Friday, February 06, 2009

A cat's practical joke, and the dog that laughed.

Where I used to live, we had rowhouses: Small houses, 15 feet wide, connected side by side. The back yards were the same and the fences were all made of wire, so you could stand in your back yard and see everyone else's back yards on that block.

To the right of us, the people had a Doberman Pinscher, Duke, who they kept in the back yard all the time. Fortunately for us, he was very friendly. In fact, he and our cat, Houdini, were best friends. Duke would whine at our back door for Houdini to come outside. Duke gave Houdini big wet kisses and Houdini loved it.

Houdini was a big gray and white tuxedo cat, who loved everybody. All the world was full of friends, from Houdini's point of view.

Two houses to the left, they had a cluster of Chihuahuas. It was hard to tell how many they had, because they were always jumping up and down, yapping and yipping. You could say they hadn't been very well socialized -- and the owner's behavior supported that notion. Any time you were outside, if the Chihuahuas were too, you couldn't hear yourself think for all the noise they made.

One day, when all the animals were outside, Houdini gave Duke a "watch this" kind of look, then Houdini went to the side of the yard closest to the Chihuahuas. He put on quite a show for them, rolling and twisting on his back. The Chihuahuas went wild, creating a yipping yapping ruckus that even outdid their usual standards. In a minute, their owner appeared at the back door, and threw a bucket of water on the Chihuahuas. Immediately, Houdini's head whipped around to look at Duke.

And I will always swear that Duke laughed, just as plain as anyone.

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