His & Hers: Cat wonders, What can It be?

Sunday, January 11, 2009
Scoop Miller

Husband-and-wife journalists Bob Miller and Callie Clark Miller use this space to offer their views on everyday issues.


Sacre bleu! That creature continues as the bane of my existence.

The developments in recent months have been both rapid and alarming -- rapidly alarming, in fact. And now It is mobile, crawling around like a miniature baboon with its rear stuck in the air at a most undignified angle. I don't believe It actually is a baboon. I've recently taken to flipping on the Animal Planet channel while Mom and Dad are at work and studying the various members of the animal kingdom in an attempt to once and for all identify It.

I thought we could safely rule out shark except that It has recently sprouted several teeth. Now I'm unsure. And It does seem to love the water. It has Its own special container that It splashes around in, making my fur crawl every time. The only decent reason for splashing in the water is an escape attempt.

There has been no sign of feathers, so I thought It couldn't possibly be a bird. Then again, It makes occasional squawking noises and recently started flapping Its arms in tandem, as though ready to take flight.

Perhaps It is some sort of small, bald bear? Its lack of grace would certainly account for that, as would Its lack of refined table manners. Honestly, the messes It makes! And none of the food that goes flying around the kitchen during Its mealtime is of any use to me. Mushy green beans and carrots. Oatmeal. Hmmm. A vegetarian bear, do you reckon?

It loves to chew on socks. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the creature turns out to be a dog. A simple, mangy old mutt. This would explain the lack of hair (mange) and also my immediate aversion to It.

Another clue: When It wants something, It lets out terrible wailing noises (high-pitched, like a wounded hyena) and says something like, "Ma, ma, ma." Almost as if, as if, It's trying to say "Mom." To further confuse the issue, Mom tends to go running each and every time this happens. I don't understand it. She doesn't come running when I daintily meow, a much prettier sound as befits a more elegant animal.

The house is always a mess now. It leaves Its toys all over the place. Fletcher, that idiot male feline, has taken to snaring Its mouth stopper (Mom and Dad call it the "pacifier," though I don't see why. The squealing thing is never truly pacified.) Fletcher hides the "pacifier" beneath furniture, like the couch. Fletcher thinks this is a game, and considers It a plaything. I know better. It is a dangerous beast, especially now that It has teeth and is perfecting the use of Its paws.

I have suggested time and again that Mom and Dad consider sticking It in my cat carrier. The world would be a much safer, calmer place, I am sure. They have resisted this idea but have consented to set up a larger mesh enclosure for Its use. It never squawks more than when It is inside.

I admit the mystery is starting to get to me. Now I think on it, It is starting to get to me. Whenever I enter a room, It will make a high-pitched noise and scuttle toward me -- an impending attack, no doubt. I am too quick for that mangy thing. We must pray It does not have rabies, though, as Mom and Dad do not seem the least bit concerned with Its attacks on them.

Scoop Miller is the former baby of the Miller household who adores Mark Twain. Reach her through her Mom and Dad, special publications editor Callie Clark Miller and Southeast Missourian editor Bob Miller at cmiller@semissourian.com and bmiller@semissourian.com. Fan mail, especially from sophisticated tom cats, is welcome, says Scoop.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: