Don’t think you can buy dog booties with impunity if you also have a cat. The cat is watching you. He is judging you. And he is freaking amazed at the stuff you bring home for that dog.
1. Poop Bags
A dog is an unthinking beast, but a cat — a cat wonders why you want to pick up poop and carry it around. Poop is to be buried in the immediate premises under two inches of earth, preferably that fragrant, clumping earth that comes in the blue box.
A cat wonders if there isn’t something a little fishy going on in that head of yours. Where are you taking the poop? Why do you want it so bad? What kind of sick game are you playing? You can’t really tell, but every time a cat sees someone pick up poop and carry it around, his mind is blown.
2. Dog Leash
To a cat, even the thinnest strip of nylon, slung around the neck and held by cooing, encouraging owner, is the equivalent of the hole in San Quentin. A cat is not to be “led around.” A cat is not to be dragged to hell and back on a “walkipoo.”
Imperiled by the death-cord, a cat will go to ground, splaying himself out awkwardly and otherwise losing all grace and dexterity; all catness, if you will. It’s the right strategy: The owner immediately feels guilt for reducing the noble cat into, basically, a dog, and will quickly spring his pet from captivity, cursing himself for his outside-the-box thinking and promising real chopped chicken for dinner. Inwardly, the cat smiles. Point: cat.
3. Dog Booties
Ha ha ha, shoes for the dog! A gag gift, a cat thinks. The dog is not seriously going to let the owner put those awful things on his feet and — DOG! NO! HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR YOURSELF, MAN! Wait — don’t go outside, dog. You are wearing shoes made out of faux suede. You are descended from wolves!
The cat thinks the dog hasn’t looked this stupid since he wore that head cone all summer, and the cat is right. If the owner ever gets an idea about buying shoes for the cat’s feet, he’ll need a few bottles of bactine as well.
4. Dog Gates
Watching an excited dog skitter around on the kitchen linoleum behind a dog gate is one of the funniest things a cat has ever seen. A cat cannot understand it. A cat inspects the dog’s flanks: ugly, to be sure, but serviceable. What can be keeping the dumb beast from jumping three feet? A lack of will? A lack of imagination? It is altogether hilarious.
The cat will jump onto the counter to show the dog how easy it is to jump three times its height, leap from counter to counter to show distance, then pop over the gate thrice, while meowing, before leaping atop a bookshelf for a 19-hour nap. How do dogs even live?
5. Dog Stroller
The cat has been meaning to talk to you about your infantilization of the housepets. Do you know that the dog you just put in the stroller licked his right unmentionable for an hour this morning while splayed on your pillow? HE IS AN ANIMAL. He has had poop on his paw for the past three days, he samples his vomit for taste, he thinks the jacket hanging in the closet is an intruder. The last thing he needs is a personal conveyance!
Please, stop treating him like a human. He is not going to learn to talk and go to college. He is going to eat more poop, just like yesterday. I can smell it on his breath from here.
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