Kittens On Toolbox
One of the best things about being an appliance repair man is that you’re constantly being put in close proximity with other people’s pets. As a huge lover of animals, this is one of my favorite things about the job.
While a lot of people put up their animals as a precaution, which is totally unnecessary for me, unless they are prone to biting, which is where I bail out. However, I don’t mind a little growling and grumbling, which is where Tank comes into the story.
Tank was a two year old English Bulldog I met back in March. He and his mother ruled their magnificent domicile in Park West with an iron paw. I was called out to check out a dryer that wasn’t heating correctly and as my client met me at the door she explained the deal about Tank.
“Okay, Tank is not mean and he won’t bite, but he is going to explain the rules to you for a moment. After that he’ll more than likely ignore you.” and so it started. Tank snarled and grumbled for a minute or two while he sniffed me over. While he tolerated a scratch behind the ear, he immediately made it clear that this favor would hold no sway over his final verdict.
This verdict must have been okay because his mother immediately went back to bed while Tank got in a good position to keep himself between me and the rest of the family.
I noticed that if I made too much noise or used my drill too much, Tank would stick his head around the corner for a quick sneeze or reprimand, but that was about it. I could tell he was much relieved when the repair was wrapped up and he could shuffle me off to Buffalo.
The only real damage I got this year was from a head strong Pekinese, I should have known by the way his owner was yelling at him and being completely ignored that he was not to be trifled with. However, me being me and liking to give all animals the benefit of the doubt, I put my finger down for him to sniff. Charlie was not having it, I got a nip! Not enough to draw blood, but enough to hurt a little. While his owner scolded him a little, we could both tell her heart wasn’t in it. In fact, I think she kept him around just so he could give someone the occasional nip.
Another few mentions come from the parrot family. One of the calls I went on was prefaced by the owner putting both dogs outside as he was going to be working in the back yard while I was repairing his dryer. However, I kept hearing the dogs inside, I had even whistled to them but they wouldn’t come to me and I didn’t know what to make of it. As I was taken into the owners office after the repair, I found the issue. His parrot was mocking his dogs exactly. He claimed she took great pleasure in doing so as well.
Willy was an african gray parrot perched in the den next to the kitchen where I was diagnosing an oven. He was very interested in what I was doing and kept whistling at me to get my attention. I decided to take it to the next level. I began to whistle Beethoven’s Fur Elise back, and Willy didn’t know what to make of it. For the next thirty minutes he wrestled and ground it out, ruffling his feathers and bobbing his head occasionally, but he managed to get the whole first 10 notes in order and you’ve never seen another creature as proud of himself as Willy was. He was proudly orchestrating when I left. I wonder if he still remembers the tune?
My final and favorite story is of a pair of star crossed lovers, Teddy and Elinor Roosevelt, the nicest ferret couple you’ll ever meet. What was interesting about them was that they lived in a beautiful home in Old Park with a menagerie of siblings which by nature should have considered the ferrets lunch. However they did their thing without worrying about whether or not all the dogs and cats which were their cohabitants were pawing or chasing them. They took it all elegantly in stride.
While the ferrets were only mildly interested in me, they were absolutely fascinated with both my toolbox and the dis-assembled dryer I was working on. In fact once Teddy discovered he could fit snugly in the pouch where my cordless normally sat, he camped out there for a bit and kept returning to the spot. I had to make sure he wasn’t there on my way out to make sure I wasn’t wrongly accused of ferret napping. Elinor on the other hand had her matronly instincts to deal with. While she liked the toolbox, she had a higher interest in the dryer, I’m assuming she saw in it a nice comfy room free from the mischievous eyes of her house mates.
However, they both were cross with me in the end, Elinor because I sealed up her house and Teddy because I wouldn’t leave the toolbox for him to nap in. Oh well, you can’t win them all!
Happy New Year to all my clients! Thanks for your support!