The Internet took notice recently of a "hero cat" that pounced on and drove off a dog that attacked a 4-year-old boy in Bakersfield. Sadly, the boy required 10 stitches to his leg.
Television networks around the globe showcased images of the large tabby mix being petted, scratched and generally coddled as a reward for his behavior. The cat was even invited to "throw out” the first pitch at a baseball game for the Bakersfield Blaze, a minor league club.
What happened on that suburban driveway was probably better explained by the psychological theory of "transferred aggression," but the Internet and the media went with the anthropomorphized "hero cat" instead.
Now comes the news that the dog, an 8-month-old Labrador-Chow mix, has been euthanized at the request of local authorities.
If I were a nicer person, which means not a cartoonist or not a cats rule/dogs drool person, I probably would have given a silent "huh" or "too bad" — because, truly, for the dog's owner, this really is awful — and scrolled to the next story.
Since those qualifiers don't apply to me, I came up with this cartoon instead.
There was something about the satisfied expression on Tara the Hero Cat's face that inspired this drawing. (Don't tell me cats don't smile; it's been proved that animals can and do.) She looked smug in that way that only cats can be. Is any animal more capable of expressing pure contentment?
So rather than revel in the maudlin reality, I went with the Tom and Jerry (I know, mice aren't dogs, but you get the idea) conceit of an eternal conflict between species. Could there be a starker example of pure victory than this one?
To dog lovers who will no doubt point out that (a) I am mean and (b) this is hardly the most important story in the world, I plead guilty. I toil in the service of that most wicked of all muses, Humor. Sometimes she demands a sacrifice in the form of discomfort and annoyance on the part of some people (dog people) so that the rest of us (cat people) may guffaw all the louder. I know, dogs are not evil. Not even the dog that bit that kid (though it's hard to argue such a violent creature should be allowed to roam freely through a neighborhood full of humans).
If anything, this is a comment on the pure id that is cat.
An approving comment.