According to Oregon TV channel KPTV last week, “a crazed cat is behind bars after it attacked a baby and held a Portland family hostage in a bedroom, forcing them to call 911.” KPTV reported “the ferocious feline — a 22-pound Himalayan named Lux — ‘went over the edge’ Sunday evening after it was punished for scratching a couple’s 7-month-old baby.”
Truth really is stranger than fiction. And while we’ve always been warned to not believe everything we read, in this case apparently you CAN believe what you read.
So it may actually mean the media is not composed — in its entirety at least — of a lying bunch of miscreants. The attack cat story was reported initially by KPTV and then online and in wire reports the next day. Lux had a color picture of himself printed in the paper. Multiple media outlets were just reporting actual facts of what the public wants — exciting stories about cats!
In the spirit of full disclosure and while I have some real questions about the dog in this story, I am a dog person not a cat person. I admit I can vividly see Lux as a prime player in the bestselling book “101 Uses of a Dead Cat.” By this admittance I know I will not endear myself to those cat lovers who feed their cats Fancy Feast in crystal bowls and ring the bowl with a spoon to call their cats for dinner. Or to those, for that matter, who would allow a cat to “rule the roost” as Lux apparently does. So please forgive my doggedness.
But in the midst of a slow news last week with merely the Russian hordes possibly marching via Crimea into Europe itself and the worldwide search for a Malaysia jet liner that has mysteriously disappeared, the lying bunch of miscreants, er, I mean professional media correspondents, reported about a family — with a dog yet — held captive by a cat. Reporters needed some really important news to write about.
It’s either that or writing about this story provides an unsurpassingly rare opportunity to grossly overuse canine idioms, metaphors and puns for fun and entertainment. In the dog-eat-dog world of reporting, we professional media correspondents have to take every opportunity to doggedly pursue paper sales, or we’ll be in the dog house with our publisher.
However, the use of metaphor abuse is not endorsed by the Havelock News nor does the publisher, Halifax Media Group, recommend you attempt this at home. Such risks should be attempted only by trained miscreants, er, professional newshounds.
I don’t mean to come across as dogmatic, but this story is far more about a family mutt lacking the ability to run with the big dogs than it is about “Lux the ferocious feline.” “When the peeved pet cat began charging at its owners, the family and their dog hid in a bedroom where they called 911, according to KPTV. ‘He’s got kind of a history of violence,’ the caller said, adding that the cat continued to charge whenever the family tried to open the bedroom door.
“When officers arrived on the scene, the cat ‘attempted to flee custody by running into the kitchen. Police used a dog snare to trap Lux in a crate.”
According to KPTV, “As of last week the Portland family is still deciding whether to keep Lux, who has been acting normal since the incident.”
“Normal” (for a cat) was not defined.
But clearly Lux is the tail wagging the dog for this family.
The owners of Lux must have not have taught their unnamed dog — we’ll call him “FiFi” — to speak. Nonetheless, too embarrassed to comment even if he could speak, FiFi has apparently learned that failing to show Lux from the get-go who was top dog in this family relegated him to being little more than a pound puppy. FiFi now knows that if you lie down with dogs you arise with fleas.
Even if FiFi’s bark was worse than his bite, he could have worked like a dog and kept Lux at bay. Instead he failed caninehood everywhere for cowering in the bedroom with his owners instead of being the leader of the pack.
FiFi’s owners could have walked the dog and ensured FiFi was better suited to protect their family. They share the responsibility, then, for FiFi being just a straw dog. So when the family needed a junkyard dog, they got an underdog.
Since you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, FiFi probably deserves a one-way ticket to the dog pound. Along with Lux. And this shaggy dog story too.
Barry Fetzer is a columnist for the Havelock News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.