Skip to content
June 2, 2011 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Dogged by Catastrophe: an idiomatic tail.

The cat’s out of the bag.

Curiosity nearly killed the cat….or at least made it as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof!

(Obviously a leopard can’t change its spots, and a cat will do what cats always do.)

The day started out fine – without hint of potential catastrophe.

(Although everyone knows, while the cat’s away, the mice will play.)

It had been raining cats and dogs leaving a few poodles in the street. Copy Cat, drenched in the downpour, slunk through the cat door into the house – quiet as a mouse.

The Human-in-charge-of-food glanced down and sung out a greeting. “Hey, C.C. kitty, just to let you know, company is coming. You can stay or go. I know visitors are not your cup of tea, but please, try to behave like you oughta – not like a fish out of water. Try being friendly, and polite – just for one short night!

Company tonight?  Well, that’s just not right!  Unwilling to offer a reassuring response, C.C. stomped through the kitchen and casually went on.  Now completely annoyed that Shorter-Person-on who’s-bed-I-sleep sat on the bar stool perfectly quiet – not even a peep.  C.C. glared up with a terrible scowl. No greeting? No pet? No rub dry with a towel? “Disgraceful,” thought C.C. “That one’s usually so loud. He’s acting like the cat’s got his tongue, all suddenly, now?”

 “Ew, Mom, what is that stuff you are cooking?  It’s an awful lot like something the cat dragged in!”

“Snacks for the party from a new recipe. Although the ones in the pictures didn’t look quite like these.”  Human-in-charge-of-food paused, and said to Shorter-Person-on-who’s-bed-I-sleep:  “Do me a favor, please, quick as a bunny. Please go scan the living room. Look for anything funny.  Double check for cat-fur tumbleweeds or hairballs thrown-up. I’ve been so busy, I’ve hardly looked up.  The house has simply been on its own.  Hope it’s OK, and not gone to the dogs”

“Dogs?” C.C. halted examining his paws.  “Hey. seriously. Dogs? No ‘way. I can’t have that.  Company? Hmmmm, I smell a rat.” A sudden thought entered between his ears: “Probably a foolish pocket pooch – a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Well, there is more than one way to skin a cat.  I’ll just ensure the small party ends up with a spat.”  As quiet as fog on little cat feet, under the table C.C. did sneak. Circling down. Ready for a defender’s feat.  Settled in with a worm’s eye view. Searching for trouble from out of the blue.  He was ready.  His gaze level and steady.  Steeled for the challenge:  defend or die.

Looking back, it might have been better to let sleeping dogs lie.

Time passed like clockwork.  C.C. rested his eyes.  Perhaps he imagined it? Confused, was he. Was it possible he was barking up the wrong tree? Maybe Human-in-charge-of-food said that dog thing just to get his goat – just as a joke?

C.C. shook himself awake, hearing the clinking of glasses and clacking of plates.  A party with food!  Was he too late? “I’d better put on my best mooching face!”  So looking meek as a lamb, and as handsome as a prince among thieves, he sauntered out purring, “You may feed me, now, please.”

Then there it was:  a lump of perfumed fluff, punctuated with painted nails, and thin lips curled back into a snarling grrr. An intruder!  A looter!  An unnatural creature! One closely resembling a tail wagging a dog!

It can be said what happened next was an event that separated the sheep from the goats – the men from the boys.  In less than two shakes of a little lamb’s tail, the canine and feline were fighting like, well, cats and dogs. It was chaos. It was epic. It was a completely catastrophic.  It was the ancient rivalry exploding like fireworks…along with a few tossed plates, flying knives, and forks. Caught unaware, Humans-who-not-live-there dodged left and right, avoiding the fight.  The din was incredible.  The food, no longer edible.  Guest stampeded with lightening quick speed. The hostess effusively apologized as there was some need.

Surveying the damage, the Human-in-charge-of-food surrendered.  “I should know better than that.  Trying to have a party with that silly old cat.”

Once again calm and eloquently sane – once again prince of his very own domain – C.C. smoothed his mussed fur.  Licking away savory sauces, and smears of goat cheese, a smug purr sung from his throat with elegant ease.  He mused to himself and to those who’d listen, “It’s not smart to cry wolf, but some effort is required to keep pooches off chairs, and wolves from the door. Vigilance is eternal for fur people, like me.  Though, it’s a dog eat dog world out there, that’s where dogs need to be.  Out there. Not here. It’s the nature of things.

So order restored. There’s no need to say more.

Thus ends this small story, dismissive of glory,

Though you may say without fail, it was a whale of a tale.

Idiomatically or idiotically yours,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

%d bloggers like this: