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People Are Weird

by L. Roger Quilter

“Have you ever really watched people? I mean, have you studied them to the extent they are different from us?” Bonzo, a mournful looking, floppy-eared mutt with droopy ears, leaned his face on his forepaws and turned chocolate-brown eyes on his friend, Binky.

Binky purred and stretched lazily, all four paws in the air pointing at the ceiling, her tail moving back and forth languidly. “Can’t say I have,” she replied. “What about them?”

Bonzo began his philosophical discourse, but Binky merely yawned and closed her eyes. It was warm in the living room where both animals had settled; sunlight filtered through the lace curtains and the carpet was soft. Both animals, fed and watered moments before, felt a lassitude creeping up on them.

“Take our master, for example.” Bonzo drooled slightly, but Binky took no notice. “He feeds us, brushes me, combs you and lets you out on your own, but attaches a leash to my collar before he takes me for my outing. We walk for less than two minutes and he ties me to a railing outside a pub in all kinds of weather.”

There was no response from the feline furball. She was almost asleep.

Bonzo was not deterred. “What he does in that establishment is beyond me. He stays in there for hours, and when he leaves he wobbles from side to side and his breath stinks almost as bad as yours.”

Binky stirred, showing she was still half awake, but ignored the insult. Her black fur, sleek and smooth, shone in the sun’s rays.

“That man has some very strange habits,” Bonzo regurgitated slightly. “For instance, he carries plastic bags in his pocket and picks up my droppings. Now, I ask you, where is the sense in that? I didn’t want that crap, so I dumped it and he saved it. Next thing I know he’s thrown the works in the first trash bin we came across. Very peculiar if you ask me.

“And the mistress isn’t any better. She spends hours in the bathroom and comes out looking like a painted toadstool. What goes in is not what comes out. I think she is a different person until I sniff her and discover who she really is.” Lazily, Bonzo’s back paw scratched the area behind his ear.

“What gets me is the way they treated me when I returned from an expedition around the block. I scented every animal that had been around for a week and just got used to the aromas after I rolled in them, then I came home. I had to bark for several minutes before someone deigned to let me in. All I wanted to do was settle down for a nap, but these two clowns didn’t allow that. They grabbed me and slung me into a bathtub full of horrible smelling soapy water.” Bonzo wrinkled his nose in disdain at the memory.

“I lost all scent of my friends and I reeked like a pile of clothing waiting to be ironed. I was humiliated. First chance I got when we went for a walk, I rolled in the grass to show I was still a dog.”

Binky stretched, her claws fully extended and finally joined in the conversation.

“See these claws? Silly people wouldn’t allow me to sharpen them on the furniture. And the fuss they made when I climbed those lace curtains when I was a kitten. You can’t eat curtains, you can only mark them, another practice they don’t like, so what good are they? After I ripped them, they took them down, hung new ones and closed the door so I couldn’t get into the room.”

Binky’s face screwed into a strange shape and a tremendous sneeze erupted. “Nothing is stranger than people. You are so right.”

Bonzo, energized because Binky finally showed some interest, stared intently at the cat, now resting on her belly and said, “I remember when you were a kitten and they put a box on the basement floor with newspaper in the bottom. I don’t understand their thinking. It is easy just to urinate on the floor without using the facility they provide. Stupid man cleaned it out, but he lay on the floor reading the paper before he picked it up and disposed of it. Strange, very strange.”

“I remember how they went ape when you brought home that dead rat.” Binky yawned and carried on: “You would have thought they would appreciate a decent meal.”

Bonzo ruminated, deep in thought for a while. “It’s not just them. Look at the neighbors, they’re no better. The couple next door had that baby and the thing took months before it could even stand. First thing they did was smother it in clothes. Did you ever see that woman offer the kid a nipple? And women only have two yet they feel they are superior to you and me.”

Silence followed for quite a while as the two animals digested their food and their conversation. Finally Binky yawned again, gave yet another stretch and whispered, “Gotta admit this life is far superior to scrounging for tidbits outside.”

“Yeah, there’s that for sure.” Bonzo remembered his stay at the dog pound in an outdoor kennel and shuddered.

“Bonzo! Binky! Come on dears, Mummy’s got something for you.” The mistress’s voice almost sang as she summoned the pair.

Binky leaped to her feet, eyes flashing, fur standing on end.

“Oh no! I recognize that tone. They’re going to worm us.”

“How weird is that?”

Binky scuttled upstairs, hoping to find an open window to escape, while Bonzo sprang to the basement door, which was open, looking for a place to hide.

Copyright © 2008 by L. Roger Quilter

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