Monday, March 22, 2010

Three Kiwis

I am a creature of habit and know my habits well, using each to pull me through the morning, out the door and through the long drive across Denver. For instance, every morning I put together a breakfast of five fruits. On Sunday nights I cut up a fresh pineapple and each morning throughout the rest of the week mix it with strawberries, mandarin oranges, sliced bananas and kiwi. The kiwi, furry and rough, is the last thing I do, carefully rinsing them until their skin is soft and comes off under my knife like shaved cardboard. The fruit, bright and green, drips down between my fingers, over the palm of my hand and into the sink. Duncan watches me, and sometimes if he's lucky, receives a bite of strawberry or a tossed sliver of banana.

This morning I thought I would take my friend Lisa a kiwi since she loves them and doesn't have them nearly as often as she'd like. While Duncan, curled up on the couch, watched and waited for his own breakfast, I packed my lunch bag, set it on the coffee table next to my mug of tea and my computer case, and set a single kiwi next to them before returning to my bedroom to pull the blinds and open the window a crack. When I returned the kiwi was gone. I looked around, got down on all fours even and peered under the table, along the edge of the sofa but found nothing.

Perhaps, I though, I'd imagined doing it so well I'd skipped actually setting the kiwi down. I grabbed another, placed it on the table and slipped into the bathroom to put in my contacts before mixing Roo's food. When I returned the kiwi was gone. I looked around, glanced at Roo, still curled up on the edge of the couch watching me patiently. The cats had already claimed their spots on the carpet in the morning sun, their eyes half closed, their tails fluttering at the very tips without any discernible rhythm. Pip's paws clenched and unclenched as he kneaded the air. Olive rolled onto her back, exposing the vast white expanse of her belly and cooed softly as if attempting to lull me down next to her.

I placed a third kiwi on the table and moved into the kitchen. Duncan climbed down off the couch, stretched and followed me, taking up his usual spot where he could watch me mix and sprinkle, talking to him in my Julia Child falsetto voice. "First we mash up the meat with the spoon, being careful to break it into little chunks, then we add a dash of Optagest--num!--and top it off with a healthy spoonful of glucosamine. Smells like fish. Mmmmmm."

Once his breakfast was complete I came around the counter to his little food table and set it down where I saw, nestled back in the corner between the bookshelves, two kiwis resting among two bright green tennis balls.

"Well look what we have here," I smiled. Dunc bowed his head, wagged his tail, opened his mouth and dropped the third kiwi onto the floor with a soft thud. It bounced once and rolled awkwardly to join the others in the strange little pile. They were unharmed and remarkably slobber-free and as much as I wanted to let him have them I wanted them more. He can have his tennis balls and fancy food. I'll keep my habits and my kiwis.


Greg said...

What a wonderful glimpse of your morning - I wish you'd make me some Five Fruit Salad for breakfast.

Way to bait and switch. I know Dunc's our title boy here, but I had the kitties pegged for being involved in this caper somehow. I bet they told him to hide them.

: )

Lori said...

Starting the day with a smile!

My dogs would've eaten them, I bet. But for Dunc... Kiwis, food or toy? He remains undecided.

Miguel said...

Well, they do kind of look like tennis balls that have absorbed some slobber & a little grass/dirt! Just a little distorted in shape. Wonder if the fuzzy skin makes them feel like a tennis ball in the mouth? (I don't volunteer to test this!)

Sue said...

What a sweet start to the day! I've been missing you and Duncan, and was happy to see a new post.

Sue & the gang

Sam said...

...what a silly boy! We are surprised he didn't eat them! Your breakfast sounds yummy - we might have to start doing that!


traci said...

This story cracked me up!

Murphy's Mom said...

GREAT story!!!
Love your writing!!!

Lisa said...

Too cute! I didn't know that Duncan tried to steal my kiwis.