By Jacob Bennett
My roommate’s cat is hunting my dog.
Daisy is always watching my little buddy, peeking around the house plant, or lurking in the shadows of the sofa, or staring from her perch on top of the bed. Once, in the middle of the night, she nudged open my door, saw that I was awake, and backed away. And the other morning, as I got ready for work, I heard her sharpening her claws on a scratching post, like Carl readying his weapon near the climax of “Sling Blade.”
The truth about cats and dogs is they can’t be friends. I knew this. But Sophie and I were basically strays, until my roommate from the ‘Burg and his common-law fiancée took us in. I thought our pets could forge an uneasy truce, like when Brisco County had to work with Bowler every week.
And it’s not going to be a fair fight.
At 12 pounds, Daisy’s only a little lighter than my miniature schnauzer — five pounds less, to be exact. I know because my roommates just weighed her at my request, which I’m sure will only make her madder. Daisy is a rescue, adopted after she was discovered on the street, shivering in the snow, cold and hungry, but surviving.
Sophie is also a rescue — I found her online, stranded in a basket of puppies. I’d like to think buying her was akin to sponsoring a hungry Third World child.
Sophie probably started the rift the first day we were here, when she chased Daisy under the bed. She doesn’t know why she must feel like that — why she must chase the cat. But she never posed any real danger.
She’s just a goofy little terrier, bigger than a football, too big to fit in a purse, in accordance with man laws. Years of breeding and evolution have left her with no survival skills except relentless adorability. On a toughness scale from Clint Eastwood to Clay Aiken, she’s about a John Mayer.
She forgot all about the feud, once Daisy was out of sight. She went back to trotting obliviously through the house, thinking about bones or balls or biscuits.
Daisy didn’t forget.
The thing about cats is, they tolerate people, and they’ll eat food from people because it’s free. But they’re hunters, and their thirst for blood is so great, they play with their prey before eating it. Unlike dogs, which are just furry little street bums, cats like to kill.
Really, cats are miniature lions.
And when a mini lion takes on a mini schnauzer, I know where to place my bet.
I just watched a thing on National Geographic where seven lions ganged up and tried to kill an elephant. They just dug in and held on…
It was awesome.
But I wouldn’t wish it on my little snow pea.
Unfortunately, Sophie’s gonna end up like that elephant. The situation came to a head the other day, when her back was turned.
Daisy crept out from the shadows, padding across the carpet likea ghost in the darkness. When she was inches away, she shrieked and pounced, Montecore-style. She didn’t stop flailing until my roommates pulled her offstage.
From then on, the food chain was back as it should be. Sophie feels the need to stand at a safe distance, in a doorway, when begging for food. Daisy marches through the house like General Sherman in Atlanta.
This story doesn’t have an ending, but like “Sling Blade,” it really only has one logical conclusion.
Daisy just keeps watching Sophie. Watching and waiting, hoping for that perfect moment when she can go in for the kill.
She also gave me a sinus infection on my birthday.