Cruel. Her nature. Curious mice never squeal. Seem to like it.
–Mrkrgnao! the cat said loudly.
I’ve never been a cat person or a dog person, or to be honest, much of a people person. You can add to that nonfan list hamsters, caged birds, aquarium fish, bunny rabbits, ferrets, mimes . . .
That’s not to say I haven’t liked/loved certain people or dogs; it’s just that I don’t like/love either collectively as a species. In other words, I judge animals and people on an individual basis.
For example, I disliked my grandmother’s and aunt’s Chihuahua Perfidia. They named this rat- resembling canine after the popular mid-century song, probably ignorant of its Spanish denotations – faithlessness, betrayal, treachery.
“Here Faithlessness, come Betrayal, down Treachery. Bad girl, bad girl!”
“Perfidia” is a lovely song, though. You can listen by hitting the audio arrow below.
My grandmother and aunt shared the same bed until my aunt’s teens, and Perfidia – or Fiddie for – made it three. My grandmother chose a Chihuahua because she’d heard the breed somehow helped to ward off asthma, a malady from which she suffered bigtime. Even though I was a mere four or five, I sensed something amiss about the sleeping arrangements. Then again, I’d seen my grandmother wheezily huffing on her aspirator and gasping for air in an oxygen tent, so I can understand her grasping at straws.
On the other hand, I loved my previous dog Saisy, whom I still think about a good bit. I’ll not bore readers who follow Hoodoo by rehashing her backstory, but in short, she was a German long haired pointer, a rescue who had suffered mightily yet possessed remarkable joie de vivre.
Allow me these quotes from a blog post of yore when Saisy was among the quick:
Saisy manifests certain cycles of her own during our ritualistic rectangular jaunts between 5th and 9th Streets along the beach. Whether morning or afternoon, we shuffle/walk/trot towards the sun. Headed east or west, morning or evening, Saisy is sure to engage in the following activities at the same intervals and at approximately the same places.
These activities include:
*Cavorting like a dervish on PCP, becoming even more frenzied in each progressive step of the telltale signs of an impending walk: my crawling out of bed, putting on hat, grabbing a plastic bag. However, as soon as I reach for the leash that hangs on the screen porch, she relaxes into serenity, sits patiently in the posture of the picture below.
* Surveying the river and marsh at the threshold of the first step down from the deck, looking out slowing turning her head, working her nose.
*Urinating to relieve her bladder (rather than to mark her territory) on the edge of the lane about twenty yards past our house. For this elimination she assumes the traditional female canine posture of squatting.
*Stopping at every palm frond along the way to mark it as hers, raising her leg rather than squatting to perform this urinary act.
*Pulling me violently in the direction of some olfactory temptation, whether it be chicken bone, flattened squirrel, or the trace of some recently present animal. If the latter, she points.
*Pulling me towards any other canine she encounters, and if we stop, sniffing – and allowing the other canine to sniff – fore and aft.
*Stopping at each groin on the beach to enjoy what must be a rich array of aromatic pleasures.
*Herding (or attempting to) bicycles and golf carts.
*Corkscrewing into defecation mode.
*Rushing as soon as we reach home to her food dish while she licks her chops.
But guess what?
Counterintuitively, I’ve also fallen in love with our new dog KitKat, a Chihuahua rat terrier mix, even though she possesses the same coloring as Perfidia! I would never have chosen that breed, am not fond of her Perfidian high strung hyper-territorial ear-assaulting desperate-sounding yelping; otherwise, KitKat is smart, full of personality, full of love. She’s much saner than Saisy, less likely to snatch a cookie from a toddler’s hand.
And for cats, I doubt I’ll ever grow attached to one, even to our newly acquired kitten Onyx. As I type, she’s studying squirrels leaping from branch to branch outside the window of my study. Ever since I read that if house cats were big enough, they’d kill their owners, I’ve acquired immunity to their supposed charms.
Still, if I’ve fallen in love with a goddamned Chihuahua mix, who knows?
 Of course, I would have liked Fiddie better if she hadn’t been snarlingly territorial, prone to biting, and reeking from a Boschian case of the mange. Petting her would be analogous to patting a shirtless leper on the back.
 A long, narrow structure built out into the water from a beach to prevent beach erosion (Britannica.com)