Remember Martigne? The calico who four days ago chased the laser mouse about the empty room in the Anchorage apartment about to be vacated by her people, Toast Ed and Prickly Pear Blossom Kracker?
Immediately after she moved into our house, I took her into the bedroom that she now shares with her people and opened the door to her travel kennel. She stepped cautiously out, then dashed beneath the bed. There she has since stayed, although Blossom does report that when it is just the three of them, sleeping, she has come out, a time or two.
Tonight, she got out, came to the bedroom door, peeked out and saw Jim. The two studied each other, hissed a bit - but not badly. Then she went back in and Jim dashed out here to his office. I suspect that when I get back from Wainwright, she will have advanced into the house.
In the evening, little Wry Kracker joined Jim Slim Many Toes and I in my office, where many fish hang out.
Following four days of furious blogging, I must now take a break. It is nearing midnight and in just a few hours, at 4:00 AM, I must drive to Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage to catch the 6:00 AM flight to Barrow. From there, I will catch a 12:30 Frontier Flying Service flight to the village of Wainwright, where I will attend the funeral of a true, wonderful, gentleman, one of the finest men that I have ever known.
He was short and slight of build, but you could drop him into any group of men anywhere, and he would inevitably be the toughest, smartest, most observant, keen-eyed member of the group. Yet there was no arrogance in him. I never saw a macho display come from him. I never saw him seek to intimidate nor to belittle. He was Iñupiat Eskimo, a whaling captain, and every spring it was a given that a bowhead whale would come to his village through him and his crew, Iceberg 14.
He took me into his crew and his home and with his late wife and wonderful children, treated me like family. And that is how I will feel when I step into the Alak High School gym - the only room in the village large enough to even have a hope of holding all those who come to pay their respects - that I have come to attend the burial of special family member.
Ben Ahmaogak. How I love you! I hate to see you go.