It’s been just about two weeks since Basil retired, at least temporarily, and I’m pleased to report that neither of us has killed the other … yet.
The transition continues for us both.
I’m still not used to having him underfoot.
He is not at all pleased when I refer to him as my concierge (well, what do you call a person who can pick up your dry cleaning, gas up the car, run to CVS and otherwise tend to the errands work won’t let you get to?).
I have made some early mistakes, like giving in to the temptation of letting him go grocery shopping while I did something else, and I now have several sale-priced bags of frozen French fries; a jar of some kind of pasta sauce we’ll never eat; and a can of Reddi-Whip to show for it.
But little by little we’re settling in.
He’s learning to adhere to the TV viewing schedule and where to unfurl the morning paper.
And he’s stopped asking me to go out for pancakes when I’m busy clacking away at the computer keyboard.
Early on, he got out of my hair thanks to a lunch invitation from our former neighbors: Would Mr. Basil like to have lunch with Lily and Cameron?
I haven’t seen him move so fast in years.
Lily, who will be 4 in a few weeks, and Cameron, nearly 2, (I think; I’m losing track!) were beside themselves with excitement. They flanked him at the kitchen table with their sandwiches and fruit, talking a mile a minute.
He understood some of what they tried to tell him.
Lily made Basil a finger painting, complete with hand prints, and painstakingly festooned him with flower stickers.
She also solemnly announced that Mr. Basil could use her potty if he needed to.
Naturally, he was in heaven.