A note to the reader: This letter was written in response to a newspaper article, the original of which - for reasons that will be quite transparent - has long been banished from my household. Suffice it to say that the content certainly raised the dander of my cat!

Dear Sir:

Well, I'll be darned (or at least I would be if that doggone John Riley had his way). It is purrfectly obvious that the editors of the Globe have been stricken by canine correctness (I was tempted to say 'assinine assumptions', but you would probably consider that a catty concatenation).

Riley's canards will no doubt be chewed up (if not swallowed wholesale) by countless canines. We all know what dogs do with newspapers and anything that hints of literacy - why do you suppose tattered books are often described as dog-eared? Cats, on the other hand, know how to treat a newspaper: we lie on it for the purpose of reading by osmosis. (A technique that is the precursor of Braille.)

It is common knowledge that while cats are independent, dogs are co-dependent. This co-dependency only serves to reinforce the ability to manipulate behaviour (often euphemistically referred to as 'training'). How can a four-footed creature take pride in the fact that his PHSSLQ (Person of the Human Sort Sharing Living Quarters) can 'train' him to salivate at the sound of a bell?

This is extremely demeaning - not to mention disempowering and a severe blow to one's self-esteem and self-determination. Who would want to live [one] life this way - no wonder they don't have nine, like we do.

Cats inspire great poets and contribute to the economic well-being of Andrew Lloyd Webber (not to mention global ca[s]ts of thousands). What have dogs contributed to the arts? Dog Day Afternoon...Mad Dogs and Englishmen...? Let's face facts: apart from Snoopy, dogs are obviously culturally challenged.

Riley has failed to acknowledge the sloth that is attributed to dogs. When have you ever heard the comment, 'S/he leads a cat's life'? However, he also omitted mention of the longstanding commitment to deployment equity in the fel/canine world, viz. 'they fought like cats and dogs'. Actually, Riley should be told that the war is over and that it is futile to continue spouting this endless propaganda about the alleged superiority of the underdog.

It is now common knowledge that the main reason cats used to chase mice (some cats are still technologically challenged) is that they knew that one day computers would be invented.

A cat can collaborate with one intelligent mouse to produce an infinite number of literary works on a computer. Unlike a monkey, who needs a multitude of collaborators to produce one Shakespearian work on a typewriter.

Dogs, of course, have no literary support group - or ability to collaborate. They have no choice but to depend on advocates (such as lawyer, John Riley).

I don't think I would want Riley as my lawyer. He offers as 'definitive proof' of his 'irrefutable' case (legal doggerel, of course), the interception of his canine companion 'when a cat was just about to pounce on a tiny gosling...'.

Surely no opposing counsel would permit this inflammatory rhetoric to stand unchallenged. 'Objection, your honour, counsel is imputing unsubstantiated dogma'.

The jury would, no doubt, find that the dog has no pyjamas and that the cat is, in fact, top dog.

Felinely yours,


*with the assistance of my PHSSLQ (well, I haven't yet mastered the art of tearing the pages off the printer and addressing the envelope)

| Hilary's Home Page | The Un-Index | All About Hilary |

Revised October 19, 1997
Copyright © 1994 Hilary Ostrov