Benny And Joon

We have two replacement cats, Benny and Joon. I have no idea which one is which, so I greet them both with a monotone, “Hello cat.”

215px-Benny_and_joon_ver1.jpgI say “replacement” cats because that’s what they are. Last year we adopted two kittens that never made it to cat-hood. Sandy was ripped from my lovely wife’s arms and murdered by one of our three dogs. The dumbest of our dogs (Hershey, now deceased) then played with the feline corpse for an hour before doing a lousy job of burying it. The other kitten, Zuko, disappeared one night and we eventually found him crawling back toward the house, using only his two front legs. Yes, it was exactly like a tear-jerking Disney film, sans the expensive music and happily ever after. The poor little guy had been run over by car, which ended up destroying the back half of his body. Sadly, we had to put him down.

Our deal with the replacement kittens—now actual cats—is a work-for-hire situation. We feed them and protect them from our homicidal canine (Skittles) and park warm cars in the driveway for them to lounge upon, all in exchange for their exterminating services. The cats’ job is to hunt and track and eliminate (or preferably just scare off) all the other pesky critters that invade our country home.

And they do a marvelous job, save for their ruthless arrogance.

What they do is trap their prey, engage in cold-blooded emotional terrorism, then eventually attack. Afterward, they bring the carnage up to the porch and leave it behind as trophies.

The best part is the unidentifiable organs. Supposedly, cats have some sixth sense that helps conserve their nine lives. They can sense poison and won’t eat the infected entrails. So instead, they strew body parts as they casually lick the blood from their paws, then make intermittent eye contact that silently screams, “Problem with all the blood and guts? You may be next.”

I’m still not a cat person. In fact, I’m a little terrified of our so-called pets…to the point that I’m considering learning which one is Benny and which one is Joon, in case I ever need to plead for my own life. I have to admit though, they are keeping up their end of the bargain.

The potential takeaways of this particular tale?

1- I much prefer Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson to cats.

2- Don’t name your dogs after candy or your cats after famous characters from films or musicals. The candy may end up doing bodily harm to the celebrities. And you don’t want that on your conscience.

3- If you ever see Garfield and Hello Kitty squaring off against a box of Milk Duds, wager on the duds.

4- “Entrails” is a funny word.

What about you? Any pet stories you need to get off your chest?

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