Buddy has a tendency to show up in my dreams, which I attribute to his relentless insistence on messing with me while I’m asleep, whether it’s yowling in my ear for breakfast, deciding my nose needs grooming or just burrowing into me with a soft “Mrrrrrp!”
Last night, however, was a doozy. I dreamt I was back in high school, but instead of being in class I was in the newsroom at my first-ever newspaper job, which somehow occupied the third floor of the school building. I excused myself to go have a smoke — which I don’t do anymore — and walked down to the first floor where Bud was waiting for me near the door leading outside.
To say I was alarmed to find him just hanging out unsupervised in my high school-slash-workplace would be an understatement.
“Bud!” I said. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“I came here with you, remember?” Buddy answered, speaking as if it was the most natural thing in the world. “We took the Celica.”
“I can’t have you running around here where someone could snatch you,” I said. “You’re going back in the car until I’m done for the day.”
“No I’m not!”
“Yes you are!”
“Oh yeah?” Buddy asked. “Where’s the car?”
And that’s when my dream morphed into a recurring nightmare, which is that I’m walking through a parking lot and can’t find my car. (In this case the car I got at 19 years old, a black Celica hatchback that was all sleek looks and underwhelming engine power. I still miss that car!) In these dreams I start to panic, redouble my efforts, and realize the parking lot is so huge, so endless that I’m gonna need a lift, someone to drive me around so I can look for my car
Maybe I can ease my anxiety in future dreams by dispatching Buddy to look for the car, but in last night’s dream he was clearly responsible for moving it.
“Bud…” I said. “What’d you do with the car?”
Dreams have a way of making it seem perfectly reasonable that a 10-pound house cat can not only speak, but drive a car.
I was absolutely sure that little jerk had hidden my car! (And here’s the standard disclaimer for all new readers: “little jerk” is a term of endearment when it comes to Bud. I love the little guy, obviously.)
I know it was just a dream, but it’s probably not a bad idea to hide my keys from now on…