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L’il Sis left for work this morning — with a small suitcase, her pillow, and a blanket. No, she’s not running away from home. After work, she leaves to go up north for an overnight of pre-wedding bachelorette fun with a friend who’s getting married soon. This means she will be away from The Pig for a day and a half — including one night away. This is a problem. For The Pig. Mostly for me.

The Pig watched L’il Sis pack her things into the car with a sense of foreboding. Why she should react this way is a mystery to everyone. As Gill points out, “That dog is spoiled rotten by you, Ma. She wouldn’t get nearly the number of snacks, treats, walks or attention if you weren’t there. What does she think she’s going to miss with L’il Sis gone for 24 hours? A bushel of kale? Really? If I were you, I’d put The Pig on strict rations just to show her who is boss!”

“Oh yeah? We already know who’s boss . . . and it ain’t me. Or L’il Sis.”

L’il Sis had been gone less than 15 minutes when I heard the noise from the kitchen. I rushed downstairs to see a plastic bag of rotting green beans on the floor, the bag torn and the contents spilling out on the floor. The Pig was skulking away.

“What? You couldn’t let her get to work before the ‘I’m pissed at my Mommy’ campaign starts? You couldn’t lull me into thinking we’d have a good day and then attack? You’re more warped than I thought.”

She returned to her sofa in the living room, looking mopey and no doubt planning her next move. This got me to thinking. How is it that the kids I raised don’t suffer from separation anxiety but all our pets do? Poochie used to, and although she had fun when Other Brother looked after her when I went on holiday, she’d hang around the door waiting for my return. For a week. It was embarrassing. Even Crazy Uncle Barney, our cockatiel that lived in my bathroom, refused to do his ‘hopping dance’ on the top of his cage until I came home. Then off he went, a regular Michael Flatley tapping for his dinner.

But my kids? Leaving aside the fact that they have all returned to my nest in their adulthood (not completely willingly, but still), they couldn’t wait to get away from me…not because they didn’t like me, just that they needed to have adventures without my knowing what they were up to. Actually, I knew a lot of it anyway, but they don’t need to know that I knew. Or they couldn’t wait for ME to leave. I recall one particularly unfortunate New Year’s Eve. I knew they planned a party but I had no idea it was going to be one of THOSE parties. The less said, the better. And I went to Texas for a short trip. They couldn’t wait to see me off. But I had learned. I left Poochie in charge. She was the best narc and snitch ever. I do miss her.

But The Pig has the worst case of separation anxiety I have ever seen. She, however, doesn’t take it lying down. She is aggressive and targeted in her displeasure. She moped…on the sofa, on the deck, in my bedroom in the evening. She normally enjoys an afternoon nap on my settee, but she was confused when I attempted to settle her there for the evening. Realizing that she might be upset since she normally sleeps with L’il Sis on her bed, I left a night light on in my daughter’s room, fluffed the comforter, and left the door wide open. Where did she sleep? On my settee. Well, I’m not sure she actually slept. I know I didn’t. She got restless every few minutes and jumped down to lie on the wood floor. Maybe she was hot? I can sympathize. I’ve been hot since menopause hit back in the last century. Then, her hot flash apparently over, she’d jump up on the settee again. Oh, and did I mention she snores? Actually, and I’ll never admit this to L’il Sis, it is comforting — after you get past the belief that a train is roaring through your bedroom. I guess you can get used to anything. (I recall that Crazy D, as a student, lived in an apartment that boasted a railroad track in his back yard and a brothel of sorts across the road. I prefer to think his lack of sleep that year was from the train noise and not the brothel activities. I don’t ask.)

But we made it through the night without any major incident. . . unless you count a small puddle of puke outside the door this morning. Just a normal night here, so I don’t count it. I’m considering leaving the puke for L’il Sis to clean up. It would be evidence that she was missed. But that would be unkind. Besides, I’m sure The Pig can come up with some other bad behavior in the next four hours. Wouldn’t want L’il Sis to feel left out.