I first heard talk of this — this Pet Day — last June when I was taking my after lunch nap in the kitchen.
Their eldest son David, the one they pushed me off their laps for when he was a baby, came home from school all excited exclaiming that in Second Grade they had a day when you bring your pet to school. His mother replied she didn’t know anything about that. She doubted it was true, because any teacher who let eight-year-olds bring animals to school had to be either really crazy or extremely brave.
I decided I didn’t need to worry about Pet Day, batted a Lego around on the kitchen floor for a few minutes, yawned and rolled over to take my before dinner nap.
Then last week David’s mom was going through papers in his backpack, and she said, “What? Pet Day is real? Well, what do you know?” I jumped up on the counter, and there it was. A form to fill out for Pet Day.
What? You thought cats couldn’t read? That we’re all illiterate? That we all have poor grammar? LOL Cats is completely humiliating, degrading and untrue. It’s so offensive to my species. “I can haz cheezburger?” No self-respecting cat would ever talk like that!
Still, I wasn’t worried. I knew if anyone went to Pet Day it would be the dog. The stinky, lazy, dumb, will-eat-anything-that-falls-on-the-floor dog. Because just as they are not discerning about what they eat, dogs are also not discerning about with whom they associate. They will take a belly scratch from anything that breathes. Humans have labeled dogs friendlier and more social than cats. In reality what humans see as friendliness in dogs is just ignorance. We cats choose more carefully with whom we associate, because we are intellectually superior.
I put Pet Day out of my mind until two days ago when the dog said to me, “So, I hear YOU get to go to Pet Day at school!”
“Ugh! Stop panting in my face with your terrible dog breath! Why do you smell like bologna?”
“The little one gave me his sandwich again.”
“He didn’t give it to you, you numb skull! You took it!”
“He was holding it out, waving it around and it fell into my mouth.”
“He was playing with his food. He plays with his food! And you stole it. You idiot. And put your tongue back in your mouth. That’s disgusting. Why are you still here? Go away.”
“You’re going to Pet Day.”
“Oh, please. They’d never choose the aloof cat over the happy-go-lucky dog.”
“Yeah, well, you’re going and it’s not fair! I want to go.”
“What do you mean I’m going?”
“You’re going to Pet Day. David’s mom said she wouldn’t take me, because when I go new places I get nervous and poop on the floor. And she doesn’t want me pooping all over the school. So I have to stay home, and they’re taking you! It should be me! I love kids.”
“Well, that’s just great! I have to go to school where it’s infested with kids all because you can’t control your bowels! %@#$!”
I detest children. Once long ago it was just me and the mom and dad. Then they brought home the dog. I didn’t like the dog, but she was tolerable as long as she stayed out of my way and did what I said. And I made sure of it by scratching her on the nose the first day.
“What’s the matter little puppy? You don’t like that? Well, listen here, kid. This is my turf! You answer to me now, or there’s more where that came from. My cousin is a lion, and he’ll break your knee caps. Capisce!” Not really, and I’m not Italian, but I told you dogs are dumb.
But then those kids came along. And their mom and dad didn’t have time for me or the dog anymore. Then those babies, they started walking and touching me, pulling my tail and picking me up. Oh, it’s awful!
And now I was going to school where there were 22 of those little cretins?
I planned to hide on Pet Day so David’s mom couldn’t find me, and she’d have to take the dog. But I thought I heard the can opener, and the idea of tuna fish made me forget all about Pet Day. Turns out it was the blender, but it was too late. She saw me, snatched me up and put me in the cat carrier.
Putting me in a tiny prison wasn’t enough indignity. She was afraid I might try to escape, so when she took me into school she put a collar and a leash on me. Just like a dog. A stinky, lazy, dumb dog. Oh, the humiliation! We cats don’t wear collars, and we don’t walk on leashes. We can not and will not be controlled like that.
As soon as David’s mom carried me in the classroom 22 little heads snapped around, and their 44 beady little eyes stared me down.
Yeah, I can do math too.
David shared all kinds of personal information about me like my age and where I sleep. Is there no such thing as privacy anymore? That’s the whole reason I’m not on Facebook! There are just some things the entire world doesn’t need to know about you.
Then the worst happened. Once by one each of those kids came up and petted me. Some patted me on the head gently. Some banged on my head. Some scratched me behind the ears. One of them petted me against the grain of my fur. Come on! Everybody knows you don’t do that!
Their hands were dirty, sticky and smelled like Goldfish crackers. I had to go home and give myself a bath three times just to feel clean again. And I bathe myself with my tongue. Who knows where those kids’ hands were before they put them all over me! It makes me shudder. I hear David’s mom talk about all the germs he brings home from school. If I get The Bird Flu…
When I got home there was the dog panting her fruit-snack scented breathe in my face, “Well, how was it? Was it fun? Did the kids like you? Were they adorable? Did they rub your tummy? Oh, how I wish I could have gone! Huh? Huh? Huh?”
“It was awful. It was exhausting. They touched me! ALL of them. I need to lay down. I missed my after breakfast nap and my before lunch nap. If I don’t get started, I won’t get my after lunch nap in either. Lunch! I didn’t even eat lunch yet!”
I’m pretty sure I lost one of my nine lives today. After putting me through that, you’d think the least these people could do is give me a can of tuna!