The other night I had to clean something in the bathroom. I keep the bleach under the sink. I got cleaner from under the kitchen sink and didn’t bother to close the door to the cabinet. I used the cleaner and decided to let it sit for a while. I put the cleaner back under the sink and closed the cabinet door.
I had some time before I had to wipe down the tub in the bathroom. So, I sat down to watch TV. It is not uncommon for Alfalfa to run from under the bed to his cage and back several times while I’m sitting on the couch. I have learned to keep my feet on the couch to avoid a glancing nip as he passes. Sometimes Alfalfa will sometimes nap in his house or under the bed. So, it is not unusual for me to not to see him for a half an hour or so.
When the second television show ended I got curious. Where was the trouble maker? I wondered. So, I started to look for him. I went to his usual haunts first. I looked in his cage and in his hut…no Alfalfa. I looked under the bed…no Alfalfa. ‘Ok,’ I thought, ‘Perhaps he went back into the far reaches of the bed.’ So, I moved the bed away from the wall to look…no Alfalfa. ‘Where the hell is the little bugger?’ I thought with a bit of panic. “Alfalfa?” I called. There was no response. “Dude?” I called again. The apartment was deadly silent.
“Alfalfa, pig!” I said in a louder voice. “Damn, it…” I cursed getting down on my knees in front of the couch. I couldn’t see anything under there. I got up, retrieved the flashlight from next to my bed, and returned to my knees. I shone under the couch and was greeted by a bunch of dust bunnies. “I need to vacuum under there…” I remarked. I stood up and listened to the apartment. ‘What the hell?’ I thought truly perplexed by my guinea pig’s disappearing act.
‘Where the hell could he be?’ I thought. I heard something outside of the apartment. “Alfalfa?” I said throwing open the door. The next door neighbor lady was just leaving her apartment. “Oh, hi,” I said. After an awkward pause I asked, “Have you seen Alfalfa? My guinea pig?” She gave me a look of not understanding a word I said. “You know ‘el diablo’? Was he here?” I asked indicating the foyer.
“Ahhh,” she replied, “No… I no see him… He is bad?”
“Yes, he’s hiding from me…” I said shrugging my shoulders.
“You lose him?” she asked with a giggle.
“Yes…” I said hanging my head. “I have managed to lose him…” The lady laughed at me, shook her head with disapproval, and continued on her way up the stairs. I went back into my apartment and closed the door. I leaned up against the door, “Great, not only does she think that I live with the devil, she now thinks he’s on the loose…crap…” I said looking around with a critical eye. “ALFALFA!” I yelled into the apartment. “Damn it pig!” I added for effect. Where the hell was he?
It was right about then that I went into panic mode. ‘Ok, ok, ok,’ I thought with a growing panic, ‘where could he be? Under the bed?’ I went to the bed and threw off the two mattresses. I used my flashlight to look in between all of the junk that was stored un the bed. No Alfalfa… “Crap,” I cursed, “Alfalfa?” I said to the inanimate objects the bed hoping for a response. Silence. ‘Now where?’ I turned and looked at the couch. It was a couch and a stow-away bed…perhaps he had gotten between the folds?
I left the mess of mattresses and bed covering behind and went to the couch. I looked under the couch with the flashlight again, just to be sure. The dust bunnies were the only thing smiling back at me. ‘Damn, it,’ I thought as I got up and ripped the couch pillow off of it. Alfalfa was not under them. I opened the couch and pulled out the folding mattress. No Alfalfa… “What the hell?” I asked out loud to the apartment. My question was met with silence. Then I thought, ‘Perhaps the bathroom?’ I left second major mess behind and ran over to the bathroom.
I stopped and listened for noise. I heard the drip of the faucet and nothing else. “Alfalfa?” I asked the silent bathroom. I paused listening for the smallest response. Noting… I freaked. I looked under the sink pulling out everything that was stored under there. I went into the linen closet and threw out anything from the waist down. “Alfalfa!” I cried as I went through the linens. He was nowhere to be seen. Then I thought, ‘What about the hall closet?’
I dashed over to the hall closet and threw it open. “Alfalfa?” I didn’t wait for a response. I grabbed the vacuum cleaner and threw it behind me. It hit the floor with a solid thud. I didn’t care. I just wanted to find my guinea pig. I grabbed my dirty laundry bag and dumped it. I threw clothes over my head as if I was emptying an old dirty storage locker with no regard. I finally got the back of the closet. Alfalfa was nowhere in sight.
I turned in circles in my apartment looking for my guinea pig. He was nowhere. I began to wonder if he had fallen down some sort of ‘rabbit-hole’ for guinea pigs. How could a sassy three pound ball of fur just disappear. The laws of physics forbade it. I had lost my rat for a day one time…but she was a rat and could hide anywhere… Again, Alfalfa was huge compared to Nibbles. My head began to swim with imagined situations of doom, injury, and even death… This was not good. My knees got weak.
I sat down in the center of my apartment and the mess I had made and began to weep. I was devastated. I had lost my guinea pig in my own apartment. I cried for about fifteen minutes before I got up and went to the kitchen to clean up. I grabbed the final napkin and blew my nose. I let out a sigh and went to get more napkins from under the kitchen sink. I opened the door and was shocked by what I saw…
Alfalfa was sleeping on the pile of dust cloths I stored under the sink. “Alfalfa!” I let out in shock. My knees were weak and I had to sit down again. I plopped down on butt. My shout had woken up the sleeping butt-head. He stood up and stretched on the pile of cloths. Alfalfa walked to the edge of the cabinet shelf and jumped down. He paused and looked up at me. I got the impression the look was to ask, ‘What is your problem?’ He walked past me towards his cage. The path was obstructed by the mess I had made. Alfalfa let out a huge wheek of disapproval. He walked back over to me and began to wheek more. He wanted the path cleared…now. “Pig,” I said, “don’t ever do that again…” He wasn’t having it and huffed. “I know,” I said standing up, “hurry up…” He wheeked again at me. “Yes, master,” I said walking towards the living and the mess I had made. Alfalfa followed me. “I’m glad to have you back,” I said.