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Friday, July 20, 2012

The View from the Porch, or Dogs and Cats Play Differently


It is early evening, and the man in the park is throwing a Frisbee to his dog.

In true Minnesota fashion, the temperature has dropped a crisp 20 degrees; and while the air remains humidly saturated to a hair-frizzying degree, the afternoon’s deluge has washed the dust off the city, brought it alive in a dozen shades of green and blue.

I watch from the porch.

The dog, a lean black blend of sleek and exciteable, races to leap into the air.  Mouth open, his body joyously twists as he misses the catch; and he rolls to the ground to claim his prize.  Tail wagging feverishly, he runs back to his master with the same measure of exuberance.

He is clearly a good boy.

His master feints right, then left, swats at the dog’s rear quarters as he streaks by, only to have him circle back again and again.  Finally, tongue lolling to one side, the dog plants his front legs on the ground, butt high, his tail a wagging metronome to a summer’s evening.

The man leans over, kisses the dog on the forehead and throws the Frisbee again.

It is then that I look down, discover Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, sitting on my lap.  She, too, is watching the dog and his master.

Liza Bean, freelance cream-licker and small-pawed disrespecter of personal space, appears to have been there for quite some time.

How does she do that?

“Hmm,” she purrs.  “Now what’s gotten in to him?”

“They’re playing,” I say.

The cat’s bright green eyes widen, then narrow to slits.  “You don’t say.”

In the park, the dog returns once again with the Frisbee.  His master kneels down, appears to speak.  The dog raises a paw, and the man takes it.  They shake.

Liza Bean rises from my lap, jumps up onto the table.  “Such a display,” she says.  “I think I’ve had about all I can handle of this.  I’m going in.”

And then she smiles, a disconcerting row of adorably white, adorably tiny teeth.  Sitting, she extends a paw toward me.  “Pearl,” she says, nodding briskly.  “Until we meet again.”

And we shake. 

Dang cat.

38 comments:

Eva Gallant said...

Me thinks chasing a frisbee would be way to tame and mundame a game for Liza Bean!

Rene Foran said...

Liza bean Bitey don't care...

Sioux said...

I'm sure a lot of dogs' antics seem stupid to a cat.

Eating other dogs' poop. Going on a walk with a rope (leash) around their neck. Sniffing each others' butts. Eating cat poop. Rolling around on a dead deer carcass. Eating their own poop.

Liza Bean is right. Dogs are weird.

Geo. said...

I'm embarrassed by how old I was before realizing it's useless to throw a Frisbee to a cat.

Shelly said...

Ahhh- you never know. Try giving her a kiss on the forehead like the man did with the dog. You just never know...

Simply Suthern said...

Our cat used to actually fetch a small wad of paper then crouch for you to throw it again.

Well untill she realized you were enjoying it.

Pearl said...

Eva, Liza Bean much prefers chasing a length of string. It's refreshing to watch her make a fool of herself over a shoelace. :-)

Rene, :-D Exactly.

Sioux, that made me laugh.

Geo., the point is that you learned though, and that's important. :-)

Shelly, oh, I kiss that dang ol' cat all the time. :-)

Pearl said...

Simply, HA! Dolly Gee Squeakers fetches as well, but rarely brings it all the way back...

Simply Suthern said...

My dog thought the cat was stupid for chasing the laser pointer.

TexWisGirl said...

too cute and true.

Symdaddy said...

Masterly written!

Can't say "Mistressly" written, could I? People would talk!

Symdaddy said...

Ok! Out with it!!!

Re: http://symdaddy.blogspot.com/2012/07/i-think-im-gonna-be-urrgggahhh-sick.html

What have you been telling folks about me?

Ya fibber!!!

Mitchell is Moving said...

Liza Bean's gifts are astounding. She speaks French, too, doesn't she?

Debbie said...

oh so true!!

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

Liza Bean Bitey had to show that she has class too ya know! :o) Gotta love her.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

It's much easier to amuse a cat and takes far less energy.

Saimi said...

I don't know, maybe it's just the female of the feline species that's put out with everything.

We have both, a male and female cat. Our male cat rates himself as one of the dogs and even enjoys going on walks with us. But our female cat, well....lets just say, her and Laza Bean Bitey have much in common.

Almost Precious said...

Well Iiza Bean realizes that cats were once gods,scared to and revered by ancient Egyptians. She is simply playing her part, and playing it very well I might say.

Tomorrow is another day in which she may deign to lower her status enough to chase a shoe string - but you do realize she does it simply to amuse you?

vanilla said...

A view into the canine mind; and into the feline.

Gotta love our pets.

esbboston said...

Canines Can

Macy said...

Bless. Liza Bean does pity with style

Linda O'Connell said...

"Disrespecter of personal space." I know some people like Liza Bean.

jenny_o said...

Y'know, the way you describe so well the typical behavior of cats - yawning, narrowing of eyes, etc - plus the view you give us into Liza Bean's mind - which I'm sure is 105% true, yes it is! - the more I fear my own kittehs :)

CarrieBoo said...

I can get my cat to sit for treats. It must be very demeaning to her, but yet, she obeys. It's probably why she bites me every now and then, thinking about it...

Vivid writing! Happy weekend, Pearl. P.S. I just got a book from the library today for Roz called 'Pirate Pearl'. :)

R. Jacob said...

this makes me miss my lab once again
sigh...

Friko said...

Sigh. . . . . .
and I wish i could write like you.

I love your observations.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! Cats despair of the simple honesty and devotion of a dog. Their only aspiration is a pack of smokes and an electric can opener. Indigo x

Stephen Hayes said...

Your cat is way too smart for me. Only dumb pets can appreciate me.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I have always, always wanted a Frisbee dog. Suzie Destructo is workin' on it...although she is CLEARLY not a good dog.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Liza Bean is just SO cool! I love hearing about her!

sage said...

Cats watching dogs can be fun as I saw tonight when walking my dog and watching the cats hide and watch

Murr Brewster said...

I didn't want to play fetch with Tater cat unless she retrieved. Because I wanted to play from my recliner. So she used to come rocketing back with her rattle-mouse and try to toss it up in my lap. It never made it. I always had to unfold the recliner and get it off the floor, but it was so charming, all the effort. Now I'm wondering if she really couldn't throw it all the way. Damn dickens.

Joanne said...

Cats rule. Dogs drool. (To paraphrase a grandaughter's opinion of fifteen years ago.)

Pat said...

I love Liza Bean just about as much as I hate Frisbees.

Vapid Vixen said...

Oh my gosh! I actually COL'd (chuckled out loud) at the ending.

River said...

I once had a cat that played fetch and shook paws, she learned it when we were teaching the dog.

NellieVaughn said...

I've been thinking a lot about Liza lately. What she needs is a good cat by her side, and Louie(my cat) would be perfect for her.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Must have been gratifying to Liza Bean to watch that dog display his obvious inferiority.

I do not trust her for one moment.