Is India a Refrigerator Thief?
If you were to ask India to describe her ex-landlord, she would likely say that he’s an aggressive little runt who looks like a cross between a Chihuahua and a pot-bellied pig. She would then laugh and say that she meant no offense to either of these fine animals. India, in animal terms, is definitely a cat. And though she may have grown a little lazy and soft in recent years, due to rich food and comfortable living, she is very much a cat in her prime. She is a cat to be approached with caution.
Here is the story of a recent confrontation between the dog that looks like a pot-bellied pig and the cat…
Last Sunday morning, the cat was resting in her new house, recovering from the stress and exertions of a hectic week spent establishing and marking off her new territory. The cat hoped that she would not need to move again for many a long year. She was pleased to come across a chair in a sunny corner which she decided was an ideal place for a nap when she heard a commotion outside her front door. Rousing herself from her drowsy state she padded across the floor and looked out onto the verandah.
Good god, there was a dog out there — and not just any dog — it was THAT dog. Her Australian former landlord, fresh off the boat, an old dog who had decided to retire in the Philippines. Yapping away, as usual. The cat was celebrating her freedom from two years of living under the thumb of this annoying dog — and yet here he was, practically in her living room! The cat could feel her claws unsheathing.
The dog attempted to barge in, yapping away about his house, the one the cat had vacated almost a week ago. He began without so much as a “hello” or a “good morning”, a fact which irritated the cat immensely. What the hell was wrong with this dog, didn’t he know that every encounter must begin with a proper greeting? The cat would never consider marching into another cat’s territory without first engaging in a proper ritualized greeting. The cat has met many stupid dogs over the years, but this one takes the cake, she thinks.
The cat arches her back and puffs herself out, effectively blocking the entrance to her living room and growing far taller than this bloody runt of a dog. The dog continues to yap nonstop: the house is dirty, the chair slip covers have faded. On and on. All minor, normal wear and tear items. The cat yawns. This makes the dog even angrier. The cat wonders how long it has been since the dog had a good look at himself in the mirror. It can’t have been very recently, or he would realize how ridiculous he looks, spittle flying from the corners of his snapping jaws.
The cat wonders why the dog is here, why he is behaving this way. This is not normal expat behavior. The cat is quite sure that she left the house in better condition than she found it. What is this all about?
The cat dislikes this dog because he is pompous and arrogant. He uses expressions such as “when Melanie and I take up residence” instead of just saying, “when we move into the house”. The cat thinks the dog wishes he were physically more impressive, that he had been born a German shepherd or a Doberman rather than a Chihuahua that looks like a pot-bellied pig. The cat feels no sympathy for this uppity dog and thinks he needs to be knocked down a peg or two.
“Well, you’re off to a good start”, says the cat. “You’ve been here less than 24 hours and you’re already fighting with your neighbors.”
The dog lunges, pulling a strand of fur from the cat’s neck. “You stole my refrigerator”, the dog says.
The cat is shocked. “Say that again? What did you say I did?”
“You stole my beer ref from the downstairs apartment.”
The cat begins to hiss. Fangs are bared. “How dare you barge into my house all pumped up with your aggression and testosterone and accuse me of stealing my own property. That ref is MINE. I have the receipts to prove it. You can check the serial number. I have photos of your house from when I first moved in and there was only one beer ref — MINE.”
“Well, what happened to my beer ref?”
The cat was not the first tenant of this fool’s house. “I don’t know and I don’t care. I know where mine is and that’s all I care about.”
The dog that looks like a pot-bellied pig stops yapping. He begins to back up. He is momentarily speechless. Then, pompously, he says, “well, you needn’t grace my doorstep ever again.”
This dog is so full of shit, thinks the cat. The cat has had more than enough.
She roars and begins to chase the dog. “Get out of my house”. She slaps her front paws together, and shouts, “Chop chop! Hurry up and get out of here. And don’t come back.”
The dog runs as fast as his short legs will carry him. The cat watches him close the front gate. The cat is very pleased that she never throws a receipt away. Who knows when a dog might accuse you of stealing your own stuff? The cat strolls through the neighborhood and warns everyone she sees that an ugly, stupid old dog might come barging into their houses, accusing them of stealing his refrigerator. She laughs. This fool of a dog has lost a serious amount of face over an eleven-year-old beer ref.
Five days later, the dog sends his female to the cat’s den to collect money to pay the cat’s share of the electric bill. The female does not dare to enter the cat’s compound, but sends a messenger to summon the cat to where she is waiting across the street.
The cat demands that the female sign a receipt and says, “I don’t want to see that ugly dog in my living room claiming that I haven’t paid my bills. And make sure that ugly dog understands that he is never to come near my gate again.”
“Don’t worry,” the female says, “we will never come in this area again.”
“Good”, says the cat, who retires to a lounge chair beside her swimming pool…