Animal Tales

By Russell S. Dowd
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ratThis is a two-part story in which the first part begins this way. There I was in my office, feet-up, watching TV when I glanced out the doorway and into the hallway mirror where I saw the Cat peering under the ottoman, intently. This can only mean one thing. A snake! That’s my conclusion. So I jumped up and rightly so. I hate snakes. In fact they scare me and I don’t appear to scare them. So without any headgear, footwear, or full body amour, I leaped into action and rushed into the scene to join the Cat in the ‘what’s up’?

Yikes! It’s a Rat! In my house! Somebody has left the screen door ajar. Me! So thinking bravely and with superior intelligent thoughts, I think if I open the screen door all the way then the Rat will smell fresh air and know his way to escapement and freedom.

This turns out to be well planned by me but poorly executed by the Rat. This inferior mammal decides to go the opposite way of my intended plan and runs out from under the ottoman and into the hallway linen closet. Somebody has left the linen closet door slightly ajar. Me! The Cat then springs into action and follows the Rat into the linen closet. There, I thought, the Cat now has the Rat cornered and all’s well that will soon end well.

Instead, these two inferior mammals conspirer against me with the Rat running out of the linen closet followed by the Cat into my office room where the whole problem started in the first place, that being me not playing attention to the TV where no doubt some golfer is struggling to make a three inch putt.

But now, a true disaster is surely lurking, for in my office room is a hide-a-bed. I think to myself, “what happens if the Rat, who is now under the hide-a-bed gets the notion to climb up into the workings of the hide-a-bed to escape the claws of the Cat and decides to stay there until death does him part?”

A brilliant plan, I think, on behalf of the Rat, but fear not, for true bipedal intelligence will have at last its shining moment. For in my office room there too is a sliding door, with a screen door of course, and in a Nobel Prize moment I flash on this: Open the door, grab the Cat and exit the room. If all goes according to plan the Rat will eventually smell his way to freedom. And it worked! This completes part one of our animal tale.

As for part two of our story it concerns the other animal I live with,  commonly called, The Wife. This one is convinced that she can talk English to a Mexican Cat and the Cat will understand her, even though she is speaking in complete sentences that go something like this. “Now, Becky, we’ve already discussed this.” Witnessing this, I have tried to give the Cat listening lessons, as in: “Pretend you’re hard of hearing.” Or, “Just look the other way.” Of course, the Cat looked at me with those wonderfully understanding eyes that said internally: “My dear fellow, you don’t seem to understand, but I am of the Feline gender and therefore it is in my nature to look at you as if I understand every word you say. Then do what I want.”

And that’s when I realized, talking to my Cat was like talking to my Wife. They’re both completely oblivious to what I’m saying. So much for male dominance. However, there is some good news and bad.

We no longer have Rats, no thanks to the Cat, but instead we have squirrels, and with even more understanding eyes they look at me, as they tear up my garden and dig holes underneath my pool, that they can do whatever they want.

So now what? Oh, what to do, what to DO?


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