onto a plate and the plate being placed on the floor.  The yarn lady is explaining to Rudy how she cooked the chicken and rice and made the gravy and chopped it all up really small.  IT smells good, but LT knows the yarn lady will make a special plate and bring it to him.  

She moves into the living room, peering in the near dark.  The Daddy has put the light on a timer, so it doesn't come on when she turns the switch.  She carefully moves across the room and turns on the light in the corner but she still doesn't see LT.  After checking the other rooms she goes outside again and calls his name.  "LT!  LT!  Dinner time, LT."  

The yarn lady circles the yard, checking his summer house, the two winter houses, the Jeep and the warm hood of her car, since LT often will hop on a warm hood if he's outdoors.  Finally she goes inside again and rechecks the house, finally noticing LT perched in the window by the television.  It affords an unobstructed view of the driveway - all the better to see the Daddy's truck as he pulls in from his trip to Mary Land.  

LT doesn't turn when she greets him; he's waiting.  She knows better than to approach him.  He'd never scratch her, but she knows and respects his boundaries.  He likes the yarn lady just fine as long as she keeps her distance.  She fold her hands in front of her and asks if he'd like some supper that she's prepared specially for the cats.  He turns his head and looks at her, indicating that she could bring him something to eat.  

There's the sound of more food being put on a plate and the yarn lady brings it into the living room and puts it down near LT and steps away.  LT jumps down and gives the dinner and exploratory taste.  It's quite good.  It's obvious that she's just cooked this up.  The gravy is a little spicier than he's used to, but it's quite tasty.  It's a big portion, but LT works his way through at least half of it before resuming his post in the window.  

The yarn lady moves the plate into the kitchen and puts it alongside Rudy's.  It wouldn't do to have the Daddy step on a cat food plate because it was in an unexpected place.  She tidies up the mess she's made in putting out the food and pets Rudy, talking silliness to her before she comes in to say good-bye to LT.  The timer has turned the light on by now and the yarn lady turns off the other light.  She can just see LT in his corner, tucked in between the edge of the television and the window.  

"LT, he'll be home late tonight or maybe tomorrow morning.  He told me that when I was over here visiting the Mommy last weekend.  Don't worry about him, he's a careful driver."  LT turns his head and the two look at each other for a minute, remembering someone who went up the driveway earlier this year and didn't come back.  The yarn lady smiled at him.  "Merry Christmas, LT." 

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