As I walk up the steep back steps of our old homestead, as I mount the first landing and turn to make my way up the second, shorter flight, I find myself face to face with a sudden cat toy.
When we moved out to the Homestead we had four animals in our entrouage - two cats and two dogs - all of significant advanced age. Three of the four, though beloved, struggled to retain their bodily fluids, choosing (or, rather, not) instead to share them with us throughout the home. Often this occurred in unexpected and intimate places, it becoming not uncommon to find the need to change bedding before going to sleep, a laundry basket now reeked of something more than the human sweat of the day.
The fourth member of the coterie didn't seem to have this problem, surprisingly enough. He, struggling with Canine Cognitive Disfunction, simply could no longer remember his name, and wandered throughout the house following the other dog, often appearing slightly surprised at each location, though they were not new to him.
After these companions moved on I announced, as the man of the house, the king of the castle, that there would be no more inside animals.
As did Henry VIII, I have discovered that, king or not, there is still a parliament to contend with. I have been outvoted. And so there is a cat toy, suddenly there, at the top of the steps.