The whole neighbourhood, street or forest, knows Garbage Day has switched to the second morning after the Weekend. Every Fur Person, whether in the Woods or in Town, knows when the Weekend is over, because that’s when the little apes toddle off to their school again.
We had just come off a huge Weekend, when the baby apes stayed in their dens and played with their parents and one another for more sunsets than I have paws to count with. If memory serves, they do this after every winter solstice. I’ve noticed that after any longish Weekend, Garbage Day changes—a habit that hasn’t escaped the notice of our Woods neighbors, either.
My den’s Garbage Gift is pitiably small—just one bag. But this particular bag was special. Pack Leader had packed some turkey bits in there, along with only slightly moldy cheese rinds and some sweets she said were Bad for Dogs and People, whatever that means. It seemed a shame, but Pack Leader feeds me so gloriously twice a day that I don’t ever quarrel with the offerings she sets on the curb on Garbage Day.
I guess she was still in a festive, generous mood from the big solstice Weekend, because she set our bag out on the curb just before we went to bed, offering our woodsy neighbors a chance to paw it over, as it were, before the Truck arrived in the morning to end the feast. She set it down; I blessed it with a bit of peemail as we ended the Evening Walk, and we went to bed.
Our snooze didn’t last long. Caterwauling, screeching, and a series of annoyed grunts woke us up in a hurry. Pack Leader hustled herself into some semblance of proper pelts and threw open the bedroom window, as I clambered stiffly onto the window seat. What a sight!
My furry friend Cranberry, who weighs about four of me, was grunting and weaving like a drunk, waving at our Garbage Gift with paws the size of my dinner dish. “I can’t sleep!” he complained. “All this noise! All this light! I need a midnight snack!”
“You think you’ve got problems!” snarled Princess Pusscat. (I tell you, if you haven’t heard a snarl from a cougar, you haven’t lived!) “I’ve got kittens to feed!”