Tuesday, November 12, 2013


We only work at the grooming shop three days a week now.  They are busy days, and long. I stay busy all morning offering assistance to the nervous clients, pet and human alike. Sometimes just positioning myself on the reception desk like a lawn statute distracts the customer from their worries. I can read their thoughts, “Oh the cat is calm, purring, and pretty, it must be okay.” You could call me a service cat. I work the morning crowd but by noon, my belly bulges with treats from the staff and Judy, the dogs are settled in, relaxed from their warm bath and waiting for pick up, so it is time for my siesta.

Because the time is hectic and full, the three days pass quickly. By the third day I am eager to work, but the hours are draining and I look forward to the next four days at home.

 My job at home is less taxing. As a service cat I keep a schedule. I remind Judy that sleeping in and playing “chase the feet under the covers” frees the creative juices for writing. Like most service animals my main job is distraction. My means of accomplishing that goal differs from the dog’s. I succeed through cuteness and demanding attention while a dog demonstrates love and caring. We both achieve the same result, I just avoid the groveling.

In fact I want to point out that a cat’s job as a companion is so often underrated by the public. Even Judy is writing a book on the merits of a service DOG. Folks don’t write famous speeches about their relationship with cats. It is not that I want publicity, but I would like my species given credit.
With that said, Judy read this famous speech to me the other day. I will post it here because I don’t hold grudges. Historians consider it one of the greatest speeches about a dog. Perhaps my peeps can send me some moving literature about cats. In the meantime I’ll admit this says it all about the dog.
George Graham Vest (1830-1904) served as U.S. Senator from Missouri from 1879 to 1903 and became one of the leading orators and debaters of his time. This delightful speech is from an earlier period in his life when he practiced law in a small Missouri town. It was given in court while representing a man who sued another for the killing of his dog. During the trial, Vest ignored the testimony, and when his turn came to present a summation to the jury, he made the following speech and won the case.
Gentlemen of the Jury: The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.
George Graham Vest - c. 1855


1 comment:

  1. Great speech! As I read it I was thinking if I could put "cat" in instead of "dog"....but a cat is independent and only does what he wants, when he wants it. Cats are great companions but you would have to exchange "man" for "Cat" at we are his companion and we must follow what he wants!