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by Vicky Chapman, NSW, Australia


Compared to Fluffy, Shmoggleberry is a genius. Well, compared to Fluffy, just about everyone is a genius, but thats beside the point. Shmoggleberry may not be the brightest beast on earth, but he was built with all the necessary cunning and guile a creature needs to be a cat, which means he can run rings around Fluffy, mentally as well as physically.

Shmogg likes to recline upon the lounge, enjoying the comfort that only expensive velure decorated tastefully with cat drool can provide. From his vantage point, he can take in the vista of the lounge room, most of the way up to the hall, and can see his slaves wandering in and out of the kitchen, acting on his merest whim (or so he thinks). He would be in kitty nirvana, soaking up the rays, resting his handsome body, if it wasn't for that darn dog.

The Darn Dog in question, is of course, Fluffy. Fluffy has learnt just one thing in her time with us: it is easier to climb up to the cat if one goes up the front way on a chair. It took a while to figure it, but now she knows she can bound up upon the seat and sniff her potential best buddy with ease - much easier than attempting the almost vertical back of the chair. Of course it will take us even longer to train her to stay off the furniture now that she's finally figured it out, but we are trying (so's she - boom boom!). Shmogg of course is Not Amused at the vulgar creature trying to sniff His Royal Personage and tries to get away by jumping over to the head rest of the other armchair. If Fluffy continues by clambering awkwardly over to the other chair, Shmogg jumps down from his preferred Throne and tries to get away. Thus begins the game of chasey.

Having a fairly small loungeroom, the two armchairs are pushed close together. The armrests touch, but there is a gap below the armrests. The gap is much wider at the back of the chairs, and is fairly small at the front as both chairs are slightly wedge shaped. When Fluffy was smaller, both she and Shmogg could fit through the front gap, but Fluffy's almost a full grown dog now and could not possibly squeeze herself through.

Shmogg is smart, Shmogg is cunning. Shmogg knows all about revenge. Shmogg has been plotting and scheming, and has hatched an ingenious plan.

The next time Fluffy tried to sniff Shmogg's butt, it all seemed pretty normal. He hissed a bit, and moved reluctantly over to his second-favourite perch (you can tell which is his favourite one - its covered in kitty drool and cat fur, and naturally its my seat) to wait for the trap to spring. He turned toward Fluffy, goading him on with a hisspit and a carefully aimed whop. Fluffy moved closer still, tail going nineteen-to-the-dozen with the anticipation of the chasey. Shmogg leapt with utmost dignity from the back of the chair to the floor, and bolted anti-clockwise around the chairs. Fluffy, realising quite slowly that Chasey had indeed started, did a quick double-take for the cat and started chasing, also (thankfully) counterclockwise. Shmogg went around, once, twice, three times, Fluffy close on his heels, and gaining! Once more they both dashed around the chairs, Shmogg forever being mindful of his Dignity, Fluffy not giving a hoot about anything else except for the joy of the chase.

Shmogg made an impossible, g-force defying turn that only cats can make, and flew into the back part of The Gap Between The Chairs, possibly slowing slightly to make absolutely sure that Fluffy would follow without a second thought (probably without a first thought, too). Boof! Cat squeezes out of the much smaller gap at the front of the chairs. Fluffy, due to the huge amount of momentum she had built up, has jammed herself well and truly between the chairs, head first. She tries to wiggle out, but she has jammed herself in there good and proper. "Arp!" she cried, plaintively, and began to backpedal wildly, if fruitlessly.

Oh, the smugness. Perfect score for planning and execution, a brilliant plot, bow to the master of cunning. After jamming poor Fluffy into the Gap Between the Chairs, Shmogg did one more lap around the chairs. Mind you, he took his time, relishing in the beauty of a plot flawlessly executed. He sauntered up to the front of the chairs, reached in casually, and gave the hapless dog another whop for pure stupidity. With even more suave than James Bond, he, as cool as ice, casually jumped up on the armrests (scaring Fluffy yet again by pushing them onto her back), climbed to his Preferred Place of Snoozing and began to wash like he was king of the world.

We did extract Fluffy from her prison...eventually...when we could breathe again from the hysterical laughter.

For planning and execution, I give The Master a bonus 10 points.

Cat: 15, Humans: 0, Dog: negative several thousand


Editor's note:

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