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Saturday, July 27, 2013

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.

20 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Cats are way smarter than dogs...especially talkiing cats.

joeh said...

Frisbee, a dogs laser beam.

Joanne Noragon said...

Liza Bean mocks so well.

Simply Suthern said...

Two of our cats will fetch. Weird but they do. The other one, well you can tell he wishes he had a middle finger.

vanilla said...

...in keeping with cat decorum and restraint.

jenny_o said...

"Shake" says Liza Bean.

And Pearl does.

Yep. That's a cat for ya.

I love this post. Your descriptive powers are, well, powerful.

Pat Tillett said...

She is obviously several rungs above canines on the evolutionary ladder.

Geo. said...

Engaging description! Intelligent dog. Only the more stupid creatures catch frisbees in their mouths. I've tried it over and over. It hurts.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Shake? Strewth, you don't think there was a tinge of jealousy there do ya?!

Indigo Roth said...

I could never be a cat; I'm too much of a happy wagger.

Leenie said...

Good thing you don't have access to Liza Bean's baby videos. I'm guessing as a kitteh she spent her share of time bouncing around on stiff legs with arched back just to see what her reflection would do. But what do I know?

klahanie said...

Human Pearl,

You have seen my 'pawst'
Cats adore me the most
Liza Bean
Has been seen
At your computer screen
Looking adoringly at me
Makes sense you see
I'm Penny the Jack Russell dog
Who does a blog
Typing from afar
This modest internet superstar!

Pearl, you are silly! :)

High paws and slam dunk!

Ginny said...

You are an incredible writer, that is all I can say here. LOVED this small vignette.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

You did an awesome job capturing the essential difference between a cat and a dog.

River said...

Have I mentioned before that I love Liza Bean?

the walking man said...

So Pearl you may be the first person in all of recorded history to get a cat to shake your hand...run, do not walk, but run to the nearest toy store and get a Frisbee!

Diane Tolley said...

Hmm. What's gotten into her?! :)

Daisy said...

LOL! I wasn't expecting that ending, but with Liza Bean, life is always an adventure!

Eva Gallant said...

That was beautifully written. Liza Bean could show up that dog any time!

Daisy said...

I love both cats and dogs, each for how they are. :D This post made me smile, Pearl. Thanks! Hope you have a good week ahead and that your hands/wrists start to heal soon.