The Cat that Suffered from Dogphobia: A Fable

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An old man lived alone in his house, and he didn’t want to live that way anymore. So one morning, he climbed out of bed, put in his false teeth, combed his white hair, and after he ate breakfast, he got in his car and drove to the SPCA.

He adopted a cat to keep him company. It had long orange hair and was missing one ear.

The old man carried the cat to his car, then drove to a pet store to buy cat food, and a leash and harness.

When he returned 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 purred. “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?”

“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 strutted to the kitchen table and sat under it.

The old man took the leash and harness out of the bag. “You’re going to love wearing this!”

The cat frowned. “No, I won’t.”

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

The old man pulled on the leash, but the cat spread his claws and scratched the hardwood floor, so the old man removed the harness and went for a walk by himself.

When he came back, he tried to pet the cat. The cat was sitting on the kitchen counter.

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

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 he returned home with the dog, he opened a can of beans, and emptied it into a bowl. After the dog ate the beans, he started barking.

“More! More!” the dog said.

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

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

“The dog will kill me.”

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

The old man, who couldn’t understand a word the dog or cat said, warned them: “I don’t want any fighting in this house!”

A week went by, and the old man and the dog became best friends. Every morning, 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 stove and stared at the cat.

A month later, the cat still hated the dog, so the old man 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, while the cat sat under the table.

“Are you planning to fix me?” the cat asked.

When the vet came into the waiting room, he asked the old man: “What can I do for you today?”

The old man sighed and said, “My cat hates my dog. He hisses at him all the time.”

The vet got down on one knee and looked at the cat. “He’s missing an ear. What happened to him?”

The old man shrugged. “I don’t know; I got him from the SPCA.”

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

The vet tried to pet the cat, but the cat stepped back. “What kind of dog do you have?” the vet asked the old man.

“He’s a Standard Schnauzer.”

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

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

“The dog is planning to kill me,” the cat said to the vet. “He taunts me every night.”

“Is there anything you can do to make the cat relax?” the old man asked.

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

The old man smiled at the cat. “Let’s try it.”

The cat frowned. “Let’s not.”

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 he fed him normal cat food.

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

“He’s my enemy!” the cat said, hissing 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, and the dog went to sleep by the stove, the cat jumped down from the fridge and walked to the bathroom to get a drink of water.

But the dog was only pretending to sleep. He followed the cat to the bathroom 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, and bit his tail.

The cat yowled, broke free of the dog’s bite, and leaping out of the toilet, he landed on the dog and scratched him on his back 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.

The cat was still scratching the dog, so the old man kicked him to the wall.

“Why did you attack the dog?”

“It was self-defense,” the cat said calmly. “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, so he picked up the cat, walked to the front door and threw him outside. “You’re a mean and nasty cat!” he yelled.

The cat landed on the grass and said, “I’m the victim here. The dog is the bad guy, not me!”

The old man looked at the cat, shook his head with disappointment and shut the door.

And the next day, he drove the cat back to the SPCA.


This story was published in The Donkey King and Other Stories

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4 thoughts on “The Cat that Suffered from Dogphobia: A Fable

  1. I like the style of the story. It reads rather like a fairytale with titles rather than names given to the characters but it runs the risk of sounding a bit stilted at times. The ending feels nicely ambiguous i.e. did the dog not attack the cat because the cat ran away, because the dog learned his lesson, because the cat kept his distance from then on, etc. I actually chuckled when the cat said ‘let’s not’ to the diazepam. It’s typical of cats to always have the last word, even if no one understands them!

    Liked by 1 person

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