The Yellow Peril Returns

It’s Mid-March once again. The humans spend almost every moment discussing basketball with anyone and everyone. Fortunately, they’ve taken to watching most of the games in locations other than our home, so there is at least some peace and quiet for a few hours a day. There has been some moaning about broken brackets, but we’ve chosen to ignore those complaints, as we ignore most human complaints.

After all, March has also brought warm weather. The first flowers have bloomed, including the cascade of white that is the English dogwood this time of year. The songbirds chirp happily as they bounce from one branch to another and the lizards are making regular appearances along the top of the fence. Even the frogs are back, tuning up their bark for the height of summer.

It’s just too easy to spend the day lolling in the backyard, napping among nature’s bounty… which, unfortunately, also includes pollen. Layers and layers of it. Lie still too long and a fine fur coat can start to look like the fuzzy belly of a drunken bumblebee. Now, we’d be willing to tolerate the smears and streaks if the humans didn’t spend so much time trying to clean it off. Walk inside with a smudge on the top of the head and the pet wipes appear.

All of this because of something called allergies. It has one member of the waitstaff coughing and hacking and complaining about pollen. Threats have been made to cut down every tree within a one mile radius. There is a pill that the human can take, but that just leads to more complaints because it leaves the human feeling rundown. Honestly, we prefer that version of the humans. It’s the quietest you’ll ever find them in the house. Though it does make it hard to get served on time.

We had simply chalked this up to another human weakness, but then Grumpy Old Man started sneezing. And maybe just a bit of wheezing. Definitely lots of sniffling. All of which led to the very predictable result of a trip to the vet’s office. There was an exam and a long discussion, which included the word allergies, followed by a shot, well, two shots. Grumpy Old Man spent the entire time complaining as loudly as he could and still they insisted on peering into his eyes and poking at his stomach. By the time he finally made it home, Mysterious had quietly stolen his share of daily treats.

Clearly the humans are somehow to blame for introducing allergies into the home. The good news is that Grumpy Old Man has been feeling better. Still an occasional sneeze, but no more congestion. He did make a point of sneezing directly in the face of both members of the waitstaff, just to make it clear what he thought of this whole allergy thing. The rest of our troop has been on watch duty since his return, ever vigilant against these allergies.

Of course, such hard work is draining and appropriate restoratives must be consumed. A bit of cheese left unprotected on the coffee table was quite helpful as was the sausage patty liberated just this morning. We’ve already begun considering our options for tonight. The word tacos was tossed around by the humans earlier and we know from experience that means cheese and sour cream will appear. (We’ve learned to stay away from taco meat – too many spices and jalapeƱos for our taste.) The only real question is what wine we should open.

There’s the obvious answer of a red, since the humans usually prepare beef tacos. Since they’re on the spicier side, avoiding anything too heavy on the tannins is a must. (Tannins magnify the effect of capsicum.) Something more fruity would be a great match, so a lovely Priorat would be just the thing. But don’t be afraid to go with a strong white as well. A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has the intensity to stand up to the spice and the fruit to balance against the heat. It’s a question we haven’t settled yet, though we did spot a nice Tempranillo as well.

In the meantime, Mostest has observed the appearance of some leftover chicken from earlier in the week. We’ve begun surreptitiously setting up a circle around the human and will begin closing in on our target in due course. Every little bite matters in our war against the allergies.


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