The Tale of El Guapo

Previous|Menu|Next

Part 8

The Cat vs. El Guapo vs. The Rope

The morning sun shines warmly as I recline against my fencepost. Earlier, I watched the little girl march indignantly from her house to the curb, wait impatiently for her school bus, and depart, without so much as a cursory glance in my direction. Sometimes life is just too confusing for El Guapo. Everyone is mad at me, and I have no idea why.

Last night, we were watching some funny dogs and a stupid goat on the TV when the whole house inexplicably erupted into an astonishing rage: all directed toward me. What did I ever do? I’ve been with this family for nearly three full weeks, and a day hasn’t yet passed that someone hasn’t been angry at me.

So here I am again, tied to the fencepost, and bored almost to tears. The cool north wind has picked up again this morning, causing my nose, mouth, and eyes to occasionally suffer the abuse of gritty West Texas sand.

No matter what time of year it is, around here tumbleweeds are always in season. They’re fun to watch, and I want to chase every one that blows by. They’re not much fun to catch though. They leave too many little prickly things in my mouth. No matter how much I flap my tongue in and out, I just can’t get rid of them. It must look like I’m eating peanut butter.

I can’t chase the tumbleweeds because I’m tied to the post. I can’t play with any of my favorite toys because they’re all in the house. I can’t eat anything because they didn’t leave me any food. They provided a bowl full of water, but I’ve already had my fill. The only thing for me to do is to chew on the rope—pretty much the same thing I do everyday.

The rope is firmly attached to the collar around my neck. Actually, I wear two collars: a stout one for the rope, and a narrow, handsome collar that came from the dog farm where I was born. It carries a single black and gold medallion that simply says “El Guapo.”

One of these days, I’m going to finally break that rope. Then I’ll be free to go in and out of the house whenever I want; or I can hop on that bus with the little girl and ride to school. I’ll even be able to roam the countryside again. And the first thing I’ll do is find my friend Maggy.

But wait...I smell cat. Oh, no! Here comes that stupid orange tabby, strolling across the yard, directly toward me.

I hate cats. They can’t utter a single intelligible word that a dog can understand. I can’t imagine why this mute cat thinks it’s his duty to stand watch over me, mindlessly staring right through me.

As usual, he parks himself on his haunches just a few feet out of my reach. He sits there gaping, squinting with those empty eyes.

I’m all too familiar with his routine. In a few minutes he’ll suddenly blink and look around, wearing his “How’d I get here?” expression. Then it’s time to moisten his paws for a prolonged round of obsessive-compulsive ear washing.

He’s gaping—and I hate it. Enough! I am going to end this once and for all. Today is the day the rope will break. And rope or no rope, I am going to get that cat.

I backup as far as I can for a running start, and with a terrific burst of speed, I rush the cat. (It’s important that I do this just right.) At the last moment I leap mightily into the air, so that the full momentum of my weight will snap the weakened rope, and when its grip is broken, I will land squarely on the cat.

But the mighty rope doesn’t break, and it is my head that is snapped painfully backward, while the rest of my body continues to swing forward in an arc, so that I’m stabbing at the cat with my tail instead of my teeth.

But amazingly I soar past the cat and tumble roughly across the ground, finally coming to rest several paces beyond my antagonist. After a moment I sit up; my head is in a daze, and my ears hurt as if they’ve been mangled.

When my eyes refocus, I see the rope still attached to the fencepost, and the stout collar still attached to rope; but that collar is very empty of El Guapo. Only then do I notice the stupid cat. He’s wearing an oafish “What just happened?” expression.

I give him my best “bad to the bone” glare, then snarl out, “Here, let me show you!” and lunge for him. However, he’s not as slow moving as he is slow-witted, and before I can latch onto him, he’s perched safely out of reach atop the fencepost.

That’s okay; the morning is young, I have my water, and I can wait here all day: I’ve had plenty of practice.

—El Guapo (rabid by choice)
(via ghost writer)

To Top

 Home 
 Pictures 
 Tale of El Guapo 
 Googled 
 Sign Guestbook 
 View Guestbook 
 To Top