Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 09.19.05
Stanstead, Quebec


What we have here is a failure to communi-cat

Here's what I actually said when a four-month-old kitten showed up on our doorstep late one evening last week, followed by what my family apparently heard me say:

"Don't let the cat in."

Welcome, Kitty!

"We don't need any more pets."

We don't need to buy any more pets because they keep showing up at our door. And look, he's so lost and alone, obviously hungry. It would be heartless nay, cruel! to leave him to his own devices out in the wilds of Stanstead, land of rogue four-wheelers and bloodthirsty dogs. So welcome, Kitty!

"Leave the door open to see if it wanders outside again."

Let's pick him up and cuddle him. Oh, listen to him purr! Make sure he doesn't get outside, whatever you do.

"Don't get attached to it. It's not staying."

Let's call him Fred.

"I think it has fleas."

Isn't it cute the way he twitches like that? Hey, I have an idea. I hear that fleas are attracted to some people but not others. Let's see which of us is flea bait!

"It's going to aggravate your allergies. Look, you're sneezing already."

Darn ragweed! I bet another cat in the house will be a real comfort to you when you're suffering from those seasonal allergies.

"Hold the dog! Look out, she's trying to get it! Did it scratch you?"

Isn't it wonderful to see God's creatures so full of life? My goodness, the hijinks and merriment that will ensue once we have all these animals in the house. They're bound to become the best of friends. Would you like a Band-Aid for that?

"What's wrong with its tail? Why's it bent like that?"

Look at its tail. What a unique specimen. Our friends will be so jealous.

"Don't give it food."

Hey, why don't we give him some food?

"Put it outside and see if it wanders off. It probably has a home nearby."

Put him outside and then lurk around the front door for a while making sure he can see you. Awww. Look how sad and tiny he looks sitting there. I think he's crying! Is that a tear? Quick, let him back in. Hey, why don't we give him some more food?

"Somebody's probably looking for it. Tomorrow we'll put up posters and ask around the neighbourhood whether anyone's missing a cat."

Somebody's probably looking for it. But let's wait and see whether the owners put up posters or come to our door asking whether we've seen their cat. Besides, it has fleas. Probably not from a good home anyway. Right, Fred? Freddie-Weddie? You cutie-wootie you.

"I'm not cleaning the litter box."

I'll clean the litter box! And I'll pick up the games and puzzles it knocked over. Oh look: shredded toilet paper. So-o-o-o-o cute.

"We're not keeping it."

We're keeping it.





And now, what I heard the cat say:

"Hey, nice place you got here. These your kids? Come here, let me lay a little purr action on ya. Oh yeah, you like that? You know you like that. We're gonna be pals, you and me. I'll lay out some cuteness for you anytime, toots.

"Excuse me while I scratch.

"So. I like the floors. Furniture's accessible. Whoa, sorry about knocking that over. You should probably store it in a less precarious location, if you catch my meaning.

"Whoa! Big dog! Hssssss! That's right, hook that doofus up to that nice thick chain outside. Seeya, chump. You don't stand a chance.

"So hows about a little nosh? A little kibble? Something to eat, maybe? Ni-i-i-ce.

"Hey, who's the sourpuss? The tall guy with the glasses? Don't like animals, am I right? Well, I got one thing to say to you, pal:

"BOOHA-HA-HA-HA! We got ya outnumbered. Sucker!"