The Search for Kong


I couldn’t find Kong anywhere. My apartment is not large. Kong is not small like an earring. But Kong was nowhere to be found.

Kong — or, more formally, Kong Wobbler — is one of Tam’s favorite toys. The top unscrews so you can put treats in it. There’s a keyhole-shaped slot in the side. By batting it around and sometimes rolling it with his nose, Tam persuades the treats to come out the slot. Some treats are small and round enough to come out easily. Mini dog biscuits take more time and effort.

I looked everywhere.

I looked everywhere twice.

I looked places where Kong has never gone: under the bed, behind my work chair, in the closet.

No Kong.

I went from “Where’s Kong?” to “Where the hell is Kong?” to “Someone has stolen Kong.”

My rational mind knew that it was highly unlikely that anyone had snuck in and stolen Kong, but long ago, my editorial mentor, the late Sylvia Abrams, when she couldn’t find something would call out “Who stole my [fill in the blank]?” Whereupon [fill in the blank] would turn up, sometimes in plain sight, sometimes not.

It didn’t work this time. Next time I will use Sylvia’s wording: “Who stole . . . ?”

I gave up, temporarily. Tam and I both needed a walk.

On our walk I tried to think like a Kong, or like Tam playing with the Kong. When I leave Tam home alone, I put out a well-stocked Kong and a couple of peanut butter bones. The Kong starts off in our second-floor apartment but almost invariably winds up downstairs in the studio space. So when we got back, I did another search of the studio. No luck. Then I had to pee.

My bathroom is on the ground floor, same as the studio. This is a close-up of the view from the can:

The chair is kitty-corner from the bathroom. Even at that distance I could see there was something under it.

It was Kong. Wedged in so firmly I had to lift the chair to pull it out.

Tam was thrilled. There was still something in it — turned out to be not one but two mini dog biscuits — and he went to work persuading it to come out.

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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