The Cat that Suffered from Dogphobia: A Short Story

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An old man lived alone in his house, and he didn’t want to live that way anymore. So he climbed out of bed, put his false teeth in his mouth, combed his white hair, ate a bowl of oatmeal, drank a cup of coffee, and then he got in his car, and drove to the SPCA.

He wanted a cat to keep him company, and adopted a Cymric cat. Skinny, with long orange hair, it was missing one ear.

After carrying the cat to his car, the old man drove to a pet store to buy cat food, and a leash and harness. When he got home, the cat followed him to the kitchen, and he set the bag of items he bought on the counter.

“Would you like something to eat?” he asked the cat.

“Yes,” the cat said. “I’m starving.”

The old man opened a can of cat food, put it in a bowl, and the cat ate it.

“Would you like a saucer of milk?” the old man asked.

“Yes; I’m thirsty.”

The old man went to the fridge, poured milk into a saucer, and the cat lapped it up.

“Would you like to go for a walk?”

“No,” the cat said, and he walked to the kitchen table, and sat under it.

The old man, who couldn’t understand a word the cat said, took the leash and harness out of the bag. “You’re going to love wearing this.”

“No; I won’t,” the cat replied.

Kneeling by the table, the old man put the harness on the cat, and clipped on the leash. Then he tried to walk the cat out the door, but the cat hissed, and stepped back.

The old man pulled on the leash, but the cat spread his claws on the hardwood floor, and scratched it, so the old man removed the harness, and went for a walk by himself. When he returned, the cat was sitting on the kitchen counter, and he tried to pet him.

“I’m not touchy-feely,” the cat said, jumping down from the counter.

Every day for a week, it was the same. The cat refused to go for a walk, and he wouldn’t let the old man pet him. So the old man drove to the SPCA, and got a dog: a Standard Schnauzer with black hair.

When the old man brought the dog home, he took him to the kitchen, opened a can of beans, and put it in a bowl. After the dog finished eating, he started barking.

The cat came into the kitchen, and hissed at the dog. “The dog has to go.”

“What’s wrong with you?” the old man asked.

“The dog will kill me.”

The dog shook his head. “No; no. I’m a good dog.”

After that, the old man spent his time with the dog. Every day, they went for a walk, and the dog let the old man pet him, and rub his back and belly.

Every night, after the old man went to bed, the cat slept on top of the fridge; and the dog sat by the fridge, and growled at the cat.

A month went by, and the old man couldn’t understand why the cat didn’t like the dog, so he made an appointment with a veterinarian. He drove the cat to the animal hospital, and the receptionist took them to a waiting room. The old man sat on a chair, and the cat sat under the table.

When the vet came in, he asked the old man, “What can I do for you today?”

“My cat hates my dog. He hisses at him all the time.”

The vet knelt by the table, and looked at the cat. “He’s missing an ear. What happened to him?”

“I don’t know,” the old man said. “I got him from the SPCA.”

“A Rottweiler tried to eat me,” the cat said to the vet.

The vet stood to his feet. “What kind of dog do you have?”

“A Standard Schnauzer.”

“It’s normal for a cat to be afraid of a dog. And some Schnauzers do attack cats.”

The old man shook his head. “Not my schnauzer. He wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

“He’s planning to kill me,” the cat said to the vet. “He taunts me every night.”

“Can you do anything for the cat?” the old man asked.

“I’ll give you a prescription for diazepam. It will help calm his fear.”

“Let’s try it,” the old man said.

“Let’s not,” the cat said.

***

After leaving the animal hospital, the old man drove to a pharmacy, and ordered the diazepam. When he got home, he mixed the drug in the cat food, and put it in a bowl.

“I don’t do drugs,” the cat said, staring at the bowl. “I’d rather starve.”

The old man tried for two days, but the cat refused to eat the diazepam. So the old man put the drug in the garbage, and fed the cat normal cat food.

But he warned him: “You need to learn how to get along with the dog.”

“That beast is not my friend,” the cat said. Then he hissed at the dog.

“I didn’t do anything to you!” the dog said.

“You will,” the cat replied.

That night, after the old man went to bed, the cat jumped down from the fridge, and went to the bathroom to drink from the toilet.

The dog followed him, and said, “The master is good to you, but you won’t go for a walk with him, or let him pet you. You need to be taught a lesson.”

The cat finished lapping up water from the toilet. “Try it.”

The dog growled, charged at the cat, knocked him into the toilet, bit down hard on his tail, and wouldn’t let go.

The cat yowled, broke free of the dog’s bite, and jumping out of the toilet with his claws spread wide, he landed on the dog, and scratched him on his back, belly, and face.

The sound of the cat yowling and the dog yelping woke the old man up. He got out of bed, and hurried to the bathroom.

“Stop it!” the old man shouted.

The cat was still scratching the dog, so the old man kicked the cat to the wall, and stood between them.

“Why are you two fighting?” he asked them.

“It was self-defense,” the cat said. “He tried to kill me.”

“No; no. I just wanted him to be nice to you,” the dog said. “He doesn’t love you like I do.”

The old man saw how badly the dog was scratched. There was blood all over the bathroom floor.

“You’re a mean and nasty cat!” he thundered.

“I’m the victim here,” the cat said. “The dog got what he deserved.”

The old man picked up the cat, walked to the front door, and threw him outside.

And after that, the dog never attacked the cat again.

One Night with a Sasquatch: A Short Story

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I’m a Sasquatch, and women love me. You don’t believe me; I know. You think I’m big, hairy, and ugly—that no woman would want a beast like me—but your perception is all wrong. Women find me totally irresistible, and I mean that literally. I’ve met over a dozen women when I stomp through the forest, and as soon as they look into my black eyes, their lips open wide, and they stare. Agape. They’re under a Sasquatch love spell.

The initial reason, of course, is my hairy chest. What woman wouldn’t want to run her fingers through long black hair like this? I’ve got a chest like a shag carpet, and not only that, I’ve got bulging muscles that pop out everywhere. I’m eight feet all, stronger than any man alive, and raw masculine strength is something few women can resist. They also can’t resist my intoxicating scent. Some women, after taking one sniff of me, are so drunk with love that their eyes roll back in their head.

While most women are speechless when they first see me, others treat me like a rock star. They scream. It’s an incredible feeling to be loved and adored by someone who doesn’t know you personally. A woman’s shrill voice makes my ear drums rattle, goes down through my body, and I tingle all over. It’s the closest thing I’ve had to a spiritual experience. When a woman screams for me, I feel like I’m being worshiped, but I humble myself and remember, I’m just a Sasquatch—God’s gift to women. But I’m not Him.

If you still doubt that women love me, let me tell you something else. If a woman doesn’t scream when she first sees me, she is so awestruck by the sight of me, she can barely breathe. How many men can make a woman react like that? She stands still like a tree, or trembles at the knees, and can’t even speak. Words cannot express her feelings toward me. But she doesn’t need to tell me what she wants. I can see it in her bulging eyes. I pick her up, put her over my shoulder, hold her by the thigh, and take her back to my cave.

When I bring a woman home, I set her down on my bed of leaves, and then something beautiful happens. She looks at me; I look at her. It’s a soul connection. She breathes deeply, in and out, her bosom heaving like an ocean wave, and it doesn’t take long after that. I never ask her to do it. Overcome by desire, she jumps on me, puts her hands on my hairy chest, and punches me all over. It hurts a little, but I like it. The physical connection, to be touched by a woman like that, makes a Sasquatch feel almost human.

Later, when she stops pounding my body, I tell her with my kind, gruff voice, “I can’t make love to you.” I can see the agony in her eyes, but I tell her softly, “No, not on the first day we’ve met. I’m not that kind of Sasquatch.” I believe sex is something you only do after you really get to know a person. If I made love to a woman I just met, she would never respect me. You know it’s true. And I would never respect her either. If we started our relationship that way, I would always be wondering if, when I’m away from her, she would be having sex with another Sasquatch. A woman who is too easy will cheat on a Sasquatch; that’s a fact.

I’ve brought over a dozen women back to my cave now, but sadly, it always ends the same. When I wake up the next morning, they’re gone. No note; no flowers; nothing! However, I heard the last woman tip-toe out of my cave, just before sunrise. I went after her, and she ran off like a deer, leaping over a bush. And then I had a revelation: She just had the most incredible night of her life. I’m a life-changing experience, and that’s all she needs. One night with a Sasquatch, and she’s a totally different woman after that. Forever.

Although I used to feel sad, and even cry a little, I realize now it’s for the best those women never stayed because I know what would happen if they did. I’m a drug they could never break their addiction to. If a woman stayed in my cave, and got to know me personally, I would satisfy her so completely, physically and emotionally, she would never leave. And that would be a problem for a whole bunch of reasons: A human woman can’t survive on her own in the wilds of nature. She’d be dependent on me for everything. Then, she’d try and make me more human like she is, and I need a woman to accept me as I am: a big, hairy, powerful beast. Lastly, her friends and family would come looking for her, and that would put me in danger, especially if they have guns.

Realizing these things, I’ve come to a resolution: I’m not going to haul anymore women back to my cave. What I need is an independent Sasquatch woman, one who can find her own food, and fight off a Grizzly bear or a pack of wolves when I’m not around. She’s out there somewhere, and I’m going to find her. Today, I’m saying goodbye to my cave, and if I have to search every forest in North America to find my female Bigfoot, I will. Something tells me in my heart that she’s looking for me too.

The Age of Consent: The Deep End (2001)

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Although it is never stated in the film, an important background issue in The Deep End (2001) is the age of consent: “the age at which a person is held to have the capacity to voluntarily agree to sexual intercourse.”1 When Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) discovers that her 17-year-old son is having a sexual relationship with a 30-year-old man, she offers the man $5,000 if he will leave her son alone. As a parent, Margaret would not be faced with this dilemma if the age of consent in Nevada were raised to age 18, the age of majority, when a person “is recognized by law to be an adult.”2

Margaret’s objection to her son’s relationship is not because of homophobia. She loves her son Beau (Jonathan Tucker) and never condemns him for being gay. The primary reason Margaret objects to Beau having a same-sex relationship with Darby Reese (Josh Lucas) is because of the large age gap between them. Indeed, Darby is almost twice the age of Beau. Because of this, their sexual relationship violates Margaret’s conscience as it would most other parents.

Consider a parent with a 17-year-old daughter who was having sex with a 30-year-old man. Few (if any) parents would approve of such a relationship. Regardless of sexual orientation, a sexual relationship between a high school student and an adult 13 years older should not be tolerated. With such a large age gap, there is also a maturity gap, and the younger person is vulnerable to sexual seduction and exploitation.

Under current law in Nevada, an adult of any age (who is not in a position of authority) can legally have consensual sex with a minor who is 16 or older.3 Nevada should follow the lead of other American states and raise the age of consent to 18. The law should also include a close-in-age exemption (a Romeo and Juliet provision) that would allow for a three-year age gap if one (or both) individuals are under 18.4 By raising the age of consent to 18, parents would not be left powerless when their son or daughter is having a sexual relationship with an adult who is much older. In Margaret’s case, Darby could be charged with statutory rape (statutory sexual seduction).5

Notes

  1. US Legal, s.v. “Age of Consent,” accessed August 27, 2016, http://definitions.uslegal.com/a/age-of-consent/
  2. West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, s.v. “Age of Majority,” accessed August 27, 2016, http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/age+of+majority
  3. “Nevada Statutory Sexual Seduction Laws / Nevada “Statutory Rape” Laws (NRS 200.368),” Las Vegas Defense Group, accessed August 26, 2016, http://www.shouselaw.com/nevada/statutory-sexual-seduction.html
  4. “Romeo and Juliet Law Explained,” accessed August 27, 2016, http://romeoandjulietlaw.com/
  5. Nevada Statutory Sexual Seduction Laws / Nevada “Statutory Rape.”

The Sasquatch Who Spoke His Mind: A Fable

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There once was a Sasquatch who lived in a forest in British Columbia. He was nine feet tall, covered from head to toe with long black hair, and because he ate too many berries, he weighed 500 pounds.

To try and lose weight, the Sasquatch stomped through the forest all day, and the more he stomped, the more paths he made. They zigzagged all over the forest like a maze.

The rabbits often left their droppings on the paths, and this made the Sasquatch mad. When he wasn’t looking, he would stomp on the droppings, and they got stuck in his hairy feet.

One afternoon, the Sasquatch was stomping through the forest when he saw a rabbit about to poop on the path. He stretched out his hand and yelled, “Stop!”

“What’s your problem?!” the rabbit answered. “I’m doing my business.”

The Sasquatch frowned. “You rabbits always poop on my paths. When I go to sleep at night, my feet stink.”

The rabbit was offended. “That’s a negative stereotype. Not all rabbits poop on your paths.”

“I’m sorry,” the Sasquatch said. “But most rabbits do. Why can’t you do it under a tree?”

“Because when I gotta go, I go,” the rabbit said with sass. “And I gotta go right now!”

The Sasquatch stomped closer to the rabbit and pointed his finger. “Go poop behind that tree, you inconsiderate animal!”

“This is no longer a safe space for me,” the rabbit said assertively. “Please step back.”

The Sasquatch, realizing that he had been rude, immediately stepped back. Then the rabbit pooped on the path, and hopped away.

After the conflict with the rabbit, the Sasquatch felt stressed, and he needed a drink. So he left the path, and took another path that led to a stream. But when he got there, the stream was gone. It was now a beaver pond.

He saw a beaver working on a new dam, and stomped across the dam to speak to him.

“Hello there,” the Sasquatch said with a smile.

“What do you want?” the beaver asked with a scowl on his face.

“I was here yesterday, and this was a stream with fresh water.”

“It was,” the beaver said, returning to his work, “but not anymore.” He packed mud on the dam and laid down more branches.

The Sasquatch took a deep breath, and tried to stay calm. “This creates a problem for me. When you build a dam, the water becomes stale, and I can’t drink it.”

“That’s your problem, not mine,” the beaver said sharply. “Go further downstream. You can drink all the fresh water you want.”

“But that’s a long way from my cave,” the Sasquatch complained. He decided to be firm and direct. “The truth is—you’re destroying the environment. You started with one dam, and now you have 13. You’re a greedy animal.”

The beaver exploded in anger. “Greedy?! I live in poverty in a mud house, and I freeze my tail off every winter! But you’re rich compared to me. You have a cave, and a fire to keep you warm at night.”

“Just because I have a nice cave doesn’t give you the right to flood miles and miles of the stream.”

“And you have no right to make endless trails in the forest. You know what you are?”

“What?” the Sasquatch wondered.

“A hypocrite!” Then the beaver slapped his tail several times in the water, and got the Sasquatch all wet.

The Sasquatch was so angry, he wanted to grab the beaver and strangle him. But he decided it would be better if he went back to his cave and meditated. Meditation helped him control his angry thoughts and violent impulses. So he went back to his cave, pressed his palms together, crossed his legs, and meditated. Then he fell into a deep sleep.

At midnight, the Sasquatch woke up to a loud noise. The wolves were having a party, and when wolves are having a good time, they howl.

“Not again!” the Sasquatch yelled. “I can’t take this anymore!”

He came out of his cave, and stomped through the forest until he found the pack of wolves. They were howling and eating fresh meat.

“Shut up!” the Sasquatch shouted. “Shut your big mouths!”

“What’s wrong?” the leader of the pack asked, calm and in control.

“You howl every single night and wake me up!”

“Some animals sleep in the day, and some at night,” the wolf said with a smile. Then he turned to the wolf pack. “We were made for the night, weren’t we boys?”

The wolf pack howled in agreement.

The Sasquatch paused, took a deep breath, and said, “You need to be considerate of animals who sleep at night.”

“And you need to be considerate of animals who sleep in the day,” the wolf retorted. “You often wake us up when you go stomping through the forest.”

The Sasquatch scoffed. “That’s ridiculous! I’m not that loud.”

“We can hear you from six miles away,” the wolf replied. “We’re much more sensitive to noise than you are.”

This conversation is going nowhere, the Sasquatch thought to himself. So he said to the wolf, “If you don’t stop howling, I’ll, I’ll…” And he tried to think what he might do.

The leader of the pack said, “Are you threatening us?” He turned to the wolf pack. “He’s threatening us.”

The Sasquatch stomped up and down with both feet. “If you don’t stop howling, I’ll stomp up and down like this when you’re sleeping.” The Sasquatch had huge feet, the size of snowshoes.

One of the wolves shouted, “He’s going to stomp up and down on us, and murder us when we’re asleep!”

“You lying animal!” the Sasquatch yelled, pointing his finger. “I never said that.”

Another wolf hollered, “Monster!”

The Sasquatch was so mad, he roared, a roar so loud that all the wolves became quiet and lowered their tails in fear. Some of the wolves were trembling.

Realizing that he had lost control, the Sasquatch turned and stomped back to his cave. He sat down and tried to meditate, but he couldn’t. He was too upset. But the wolves were no longer howling, so he went to sleep.

The next day, the Sasquatch woke up at noon, and came out of his cave. He was surprised to see a dozen rabbits, a dozen beavers, and the pack of wolves waiting for him.

“What do you want?” he asked them abruptly.

The rabbit that pooped on the path said, “We don’t want you in our forest anymore.”

“What?” the Sasquatch replied, taken aback. “Why?”

“Because you hate us,” the beaver from the dam said.

“I don’t hate you. You animals just do things that make me mad.”

“We think it’s best for everyone if you leave,” the leader of the wolf pack declared.

“No; I have just as much right to live here as the rest of you.”

“No one has the right to be hateful,” the beaver said.

“Hate leads to violence against innocent rabbits,” the rabbit said, and the other 11 rabbits nodded their heads in agreement.

The Sasquatch shook his head. “I never said I hated you! All I did was speak my mind. And everything I said was true.”

“You insulted us and hurt our feelings,” the rabbit cried. “You’re offensive.” Then all the rabbits chomped their teeth at the Sasquatch.

The Sasquatch took a deep breath and sighed. “I know I can be blunt sometimes, but you’re not nice to me either.”

“You don’t belong here,” the beaver declared. “You’re not even an animal. You’re a man-animal.” Then all the beavers chomped their teeth at the Sasquatch.

The Sasquatch crossed his arms and stomped his foot. “I’m not leaving!”

The wolf walked up to the Sasquatch and said, “If you won’t leave voluntarily, then we will use force.”

The Sasquatch couldn’t believe this was happening. He looked at all the animals. “Why are you doing this to me? What’s the real reason?”

The wolves started growling and howling, and they formed a circle around the Sasquatch. And so, fearing the wolves might make fresh meat out of him, he gathered his things from his cave, and left the forest.

And to this day, the Sasquatch is rarely seen or heard by anyone.