The party begins with a buttery shout, progresses to flaming fire, and ends in displays of affection
The party began with a shout,"Pizzles stop licking the butter!" It was Liza who shouted, instantly causing all heads to turn to look at Pizzles as he licked the butter.
Shortly thereafter, Rex fed a piece of buttered bread to Cortney. Nobody shouted, "Cortney stop licking the butter!"
No, this indignity was saved for Pizzles alone. True, Cortney was eating bread that the butter was spread on, yet, however one consumes the butter, in one way or another, one must still lick the butter.
Afterward, poor Pizzles begged for a piece of the bread spread with butter so that he might lick that butter too, but nobody would give him one. I am proud to say that, a little bit later, when I was eating my salmon, I gave three pieces to Pizzles. They were tiny pieces, yes, but he is a cat. He is a tiny creature. Tiny pieces for a tiny creature - just right and quite generous of me, because I wanted to eat all of the salmon - my piece and everybody else's, too.
I should note that Lisa took a little heat for calling Epizzles, Pizzles, rather than the nickname that has become the moniker of preference for him: "Poof."
This is because awhile back, Pizzles, who had always been an occasionally well-mannered cat, started to pee outside his litter box.
Poor Melanie and Charlie - they tried all the known remedies to convince a cat to restrict his peeing to the litter box, but nothing worked.
Then, they suddenly realized, "Pizzles.... Pizzzz..." Kind of sounds like the whiz of a cat peeing, pisssss. It occurred to them that everytime Epizzles heard them call him "Pizzles," he could be misinterpreting his name as an inducement to pee wherever he wanted.
So Melanie and Charlie quit calling him "Pizzles" and stuck to his other nickname, "Poof."
And sure enough, Poof quit peeing in the house.
I understand that he started to blow lots of stinkers, however. Nobody told me this, but it only makes sense.
Poof was well-mannered on this night, however, and didn't poof often, because he wanted some of my salmon and he innately understood that I do not share my salmon with Poof cats who are poofing all about.
Pretty soon, Charlie appeared with Lisa's surprise birthday cake. Her birthday was actually November 22 and we had all planned to celebrate together as a family down on my wife and children's ancestral White Mountain Apache reservation in Arizona, but then Margie had to go to the hospital for emergency surgery.
I stayed home with her, of course, but given the fact that I was in the hard, early stages of the shingles that still bother me, if to a lesser but still sometimes very aggravating degree, traveling would have been pretty hard on me, anyway.
So we had a late celebration.
It has, of course, become a tradition that no matter whose birthday it is, Kalib, joined now by Jobe, with Lynxton on deck, helps to blow out the candles. But Kalib and Jobe are in Phoenix tonight. Tomorrow, they will board a plane and fly back to Alaska.
So Lisa had to blow her candles out all by herself. Without the benefit of the assistance of little people, this process, which normally takes at least 10 or 15 seconds, happened just like that. So I did not get to snap a bunch of frames, but had to settle for just one.
This was a wild berry cheesecake, by the way, made by Melanie with assistance from Charlie - I am pretty sure it was the best cheesecake I ever tasted.
Afterwards, the glow of young love brightened up the otherwise very dim room: Lisa and Bryce.
Melanie and Charlie.
Rex and Cortney... and a reminder of young love from a different time, which feels like maybe last week to me... the young love that made all of this evening's display of young love possible... Margie.