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From The Cat’s Perspective …

By: Alex Lieber

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Dear Diary:

He's at it again. The barking. That constant barking during my daily naps. I don't know what I dislike most about that dog – the barking, the foreign scent everywhere, his freakish need for approval and attention ... and the baffling desire to eat my food and play in my litter box.

Just what is he trying to prove?

Perhaps I should start at the beginning. I adopted a family recently. As I explored my new home I picked up an awfully un-catlike scent everywhere. Naturally, I set about changing the scent to my own to let would-be interlopers know this land has been claimed.

But every time I went on kitty patrol, I picked up that scent again. Well, after a few days, I discovered what the smell was. A dog! My family hid him like a dirty little secret, no doubt afraid of my reaction. I suppose they wanted to ease me by introducing the dog gradually.

I stumbled upon him by accident when the door was accidentally left open. He came into my room and tried to greet me with that big snout of his, but I bravely batted him with my paw and ran away. The lumbering giant took after me, and I nimbly avoided him by climbing my tree.

He sat looking up at me, barking impotently, but I wasn't about to climb down. After awhile, I realized I was frustrating him because there was just no way he could make it up the tree. I showed him my disdain by yawning nonchalantly. Unfortunately, my food bowl and litter box were left behind. He retaliated against me by eating my food and desecrating my box.

I don't understand his behavior, Diary, or why my family puts up with him. He hardly sleeps a wink and always wants to play. Sure, I was like that as a kitten, but you have to grow up sometimes.

As the months passed, it became clear the dog just wasn't learning the art of subtlety. He doesn't understand there is a time and place for everything. When someone calls for me, why rush? What's so important I have to run? And the incessant begging. Where's his dignity? If you see something you want, just show a little more affection and purr a little louder to remind the family you're there.

Well, I decided to make the dog my pet project. I try to set an example of how to hunt and chase, the proper times and places to take a nap and that he has his food and I have mine. I think I'm beginning to rub off on him. The other day, I caught the dog taking a midday nap. I was so proud I couldn't resist joining him. Now, we have a routine. We take one nap a day together, eat, then he chases me until I get tired of the game and tease him by climbing out of his reach. I've even grown accustomed to his scent.

He still reverts to form on occasion, though. When he's excited, the dog just can't help jumping, running and, worst of all, that barking. Oh well, Diary. We'll just take it one day at a time ...

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