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“Cat Tales” by Judy Conlin: July 5, 2018

Bringing up Beebe is a prime focus of my life these days.

I try hard to be a good parent to an adopted cat. The problem is (like many parents) I have a tendency to not see his faults. My affection for him (and he really is a good guy) clouds my judgment at times.

Lately, since it is summertime, and summertime is a time when I get a lot of visitors, I’ve been hearing some outside opinions. Some of those opinions are not so flattering regarding my pet.

To be fair, most of these visitors arrive with their own pets, and I think they may have a bias favoring their own critters when they criticize mine. The main complaint levied at Beebe is that he is a racist.

Can you believe that? My sweet kitty, a racist?

“Just what race is he prejudiced against?” I ask indignantly.

“The canine race,” they say accusingly.

Then it hits me. They are dog owners. I dismiss their charge with a shrug. My kitty is no racist. They’re just being over-protective.

Still, I begin watching Beebe’s behavior. When such frolicking animals arrive, Beebe does not run away. He stands his ground. After all this is his home.

I admire his courage. After all such pampered pooches are all bigger than he is. He may arch his back a little, but that doesn’t make him a racist.

These dogs want to chase him snuffling and barking. Beebe simply gracefully leaps onto the coffee table and stretches out to watch their foolishness. Again this seems a perfectly logical non-combative reaction.

I’m rather proud of him. The silly dogs don’t calm down as they speed around the coffee table. When they get too close, Beebe reaches out a paw and gives them a good whack. They go running to their owners yipping and crying for sympathy.

I have to admit this is a little aggressive but I think they deserve it. Still, I am the hostess, so I feel a need to reach out and pet the pitiful creatures as a gesture of good will. This infuriates Beebe.

He jumps down from his perch hair on end, hissing and spitting and chasing those dogs away from me. He then stands guard beside me growling and hissing intermittently.

The dog owners shake their heads. Jealousy gets added to his list of faults. I know this wasn’t good behavior but again I can’t help feeling good that my cat loves me. The dogs retaliate by running into the kitchen and gobbling up Beebe’s food. Beebe narrows his eyes but does not leave his guard post.

He knows he has another stash on the washing machine which the dogs can’t reach. Exhausted from all their exercise and sated with cat food, the dogs lay down to take a nap – one in Beebe’s bed – the other on the couch in Beebe’s favorite sleeping spot.

Beebe waits until they are sound asleep, snoring and dreaming of chasing rabbits, a much more docile foe. He then jumps up on the couch stretches out in his spot, pushing the dog further down with his butt so he gets his full space, and drifts off to sleep also.

“Isn’t that sweet?” the visitors say. “Your cat really likes the dogs.”

Beebe opens one eye, gives me a wink and goes back to sleep. I guess Beebe really is a jealous conniving canine racist, but he certainly is adorable.

“I’m sure he does,” I lie, crossing my fingers.

Who says dogs are smarter than cats?

By Judy Conlin