Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – April 1, 2004
Ziggy In The Morning
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – April 1, 2004 – I received a very funny e-mail this morning from a friend. I have no idea who wrote it but I thought it was worth re-printing here, with thanks to the author, whoever he or she may be. It’s a defining essay on the differences between cats and dogs. Being the guardian of both – I can attest to its veracity.
A Dog’s Diary:
8:00 A.M. – Oh boy – dog food. My favourite.
9:30 A.M. – Oh boy – a car ride. My favourite.
9:40 A.M. – Oh boy – a walk in the park. My favourite.
10:30 A.M. – Oh boy – a belly rub. My favourite.
11:30 A.M. – Oh boy – lunch, dog food. My favourite.
Noon – Oh boy – the kids are home. My favourite.
1:00 P.M. – Oh boy – out in the yard. My favourite.
4:00 P.M. – Oh boy – back to the park. My favourite.
5:00 P.M. – Oh boy – more dog food. My favourite.
6:00 P.M. – Oh boy – play ball. My favourite.
7:00 P.M. – Oh boy – watching television. My favourite.
11:00 P.M. – Oh boy – sleeping in my bed. My favourite.
A Cat’s Diary:
It’s day 1327 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre, little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is my hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture.
Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant. Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet almost succeeded. I must try this again at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favourite chair. I must try this in their bed.
I decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm – not working according to plan.
There was recently a gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary confinement throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell food. More importantly, I overheard that my confinement was due to my power of “allergies”. I must learn what this power is and how to use it to my advantage.
I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and they may also be snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant. It routinely speaks to my captors and I am certain he reports on my every move. Due to his placement in the metal room, his safety is assured – But I can wait – it is only a matter of time!
The Cat …
As I was reading the above E-mail this morning I thought of Ziggy – my cat. He has a very defined morning routine. His first order of business is to come up to my bedroom about 5:30 A.M with the explicit purpose of disturbing my hard-earned slumber. He jumps up on the bed and sits and watches me. If I don’t wake up right away, he taps on my face with one front paw until I do. He is relentless. I finally give up around seven o’clock and get up.
He then dashes down the stairs to my office on the second floor. He knows I go there first thing to check my E-mail and the hot sheets before I go downstairs to make coffee. He jumps up on my computer desk and starts to play with whatever is handy. This morning it was a wayward pen. He patted it with his paw until it was close enough to the side of the desk to fall off. Then he looked over the edge and then at me.
He has also discovered my post-it notes. They are in a pop-up note dispenser which is weighted with sand so it won’t move. He pulls a sheet out with his teeth, drops it on the floor and then goes back for more. One day when I got home from work he had emptied the dispenser, and there must have been fifty pop-up notes on the floor. Some had little teeth marks in them and others were completely destroyed. I also have a little wooden turtle that I bought from a New York street vendor. His name is Jet and Ziggy routinely steals him from my office and carries him around the house by the head.
The telephone cord is usually the next recipient of my attack cat and little teeth marks have punctured its length. I think his all-time favourite game is to sit on my Hewlett-Packard laser printer and press the green button with his paw. It immediately prints a test page and he watches it come out and settle into the paper tray. If I don’t react he presses the button again. Then it’s over to my side table for a good chew on the house plant that sits there.
By this point I’ve done my morning computer check and turned off the house alarm. He knows the sound of the alarm being dis-engaged and makes a mad tear for the staircase. By the time Augie, my well-behaved dog and I get to the kitchen, Ziggy is playing floor hockey with his bowl and demanding breakfast.
Once his hunger is satisfied, it’s time to plan his first ambush of the day. I never know if it will be Augie or me. Then it’s time for a rest. If I have a home office day, he routinely pops in to visit before leaving on another secret patrol of the house. At some point during the day he will have another successful assault on his big brother Augie, and then he will turn his attention to me. I’m know he’s keeping a record – I just have to find it. But for all his wily, funny and annoying ways, Ziggy has become such a part of the household that I can’t imagine life without him!