Tag Archives: cats

Variations on A Recurring Theme, or I Get No Respect

I think most of you long time readers of my blog probably have a reasonable idea of who I am. You know I am a pug who will not suffer fools gladly, to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw’s famous, “He was, I believe, not in the least an ill-natured man: very much the opposite, I should say; but he would not suffer fools gladly.” I do think that is a fair assessment of yours truly. I am not one to be challenged, teased, or micromanaged. I can be somewhat standoffish, slightly critical (but usually accurate), and not terribly interested in interacting with my own or other species. And yes, I am a bit of a curmudgeon. So, if you, dear reader, understand my strengths and foibles, then why wouldn’t one incredibly cheeky, inappropriate, and uncontrolled kitten?

This Zoe has been the bane of my existence on Cape Cod. She has taken it into her feline sized brain that I am the object of her attention, that I am a pug with whom to toy, and that she need not observe any of the rules of respectful behavior.

The other night I was enjoying a wonderful post-dinner nap on my grandparents new winter shag area rug in the TV room. I can remember the evening well because I was transported by dreams of such incredible bliss about the object of my affection, when I became aware of a small but annoying paw, persistently patting me. Normally, I either would have moved or swatted it away, but this evening I had no desire to disturb my pleasant reverie. I opened one eye slowly and unobtrusively so that I could discover the source of the annoyance. I watched this creature, Zoe, lying near me, as she slithered closer and closer, using her body in a reptilian way, as only a cat or snake can. I was both repelled and fascinated, curious to see what tactic she would next employ. Her head actually was touching mine and she continued to put forth her paw of mass destruction. She somehow assumed it was okay to keep touching me as she inched closer. At that point something primeval fired in my brain, causing me to lunge at her, using my voice in a most primitive manner, like the pug beast I really am. She looked shocked, disbelieving, and surprisingly, intrigued! She was not chastened or contrite. I still cannot believe her response and it continues to rankle me.

I will never understand cats.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

Look at her cunning little face as she plots her next attack.

Look at her cunning little face as she plots her next attack.

Looks innocent, doesn't she, as she rests in her cat nest?

Looks innocent, doesn't she, as she rests in her cat nest? Look at those paws. See what I mean?

Oliver is another story. We have a mutual respect for one another's space. You do not want to mess with him.

Oliver is another story. We have a mutual respect for one another's space. You do not want to mess with him.

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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, or Just Give Me a Treat

What a splendid farewell to summer we enjoyed the past week. Boating, clamming, feasting, walking, sleeping, and cuddling with Mom and Dad topped off our summer on Cape Cod. While Lizzie and I will remain here for another month since Mom and Dad are busy with market and travel, we are very aware that fall is in the air. Grandma and Grandpa will return us to Manhattan the first part of October, and then our winter lives will begin.

I am mindful of all the attention and care we’ve received throughout the course of our lives and it started me wondering why praise is such an integral part of the dog experience. I noticed that cats rarely, if ever, receive praise for going to their litter box or eating their dinner, while dogs are showered abundantly with praise for every little task they perform. Are we slower, more susceptible to such basic a reward? Or, are we more intelligent and therefore recognize and require verbal signals?

The thing is, I am almost nine years old and I really don’t need someone hovering over me when I’m relieving myself, saying “Mason, what a good boy,” or “Fine job, Mason!” I’m sorry but truthfully all I require is a nice carrot or biscuit after completion of my outdoor business. And honestly, dear reader, if I didn’t receive a treat afterwards it wouldn’t cause me to stop performing these functions. I would be angry, whiny, and obnoxious, but I would still need to do what I’m put outdoors to do.

People praise their children when they are toilet training them just as they do their dogs, but at least they stop the praise once they are trained. Why not with their dogs? Maybe I am dwelling too much on something of no consequence but it has struck me lately that we dogs receive praise long after our training is complete. I, for one, believe that a food treat is ample reward, requiring no verbal assistance. Cats are just so weird that I think people figured out, early on, that anything said to a cat is wasted. They pretty much do as they please and when they please.

And there you have it…more deep thoughts from a pug named Mason.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

The essence of summer...Mom, Dad, Lizzie, and I all napping in Grandma's tv room. Pure bliss for this pug!

The essence of summer...Mom, Dad, Lizzie, and I all napping in Grandma's tv room. Pure bliss for this pug!

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Hang My Portrait on The Wall of Shame

Oh my, dear reader, my soul is in turmoil and I am tormented by the demons of my transgressions. It is to this forum that I must turn in confession, lest I find myself spiraling downward into Dante’s ninth circle of Hell.

How to begin? This may be the one blog entry you wish to skip over, and then hope that better days lie ahead for yours truly. I am an addict. There, I’ve said it. I have a vile predilection, a taste for the highly unsavory (by human standards), a penchant for the forbidden. Many of you pugs reading this will know immediately to what I refer, so don’t pretend you don’t.

I thought I was managing this addiction fairly well this summer, but with two highly productive cats and two litter boxes in the house, I am surrounded by temptation on a daily basis. I also have noted that Grandma and Grandpa have become much more lax about maintenance of said boxes. I was weak yesterday, weak with hunger I should say, but the results were disastrous. Apparently this foray was my undoing, my overdose, if you will. The evidence lay all over my bed and when Grandpa discovered it, he ran downstairs to confer with Grandma. It was inconceivable to them that I would soil my own bed, but the evidence was irrefutable. Only today Grandma realized the vile product, that she assumed was “an accident,” was in fact the result of my stomach discharging its rich and toxic contents.

There will be no intervention, but I am guessing there will be greater vigilance for the rest of my stay here. You see the depth of my despair and shame, but at least I won’t be wearing the dreaded diapers that Grandma threatened before she knew the truth.

As the Pet Shop Boys sang, “So I look back upon my life, Forever with a sense of shame, I’ve always been the one to blame, For everything I long to do, No matter where or when or who, Has one thing in common too, It’s a Sin.”

I am a monster.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

P.S. I cannot show my face on this entry.

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