This is the tale of two umbrellas with tails—cat and dog with tails, that is.
Both umbrellas rained cats and dogs. No kidding. Dogs and cats and raindrops sprinkled across the cloudy blue-purple canopies.
When I came upon the first one, I couldn’t think of a more suitable umbrella for a veterinarian’s wife to open above her head.
The dogs and cats beckoned me to snap them up. So, I did.
My daughter gifted me the second raining cats and dogs umbrella. It looked a lot like the first, but it sported purple rather than blue with puppies and kittens in place of dogs and cats.
My new umbrellas were nifty little instruments—if nifty is still a word. They opened and closed at the tap of a button.
They became my go-to gadgets for wet weather forecasts, taking precedence over my existing umbrella, the blue one with a geometric pattern.
Don’t worry about Old Blue. In the same way a girl can never own too many pairs of shoes, she can never own too many umbrellas.
My cats and dogs added cheer to the dreariest of days, not only for me, but also for those who admired them.
“Raining cats and dogs!” said friends and acquaintances. “How clever” or “How cute.”
It’s bliss to have three reliable umbrellas at one’s beck and call, particularly when the sky turns rude. It opens up at any given moment, day or night, without proper warning.
No pre-thunder rumbles. No pre-rain lightning. No dark skies rolling over the horizon.
A little wisp of a cloud sneaks in and next thing I know, mist or drizzle or an all-out downpour is coming for me.
These wet surprises didn’t inconvenience me. I had one umbrella in the house and two in my car—until I didn’t.
It’s not a good idea to own an umbrella that is nifty or cute or eye-catching.
I had placed dog and cat umbrella number one on an empty shelf while shopping for picture frames in a department store. And then it was gone.
I’ve never understood how people can take what does not belong to them without suffering remorse, but they do.
Maybe I’m too quick to judge. Maybe the person who picked up my umbrella didn’t steal it, but thought it had been left behind.
Maybe he or she dropped it at the lost and found desk where the wrong somebody “found” it. Or maybe the person did take it. Maybe he needed it to protect his dear grandmother from the elements.
Maybe a young girl took it and then sold it. People make a killing on the streets of New York City selling “found” umbrellas on rainy days.
Umbrellas are likely in the top five of things lost that are never, as in ever, retrieved.
I mourned the loss of umbrella number one and took refuge under raining cats and dogs number two. Then, I opened her beneath a windy storm and she refused to close.
A spring had sprung somewhere deep within her. Gary deemed her un-repairable.
It was a sad, sad day.
I reached for Old Blue, but the hook just inside our door was empty.
I did not find her swinging from the coat tree, hiding beneath my car’s driver’s seat or lounging in various bags.
She had disappeared, vanished, skipped town. I had taken Old Blue for granted and she did only what a lonely, dry umbrella could do.
She slipped off in search of rainier skies and an appreciative new owner.
No umbrella likes falling from first to third—replaced by a bunch of cats and dogs.