This is kind of what it's like in our house, what with the wildlife lovers and all

Lately, Cecilia has been sitting by the side window in the living room, cocking her head and crying. Besides the fact that she is going through a rather emotional adolescence for a dog, the reason she does this is that a squirrel has been raiding J's birdfeeder. J pads out every morning in his boxers, bleary-eyed, muttering, "I'm tired," and instead of jumping right in the shower or looking for coffee he heads over to that window, the one where Cecilia likes to sit at rapt attention, and peers out to see what chickadees or cardinals have come by, singing their birdsongs and enjoying the wild bird feed we provide.

If there is a bird, he says, "Look!" And if the squirrel is there, he raps hard against the window and says, "Get out of there, you motherfucker!"

This sets Cecilia off. Sometimes J encourages her. "Look Cecilia! The squirrel. Would you like to eat that squirrel?" She starts pacing and crying wildly, every once in a while stopping by the window, cocking that hard head of hers and opening her mouth ever so slightly in an expression of wonder. Sometimes, if I'm sitting on the couch, she'll place her 65-pound body in my lap and pant hot breath into my ear and cry and I know she is thinking, "Goddamnit that squirrel is mine."

This is what goes on. This, and no cable television.