Tank on Getting a Cat

   I heard my parents talking about getting a cat. Really? They’re mean. When I visit houses with cats, they sneer at me the whole time. They hiss too. They’re always mad; All I want to do is play. “Don’t get all bent out of shape, I try to tell ‘em, “just have some fun.” Not only do cats seem to have a bad attitude in general, they also are not very loyal.

   When my dad calls my name, I’m there. Even if he just wants to sit on the couch and watch a ball game, I stay. When he gets up; I get up. When he goes outside; I go outside. Why do they want a cat messing all that up? What if it’s one of those cats that wants to sit in Dad’s lap all the time? Where am I gonna sit?.

   So, they start getting all serious about the idea and Mom starts looking up how to properly introduce dogs to cats. (I’ll show ‘em how. Chase the darn cat away; that’s how.)

   Mom says, “For the first few days we need to keep the cat in a room with the door closed. (That could work, I thought. Let’s keep her in the laundry room. I NEVER go out there.”)

   Then Mom says, “After a few days, we can get a baby gate to keep them separated.” WHAT?!! A GATE? Cats can jump over ANYthing. So SHE gets to run the house and I get stuck behind a gate?

   Dad, quick, talk some sense into her,” I’m nudging him. ‘Let’s leave this cat-nonsense behind and go play ball. Cats don’t even like to play ball. And if they do, they never bring it back.’ (WHY would they even want a CAT?)

  Mom goes on, “So you give them each treats as they get close to the pet on the other side of the door. After their scents are familiar to each other, you can put up the gate and open the door; put the dog on a leash though.” LEASH the dog? Really? Put that thing on the cat; why don’t you? You know I hate leashes. So then she says, “You could harness the cat.” (let’s hope so, since they never obey.) “You gotta be careful though” she adds; “if the cat is hissing or spitting, they might hurt you.” Really? I think even Dad was finally losing interest.

   “The final stage is putting them in the same room for brief sessions,” she continued, “if calmness and desirable reactions continue for both pets over one or more days, you got it. (That’ll never happen…. seems like a lot of wasted effort to me.) “Some pets can never be left alone together; some will be great friends, she said, just keep the cat’s food and water in a place the dog cannot get to.” Really, why not protect my food from the cat?

   So, it turns out that Dad did have enough and finally said no to the cat. Other families who got cats for Christmas carried out those steps and it seems like the dogs and cats are all getting along okay, until I come over; then the cat starts hissing at me. “What did I do? Don’t cats ever want to play?”