Think it’s just people who get hot in the desert, think again? All the critters in the house have been shaved down for the summer, since many of them are long haired critters. We left some fur, enough to protect against the sun, but do they still get hot? Yes! How do I know? Because I am not only competing for the glorious cool flow from central A/C, but the animals are also.
I walk into my room on the second floor where it is nearly ten degrees hotter than the first floor. The first thing I think is, “I wanted a one story house, but nooooo, someone had to have the two story.” As i’m peeling off the first layer of clothes not particularly caring if anyone is watching–because in sweltering heat, I don’t care–I kick open my bedroom door. Yes, I kick it open, because my shirt is currently being pulled off so I have to use my feet to gain access to my place of semi-solitude. I’m desperate to roll my chair under the vent until I’m so cold I need a sweatshirt. Then and only then will I be content.
As I run into the room, shirt finally being tossed on the floor, I am met by not one set, not two sets, but three sets of sleepy and content eyes lounging under the A/C. What? Can it be? My hard worked for income is going to Edison to pay to cool off the pets? All sets of eyes blink and then lazily lower until they are lost beneath fur. The cat is not shaved, her fur carelessly flows under the forced air and she lets out a long yawn and stretch as if she deserves this siesta under my paid for air. The moochers!
“Oh no you don’t,” I yell out. But they don’t move. They don’t even bat an eye, and the cat’s fur is still blowing in the cool breeze. My eyes squint until I can barely see through them. This is my air and I will take it back! I pick up the cat and place her on the bed, which she is obviously not pleased with. The dogs pretend to not see me and curl into tighter balls. I give the first one a gentle nudge, but he does not budge. The second dog opens one eye and then quickly closes it. “Ah ha,” I call out and push him across the carpet into the bathroom a few inches away.
He isn’t having it and walks back over to the solstice under the A/C vent. I pick up the first dog, but she lets out a concerning and throaty yelp, as if I have somehow hurt her. My daughter rushes into the room and scolds me for hurting the beasts. I try to explain I need cold air to survive, but she waves a finger and says animals can’t fend for themselves and how we become responsible once we take ownership of pets. Yes, the six year old said responsible and ownership. And now there is a six year old, two dogs, and here comes the cat laying under MY A/C.
I’ve resorted to placing ice packs under my armpits, for however many minutes that will last, and laying down sprawled out on my all too hot bed. Who knew I would be competing for air with our four legged family members? Next issue: who gets the bed at night?
Tania L Ramos, RN, Author, It Works Independent Distributor