Editor’s Note: Our cat Scooter Thomas, occasional guest blogger, shared his house this weekend with Winnie Sweeney the basset hound. The following are excerpts from his diary.
Thursday, July 10, 7:30 p.m. Upon hearing my owners come home tonight, I sauntered downstairs to pay my respects when I was greeted by a truly repugnant creature with floppish ears and monstrous snout known as a “Winnie.” Poor, poor creature. My initial observations lead me to believe — rightly, I am sure — that this little toad is as culturally unrefined as it is emotionally needy. It’s practically a child, what with all the accessories it brought along: the personal bed, the rawhides, this strange green sponge-like thing. I can only imagine the intellectual stimulation that must provide. My owners will pay dearly for this.
Friday, July 11, 7:05 a.m. I am sitting in the windowsill observing the creature take a dump in my backyard. My owners were tripping over themselves to ensure the beast was promptly let out this morning. Where is this kind of slavish devotion when I attempt to wake them up by sitting on their heads? Note to self: If my owners ever make my bowel movements into such a humiliating public spectacle, I will cover every square inch of this house in my vomit.
9:30 a.m. The troll is downstairs. If it so much as sneezes near my Internet connection, I will put it in a world of hurt. I’ve been reading up on this strange species. Rather disturbing. Here is what I’m dealing with:
This picture comes courtesy of the Sweeney’s blog. Apparently they chose to adopt this “Winnie” of their own free will. Apparently they also feed “Winnie” a steady diet of McDonald’s hamburgers.
On the bright side, I highly recommend their blog. Now these are owners with class! The powers that be in this household would do well to rub shoulders with that bunch more often. And why couldn’t we have adopted Eleanor rather than the monster? I am quite perturbed.
10:37 a.m. Breaking news. Further research on the Sweeney blog has revealed some very unpleasant developments. Apparently the beast likes to eat babies:
I fear for my life.
2:45 p.m. I’ve gone dark. I live a shadow existence, moving stealthily from one hiding place to another, covering my tracks, leaving others in the wrong direction to throw the ear-monster off the trail.
I am an invisible cat.
4:11 p.m. After hiding undetected in the pantry for the past hour, I resurfaced and discovered instructions for this “Winnie” sitting out on the kitchen counter. I snatched them and raced to my next hideout in the bathtub. (No one ever thinks to look for a cat in there.) Now I have a moment to study these papers, this window into the mind of my would-be killer. I scan the documents, making several mental notes. These passages stand out:
- “If you put a chair down sideways to block a doorway, she won’t get through. She’s a chicken and hates tight spaces, plus she’s short and won’t try jumping over it.”
- “She has her leash and choke collar — which we’ll show you how to use.” (Choke collar?? Alas, I search in vain for an illustration demonstrating its use. Drat.)
- “Winnie has been itching a lot lately. If necessary, just spray her.”
This is not much to go on, but now at least I have a plan. This fearsome beast is, I am led to believe, actually “a chicken.” I must confine her in a tight spot, possibly using a choke collar, or this dog mace they speak of. Despite being in peril, all this strategizing has exhausted me and I really think I could use a good nap.
7:18 p.m. Still alive. Great nap.
9:51 p.m. The creature has superpowers beyond what I imagined. I was on lookout from the guest room when I saw it tromp past on its way downstairs. Once the coast was clear, I bolted toward the study only to encounter a foul odor in the area that “Winnie” had just vacated. Good lord what a stench! My little kitty eyes watered, my kitty joints shook with fear and trembling at the Kryptonite-like vapor this monster had just emitted from its body. I’m safely in the study closet now, but I need another nap.
Saturday, July 12, 2:03 a.m. Just woke up from the nap. All is quiet. A quick recon mission revealed that “Winnie” has been quarantined downstairs using the patented sideways chair method. My owners are not completely dithering idiots then. Nonetheless, atonement must be paid. I proceed upstairs to the hallway just outside their bedroom door and start heaving.
2:08 a.m. I got four piles out before the male stumbled out of bed cursing. He locked me in the bathroom. The tub looks pretty comfy.
9:01 a.m. I have made a rather startling discovery. “Winnie’s” instructions were sitting on the counter again, but I noticed some changes to them. I have replicated the document’s alterations below:
- Winnie eats breakfast and dinner every ten minutes.
- She gets 1 cup three bags in the morning and 1 cup five bags in the late afternoon/evening. Please stay away from people food though good. Lots.
- If you put a chair down sideways to block a doorway, she won’t get through shame on you. She’s You’re a chicken and hates tight spaces, plus she’s short and she won’t try jumping over it. Winnie eat you.
- Winnie loves to go on walks. She also likes car rides, so if you feel like going somewhere with a dog, she likes to go too drive.
I notice drool stains on the pages, and the words that have been added are all written in crayon using rather rudimentary penmanship. I suspect my owners are bright enough to pick up on this little sabotage, but regardless, I feel a grudging respect toward my four-legged rival this weekend. She is craftier than I first imagined.
2:14 p.m. “Winnie” is busy drinking from her dish in the kitchen, preventing me from my soothing afternoon cup of Earl Grey. I’m in a black mood.
6:01 p.m. A breakthrough. I was perched atop the couch, watching “Winnie” from across the room, intrigued now at the inner workings of this beast. It was lying in its bed, staring back at me, when suddenly it sat up and talked.
“You know, old chap, I get the sense you’re a decent fellow beneath that holier-than-thou facade,” it said. “Perhaps if you came off it your guests would be a bit more agreeable to you.”
I was taken aback. “Holier-than-thou? Whatever do you mean? I’m a man-of-the-people. Wherever have you gotten the impression that I’m snooty?”
It shrugged. “I stole a peek in your diary.” It looked at me with dreadfully mournful eyes. “You said I was ‘truly repugnant.’ And that my nose was big.”
“There, there,” I said, “those were first impressions, and they’ve turned out to be completely wrong.” The poor thing looked like it might cry, so I stepped up the rhetoric. “Truth be told, it is I who was ‘truly repugnant’ for rushing to such judgment. And while your nose is a bit larger than I’m accustomed to or would want on my own face, I imagine it offers some virtues of its own.”
This seemed to cheer the beast up a bit. Its tail wagged once or twice.
“You know, I saw how you sabotaged those instructions. Rather clever. Did it work?”
It shrugged. “They haven’t let me drive yet, but I do think they’ve made an effort to take me on some extra walks. They seem like pleasant owners.”
“I suppose. I go back and forth.”
“I say, do they have a liquor cabinet around here? I’ve searched high and low. A little nightcap might help relax both of us, I should say.”
“Well that’s a jolly good idea. I’ll show you where the secret stash is.”
And off we go to drink.
Sunday, July 13, 1:04 a.m. Winniez the greathest! She can shur hold her likker! We lit her farth and toylit papperred the nayborhood. I cant write strayth! More barf tunight!
1:10 p.m. Dreadful hangover. I am nudged awake by Winnie, who looks a little bloodshot herself. “They’re taking me home,” she says. I start to get up but she extends a paw and shakes her head. “Don’t get up,” she says. “I just wanted to say goodbye and that I hope we can do this again soon.” “Same,” I respond. Why does my fur smell like gasoline?
Winnie begins to trot away, then stops and looks back. “By the way, could we keep last night, you know, hush hush? Might spoil another weekend together if our owners found out. You don’t blog or anything do you?”
“No, of course not,” I respond. “Our escapades are safe with me.” I draw an imaginary zipper across my whiskered mouth.
“I knew I could trust you,” Winnie says. “By the way, you’re a riot with a lampshade on your head. And I’ve never seen anyone do that thing you did with the flamethrower. Remember the look on that guy’s face? Priceless.”
I don’t seem to recall any of this. But I smile and nod as my newfound friend disappears out the door.