Editor’s note: I wrote this a year ago to the week on a warm summer night. I used to send out my stories to a group of people via email as that was my comfort zone. You will see a lot of these stories in the coming year(s). It would be about two months later that I would finally launch my website. Chris, my webmaster, was constantly ready for two years to get this site going for me and he never let up on me. I have had some notorious mentors in my life but none harder than this man and I’m so appreciative of his tough love on me. Thank you, Chris from Phoenix and me!! I will always be so grateful to you because I would have never done this had it not been for you. So, this one is for you because I know you like my Phoenix stories the best.
Phoenix And His Daddy, Things That Lurk In The Dark
By Mike Vogler
August 18th, 2012
I still have my website in a static phase to where no one can see it and I’m still too scared to proceed despite my buddy, Chris’, continual nagging for me to do something. I’ve had it for nearly two years now and paying a fee that is just giving away money. And I’ve not done a thing with it. I still don’t have the courage to put my stuff out on the Internet. What if they laugh at me? What if they don’t like what I write? So, here is another email story to all of you.
I love to come home at night after work and stand out on the front porch, have a beer, breathe in the night air deeply and feel my body relax. It’s always just me and Phoenix, no dating, but lots of friends and just doing our own thing. I turn the porch light off so I can step out from under the eve of the house, look up and see the brilliant stars. Last night I did this same thing as I usually do but…well read on…
I was standing there. Such a gorgeous, beautiful night before I sat down to write for the night sipping my first beer.
Phoenix, “Second beer…” I hate him!
Phoenix was inside lying on the couch with the tv on a mere few steps on the other side of the door. He is always concerned when I get out of his sight because of the trouble I can get into.
I was succumbing to the deep relaxation on my Friday night. The end of the work week. My front yard, with the porch light off, offers all sorts of odd shadows which I never have paid particular attention to before this. There is often rustling in the bushes next to the house which I figured out is often birds. Maybe a squirrel or something. But, I was standing there…..and it hit me…..in seconds…..
I heard a sound rustling…..not in the bushes but on my front lawn. Oh my gawd, something was creeping right towards me! That Flight or Fight reaction all of our brains instinctively have kicked into high gear when threatened!! My skin crawled all over my body. The blood rushed intensely within ever part of me. Every hair on my body stood on end. Despite my poor night vision, I could look on the grass and see it. It was coming towards me. Slowly….
Keep in mind it’s 12:20 a.m. in the morning and I yelled, “HAAAAA!!!! GOOOOOO!!!! GET AWAY!!!!!”
Well, Phoenix heard me. And I could hear him leap off the couch and land on his paws tapping on the tiled entry way. He barked alarmed, “Let me out there Dad!!”
We have that raccoon (previous blog from last winter) that often comes to visit in the neighborhood. And it often comes traipsing around the front of the house but always goes of his own accord to another house or down the street. With my poor night vision and the unique shadows I could see it was HUGE! I intensely squinted my eyes to disseminate whether it was a skunk or a raccoon. The former is obvious to avoid and the latter, a raccoon as you know will tear you to shreds.
I hollered again, “YAAAAAA!!!! GOOOOO!!!” I stomped my feet!!!! It stopped and hesitated. Gawd, this beast was huge.
Phoenix, on the other side of the door now screaming, “LET ME OUT THERE!!!! Daddy, you’re gonna die!!!!!” *sigh*
A little over reactive on the drama there but bless his heart.
It was probably 10 feet away. Brushing up against the grass blades towards me. My blood curdled with fear! I reached back with all of my might and hurled my ¾ full can of beer at IT!! As the baseball announcer would say, “And JUST a bit outside!” I missed it by a mile. You know the saying, “…..couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn”? Yep. Farmers need not fear me vandalizing their barns with thrown beer cans.
I reached a step backwards and opening the front door with one hand, while keeping an eye on this killer predator, to turn on the porch light. I saw the critter had scurried about 5 feet backwards at my salvo of the errant Bud Light Missile throw. My eyes refocused to the porch light illuminating the front yard. I could see it. And it HISSED AT ME venomously!!
It was a freakin’ two month old kitten!!!
It mewed at me….scared. The poor night lighting, my crappy night vision, and the slanted night shadows had made it appear to be 10 times bigger than it actually was. In hindsight it had been moving slowly towards me to say hi. Lordy Mike….trying to take out a kitten. Nice.
The precious little kitten looked at me back in fear, “WTF mister??”
My heart sank. I was an all time idiot.
Phoenix, just now, “Agreed….”
Me, “Knock it off! I’m trying to write this story!”
Phoenix, “Sheesh, I’m just sayin’! Proceed….”
I said, literally out loud to the kitty, “Oh GAWD!! I’m so sorry sweetie!! C’mer please……”
I went to go pick it up, but it scampered off. *sigh*
This entire event all happened within 1 minute.
I walked into house and Phoenix, looking up at me, “Dude, you’re white as a ghost. What happened?! Bear? Mountain lion? I was ready for battle, Daddy! You go, I go!”
Me looking down at him and petting him on the head as my heartbeat still raced, “I know, buddy…”
I walked off towards the kitchen with Phoenix right at my heels.
Phoenix, “Ummm…..hang on sparky. Where’s your beer??!”
We were in the kitchen and I opened the refrigerator to grab my second beer.
Me, “Stop it!!”
Phoenix, taken aback and shaking his head, “Lordy, who’s counting?!”
Me, “I threw it a cat. Well ok….it was a little kitty.”
He KNOWS the word “kitty”.
Phoenix, “Kitty?! Was it the black one? That Calico? Or that tan one?” (btw…he genuinely likes cats)
Me, “OK! A two month old kitten….”
And I started off to the bedroom.
Phoenix stopped me in my tracks standing in front of me, “Hang on just a gosh darn minute here.”
I just about tripped over him but caught my balance.
He sat at my feet sneering at me with those admonishing Golden Retriever eyes, “Oh no Daddy…you did not throw a beer can at a kitten, did you?! The cute harmless one’s?!”
Me, “I did NOT mean to!! I didn’t know it was a kitten, Phoenix. It looked huge in the shadows on the lawn!”
Phoenix, looking at the beer can in my hand, “Was there alcohol involved?”
Me, seeing the focus of his eyes, I quickly put the beer can behind my back to hide it, “No.”
Phoenix, “Seriously, you think I don’t see that?”
Me, “This is ridiculous. I’m going to the computer to write. Now move.”
Phoenix, with that sparkle in his eyes, holding back laughing at me, “Threw it like a girl, didn’t you?” (Phoenix, “That is directed at my Daddy, not any of you girls!”)
Me, “I hate you.”
Phoenix to all of you, “I have to keep my eye on him constantly…”