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Cat And Dog: The story of why Cats and Dogs don't like each other very much.
Posted by Douglas, Jun 11, 2008. 2239 views. ID = 1376

Cat And Dog

Posted by Douglas, Jun 11, 2008. 2239 views. ID = 1376
This post was written in 10 minutes.
Just for kicks, the entire first paragraph is one huge run-on sentence. Don't worry, though - none of the other sentences are quite that long. :)

My goal was to keep this fairly "run-on" in style (as though it was written by a garrulous old man who keeps interrupting himself for parenthetical comments like this one), but hopefully have it be fun to read at the same time.
This post has been awarded 16 stars by 4 readers.

Back in the days when the world was new, back when there was no such thing as television or movies, and people amused themselves by skipping rocks over the lake, or competing to see who could take the most gut punches without calling Uncle (it was always Uncle's job to stop the games when they got too rough), back before there were bathrooms - or even outhouses - and people had to walk down the road apiece and find a tree to hide behind just to do their everyday business, back when animals still remembered how to talk to each other, and on occasion even spoke to the humans (though most animals had little enough to say to people, except for Bear and Wolf who would often taunt, "I stole your baby - what are you going to do about it?"), back in those days, Dog and Cat were the best of friends.

I know, it's hard to imagine them as friends; when you watch Dog and Cat together you can easily see that they hate each other (well, actually, Dog is the one who hates Cat, while Cat mostly just pretends that Dog doesn't even exist, except when Dog is chasing him). Some people think that this enmity got its start when humans invented bathrooms, and poor Dog had to wait in line for hours on end while Cat sat in front of the mirror and primped, and then laughed every time Dog had an accident. Other people say that the war got started when humans invented television, and Cat wanted to channel surf, looking for cat food commercials, but could never get Dog to change the channel from the Lassie marathon. These are just two of the stories people tell about Dog and Cat, and there might be some truth to them, but none of them tells the real story of that great war, that had its beginnings back when the world was new.

Dog was sitting down by the lake one day, watching a human child throw flat rocks into the lake, and licking himself (Dog was the one licking himself, not the human child - even back then human children were largely unconcerned with cleanliness, and rarely licked themselves at all). Even in those days Dog was just a teensy bit jealous of Cat, because when Cat licked himself, everyone thought it was cute and adorable, but they all just turned away in disgust when Dog went at it. This is why you are far more likely to see Cat licking himself than Dog; Dog has always been a bit embarrassed about the whole deal, and tries to lick himself when no one is looking.


Anyway, there was Dog, gnawing at the fleas on his underside, when along came Cat, looking quite smug and self-assured. "Good morning, Dog," said Cat.

Dog sat up straight and pretended he was not licking himself. I think you know what that's like, don't you, when someone catches you doing something embarrassing like picking your nose or scratching an itch, and you want to pretend that you are not doing the something you didn't want to get caught doing in the first place? Well, if you know how that feels, you understand how Dog felt just at that moment. So Dog growled a bit and said, "Good morning, Cat. It's a beautiful day for skipping rocks."

"I didn't know you could skip rocks, Dog," Cat purred.

Dog thought about lying and saying that of course he could skip rocks, and didn't Cat know that he was the champion rock skipper in the entire county? But there were two things that kept Dog from saying something so foolish. First, there was the fact that he knew if he said that, Cat would ask him to demonstrate his great skill, and there would be no way to escape the embarrassment of being caught in a lie (and Dog was already embarrassed enough for one day, by reason of his licking). And second, there was also the fact that, back in those days, people hadn't even thought of organizing something so big and grand as a county, never mind a County Rock Skipping Competition. So Dog decided instead to tell the truth. "No," he said, "I can't skip rocks at all. I can't even pick up rocks, on account of I don't have any thumbs like the humans."

Cat, unlike Dog, didn't have any compunctions about telling lies, so he said, "Well, that's too bad, Dog, because I can actually skip rocks quite well. In fact, I'm the county champion rock skipper!"

Dog glared at him and said, "Show me."


Cat just laughed for a few seconds, which was his way of stalling while he made up a good story. "Dog, Dog, Dog," he said over and over again (this was also a method of stalling, which Cat had perfected through much practice over the years). "I can't skip a rock right now! I have to take my Human Pill first."

"Your Human Pill?" Dog said, bewildered.

"Of course, Dog," Cat said with a sneaky twitch of his whiskers (he had recently discovered just how gullible Dog was, and was very much enjoying the discovery). "Haven't you ever heard of Human Pills? I cook them up from my own special recipe. Then when I take one, I turn into a human for an hour. For every hour I want to be a human I take one pill. That's how I won the County Rock Skipping Competition last year!"

Well this was all new to Dog; he had never heard about Cat turning into Human. He was surprised that no one had ever mentioned it to him, and he was especially surprised that Cat himself had never bragged about being a human until just this very moment, because Cat really liked to talk about interesting things he'd done, and that was one of the reasons Dog liked to hang out with him. "Cat," Dog said, "Do you think your Human Pills would work on me?"

Cat considered this very seriously (or, at least, his expression seemed to convey seriousness; whether or not that expression accurately indicated what he was really thinking is anyone's guess), and said, "I think they would, Dog, but you are much bigger than me, so I think I would have to make up a special batch of Human Pills just for you."

Dog said, "Would you really do that for me?" He was astonished that Cat was always such a good friend to him.

"Oh yes, Dog," Cat said. "You just wait right here. I will collect my ingredients and cook them up."

Happily, Dog sat by the lake and waited for Cat to return with his Human Pill. All day long he thought about how wonderful it must be to be a human, standing on two feet, wearing clothes, being able to pick things up and throw them, being able to build houses and roads and bridges, and doing all the other wonderful things that Dog cannot. To this day, Dog often thinks about how wonderful that would be, which is why he sits in your living room making those big sad eyes at you; people say it's because he's so loyal and affectionate, but really it is because, even after all those centuries have gone by, he still wishes he was you.

While Dog waited impatiently at the lake's edge, Cat scoured the forest for some very special ingredients, including some mashed up dung beetles, pibalong berries (pibalong berries are so sour they actually poisoned themselves into extinction, which is why you've never heard of them until now), and his own special stash of hot peppers. Now, I know what you're thinking - you're wondering if those were jalapeño peppers, or maybe habañero peppers, but I need to tell you that you have no idea what hot peppers were like back when the world was new, when peppers hadn't yet been cross-pollinated with cucumbers to make them more palatable. Back in those days, hot peppers were like a cross between a volcano and a nuclear explosion, and the children loved to drop them in the river just to watch the villages twenty miles down stream spontaneously burst into flames.

Cat spent the morning mashing up the ingredients and shaping them into small oblong pills (if you've ever wondered why Cat has those thick, heavy pads on his paws, its from long experience with handling hot peppers back when the world was new). Then he left the Human Pills on a rock to dry, and went to invite all his friends - Elephant and Tiger and Mouse (back then Cat and Mouse were the best of friends, but that's a whole different story which I shan't get into now) and Giraffe and Hedgehog and Crocodile - to a special party at the lake.

When everyone arrived at the lake that evening, Dog was delighted to discover that all his friends had come to watch him turn Human; he was excited to impress everyone with his rock skipping skills, and could barely wait for Cat to give him instructions on proper Human behavior. He also was quite oblivious to the giggles and guffaws of all the other animals who were desperately trying to hide their grins behind their paws and hooves and claws. He didn't even notice Crocodile, who was being sat on by Elephant, as that was the only way to hide his enormous smile.

Once Cat handed him the Human Pills, Dog didn't hesitate (yes, Dog was always like that, even back when the world was new - act first and then think later - I'm just glad humans aren't like that!) to pop five of them in his mouth simultaneously.

Some people say it was the humiliation of the whole thing that turned Dog against Cat, but that's because they've never had a taste of volcano-atomic-peppers. To this day, you will often see Dog panting in the heat and frantically slobbering and slurping water from every container he can find, without regard for how dirty or slimy the water is, because Cat never bothered to tell him that milk works much better for cutting the unbearable heat of volcano-atomic-peppers.

On the bright side, Dog made a remarkable discovery that day; he learned that he didn't need a human thumb to skip rocks - he could pick objects up with his teeth and fling them over his haunches with remarkable aim and agility.

As for Cat, he made the equally remarkable (though not so pleasant) discovery that Dog is not as gentle as Mother Cat when it comes to picking things up in his very sharp teeth, nor is he as careful when it comes to setting them back down again. As he skimmed the surface of the water for the seventeenth time (making Dog the official cat-skipping champion), Cat wisely decided it would be a good idea to keep his distance from Dog - and from any bodies of water - for a very long time to come.

This is why, even today, you cannot get Cat to go anywhere near either a dog or a bathtub.

Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. FifteenMinutesOfFiction.com has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.
 


   
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