Vegan Dog and Stoned Cat
by Jerry Guarino
Hanging out near a pond in the Pacific Northwest, Marley and Jeri were commiserating about how their life has changed, and not for the better. While their owners were living the progressive lifestyle, the pets were suffering. Marley’s owners were vegan and Jeri’s owners were stoners.
“I don’t know Marley. At least you can get out of the house when you want. I’m stuck inside most of the day while my owners fill the air with pot smoke. I can only sneak out when someone opens the door.”
“Jeri, at least you don’t have to eat it. My owners think that just because they’re vegan, that I should be one too. Have you ever had vegan food? It’s terrible. Where’s the beef?”
“Have you tried complaining?”
“Jeri, I’ve tried everything. I leave notes by my dog bowl. I scowl at them when they ask if I’m hungry. I push the food bowl away, even tip it over. All they do is give me more.”
“You leave notes?”
“Yes, here, I brought one.”
Needless to say, Marley’s penmanship left a lot to be desired.
“What language is this?”
“It looks like chicken scratch. And I know; I have a friend who’s a chicken.”
“But you get meat in your meals, right?”
“When they remember to feed me. Stoners aren’t the most responsible people. Sometimes it’s days between feedings and don’t get me started about cleaning my litter box.”
“Jeri, there ought to be a law.”
“There is a law, they made it legal.”
“We need a plan Jeri.”
“I’m too wasted to think straight Marley. What do you think?”
“The grandparents are visiting this week. One of them uses an oxygen device. Maybe I could sneak it out for you.”
“Wonderful! And maybe I could sneak out some of my cat food, tuna and beef. Would you like that?”
“Oh, I’d kill for some real food. Believe me, I’ve been chasing birds and squirrels every time I get out. I’m just too weak to catch them on this vegetable diet.”
Marley and Jeri met the next day by the pond. Jeri sucked on the oxygen tube and Marley munched on Jeri’s cat food. Suddenly, a duck fell out of the sky and landed in the pond next to them. Marley rescued him.
“I was eating some seeds and bread and when I took off, I felt faint. I was lucky not to land on the road.”
Jeri cried and confessed. “I’m sorry. My owner threw out some pot brownies.”
Marley nudged the cat food over to the duck. “Here, have some tuna.”
Jerry Guarino is an author and screenwriter. His nearly 100 short stories have been published by magazines in the United States, Canada, Australia and Great Britain. He has published one novel, The Da Vinci Diamond, a detective story. He is an editor for Flash Fiction Magazine.
Artwork by Mark Dwyer.