"I know it's not customary for a child to tell her parent when she's decided to run away from home, but I'm telling you right now. I'm running away from home." Coco said from the windowsill.
I sat in a chair next to her table. "Coco, that hurts my feelings. I thought you and I had a wonderful relationship, and I love you so much."
"Yeah well...I don't care," she said. "You don't inspire me. I utterly feel drained in this life."
"But little girl, does this mean you're leaving home for good? Who will feed you baby carrots and mango treats? Who will brush you and fill your water bottle?" I knew there was no way Coco could survive in the wild.
"I've tapped into a market where I think I can really thrive." Coco said confidently.
She ran her paw across her cheek. "I'm joining the circus and touring as The Bearded Lady. I got the idea from that great tv show with Kathy Bates."
I laughed out loud. "Sorry Cokes, but I'm not sure you qualify as a lady."
"Not sure I qualify as a lady? I've got eight nipples. I'm more woman than you'll ever be."
Unsure of how that was a low blow, I accepted her insult.
"You and I were meant to be together forever. But now our time in this world must end." Coco said.
"Cokes, did you just quote Misery?? You are such a little thespian!", I said. "Well, if you feel you must go, then I suppose you must...although, I wonder who will unscrew your vodka bottle caps and pop your champagne corks. Maybe you do need me after all..."
She rested her chin on her left paw, "The life of a carny is a life of booze and dazzling crowds. I'll be swimming in liquor and rounds of applause." Coco motioned with her ears out the window. "Plus, I won't have far to go, you can supply the alcohol for me and my carnival freak show friends."
I looked out the window at a red and white striped umbrella someone had left open near a small tree. Realizing that Coco had mistaken this small prop as a circus tent, I packed her a Ziploc baggie with spinach leaves, a baby carrot and an airplane bottle of Captain Morgans and wished her luck. She'd be back inside by happy hour.