I saw Mopsy and Lucy last night. They died earlier this year.
They were healthier than I had last remembered, their black fur unmatted, their tails in furious swishes, their paws scratching at my legs.
Jason the Russian Blue sauntered out then, ignoring the dogs he'd never met, offered his courtly head for a rub, his limbs no longer arthritic.
Mopsy and Lucy distracted themselves into one of their infamous growl-yip playfights, leaving room for Pity, the mysterious white cat from Jason's era, to pass by to the kitchen.
Vickie the beagle, a real old-timer, galloped in next, her eyes afire like she'd seen a rabbit, running towards me the way she used to tease us at the bus stop.
Jason tapped her nose with a paw and she veered off under the library table. A good thing, too, for Bub the Great Pyrenees, the great white dog who had to stay outside in a run most of his life, rumbled in, his old pal Gabby Whiskers the miniature schnauzer nipping at his heels like always.
They disappeared into the hallway. Finally, Butters, the butter-colored tabby, jumped up on a nearby chair and lovingly butted my head with his. It was so good to see him spry and limber, his leg no longer broken and twisted from that unseen car, his eyes squinted in the pleasure of touch, not the agony of evisceration.
I rubbed his back and felt it arch and then he leapt away and went off on some mission behind the sofa.
And before the petless room winked out, I knew that all my old friends, so new and perfectly-remembered here, were no longer dead, but only hiding.
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