If my long-time companion, Oliver were still occupying his favorite rug in my house, I would have sat on the floor with him to describe the awesome beauty of the 2017 Solar Eclipse.
Sadly, on so many levels, Ollie is no longer with me, but here's how our conversation would have gone:
"Oliver...it was breathtaking! I was totally mesmerized by the incremental changes as the moon stepped between our earth and our sun."
Oliver looks up at me with his droopy eyes, their black lashes stick straight out like thick paint brush bristols. The excitement of my news overwhelms him and his fury head drops onto his paws.
I continue to rhapsodize.
"I used those great Eclipse Binoculars that daddy got from Amazon. I thought he paid too much, but Lordy...it was worth every dollar!"
I stop long enough for Oliver to absorb some of the enthusiasm pouring off me like sweat in a sauna and probably just as annoying.
"I had to press the binoculars really snugly against my face, so my eyes would be completely covered. Didn't want to risk any burns to my retinas."
Oliver looks over his black nose at me and stares into my eyes. I think he is just checking to be sure I came away unscathed from this dare-devil feat.
"I just washed my hair and ran outside, curlers and all, so I wouldn't miss a minute of the Galactic show. I was concentrating on the shadow as it crept across the face of the sun when I thought I heard a voice. For a heartbeat I thought my curlers might be picking up radio waves like Patrick always warns. I didn't want to stop looking, but then that voice came again. I turned around to see the Green Acres Lawn man treating our neighbors backyard.
We both laughed at my being wired for space chatter and he left to spray more chemicals.
I tell you, I must have really been determined to see the eclipse...I'd never be caught dead with curlers outside the house!"
Oliver rolls over on his side with a deep sigh of contentment as I rub his rather portly stomach. His ginger colored fur is thick and long, it feels like silk under my fingers.
"Oliver, I've read that animals can be seen to act in peculiar ways during a full eclipse. The birds around our bird bath just sort of disappeared as it got darker. They'd just been drinking like a bunch of kids on spring break, when all of a sudden... zap! They were gone.
The air seemed to slow around me and everything went still. It was so quiet while we watched. I felt like the world was holding its breath for the sun to return to us...to come back into our lives like, well, like it was our only hope against the darkness the world can hold."
This soliloquy proves too much for him and Oliver stiffly rises to his arthritic legs, stretches his back and walks into the bedroom. As he steps into the solitude and comfort of a plush carpet, he turns and looks back over his thick pelt of ginger and...now this will sound like a fake report...but he actually gave me a wide mouthed yawn!
Unbelievable! I guess I found my biggest critic. But hey, the lawn care guy thought me interesting. He didn't spray me did he!?