On this Winter Morning

December 20, 2002

Cricket the debonair, Twisty Widge, and Sniplet free range behind me.

I hear a tearing sound. Widget has managed to fall into a deep bag of brown paper stuffing I keep for their nestbox. Unable to extricate himself, he decides to chew a hole in the bag. I rescue him and he romps off.

I see Cricket out of the corner of my eye. He has climbed on top of a tape organizer box, he leaps onto a small table, climbs up a pile of modems and hoists himself onto my desk. I pick him up and cuddle him, he rests limply in my hands then wriggles free. I toss him gently onto the floor, which he loves. He runs back to me, leaping, climbs up my ankles onto my lap, and I toss him again. He returns to my feet, again and again, for another toss.

His excitement is contagious, and Widget starts leaping about, and comes to my feet for a toss. I toss him too, but more gently, and with a slight spin to the left so he lands on his feet. With his head tilt his balance is a bit impaired, but he loves to be tossed anyway.

Snip has discovered a plastic bag full of waste paper and explores it, crinkling, crinkling, crinkling.

Cricket climbs onto the tapes and jumps onto table again, explores the printer and knocks the paper onto the floor. From there, he jumps onto the other desk, wakes the computer from sleep by walking on the keyboard, and discovers an unwrapped gift I put up there for safekeeping, and licks it. He pokes his nose into a bag of caramels but can't get any out. He finds an empty wrapper, though, and nibbles. Intrigued, he tries the bag again, reaches in up to his shoulders, emerges with a caramel. He retreats behind the speakers to enjoy his prize. He is crinkling it now.

Widget discovers the open carrying case I use to take them to the vet, and climbs in. It is balanced precariously on a low box, and I hear it thump to the floor. Widget is nowhere to be seen, but bedding is strewn over the floor.

Widget discovers a pile of junk mail and gives it a taste. He discovers a styrofoam peanut in a box and makes off with it. He hides behind the cage and I hear him chewing on it. I run after him. In the second before I get to him, he picks up his precious peanut. I try to pull it out of his mouth. He squeaks in protest. I hear the styrofoam start to tear and let go. With his paws Widget stuffs the peanut deeper into his mouth, defiant. I let him have it. I figure, if Dapper and Fudge can have their foam mine, Widget can have his peanut.

Cricket tires of the caramel, explores the far end of the desk, falls into a bag of cereal and oatmeal boxes I keep around for nestboxes. He extricates himself noisily and a minute later he is on my desk again, at the keyboard. I pick him up, kiss him on the forehead, and toss him gently to the floor.

Widget and Snip have climbed back in their cage for a snack. I decide I really must get some work done, so I retrieve Cricket, put him back, and regretfully close the cage door. All boys take a break from their busy morning, drinking noisily and crunching their dry cereal.

Another day has begun!

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