Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Eulogies 101 - Brittany

Continued from Muse 2

I’ll never forget when Brittany came to live with us. She needed some respite from a long-suffering relationship with a man who had run her ragged. He’d baited her, beaten her, even broke her leg once and always pushed her to her limits. My mother, being the kind soul she could sometimes be, and wanting to sate her philanthropic urges, took her in, so to speak. Although it wasn’t long before we realised, the black-haired beauty had actually taken over, the bitch.

We were fascinated by her at first, tall, dark, with a slender body, ample chest, elegant long legs that helped her sashay through the door and across the room. Her bright, inquisitive eyes darting nervously as she surveyed her new surroundings. Her aquiline nose accentuating a sweet, yet rather featureless face.

She seemed pleased with the décor and nodded approvingly, making herself immediately comfortable with a familiarity that could be seen by some as contempt. My mother had been particularly generous, providing her with a new bed and accoutrements, none of which received great appreciation. But Brit was fond of silence and barely made a sound with the exception the occasional grumble of disapproval.

She was inordinately fussy to feed. One day she’d love roast chicken, the next turn up her pencil nose and refuse to eat it. Catering became a daily challenge, even to the point where for one meal she would eat only cheese that she’d ‘stolen’ from a cheese platter and hidden beneath a cushion. Her behaviour was inconsistent and erratic, somewhat mystifying. Who steals a piece of cheese?

She was completely indifferent when friends called over. Naturally they were curious to meet the new house guest and bought gifts and smiles. She’d just sit on the couch with a superior expression, clearly displeased at the invasion of privacy. She could easily have removed herself, isolated herself, gone upstairs into the bedroom, moved outside and enjoyed the view from the verandah but no, she preferred to make her disdain obvious and discomforting and with the elevation provided by the sofa.

She’d been our guest for only a week or two when things began to disappear. Trusting as my mother was, she’d leave their guest to her own devices while she went to work. Left alone and to her own devices it became obvious that she’d breached house rules. Upon return, little things, nothing of value or consequence, would disappear. That loaf of bread left on the counter, the leggings left folded on the table, television remote controls, a spare shoe. Who steals a shoe?

This went on for weeks before we discovered a cache of clothes and trinkets had been secreted away for God knows what reason. Confronting her merely incited a head-toss of indifference. She cared not when we retrieved our items. Within another week, they’d be stolen back and stored. And so it went on.

She showed her true colours when visited by a mutual friend’s grandchild. A rather irritating boy of 4 years, a short and dribbly menial who insisted on putting his fingers where they shouldn't go and jabbering incessantly. His constant questioning, touching and poking caused her to strike in a most unladylike manner. Spittle emanating from her bloodied lips after literally biting the child’s ear. Who bites an ear!  

The demon sting hiding behind the facade of a black beauty had been revealed. She clearly had no respect or regard for those who were height challenged and no boundaries on what physical pain she felt entitled to moot out. Secretly, we felt the child deserved it and only chastised her slightly.

Still, we warmed to her curmudgeonly attitude. We ignored her lazy ways. We became used to the theft and fascination with cheese. We learned to vary the menu and that pretty much anything served with home made chicken stock would be eagerly devoured.  We even began to adore the chattering of her teeth when she was happy. It took a little longer to get used to her monopolization of a couch, lying flat on her back, legs akimbo but even that became charming in its own way even if her lack of modesty was not.

Her cancer diagnosis made us love her even more, knowing that her time with us was limited. She left us too soon. That beautiful, sweet, short haired, elegant, needle-nosed, growly, roaching, long-legged, cheese-stealing, child-biting, aloof yet wonderful Greyhound. We miss her much.

RIP Brittany
May There Be Jarlsberg Over the Rainbow Bridge
2009 - 2016

Posted for the 10th River of Mnemosyne Challenge
Muse 3 "The Scorpion's Dripping Wet Lips"