Annie quickly lost interest in taking care of me, she claimed it was supposed to be a temporary job anyways.  I wondered not if, but when I would get a bill.    She would probably even charge me for plucking pigeons for her chicken figgies.

It was okay with me, I was getting around a little better and was able to do for myself.   In addition,  I was able to see what life was like during the day after I normally would have left for work.

With Annie no longer dressing like Annie Cleaver, she went back to her normal antics.  One morning Annie came out of the bathroom looking like she had been zapped by a lightbulb.    Her fur was puffed straight out and there was a lot of it and it was long.   She looked like a freaky sort of poodle.

At first I thought she had had an accident with the invention she and grandfather made.  It actually wasn’t an invention, it was more like a fire hazard.   They would plug a light in and set it right next to the toilet then soak a piece of toilet paper in air freshener (of course, something from Annie’s stink collection), put the toilet paper on the light bulb and turn the light on.   They claimed it worked better than just squirting it.

But Annie hadn’t had an accident.   She feared her fur was growing thin in places and had ordered some hair growing clinical trial stuff she found on the internet.   It had worked a little too well because she started looking less like a poodle and more like a mop head.

Another day, Annie spent half the day haggling with someone over the phone for a span of shopping carts some man had for sale on some garage sale group both Annie and Duh-Wayne were involved in.   Annie and Duh-Wayne were building a shopping cart museum and they wanted to display shopping carts from different time periods and different stores from all over the world.

Annie would buy up all anyone had.   She called it the fart of the deal.   Her method was to fart and people would agree to anything just to get away from her.   She used the extra carts to trade for carts she didn’t have or occasionally sell them.   Duh-Wayne bought a bunch of them for his shopping cart raceways a project he was working on.   He tried the fart of the deal with Annie but she just bottled it and sold it calling it ‘Skids by Duh-Wayne’  from her real men smell collection.

Weekdays were pretty much the same as weekends except different shows were on.   Annie really loved the talk shows and week days we had to watch them all.  Annie would be laying there gobbling bags of snack food and cart loads of burgers, pizza, tacos, and fries flipping from talk shows to my 600 pound life.  She would be stuffing half a pizza in her big yap and saying, “my god where do they put it all?”

Annie Jr. should have been going to school but Annie claimed his school was using up unused snow days.  He still was not coming near me and I felt badly because I really loved him and I loved hugging him.   Finally one day, I saw him creeping up close to me.

“Come on, Annie Jr.” I coaxed.   “Come over to Slam.   I am really not a ghost.”

He crept a bit closer and I picked him up and tried to hug him.   “Help!” He screamed.  “help, help!” He pushed my arm with his feet claws full out then he jumped and ran.

I sighed how could he be so afraid of me.  Asa was a ghost for goodness sakes, and Annie Jr. had been at the hospital with me every day,   He knew I had not died, and as far as I knew I hadn’t done anything to make him mad.

Later that afternoon, Grandfather headed to the store.   As soon as he left, Annie Jr. came creeping over to me.   “Come on Annie Jr. you can get into my lap.  I am not a ghost really.”

“I know,” Annie Jr. said.   “Asa told me.   He can’t see through you so it means you are not a ghost.”

Annie Jr. crept closer and I notice he is wearing these black hairy things on the side of his face.   “Annie what is on your face?” I asked.

“Sideburn,” he explained slowly making his way into my lap.  “I made them out of Mom mom’s extra fur.”

“Why?” I asked, then I got a smell of him, he smelled like  cigars and old spice.   “Annie Jr.why do you smell like you have been smoking cologne?”

“The same reason I am wearing sideburns.”  he began.   “Grandfather said cats that hug their Slams are wimpy.   So if I wear sideburns and old spice and smoke cigars I can hug you and not be a wimp.”

I sighed.   “No Annie Jr. you are not a wimp if you hug your Slam.” then I repeated the same things I said every day.  “Please don’t listen to grandfather.”

I was so glad Annie was letting me hug him again.    It made the time go by faster because I was getting anxious to get back to work.   I was starting to feel better.    Besides Annie was getting her summer plans started and I did not want to be around for it.

Duh-Wayne was digging a hole for the pool Annie felt she needed in the back yard.   She was anxious to play this game she called, “Skinny dip trivia.”  I certainly did not want to be around for that.

Until I was able to go back to work, I just enjoyed hugging my cigar and old spice smelling cat who wore sideburns.









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