The Pet Door

6 Jan

The Pet Door

There Never Was a More Serious Matter

by L. Stewart Marsden


“C’mon, Pinky! You can do it!” encouraged the thin blonde, clapping her hands enthusiastically.

Pinky hopped back and forth in frustration, snuffing and sneezing — unable to come through the pet door.

The newly installed entry offered Pinky complete freedom to enter and exit the house. The snubbed-nosed Pekingese growled and ruffed and shook her shaggy head, her black bulging eyes.

“Dammit, Pinky! C’mere!”

Coaxing was useless, and the blonde stood up, running her fingers through her hair in exasperation.

She finally opened the door, and Pinky trotted in, panting with pleasure, and headed straight for her small, personalized water dish, where she lapped up cool water.

“Two hundred dollars down the drain!” the blonde gritted through clenched teeth.

Pinky lapped, unperturbed.

That night Pinky awoke from a chasing dream with bladder pulsing, and began to yip to be let out. Her owner, in deep six at the edge of the bed, had flung one arm over, her partially curled fingers within Pinky’s reach. Normally, after a couple of licks, her owner would lethargically sit up, turn her legs out over the floor zombie-like, and sleepwalk to the door to let the little rat out.

Instead, she withdrew her arm sleepily back onto the bed and continued in REM mode.

Pinky, the increased pressure on her bladder, yipped a few more times, then trotted into the kitchen to the back door. She considered peeing on the throw rug next to the sink, but thought better, remembering the smacks she had received in the past. Although she was her owner’s only pet, she knew pets could be replaced.

She tried to will the back door open, which didn’t work. Then she stood up against it, scratching her front paws against the wood rapidly, leaning her paltry weight against the mass. That also didn’t work.

Her bladder swelled.

She grew hysterical! The throw rug was rapidly becoming a viable alternative!

Pinky suddenly slipped sideways against the plastic flap, and — whaddaya know? Boom! All of a sudden Pinky was outdoors!

Pinky bounded through her anointing stations, and sprinkled the car tire, the dogwood, the azalea bush, the lamp-post, the curb and the mailbox post before ending up in the middle of the lush, grassy yard, and squeezed out — well, you know.

She trotted to the back door, stopped and sat, trying to recall how she managed to get from the inside to the outside. The plastic flap glowed bluish from the moonlight.

Pinky approached it warily and pawed at it. It moved a bit. She sat and cocked her head sideways. Then she attacked the plastic flap with both paws and — whaddaya know? Boom! All of a sudden Pinky was indoors!

Ecstatic and proud, she pranced to her water dish for a couple of quick laps before sashaying back to the bedroom. There she hopped onto her pillow, circled three times, and lay down with a flop. Soon she was snoring loudly and back to rabbit chasing.

Life was great!

Her owner heralded the pet door to all of her neighbors, and soon one could hear back doors being retrofitted with new dog and cat doors up and down the street. Then along parallel streets. Then throughout the town and the county and the state and finally, the nation.

That rippled from the carpenters to hardware stores to suppliers to salespeople to the state and federal governments, who relished the upswing in taxes.

The economy boomed all across America! Nearly all home owners had pets that needed pet doors!

There was, however, one holdout. People labelled him a miscreant; a swimmer against the tide; a subversive curmudgeon with Scrooge-like tendencies. He was the black-robed prophet whose proclamations of doom fell on the community like the wet, dank knell of the midnight bell of the church in the dell — an ominous bong that reverberated against tombstones and crypts of graveyards everywhere. He was the raven, tap-tap-tapping; the Grim Reaper, swinging his scythe; the Banshee, howling into the cloud swept-sky.

“What if something else goes through that door?” he asked.

Shock and awe followed the statement. The very economy was at stake! Who in their right mind dares tinker with the precariously balanced blocks of this economic recovery?

Liberal pundits blasted him for the insensitivity of his comment. “Pet doors are for pets, dammit! We all know that! Doors for the cats and doors for the dogs, and special doors for cats and dogs with species challenges!”

The conservative pundits blasted him, and then blasted the liberal pundits.

“Of course, dog doors and cat doors, dammit! But omni-doors? That’s against nature!”

A nation-wide effort to adopt legislation against omni-doors was thus launched, with both sides pouring huge sums of money into their respective Washington PACs. The debate took on titanic proportions, occupying a huge percentage of media air and print and money.

* * *

Meanwhile, Pinky and her owner had taken the dog door for granted.

One night, while both ZZZ’d away in slumber, a dark, shadowy shape ambled clumsily into the grassy yard. It stopped at the area rife with Pinky poops and sniffed; then hopped to the mailbox post, where it sniffed; and the curb and the lamp-post and the azalea bush and the dogwood and car tire — all where it sniffed. It then followed the invisible trail to the back of the house, and, finally, to the back door, where it sniffed and stopped.

This was dangerous ground. But the stranger felt confident and equipped for the unknown, knowing its scent bags were replenished from the previous night’s skirmish with an overly curious fox.

Far more intelligent than Pinky, the stranger nudged its black nose against the plastic door, which gave. The more it nudged, the more it gave, and soon the stranger  was inside the house and in the kitchen.

It snuffed out Pinky’s personalized water dish, and took a drink of clean, cool, fluoridated water.

Then it stuck its black nose once again into the air and sniffed long and deep. It picked up several scents. Some came from a long box-like canyon that disappeared into the dark. This was not the way to go, the stranger quickly deduced. In addition to the scents was the sound of steady raspy breathing, which did not bode well for the stranger.

The other scents were more alluring. They were a mixture of sweets and meats and other delectables — like the magnificent morsels from the big beasts’ gardens.
The stranger snuffed along the floor and edges of the wooden cliffs until the aromas were so salacious he could bear it no longer! He pried at a crack in a wooden wall from which the odors emanated. It opened with a soft snap. Inside a veritable feast!

Pinky heard the snap in her sleep. She awoke and sat up straight, straining to listen. Thinking a rabbit had stepped on a twig in her dream, she was about to return to the hunt when she heard a crackling sound, and then a loud thump.

She growled deep in her throat, and plopped from her bed. She crept to the door opening of the bedroom, straining to see and hear and smell.

The stranger was so immersed in food that all caution had been tossed out the dog door. He was burrowed neck-deep in scraps of delicious stuff.

Pinky slowly trotted down the hallway to the door of the kitchen and posted up one more time. Whatever it was, it was just around the corner of the tall mesa that rose in the middle of the kitchen.

* * *

After weeks and weeks trying every chemical cleaning solution known to man without success, and after completely remodeling her kitchen to rid it and all the appliances of the tenacious stink, the thin blonde replaced door with the pet door with a new, solid door. Additionally, she replaced Pinky with a small globular glass bowl, with multi-color plastic beads, a couple of plastic flowers, and a regally-arrayed fighting fish. No pet door needed.

Pinky ended up in the county kennel, where she was adopted by an elderly man and his wife who never let her out to pee or poop. Their senses of smell had deteriorated to the point that it really didn’t matter to them. The wife, a tad senile, kept picking up the poops thinking they were Tootsie Rolls, and saved them to hand out at Halloween.

Nationwide, the pet door boom went bust, and unemployment trickled down from the carpenters to hardware store employees, to truckers, to the salesmen (who became lawyers) to manufacturers who closed down and spewed hundreds of thousands of workers out onto the street, increasing the numbers of people claiming unemployment benefits. The government had to print more money to make ends meet.

On the bright side, however, the fighting fish industry abounded. The sudden interest in fighting fish was evidence enough for the Hawks and NRA supporters to vindicate war and international aggression.

The Liberals said, “We knew this was going to happen!” They still pushed for non-species pet doors to be subsidized by the government.

The Conservatives said, “We knew this was going to happen,” and disavowed the so-called rights of otherwise species-confused pets.

Both parties poured massive amounts of money into the fight over species-neutral pet doors, which is on the Supreme Court docket for the Spring of next year.


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 2012


2 Responses to “The Pet Door”

  1. Outlier Babe January 7, 2016 at 10:18 am #

    Really enjoyed Pinky’s perspective, which it feels like you perfectly captured.

  2. ReadBetweentheLyme January 14, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

    Agreed. Loved Pinky’s view of things 😊

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