Maybe A Dog Next Time Photo of Chiang.

Magaret B. Davidson

© Copyright 1999 by Margaret B. Davidson

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Phil wasn’t keen on our owning a cat. However, when my friend’s Siamese gave birth and she offered me a kitten, Phil agreed as long as it was a male and pure Siamese. There was little logic to these requirements. What difference did its sex make? And I don’t think he knew the difference between Siamese and tabby. However I understood Phil’s need to negotiate, and I wasn’t about to let his lack of logic prevent me from getting my own way.

Boots was not your ideal pet, in spite of gender and breed; or maybe because of those factors. But we loved him, even as he ripped the chairs to shreds and sprayed on the living room drapes.

We’ve been subservient to several cats since then, and none have been ideal.

At the moment we are owned by Chiang. Chiang has a few shortcomings. He sulks when he’s left alone for more than a few hours. His displeasure is displayed by his refusal to share the bed with us upon our return. Unfortunately he is apt to recover his equanimity within a day or so, thus putting an end to any hopes we might have of undisturbed slumber. Chiang has been regurgitating his Friskies onto the carpet at least once a day for twelve years and nobody can figure out why, or how to cure him. We own a sixteen pound cat that is suffering from Bulimia. It’s mind-boggling to imagine how large he would be if he were to keep a full meal down. Chiang’s performance in the cat litter needs improvement. He faces the wrong way in the box so that his rear end hangs over the edge. The remainder of that story is better left to your imagination. Another endearing habit is that he makes a career out of ignoring Phil. This in spite of the fact that Phil is much nicer to him than I. It’s sheer cussedness. And Chiang has made it quite clear that he doesn’t “do mice.” The scuttling sounds emanating from the basement are proof of his lack of usefulness in this area.

I’ve threatened that, one wet stormy night, I’ll dump His Highness out into a culvert in a neighborhood far, far away. Judging from his contemptuous demeanor he isn’t too worried.

I’d like to get a dog. At first Phil said, “no way.” Now he’s saying, “only if it has five legs.” He’s obviously determined to make it more difficult for me to meet the requirements this time, but that book I’m reading on “genetic engineering” is giving him pause...

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