Sunday, October 31, 2010

An investigation into the dog-hunting cats of Balmain.

A true horror story
by ghost writer Edgar Allan Poo.
[Based on anecdotes, empirical evidence and other such highly regarded investigative techniques.]

It was an unseasonably warm Spring day in the cute little harbourside suburb that Georgia Petite Poi lives in. The streets were teeming with Saturday latte drinkers and a thousand baby strollers. Georgia was out for a walk with her out-at-work human and all was perfect in her world.

They were on Palmer Street near the apartments when suddenly! Georgia spied A Black Cat on the path. A Black Cat that wasn't Vanilla her friend. A Black Cat on Halloween weekend!

"Get away from me!" Georgia screamed, knowing full well the consequences of crossing a black cat's path! [Or is it having a black cat cross her path?]

The Black Cat was not amused. As Georgia tried her best to walk quickly away, The Black Cat pursued her up the street and started to attack her. Her out-at-work human tried heroically to scare it away, but it wouldn't budge. He pulled Georgia away and she fell. The cat continued to scratch at her face. Finally, in desperation, her out-at-work human had to kick at the cat to chase it away into a tree. Witnesses at the scene could not believe the ferocity of the attack.

Poor Georgia Little Pea. A Biggish Baddish Dog, attacked by a daschund last week and a cat yesterday, she was not herself last night and slept sadly in Mr Thumper's bed for comfort.

No doubt she wishes she was back on the mean streets of Mcgrath Hill where dogs chase pigs, cats chase rats and the animal kingdom is as it should be.

And yet, this is not where the story ends.

Because The Black Cat of Palmer Street is not the only dog-hunting cat in Balmain.

There is The Siamese of Stewart Street that will come out to bat your dog's tail if you're not careful.

The Bitser Cats of Further Up Palmer Street that are possibly the best guard cats on the planet.

The Corner Cats of Piglet & Thumper Street that will not move even for cars, much less humans and their dogs.

And most scary of all, the 2 Darling Street Shop Cats, a few doors up from London, that were last seen [by an independant witness] running out of the shop to pounce on a puppy that was walking by on the sidewalk.

Beware. Beware! You dogs out there! Keep your wits about you so YOU do not become the next hapless victim of these Bizarre Dog-Hunting Cats of Balmain.


There was a time long ago when I dreamed of having a cat. My best friend who lived down the road and around the corner had 11 of them. I was very envious and pleaded with my father to let me have 1, just 1 of them, please!

There were 3 dogs in our family at the time and my father said no.

Undeterred, my best friend suggested I pick 1 of the cats anyway but let it live with her other 10. I was ecstatic. I'm sure, in retrospect, that the cat must have been quite happy with the arrangement too.

In my teens, I developed an allergy to cats. The way I discovered this was to cuddle 1 and break out in red lumps. After that, my love affair with cats ended and I now do my best to avoid them, even though I don't think I flare up anymore.

There are some questions that eternally puzzle me about cat ownership and maybe someone reading this will put me out of my misery by answering them. These are serious questions, so please answer only if you seriously have answers. I'm not looking for a dog and cat fight.

Why are cats allowed to walk on streets without leashes?

Why aren't cat owners, by law, responsible for their cat poo? Closely related to that question is - what do you do with cat poo in your yard and in your laundry basket when you don't have a cat? And also, if unscooped dog poo washing down storm water drains is a health hazard, isn't it the same with cat poo?

Lastly, if a dog attacking a cat is considered a menace, should a cat attacking a dog be classified the same way?

A few years ago, in this very suburb I believe, a dog that attacked a cat was sued by the cat owner and had a stiff penalty imposed on it. [I can't remember the exact details.] Around the same time, a cat attacked a small dog and the dog owner tried to sue the cat owner but was laughed out of court.

Do you see why I find it all too puzzling?

More interesting cat reading:

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Every October 31st, in America, humans go from door to door with the sole purpose of scaring the o.c.c.u.p.a.n.t.s of those houses into giving them delicious treats. They come in the dark of night, wearing bedsheets and masks and other such disguises so no one can tell that it's really Mork and Mindy from down the road.

364 days of the year, this would be called e.x.t.o.r.t.i.o.n.  or  h.o.m.e  i.n.v.a.s.i.o.n or something like that. On Halloween, it's called Trick or Treat. Isn't that genius?

I wonder if I could scare some humans into giving ME treats too. I'm going to try because you know I'll do anything for a bit more food.

I don't have any money to buy a cute little devil outfit because my stay-at-home human has already spent all our weekly allowance on a massage. And, as we all know, she has no sewing skills. This is just as well because I really don't feel like being a 4-legged pumpkin.

So this is what I've decided to do.

I'm going to show you some truly horrifying pictures of me and my friends and hope that they scare you so much, you'll send me some treats in return. [Not the fattening type please, I'm on a diet.]

Here goes.

This is Chaba in a hairy anteater costume. I can already hear you pooh-poohing that THAT isn't the least bit scary. But then, I'm guessing you're not an ant. An ant would DEFINITELY find Chaba deathly scary.

Here is a picture of Sammy. Sammy doesn't need a costume. She's naturally very frightening and there's nothing more to say.

Alaska has a look that's very popular these days - the pale and soulful red-eyed vampire. She doesn't just wear this costume at Halloween. She has it on all the time.
And finally, and most terrifying of all - 2 pictures of me playing. This one is of me and Coco.

The other picture, which I guarantee is even scarier, is HERE. 

Looking at these pictures, I can almost understand why so many humans panic and scream when they see me coming.

Of course, every scary story has an innocent bystander or 2. Unfortunately for Mr Thumper, he will have to be the innocent bystander in this one and will shortly and i.n.v.a.r.i.a.b.l.y be killed off simply because he's in the way.

Those are MY scariest pictures. I hope you liked them.

My stay-at-home human is picking this one as HER scariest picture.
"WHO would be silly enough to pay 25 dollars for a pumpkin...?!" she screamed in fright when she saw these at Woollies, "...when they could be spending it on a flourless chocolate cake soaked in grand marnier instead?" 

Oh well.

HaPpy have a hoRRible Halloween!
which, by the way, is not a tradition in Australia

A Very Happy *Birthday* to Freya Nu !
who's turning 1-2-3 this Sunday 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have I met you lately?

I am a Biggish Dog. Not as big as a pony, not as small as a teacup.

I have many little friends, though not as many as I have big ones. My stay-at-home human says it's because if I sat on a littlie, that would be that.

I hope she's not implying I'm fat again because I'm not anymore.

Some littlies are tough, mad players and a lot of fun.

Some littlies are shy and sweet and mostly like to play Roll Over And Sniff My Tum.

Some littlies are *!^666*^!!!

Lately, I've been meeting some Ponies and just as many Teacups. Here are some of them, and also other dogs.

@ Birrung
This is Pepper. She's an old friend.
This is her housemate, Leopold.

They have another housemate called Karl. Karl is very posh and gets private walks with their human. Although we live quite close to each other, I haven't seen Pepper and Leo since April when my stay-at-home human got her itsty-bitsy knee operation. Pepper and Leo's human got one around the same time too.

We MAY have had something to do with their bad knees. I say MAY.

I met Pepper and Leo on the way to Illoura. We were very late for that most important date so we didn't have time to play. If my stay-at-home human stops having her daily siestas, she'll be able to take me out when they have their walk. I hope she considers this suggestion as it would be nice to meet them again soon.
@ Punch
 Camy is one of the friendliest, happiest dogs ever. I don't know why she's like that. It could be g.e.n.e.t.i.c.  Or maybe her humans are good teachers.
Camy is only a little older than me. She was one of my best friends when we were younger. We would meet up every single day. We just heard that Camy is very sick. This is sad news. We're thinking of you, Camy. Much love to you and your humans xox 

@ Ewenton
Scotty, who looked like he might have eaten something wet and frothy.
And Molly, fishing again.
Little Leo wanted to play with me. Maybe he thought I was his mama. How silly. I'm not at all maternal. This is proof that not all little dogs find me i.n.t.i.m.i.d.a.t.i.n.g.As you can see, Tara didn't want to get involved. What a very good friend she is. Huh.
Leave me alone please!
Leave me alone please!!!
Would now be a good time to ask what i.n.t.i.m.i.d.a.t.i.n.g means?
On the way home from the park, I got attacked by a daschund named P_ _ _ _ , and it doesn't rhyme with Petunia. I can hear you laughing because I'm A Big Dog but it wasn't at all funny when it happened.

We only know his name because his human screamed it out. He was standing at the entrance to a shop and wasn't on a leash, not even a long one. When I walked by, he started snarling and came running out of the shop to snap at me. All his hackles were up. I don't know why P_ _ _ _ was so angry with me. I don't even know him.

My stay-at-home human was very cross. She doesn't have a picture to show you because she was too busy making sure I didn't eat P_ _ _ _. Luckily for her [and for P_ _ _ _], I was having a benign moment and paid no attention to him. My stay-at-home human was very proud of me [and very relieved]. But you can see she was terribly traumatized because she's devoted 4 whole paragraphs to this sad story, and without a single interesting picture to go with it.

"Just because he's a little dog is no excuse for bad manners." she says, and I have to agree. If I were to behave like that, I would be in Enormous Trouble and possibly have to wear a muzzle for the rest of my life, or something horrible like that. It's not easy being A Biggish Dog.

@ Callan
Lots of humans think Mr Thumper looks like a polar bear. Mr Thumper's gotten so used to being A Really Big Boy that he still can't believe he's Much Smaller Than Jack. I find that hilarious.
Yup. He still can't believe it.

So he decided to pick on Billy instead.
Billy is a new friend. He has a  grin that goes from ear to ear. My out-at-work human thinks he's very cute. Poo. 

Billy came with his buddy, Bernie. We don't know anything about Bernie.
We do know a story about Billy though. When he was a pup, he scraped his paw on some b.i.t.u.m.e.n. It must have hurt a lot because ever since that fateful day, Billy hops across roads on 3 paws and won't put the ouchy one down on the b.i.t.u.m.e.n. It's a true story.

Mean old Mr Thumper. He's never going to make any friends this way.

Look at Tora! She's all grown up! She could be prettier than me! Do you think so? That could be a problem because Mana, Tora and me all like Jack.

Yes, I know. I already have a boyfriend. Or 2. But one of them has gone to live in Nowra. And the other one is hardly ever around to entertain me. So can you blame me for looking around?
Mana and Tora tell me Jack is going to be living in the same house with them for a while. I'm not going to listen to a word they say because it would break my heart if that was true. There are way too many girl dogs in my neighbourhood.
I'm going to do my best to make Jack like me the most. Luckily, Tora is a lady and not at all pushy like me.
This is Pudding. Although he looks nothing like Camy, he's also a Hungarian Vizsla. Pudding is from the eastern suburbs which is quite far away. I haven't been there in a long time.
This is Rupert. He's from Detroit which is even farther away. He had to fly to get here, just like Jack. Rupert is the one we thought was Mister in our last big meetup post. 
I've never been on a plane. I feel like a country bumpkin. Sometimes, I behave like one too.

I'm not sure if these dogs are from far away. They have exotic names. No one really knows how to spell them, but they sound like Chaba and Kinsabu. They have long silky hair and look like they spend a lot of time in beauty salons.

A Little Dog came by. I don't know his name. He was very brave. Unlike P_ _ _ _, he was polite and friendly so no one tried to eat him.
I'm not sure if Little Dog wanted to play here, or was having a panic attack.
Alaska! She likes her story but doesn't know how to use the computer yet so she couldn't post a comment. We know a bit more about Alaska now. For a start, she's a girl. She's also a recycled dog, just like Mr Thumper and me. She came to live with her new human after her old one died. Poor Alaska. Luckily, she found someone new to love her.

This is Coco. I don't meet her as much as I'd like to. Coco is one of the best dogs ever to play with! I hope I get to see her again soon.
Rowr!-rowR Grrrr!!
Haha. Scared you.
Did NOT!
Yesterday, Tara, Sammy and I went to Birchgrove.

We invited Molly and Scotty but it looked like it was going to storm and Molly got nervous and hid under the table and wouldn't come out to play.

It's okay, Molly. I'm like that too, with fireworks.
 Tara and Sammy mostly played with their balls. They are very obsessed with balls. I am only obsessed with food.

Tara can swim really well now. Sammy can swim a little. 
 I thought I could swim too but I was wrong.
We were there more than an hour. I was in the water for about 5 seconds. It was scary. 
I'm ready for another treat now.
Just as we were about to leave, Echo turned up. It was good to see him again. Echo is 1 now. He's still a baby, even if he's as big as me.
Echo and I had a great time playing. My stay-at-home human took lots of pictures but they're all blurry. It could be because Echo moves too fast. Or it could be because my stay-at-home human is just a mummy p.h.o.t.o.g.r.a.p.h.e.r.
There's nothing like a good drink of cold water after an afternoon at the beach.

*I wonder who I'll meet next!*

Some statistics and interesting reading. This is not a witch hunt on daschunds or other little dogs. I've had a couple of littlies in my life, including my first dog ever when I was 5, a scrappy mutt called Cookie. I wept long and hard when he was put to sleep while I was away at boarding school. It took me a long time to forgive my father. And even longer to realise what a difficult decision it must have been for him to make.

When I was about 10, I also had a daschund. He was rather predictably named Mickey and was small enough for me to put in a basket and haul up to my tree house. I never asked Mickey if he had vertigo issues.

There were quite a few of these sausage dogs in my neighbourhood at the time. I was bitten [on the ankle] by one of these, and yes, miraculously lived to tell the tale.

I fervently believe, that while a little dog's bite might not kill, maim or scar for life, it is nevertheless bad behaviour and should be recognised as such. In my experience, too many little dog owners don't take this seriously enough. A little commonsense would surely go a long way when big and little dogs meet, on the sidewalk or in the park.

I might get into trouble for saying this, but here's a hint from A Big Dog Owner: long leashes, especially on a narrow sidewalk, DO NOT HELP. The leash has a retraction mechanism for a reason.

Some statistics, to be consumed with an open mind and a pinch of salt.

In a slideshow format:

I find it interesting and sad that greyhounds rate the lowest in aggression and yet are the ones who, by law, have to wear muzzles in public places.

This link, despite its subject matter and warnings, is by the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America:

Come to think of it, that's quite frightening.