Friday, February 18, 2011

From the Cat about the Dog

Copyright 2011 W. Bruce Cameron 

To:   Large Human Resident of My Home 

From: Her Royal Highness, Princess Feline 

Subject:    The burdens I must bear 

You are my most senior staff member, and by "senior" I mean, of course, "oldest," because I hold both of your daughters in much higher regard.  This position means you have certain responsibilities, responsibilities you are not living up to. Naturally, I am speaking about the dog, who has recently written a cowardly memo to you in an attempt to spark a revolt in the household.  It was your duty to administer swift and preferably capital punishment to the insubordinate animal, and your dismal failure in the matter has led me to craft this letter.  This forces me to do something I am utterly loathe to do—acknowledge your existence.  I must warn you that as a result, I am putting a copy of this memo in your personnel file. This whole matter is most unseemly, as the dog lacks standing to register a complaint of any kind.  This is an animal who, when excited, attempts to make love to the sofa—an animal who, when allowed outside, rewards us by defecating in our yard! How often, I ask you, have we been enjoying a lovely evening of our favorite activity—sitting in front of the television in the family room, everyone taking turns stroking and worshiping me—only to have this mutt release a gaseous emission that brings tears to our eyes and screams of anguish from your children?  Of course, you yourself are to blame here for the bad example you set with your own flatulent behavior.  In fact, there is such a strong link between your initial discharge and the dog’s follow-up volleys that I’ve come to think of them as "sympathy farts."  You’ll never catch a cat performing such an indelicacy.  In my view the both of you should be banished to the deck—you can watch television and me through the window. His tendency to bark at the most routine event—such as the ringing of the doorbell (is this supposed to be some sort of warning?  We all heard the doorbell, for goodness sake!) is most perturbing, as it interferes with my hobby—bird watching.  (I’ve been observing the birds in the feeder for more than a year now, and have determined that most of them can be classified as "edible.") The only function at which the animal excels is as a pillow for my mid-late afternoon nap, and sometimes for my early late afternoon nap as well.  Yet even at this he often fails, falling into a restless state full of leg-twitching and soft yipping.  (I know you think he is dreaming of chasing rabbits, but nothing could be further from the truth.  You know what he is dreaming of?  Running from cats, and well he should.  He knows he’s in serious trouble with me, you can tell by the way he slinks around in my presence.) As a species, canines represent a broken rung on the evolutionary ladder.  Have you ever seen two or more of them mingle together?  They sniff each other in unmentionable places, then race over to lift their legs on the bushes, proudly strutting around as if they’ve caught a mouse or something, when all they’ve done is urinate on target. Even worse: I think the fool canine actually likes me.  It’s probably because I am so beautiful; but have you ever thought about what it is like to be licked by that tongue?  It’s like being wiped down with a drooling carpet. In short, the dog has done nothing but cause trouble ever since I, its replacement as the most beloved animal in the house, arrived to take the throne.  This attempt to violate the chain of command and appeal to you to stage some sort of peasant uprising is just the latest affront.  We would be much better served if we replaced him with a pet we would all find more enjoyable and fun. May I suggest a family of free-range gerbils?

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