A Classic Tale of Canine Superiority

March 15th, 2007 by Tim Lovett

A long time ago, I was an innocent young boy celebrating my eighth birthday. Like any other child, I was mainly looking forward to the onslaught of awesome presents I was sure to receive from my parents. Unfortunately, I had cheap parents. How cheap were they? Well my present was that I got to go down to the local animal shelter and adopt a kitten FOR FREE, that's how fucking cheap they were. This might have made sense if my parents were compulsive gamblers or just plain old poor, but no, they were clean-cut, middle class cheap bastards. I didn't want a cat, I wanted the latest in Super Soaker technology.

However, my parents talked me into accepting the cat as a present by telling me two things. First, that the cat's love would bring me greater happiness than any toy, and second, they were the adults and I was the kid and I had no choice so tough shit (they didn't actually say 'tough shit', but it was implied).

Being the stupid child that I was, I managed to buy into the whole 'love' thing and so we went to the animal shelter. When we got there, we sifted through dozens upon dozens of rejects, all struggling to find joy in their last few weeks alive, until at last, we found the perfect cat. He had white and gray fur with green eyes and an overall cute and scruffy appearance, stemming from his scruffy ears, scruffy paws, and scruffy face. Such a good-looking cat deserved a creative and original name so we decided to call him Scruffy.

At this time I must mention that we also had a cocker spaniel as a pet and, as was my understanding, most dogs enjoy killing kittens on sight. Perhaps you, the reader, already know where this story is headed? Well, read on anyway, it’s worth it, I promise.

Now, for reasons unknown to me to this day, my parents believed that they were experts in pet relations, and were convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that they could eventually force the dog to get along with the cat. I remember how they brought the cat and dog face to face for the first time after we got home. My father wrapped his arms tightly around the dog and my mother clenched Scruffy with both hands and they each brought the two pets together.

My father gave the dog a stern 'I'm not fucking around' look and said, "You be nice, YOU BE NICE!"

My mother, unimpressed by this, gave my father a 'You're retarded' glare.

But shockingly, the dog gave the cat a gentle lick. He kissed it. Their strategy appeared to have worked perfectly (Note: It later turned out that it did not work at all, so don't try this, unless you're a sadistic asshole, in which case go nuts). However, taking no chances, we barricaded the cat in the kitchen, while the dog roamed the rest of the house. My parents knew it was too early to trust the dog and they didn't want any harm to befall their $0 investment. Meanwhile, wanting to make the most of this sub-par birthday, I pet the cat for a while before going back to playing videogames like a normal child of the 1990s. It was enough to convince my parents that I enjoyed my lousy present. In the mind's of my parents, all was right with the world.

Fast forward to the very next day.

In order to let the dog outside to do his business, we had to let him pass through the kitchen to get to the back door. The plan was to watch over the cat and protect him each time the dog passed though. My mother managed to successfully do this a grand total of zero times. After the dog went through his normal sniff/piss/shit/bark cycle, he was let back in. As my mother was reaching for a dog biscuit, she ended up turning her back for a few brief seconds.

That's all the dog needed.

The dog didn't even bother to charge at Scruffy, he just calmly and smoothly walked up to him. When Scruffy saw the dog approach, he was likely expecting another affectionate kiss as well as thinking to himself how nice it was to be in optimum health. Scruffy reacted to the dog's presence by lazily lifting his head, staring at the dog and letting out a soft 'meow'. The dog returned the sentiment by viciously biting Scruffy in the neck.

My mother turned around and saw the motionless cat on the floor and let out a scream. I immediately came running into the kitchen to see what had happened. After removing the dog from the room we attended to Scruffy. My first thought was, "Is he dead?” Well, it turns out he wasn't dead, he was just FUCKING PARALYZED. My mother, being a nurse, was able to determine this. No joke, her diagnosis was, "He can't move, he's paralyzed."

No matter how hard we tried, no matter how much we yelled at and beat the dog, nothing could be done to help Scruffy recover. A veterinarian confirmed this about an hour later, so we were basically left with no choice but to have the animal put to sleep, lest he spend his entire life paralyzed and not amusing to anyone. It's not that a paralyzed cat would have been any less amusing than a normal cat, but there's just something about a crippled animal that tends to really bring people down. So that was the end of Scruffy.

There are two things I wish to point out. First, it fascinates me to this day that my dog destroyed this cat so ruthlessly after having kissed him less than 24 hours previously. This demonstrates that my dog had successfully lied to all of us. Therefore, I know that, despite a lack of verbal ability, dogs can still lie through body language and that's awesome.

Second, it's amazing just how well things seemingly worked out for the dog as he continued to live a prosperous life in our household. Sure, we were all pissed at him for a week or two, but after that it was smooth sailing. He had the entire house back to himself and we continued to shower him with love.

But, fear not cat lovers, that dog eventually got what was coming to him. Five years later, he died of epilepsy. Karma is a bitch.

Every time I reflect on this whole experience, there is always one inescapable bottom line. The entire incident could have been avoided if my parents had given me a Super Soaker like I wanted. Cheap motherfuckers, Scruffy's blood and neurons are on their hands.

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© 2007 by Tim Lovett -