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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Pet Play....

Pet Play

animals,canines,creatures,dogs,mammals,nature,petsWe have four pets, five if you count the fish. While I am away at work, the animals conspire with each other to think of ways to make me crazy.

"I'll chew the legs on the table," says the dog to the cat. "You can start clawing the sofa with your claws. If it wasn't for us, these humans would never get any new furniture."

"I have a great idea," says the cat. "Let's get in the kitty litter box and throw litter. Then we can walk through it and track litter all over the house. Don't you just love the way it sticks to the bathroom floor?"

"I can't imagine why you silly cats use a nasty old box of litter," the dog comments. "Look at the nice clean carpeting. We really need to put our scent on it so everyone will know it belongs to us."

And so it goes. I've never actually heard these conversations, but I know they happen because of what the house looks like when I get home. In case you were wondering, none of the pets are actually mine. I like pets, but I like well-behaved pets better.

The goldfish can't chew or claw, so it uses passive aggression to drive humans mad. It swims to the top of the goldfish bowl, acting starved and holding its throat until it receives fish food. Then it refuses to eat and food settles on the bottom, eventually clouding the water so the bowl has to be cleaned.

I tried to speak to the fish about this behavior, but it simply gave me the fisheye and swam away. "These crazy humans believe that I'm not smart enough to think of ways to get my water changed," says the fish with a flip of its tail.

"I'm bored says the dog. I believe I'll slosh some water out of my water dish and walk through it. Look at all the neat paw prints I can make on the kitchen floor." This floor probably has more prints than the FBI data base.

"Why make paw prints on the floor," says the cat, "when you can make them on the kitchen table. And from the table you can look out the window and watch birds." Cats are notorious bird watchers, you know, and card-carrying members of the Audubon Society.

What do dogs watch? Other dogs. The dog gets behind the curtains and sits for hours waiting for his canine friend to go for a walk so he can bark and scratch the paint off the window sill. "Can you come inside for a play date later, baby?"

Meanwhile, the cats decide to take a nap. Cats always want to nap, but not on the floor. With all this nice soft furniture to use for cat beds in the living room, who could resist?

The dog in the meantime has tried to chew into the box of dog treats, but can't get inside. He finds a favorite toy instead and begins chewing the stuffing out. If he gets tired, he can always nap in the bed where the humans sleep.

The cats tire of napping and scratching the furniture and decide to climb on bookcases and the mantel and see if they can push anything off on the floor. "Oh, don't break that vase, says one cat. Break this one instead. It is our human's favorite. Be careful not to cut your paw on the broken glass."

The cat can jump and touch the doorknob. "I could open this door if I only had a thumb," it mumbles. "Then we could all escape and play outside for the rest of the day. Who knows, we might find a better trash can to turn over, one with more chicken bones and fewer coffee grounds."

"Wait," says the dog." I hear a car in the driveway." He tears the blinds off the window to see and runs to the door to jump on the humans with love, affection and cuteness.

"Boy, are they going to be surprised."

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

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