The good coon dog, the bad cat, and the ugly truth

“What a waste of time!” Sweetie says, as he shoves a tree limb out of the way. “A good coonhound would never hurt a cat.””Sweetie,” I say, slapping a mosquito, “you wouldn’t know a coon dog from a corn dog.”It’s the middle of the night, and Sweetie and I are clawing our way through briars and brambles in search of my cat, Cat. Meanwhile, off in the distance, coon dogs are running through the foggy woods of our farm, howling like the Hound of the Baskerville.”Exactly how does one distinguish a ‘good’ coon dog from one that’s gone bad?” I huff and puff, as I crawl after Sweetie up the hill. “Do they howl with a private school accent?!””Cat can take care of himself,” Sweetie calls back over his shoulder. “He’ll climb a tree.””Oh, please!” I wheeze. “If he gains another ounce, we’ll have to hoist him into his litter box with a crane!”I am not opposed to hunting. I just have a small problem with armed, drunken rednecks chasing the Hounds of Hell through my back yard between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m.Furthermore, Cat doesn’t resemble any animal known to man. He doesn’t have a tail, and he’s built like Son of Flubber. If I saw the furry glob oozing toward me on a tree limb, I’d shoot him.We finally make it to the top of the hill. While I’m bent over double, gripping my side and spitting blood, Sweetie has his head cocked like a beagle and is listening to the wind.”You go that way,” he says, pointing into total darkness. I’m just about to tell Sweetie where he can go when a blood-curdling howl pierces the air. Without a thought, I take off into the abyss.As I hack my way through blackberries with my flashlight and splash through the freezing creek, my imagination runs wild. I see poor Cat trembling on a limb. Below him, cat-killing coon dogs, foaming at the mouth and hopped up on Junk Yard Dog Chow, snap and rip at the tree. Meanwhile, inbred Neanderthals, their drunken laughter echoing through the holler, pass the jug.”What d’yu reckon that thang is, Bob Bart Billy Boy?” Bubbah asks, scratching his gut through his overalls.”Looks tuh me like a giant tick with fur uh-polstry,” Bob Bart Billy Boy says, as he squirts tobacco juice between the gap in his teeth.”Hey-elll, let’s shoot the dang thang and feed it tuh the dawgs!” Fists clenched and adrenaline pumping, I storm into the clearing, fully prepared to fight off rabid coon dogs armed with nothing but spunk and a felt tip highlighter pen.”Hey, you!” I holler through clenched teeth.The Coon Man spins around and, one can’t help but notice, he’s wearing the ever-stylish J. Peterman all-weather safari jacket.”You’re trespassing!” I yell, slightly deterred by the fashion statement but still breathing hard. “Get that vicious pack of kitty-killing coon dogs off my property!”My message doesn’t carry quite the punch I’d hoped for, what with a floppy-eared coon dog with soulful brown eyes licking my hand.”Madame,” the hunter says, using the classic Oxford pronunciation, “a good coon dog would never hurt a cat.”Do men have a monthly newsletter that updates them on junk like this? When I get back to the house, I’m dripping wet, draped in poison ivy and probably have tetanus from my run-in with a rusty barbed wire fence.Meanwhile, Sweetie and Cat — not a cat hair out of place — are stretched out on the couch watching “Baywatch.””Man,” Sweetie says, tossing a handful of popcorn in the vicinity of his mouth, “you look rough.”As much as I would simply love to sit and chat, there’s a varmint crawling up my leg, and I suspect his intentions are less honorable than a good coon dog’s.Copyright 1998 P.S. Wall. All rights reserved. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= DOGGONE IT, EVERYONE KNOWS DOGS ARE GOOD AND CATS ARE BAD, NO BONES ABOUT IT By Robert Kirby, Salt Lake Tribune, April 5, 1997If God has a pet, and I believe that he does, it has to be a dog. Not a purebred, either.The God I believe in owns a mutt, a big, slobbering thing with the heart of a lion and the brain of a marble.As you might expect, the subject of God having a dog is a sensitive one with most people. Not only do most people refuse to believe that God has a pet, but that if he does, no way would it be a dog.The few people I’ve met who conceded the God/pet issue have invariably argued for a more noble pet type: elephant, tiger, whale, T-Rex and, in one bizarre case, a mongoose. These people were all idiots.Over the years, I have argued this deep theological issue with pastors, bishops, reverends, priests and at least one rabbi. None of them was ever able to convince me of the truthfulness of their faith because none of them ever conceded that God would have a dog. One came close.”All of God’s creations are in effect his pets,” said a minister who almost had me. “So I suppose it could be reasonably argued that God has a dog for a pet. Yes, I’m sure of it.””OK, then, what’s the dog’s name?””Well, I don’t really see ….””Liar!”A dog is the sort of pet God would have. You don’t need to look it up in the Bible. Just think about it for a minute. Dogs love unconditionally. Dogs are loyal. Dogs are brave.You see dogs in Reader’s Digest all the time rescuing people. Dogs have the spirit of truth in them, in part because they aren’t smart enough to know how to lie.By the way, God’s dog is named Vern.This is not your typical religious subject, I know. It’s an important one to me because I had to put my dog to sleep last week. Pig collapsed with heat exhaustion during a hike in the mountains and suffered irreparable kidney damage.The only thing that has sustained me during the past few days is the belief that when I die, Pig will be there waiting for me. She may be bathed in celestial glory but she’ll still be my unlicensed, gopher-digging, rug-gnawing best friend.I’m a Mormon but my wants are simple. God can keep the celestial mansion, eternal glory and everything else. Pig was family. If families really are forever, then I want her back.Actually, I want all of my former dogs back. Pig, Lennon, Beau, John Wayne, Baron and Lurch. If I’m good, God will give them back to me because, frankly, heaven would be pretty pointless without them.Wait. I probably won’t get Beau back. Not unless I go to hell. I’m pretty sure that’s where he is. Beau was not a good dog. I’m not talking about the time he tore the pants off a terrified Jehovah’s Witness, either. Beau’s moral turpitude involved cats. He liked them. He hung out with them.It doesn’t take the pope or a prophet to point out the fact that cats are deceitful and nasty.They are stiff-necked and arrogant, puffed up in their pride. Cats are cruel, evil things utterly incapable of loyalty and honor. Ever see a cat rescue someone from drowning? Nope.And that’s why you won’t ever see a cat in heaven.The devil has a cat for a pet.