When a dramatic life change happens, the thing we remember most about it is how mundane of a day it was prior to the events. When my fellow sailors and marines were attacked that day so many years ago, I remember distinctly how calm the morning was. We ate out chow, loaded up our rifles, got into our Humvee’s and for two hours we just talked about bullshit. I still remember the last thing that kid was talking about, he was arguing with another marine about whether the Chili Mac MRE or the Penne Pasta MRE didn’t completely block your shit into a brick. Its those small details before the event that stick in your mind, no matter how long it has been.
It was early October and the temperature began to drop. The oppressive humidity of the summer had waned, and the trees were just starting to change color. The holidays were rapidly approaching, and I had my mind preoccupied on what I was going to do for my fluffies, it would be their first of each. I had woken up a little earlier than usual but stuck to my basic daily routine. I walked down to the kitchen and began the process of getting their formula set up, it would take about five minutes for the water to heat up, and ten for it to reach optimal temperature for consumption. I poured the contents each into their individual bottles, reading the back of the “Bestest Sketti Miwkies” formula container. Its expensive, but my furry brats deserve the best.
I put the bottles onto a tray and walk down to the fluffy saferoom, stepping over the foal sized gate. I know, a foal sized gate sounds absolutely pointless for when they grow but I did not want the standard size to crush them. I put the tray onto a small table, and gaze upon the sleeping balls of fluff tucked away soundly in their bed. I turn on the main lights and say gently as I can muster, “Rise and shine fluffies, time to get some milk”. The fluffies begin to stir, yawning and stretching as consciousness slowly comes to them. I trade off who gets to eat first so that no baby feels like they are the best and today it’s Truffle’s turn.
Truffle waddles over to me fast as he can, happily saying, “Gud mownin’ daddeh! twuffwe had fun dweams”. He stands on his hind legs and taps my ankle gently, always the people pleasure and ready for breakfast. I scoop him up and give him his breakfast, he suckled his milk contently dribbling a little out of his small mouth. He finished his bottle and waddled to the closest toy to play with, a small stuffy friend. Next up was Flurry, she casually walked over to me making the ‘upsies’ hoof motions. I scoop her up dramatically, always the adventurer she enjoyed being picked up like she was flying. She yawned and said to me, “Mownin’ daddeh, fwuwwy am hab tummy owwies, can hab nummies nao?”. Since flurry is constantly exploring more than her siblings, she burns a lot more energy and often needs a little more milk to keep her sated. I hold her as she is fed, quickly sucking the milk from her bottle. I bring her back down letting her scamper away to the tv when I notice Pyra tapping my toes impatiently.
Pyra was at the highest risk of developing smarty behavior, and I did everything to curb her bratty tendencies short of physical discipline. She learned very quickly that bad behavior resulted in punishments, but often times had short patience. I looked down at her and firmly said, “Now Pyra, what do we say to daddy when we want something?”. Pyra stopped tapping and quickly said, “Am sowwy daddeh, can Pyra pwease hab nummies nao?”. I pick Pyra up, and she begins to suckle her bottle immediately, her hooves tapping the nipple as if to get a better stream of milk. Pyra meant well, but I know that this will be a constant struggle as she gets older and more hormonal. I let her down and go to check on Indy, the deepest sleeper of my little fluffies when I start to hear him sobbing.
Indy was a deep sleeper, and frequently would shit himself at night. I know he is prone to scary dreams, perhaps the night shitting was due to this. He sobbed to himself, embarrassed that he couldn’t make it to his litter box. He looks up at me, his hind fur and tail caked in shit as he said to me, “Daddy, Indy nu smeww pwetty, am sowwy! Am sowwy!”. I sigh and grab a small washcloth, scooping him up. I need clean him before I feed him, or he won’t enjoy his breakfast. I calmly say to him, “Indy its ok, but we gotta work on this little guy”. Indy sighs, knowing that he must now be cleaned. I take him to the sink, turn the water onto warm, and clean the shit off his ass and hooves. Indy has become a good bather, due to the frequency of his accidents and does not complain no matter how many times he is cleaned. Shortly after, we return to the safe room and I feed him his milk. He suckles weakly from the bottle, and I hum a soft song to him to help encourage him to feed more. When he finally finishes his bottle, I put him down and go to clean the fluffy bed. Thankfully, the pillow is fast to clean and dry, and I am able to return it to them quick enough. It’s a good thin too, today is going to be a busy day.
I need to head to the hardware store and buy some more wood to fix some of the damage in the house. They’re getting bigger, and I need to make sure nothing in our home can hurt them. I’m hesitant though to go, because I’ve never left them unattended in the month and a half that they’ve been alive, but I can’t keep putting this off. It’s a twenty-minute drive to town, and another fifteen minutes to the local hardware store. I tell myself that it’ll be ok because they will probably be asleep nearly the entire time I am gone. I bring my fluffies close picking them all up, giving each a kiss on the forehead letting them know I will be back shortly. I put them down and secure their saferoom, waving goodbye as they sing a chorus of, “Bye Daddeh, babbehs wub daddeh!”. I respond back, “you fluffies be good, daddy loves you too”.
I lock the door to my house and walk out to my old pickup truck, making sure that I have my wallet and other essentials with me. I turn the ignition into my truck and begin fumbling with the radio until I find a rock station that suits my taste. The engine turns over and I shift my truck into reverse, looking directly at my house. I reverse out of the driveway and head away from my property onto the main road, my mind fixed on the lumber that I am going to need. Little did I know that my life was going to take a sudden turn, and that nothing would ever be the same again.