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Cats and Dogs
by Brian Dear

Originally posted in the WELL's media conference, Fri 2 Oct 1998

I am not particularly fond of cats, never have been. Especially around my new house, where the cats and squirrels tease my English Bull Terrier. Just this morning, I took the Popster (short for Popmeister, which in turn is short for Puppymeister) for a walk and upon returning to the house, picked up the soaking wet WSJ at the end of the driveway. I was shaking the water off of it when this black cat darted out of the bushes, not twelve inches from the cold and curious nose of my English Bull Terrier, who was so *there* and on top of that cat -- in an instant he tore after cat, which meant, since the English Bull Terrier is always on leash, that the slack in the leash was about to no longer exist, which meant that my left wrist, forearm, and arm were about to be yanked, which meant that my left arm was about to be pulled out of its socket. So we gave chase after this cat, who, with some co-conspirators, has taken up residence on my property, much to my dislike and the Popster's eternal frustration. The black cat darted across the driveway and through a bush and through a small gap between the ground and the side of the house's front porch. The Popster didn't see where the cat went (theory: cats know that English Bull Terriers are strong, but sometimes a little bit slow in the visual cortex department -- they utilize this weakness to great advantage). But the English Bull Terrier has an excellent nose, and the nose led him to the gap through which the black cat crawled. I can imagine some evil-minded trickster cat down under the porch, its back all bent, hissing, its weird vertical slit eyes fixed on the sniff-sniff-SNIFF-sniff-sniff nose of the English Bull Terrier, knowing it had just escaped the stupid dog again, smug in its safety, planning out its day of torturing birds and small rodents before going home for the obligatory nice-hour with the human who feeds it and who foolishly believes he owns it.

Meanwhile, the English Bull Terrier now rests upon the cold concrete of the garage floor, inside a 6'-high chainlinked dog run cage, no doubt comforting himself in the knowledge that all a dog has to do is wait -- it may take years, but that's ok -- and some day, that which he wants, be it the Roast or the Turkey or the Stick of Butter on the counter-top in the kitchen, or the nice furry neck of a black cat, will be his -- some day. Dogs always, always get their chance, and they know this, and they're patient. Cats are spoiled because they get whatever they want every day. But this causes them to get smug, and one day, well, this dog is going to be lucky.

 

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