Dog in disgrace

Looking Small and Innocent
Looking Small and Innocent

My mom figures that, if I sleep on her bed, she’ll notice when I jump off. Then she will put me in my crate for the rest of the night.

Hah. I’ve become an expert stealth jumper. The Marines could hire me to sneak up on people. Or I could be a police dog, going undercover in drug dens.

“In your dreams!” my mom says. “What happens when I wake up and find two hungry cats and two empty plates of food without even a crumb? And you’re off the bed, licking your chops and looking very pleased with yourself?”

Circumstantial evidence, mom. You always said the justice system is too quick to convict with too few facts . You’re the one who says we should no longer criminalize normal behavior. So why am I in the dog house with no breakfast?

“If you eat more food, you will get sick,” my mom said. “And that means a sleepless night for me and maybe another big vet bill. We are not taking chances.”

A dog’s life iin the Goodwin household is not always an easy one.

“Yeah, right,” my mom says, as if she can hear my thoughts. “You get top quality food. You get the prime spot on the sofa, which you share with Ophelia. You get a magnificent dog bed. You run in a wonderful park twice a week. What more could you want?”

Well, more treats would be a good start. But I guess this isn’t the time to make new demands. It’s a good day to curl up on my cushion and look sweet, small and pathetic while I am sleeping.

Ophelia: A Cat With Personality

My mom says Ophelia has more personality than any cat she’s ever had. That’s not saying much since most cats are kind of wimpy. She was talking about Ophelia on the phone to her friend Bill (so what else is new).

Today mom heard crunching coming from the kitchen. “Gracie, stop eating!” she yelled.

Then she remembered I was in the Dog Lounge.

“Oops…now, which cat could that be? It’s Ophelia!” Sure enough, Ophelia was diving into a plate of crunchies. When she saw my mom, she looked up with that guilty “Caught in the act!” expression and dashed away.

“If Cathy thinks I’ll eat those crunchies,” Ophelia seems to be saying, “then I’ll never get the canned food and the other crunchies I like better.”

Dogs are smart. We never look guilty. When I get caught, I give my mom the “What’s the problem? I’m not doing anything!” look.

Too late, Ophelia. Mom’s on to you.

Food for Ophelia, but what about me?

My mom Cathy just discovered a pet food delivery service. She was getting pretty desperate because we don’t have a car and she’s not supposed to pick up those big bags for awhile…maybe ever.

Sounds good to me! Running out of my food would be a major crisis.

But what did my mom do? She ordered samples of cat food for Ophelia.

“Ophelia’s such a fuss and I want her to learn to eat healthy food,” she explained on the phone. “Gracie? No problem. Gracie eats everything.”

Huh? What about samples of treats for me?

“Gracie’s never met a treat she didn’t like,” my mom said. Notice how she talks about me? Alas, it’s all too true.

Our new housemate is sneaky

Now that Ophelia has recovered from her liver disease, and her ears have gone from yellow back to pink, we are discovering her true personality. I tried to tell my mom: this cat should be shipped off somewhere via FedEx. She’s Difficult.

Alas, Cathy and Ophelia have bonded. “She has so much presence,” my mom says. “She has charisma and charm.”

Yesterday Ophelia turned up her little gray nose when Mom put down a delicious serving of crunchies and a spoonful of canned Avoderm. Yum. If my mom drops her guard for a minute, that plate will be empty. But Ophelia just walked away.

Last night Cathy was awakend to the sound of crunching. She was afraid I had invaded the kitchen (if she’d been awake she would realize I can’t jump off the bed without waking her up). When she turned on the light she saw a small furry object, shaped like an aircraft carrier from above, digging in with gusto.

“Aha!” she cried. “Ophelia is a night eater.”

Ophelia tried to protest but her mouth was too full. She’ll be back to 15 lbs. in no time.

The Role of Food in Our Household

For the last few years, we’ve been pretty calm about food in our household. Mom is an omnivore. I’m famous for eating unmentionable garbage and stealing my mom’s food. The cats chewed on their crunchies.

Then everything changed. Cathy adopted Ophelia, who’s a food fuss. Ophelia insisted on eating canned food, which was supposed to be an occasional treat. My mom doesn’t want to mess with cans. After all, I eat crunchies. Why shouldn’t the cats? Who’s the superior species here?

So my mom finally got firm. At night she put down two plates of yummy Avoderm crunchies, one for each cat. Ophelia ran to her dish. Alas, she seemed to say, “no crunches.”

She gave Mom her best pathetic stare. Mom was unmoved. She had just rinsed out 3 cans for recycling. Enough!

So she ran to the other dish and sniffed. No crunchies.

Ophelia ran back and forth a couple of times before accepting the inevitable. She stalked away, fat plumy tail held high.

My mom was worried. “What if she won’t eat? What if she gets hepatic lipidosis? A big vet bill…”

Later that night we awoke to the sound of crunching. Sure enough, there was Ophelia, caught in the act. Ophelia looked at my mom and dashed away, muttering, “I was not eating. Don’t get any ideas.”

Could a cat be this smart? my mom wondered. She asked a couple of her human friends, by phone.

“Cats can be very manipulative,” said Mom’s friend Pat. “Don’t give in.”

Mom’s pretty stubborn herself. After all, I did serious crate time my first few months, till I convinced everyone I could be trusted to stay on the bed all night. I know the drill.

Anyway, I’ve had slim pickings around here myself. Mom downloaded a diet from the Internet and there’s not much for me to steal. No self-respecting dog would eat a cucumber and tomato salad. Whole grain bread? Not for me.

And that ditzy Creampuff keeps eating my food. I’d like to have a word with that adoption agency…if I knew how to use a phone.