Cat-Rhymes

The cat sat on the bed.

The cat wanted to be fed.

It made eyes at its owner,

Who was a great loner,

And went to get food from the shed.

**

The cat sat on the couch.

Its owner was also a grouch.

When she wanted to share,

The cat thought “You dare?”

And the owner then screamed out an “Ouch!”

**

The cat sat on the floor.

The cat was very much bored.

The human tried to play,

But the cat ran away,

And played with an electrical cord.

**

The cat sits wherever it wants.

Every part of the house it haunts.

It owns the house,

From sofa to mouse,

And the human only gets taunts!

Homeless with a Hamster

High Priest Jonas, son of Azekial, of the long-standing Levi line, looked exactly like any other homeless man wandering about the streets of the capital city. Unlike them, however, he carried in his heart the knowledge of his noble lineage.

He walked through the alleyways of stone and dirt every day, and watched the washing hung out to dry between the windows of the buildings on either side of him. He counted socks, shirts and pants and tried to figure out how many people lived in each apartment. Sometimes he sat under a washing line and let the water from badly wrung clothing drip onto his dirty green coat and his matted and tangled brown hair. He liked that, because it meant he walked around for the rest of the day with the smell of laundry detergent mixed in with the alcohol, body odor and bad breath that surrounded him.

He couldn’t clearly remember where he’d been before the street. He thought that there was a home, maybe a job and a family as well. He distinctly remembered there being a lot of wine. Much more wine than he was able to put his hands on these days.

The problem with Jonas, the other homeless agreed, was that he thought himself superior. None of the others were strangers to madness – they’d all had brushes with the crazies or else had gone through insane phases themselves, but none of them tried to pretend that they were better than anyone else. But Jonas turned his nose up at them. He’d tried, at first, to teach them, to collect followers, but once they told him to go away, using nasty vocabulary, he decided that they weren’t worth his time.

Jonas didn’t see things this way. In his opinion, the ones who shared the city-streets with him had hurt his pride and mocked him, and for that he would never forgive them. Maybe one day, if they would deign to apologize, he would acknowledge them and help them to salvation.

Meanwhile, however, he’d found himself a different companion. Bobo, a hamster in a green cage, was beside him day and night. He was a stalwart friend – his nose quivered in anticipation whenever Jonas gave him food and he would emit high-pitched squeaks of satisfaction when the man tickled his stomach. Jonas was pleased with him.

One evening in October, the High Priest took Bobo to one of his favorite haunts. It was one of the coffee-shop chains that filled the city streets, but unlike many others, there weren’t waiters. Instead, people ordered their coffee inside and then took their mugs to the outdoor seating area when the weather was nice or if they were smokers. The staff rarely came outside to collect the dirty dishes, so Jonas could sit at a table all evening without being shooed off the premises.

“Look, Bobo,” he grinned, broken teeth bared. “This is a nice table, right? A nice table.” He put the cage down and sat on a red plastic chair. His coat was bulky and uncomfortable and the table rocked as he hit it with his knee. Instinctively, he shot out an arm to hold the cage steady. Bobo sniffed his thanks, directing his tiny nose at Jonas’ hand.

He scoped out the area around him. There was a bar behind him, small and tucked into a crevice of the little complex. In front of him were other tables and chairs like his, with people sitting at them. He saw that none of his enemies were there and breathed a sigh of relief. He could work in peace. He crooned once at Bobo before taking out paper and a stubby bit of pencil.

He leaned forward and began to write. The people who sat around him watched him warily, like they watched all homeless men and women who came too close to their comfy worlds. Jonas didn’t mind – he knew that they watched him merely because they were drawn to his nobility. Even if they didn’t know it, they were dimly aware of the majesty that was in his tall, wide frame. He pretended not to notice their staring and continued writing, working as always on his lists and his plans.

“Mommy, mommy, there’s a homeless man with a hamster!” a little boy’s voice rang out.

“Shh!” the boy’s father picked him up and carried him away, glancing back fearfully to make sure that the boy’s yell hadn’t angered the man.

Jonas frowned sadly, but the boy’s father couldn’t see the expression through his wild, tangled beard.

“Yes, I have a hamster,” Jonas said quietly, looking down at Bobo. “He is my friend.”

 

Samantha and Frank

It was on a bright day in the middle of January that Samantha realized that her cat, Frank, had taken over her life. On that day, Samantha was driving her old Honda to her mindless office job. She was looking forward to work in a vague sort of way, mostly because she wanted to hear Roseann’s latest dramatic episode in her relationship with her ex-husband-current-sometimes-boyfriend. Samantha enjoyed those stories immensely, since Roseann was an intelligent woman who had the charming quality of being able to make fun of herself, and Samantha felt the need for a laugh.

The old car had no CD player, and of course no connection for her iPod – which was good, since it was on the fritz and was working only sporadically – so Samantha spent the drive to work listening to the radio. That morning, in January, she happened upon a talk-show, one of the many that featured uproariously funny hosts (at least, in their own minds) who spoke very fast. She realized soon that the host’s project that morning was dissing people with pets. He was talking to someone who rescued animals on the street and made various mean-spirited jokes about the subject until the guest thanked him sarcastically and finished the interview. Samantha had laughed – this particular show was one she enjoyed, because the host was funny sometimes – but she stopped abruptly when he started reading off a fax he’d gotten.

“Well, ladies and gentlemen,” he drawled, his voice fizzing in and out of the old speakers. “I have here a fax by Miss Mary K. P. and she’s written a very nice list here. So, get out your pens, all of you pet owners out there, and let’s see if your pet has taken over your life! Miss Mary K. P., as promised, you’ll be getting a free t-shirt from the network. Let’s go.”

Samantha smiled indulgently as she wondered how many of the items on the list would fit her profile, but soon she began to frown in concern. Soon after that she began to laugh uncomfortably, and, finally, she wore a fake expression of calm as she pulled into the office parking lot and decided that she had to get out more.

“First,” the talk show host had said. “If you feed your pet before you feed yourself – it’s taking over your life. Second, if you talk to it more than you talk on the phone – it’s taking over your life. Third, if you talk to it as if it’s a human being who understands your every word – it’s taking over your life. Fourth, if you hug it more than five times a day – it’s taking over your life. Fifth, if you live vicariously through other people’s stories, but interact with your pet more than with other people outside your home – it’s taking over your life.”

The list had gone on, and Samantha realized that yes, Frank had taken over her life. The problem was that even though she knew that she should do something about it… She really didn’t feel like it.

Dora’s Birthday [Part I]

It was Dora’s birthday, and everything seemed to be going wrong.
When she woke up in the morning and walked to the bathroom, she stubbed her toe and it really hurt. Her mother tried to find some ice for it, but the ice-box was empty, and so she made Dora hold a cold can of beans on her toe instead. Dora pointed out, as she held the can, that it was leaking. Her mother said a bad word, apologized, and got a cloth and some soap to clean up the bean-juice from the floor.
Later, after Dora had had breakfast – with her toe still throbbing – her father came into the room and said “Happy birthday, Dora-Dear! Seven is huge.” He lifted her into the air and kissed both her cheeks. When he put her back down on the floor, though, she slipped on the wet area where her mother had washed and fell right down on her butt. That hurt too.
It was a school day, and Dora was looking forward to having everyone sing to her and lift her up on a chair. She skipped upstairs even though her behind still ached and her toe felt swollen. She was about to put on her favorite pair of red shoes with blue stripes on them, when she saw her dog, Brownie, look at her guiltily from the doorway. Dora knew that look. She peered into her shoes, and sure enough, Brownie had left a big puddle of puke in one of them. Dora yelled at Brownie, who got scared and ran away. She regretted it afterwards, but it was getting late, so she put on her second favorite pair of shoes [white with green polka-dots] and went downstairs where her parents were waiting to drive her to school. She stuck her tongue out at Brownie, who was sulking underneath the coffee-table, as she went out the front door.
At school, things seemed to be looking up; all her friends wished her a happy birthday, and Mrs. Peterson, the first grade teacher, smiled warmly and promised that Dora would get an extra chocolate chip cookie for dessert at lunch-time. But then, at lunch-time, the dessert wasn’t chocolate chip cookies after all – it was vanilla ice-cream, which Dora detested, so she didn’t end up getting any dessert at all.
When Dora got home from school, she found Brownie hiding under her bed. She lured her out with soft cooing noises and stroked her, saying she was a bad dog for puking in her shoe but she she loved her anyway. Then it was time for Dora to leave again with her parents. They were all going to Dora’s grandparents house for a nice dinner, a yummy cake, and what Dora was looking forward to most: presents!
Dora was sure things were finally going to go well now. After all, what more could go wrong? She’d had her toe hurting in her shoes all morning, her butt was still feeling very bumped from the fall, her shoes weren’t as comfy as the ones she really liked, and she hadn’t had anything sweet at all today! But now things would be fine, because things were always fine at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Cat Logic

Human logic: I feed the cat, therefor the cat is mine.
Cat logic: Human feeds me, therefor, human is my slave.

Human logic: Best time to pet cat is when relaxing, in front of the TV for instance.
Cat logic: Best time to be pet is when human is shuffling papers, typing on keyboard, or, as a general rule, whenever human is busy.

Human logic: Awe, my cat is rubbing his head on my leg. My cat loves me!
Cat logic: Notice me, Slave. I’m hungry.

Human logic: My cats are cuddling with each other – how sweet!
Cat logic: I’m cold, and am putting up with the other fur-ball. Turn the heater on, Slave.

Human logic: I’m a decent person, but I sure know my flaws and limits.
Cat logic: I am a cat. Therefor, I am perfect.

Human logic: Some days, I wish I could sleep forever. I know I can’t do that, though.
Cat logic: Zzzzzz…

A [Stupid] Tale of Two Cats

Once upon a time, there were two cats. The two cats were great friends, and knew each other from the time they were both kittens and were rescued from the street by a nice woman named Debbie. The cats, though generally very friendly, had a recurring argument that they could never resolve: they couldn’t agree which of them had the sillier name.

The one called Shraga would often say “listen to the way my name sounds – it’s so dumb! Shra-ga. SHRA-GA. Just dumb!”

The one called Spartacus would answer “you think that’s dumb? Listen to my nicknames – Sparty, Sparticle, Particle, Spartoosh. All so silly!”

Despite their argument, they usually managed to play well together and enjoy the life they led in the small apartment with the two girly-girls they lived with. The two girly-girls, one older and one younger, both doted on them and spent many hours of the day using odd sounding high-pitched voices when they spoke to them. They would squeal and sigh, but the two cats were content as long as those sounds were followed by the rattle of the box of especially yummy food-treats.

And so the two cats lived in harmony, with only one or two scartchy fights a day, and they were always sure to act very cute around their two girly-girl humans so that they would never need to live hungry on the street again.