I am declaring today Victory in the Office Day. From the doorway it looks like this:
And from behind the desk it looks like this:
(The display case on the left holds my collection of figures representing historical American military units, and that’s my replica U.S. Constitution by the door.)
The Pet Nasty War is ended in this theater. Any animal elimination in the office will henceforth be considered a Crime Against Peace as defined by Principle VI of the Nuremburg Principles, and will be punished accordingly.
Fighting is close and chaotic this week. The office blockade remains in place and the defiance defecation strategy I feared for the hallway outside the office has not yet been embraced by the animals. The cats have adopted quite divergent approaches in response to the loss of the office. Marisa is marshalling all her forces outside the house in an apparent attempt to kill every bird and rodent in the vicinity for subsequent intimidating arrangement on the front walkway, or possibly to trip me. Lulu has gone in the other direction entirely, decamping in the master bedroom. She is pursuing an allergy sabotage strategy, waiting until the Empress and I are asleep before furrifying our bed using hit-and-run dander application tactics. Perhaps in concert they hope to see me trip over a dead bird while sneezing, in effect an all-arms battleplan on the scale of Amiens in 1918. I would be more concerned if I didn’t know that they hate each other and would sooner die than work together. The dogs are a different matter. Zondro and Wilson have been reinforced by Icarus this week, the latter animal being much larger than I remember. The net effect has been much skidding and crashing into furniture. What this temporary alliance will do to alter the long term complexion of the canine resistance, if anything, is unknown. This week is simply one to be borne as steadily and evenly as possible, as there is simply more dog mass present than can be restrained and it’s too hot for said dog mass to stay outside for any length of time.
My youngest brother’s loyalties in regards to the Pet Nasty War are dubious. If I am to have his support this week my approach must be a moderate one. No scorched earth, but rattenkrieg, engaging the animals as closely as possible, has a definite appeal from the standpoint of military progress in the context of coalition maintenance. Justin has seemed slightly aghast at my tendency to place my troops in Thermopylae- or 1st Marne-like situations where we must either fight desperately or be annihilated, and to do so for no apparent strategic reason. My rejoinder? Mustn’t ask us, not its business. Justin and I were conducting a joint carpet-removal operation and he became increasingly insistent that I have a plan other than victory. Victory, one might observe, is not a plan so much as it is a condition. That is true but irrelevant. Anyone who assumes that not knowing what I’m doing will stop me from doing it simply hasn’t had the experience of domestic campaigning along the maréchal. Justin has now had that experience.
Painting in Jenny’s room today. I bequeath it to history as Operation Turquoise Blast.