just rearranging my port - a funny sci-fi short story about a genetically engineered pet
|The Cog - As described by a Victim
I am sure it comes as no surprise that I’m leaving you. I will fight for nothing. You can keep it all: the house, the car, the property, the kids and most importantly, your precious GEFACAQUA! Your sweet little Genetically Engineered Feline And Canine Attributed Quadruped has destroyed our ten year old marriage in six short months. That is something even your witch of a mother couldn’t accomplish. I can say that now. Witch! Witch! Witch! I think your mother’s a witch and you should hire her at your damned DNA/Cloning Company, where she can fully utilize her talents mating with some sleazy chimpanzee.
But I digress. Attached you will find the journal you asked me to keep when you first brought that beast home. It explains, better than any words I could write now, the reasons for my departure. May you choke on it!
Your soon to be ex-wife,
June 15, 2010
Tom has asked me to keep a journal on this latest experiment, which he’s decided to bring home as a pet for Tommy and Trisha. They adore the fist-sized ball of black and orange striped fur that they’ve already named ‘Cog.’ I like the name. It’s much easier to pronounce than GEFACAQUA and more appropriate for this tiny cat/dog combo Tom’s company has developed.
Cog’s a male, I believe, and has the most gorgeous hazel and brown Siamese eyes peeking out from beneath heavy black lashes. He’s licking Trisha’s nose right now, while stroking her face with what looks to me to be an awfully large paw for such a tiny creature. Note to self: must pick up some litter and a litter box, bowls and food. – Check with Tom on what Cog should be eating.
I have just returned from the Pediatrician’s office. Trisha has cat scratch fever and the rash on Tommy’s belly may well be an accumulation of flea bites. I got medication for both. I also purchased flee shampoo and a medium sized flea collar, as Cog is growing awfully fast and eating more like a horse than either a cat or dog. Since neither child is willing to quit cuddling this affectionate creature, I’ll just have to keep him germ and bug-free.
I’ve already trashed the litter box. Cog is all dog in that department. He hasn’t a clue what a litter box is supposed to be used for and decided it was a place for burying things, like Tommy's retainer. Those blue pebbles are murder on bare feet so Cog's got me to wearing slippers again. Even with the litter box disposed of, they are still a necessity as there are puddles and piles of you-know-what everywhere.
Cog may be dog-like when it comes to eating and licking but he’s all cat when it comes to water. I’m sporting claw marks all over my body, acquired during my attempt at bathing him yesterday. I ended up taking him to a shop where they sedated and restrained him during the cleaning and debugging process. Bless their hearts, they barely managed to get him bathed and sprayed before the tranquilizer wore off. I didn’t have the heart to ask them to clip his nails.
I see now that I should have had those folks at the shop re-administer the sedation and amputate all four of Cog’s paws while they were at it. There isn’t a curtain, bed skirt, tablecloth or low-hanging bathrobe in this house that isn’t shredded! Tom assures me that his company will replace all these items, just as soon as Cog outgrows this phase. My question is, “Do we know for certain that this is a phase, as opposed to a permanent state of existence?”
Independence Day! Cog got into the spirit of things after discovering a patch of catnip in the yard. I knew a junkie on acid who acted like that once. When the neighbors began shooting off fireworks, poor Cog made a rapid transition from euphoria to shear terror. Bulging eyes, every hair standing on end, claws sticking out a mile - he made quite an impression on the neighbors. It took all four of us to get the animal wrapped up in an old blanket and dragged into the house. Every ounce of his now twenty pounds was fighting against us.
Poor baby, he was so frightened he hid under the bed for the rest of the day. It was easy to see him there, through the shreds of the bedskirt.
Today we had a pleasant visit from Deacon Ashaerd. Well, maybe pleasant isn’t exactly the word to describe it. Cog greeted the Deacon by shoving his snout into a rather delicate area. The churchman graciously ignored Cog’s faux pas but it proved difficult to converse over the sound of our pet cleaning himself. It was a short visit - the Deacon had to rush off to a sick churchmember that he'd forgotten all about. I'm not sure he even got to tell me what he'd come for in the first place.
I feel we should correct Cog's behavior problem before it gets entirely out of hand. Tonight I made Tom take our hybrid to dog obedience class at the Activity Center. The two returned in less than an hour. It seems they were expelled from the program for reasons Tom refuses to divulge.
Cog weighs thirty pounds now. Will he ever stop growing? To add insult to injury, he is demonstrating a cat-like demeanor, jumping up to any surface he cares to stroll upon. Should a book, cup or vase obstruct his path he simply bats it aside. I called Tom at work and he has promised to bring home a spray that is guaranteed to deter Cog from this particular habit.
Tommy and Trisha thought the whole thing was funny until he got onto their shelves of toys. Who’s laughing now, kiddies?
That damned spray doesn’t work! Tom took this revelation in his usual calm, analytical manner until he realized that the spray isn’t deterring Cog from planting himself, East to West, between us on our bed. Suddenly my spouse faced an infringement that he could not tolerate. He attempted to drag the beast down on to the floor. Cog responded by bearing both fangs and claws as he let forth a low feral growl that sounded like something out of a werewolf movie. Needless to say, the animal is still sleeping on our bed.
Today I nearly spanked Trisha for playing with her daddy’s treasured golf balls. Fortunately, before I acted I was drawn to the kitchen by a gasping, choking sound. It was Cog. After several minutes of hideous facial expressions he spewed forth a black and orange sphere identical to the one my daughter was playing with. Gingerly collecting hairballs, I moved from room to room in a life-sized game of follow the dots. I know they make pills for this sort of problem. The question is: “what dose?” Half a bottle perhaps, but I’m only guessing, since I know nothing about the metabolism of a feline/canine quadruped.
I am going to have to insist that Tom take Cog back to the laboratory until someone can treat this pet for his bipolar personality. While, at one moment the creature will engage in an endearing, tail-wagging, enthusiastic greeting, the next moment he withdraws into an attitude of aloof disdain. Sixty pounds of aloof disdain staring down at you from the top of the refrigerator can be a little unnerving. These sullen periods are almost frightening.
I do realize I have been neglectful in my record keeping. My hospitalization seemed even longer than it actually was. Back in September our pet went through a truly affectionate stage. When Cog started rubbing against my legs, I happened to be standing at the top of the stairs… I’m feeling much better now, and will be off my crutches in time for Thanksgiving.
Happy Day After Thanksgiving! We all feasted yesterday – and I do mean ALL. While the family chatted amiably over heavily laden plates in the dining room, Cog stripped every remaining morsel of food from the kitchen table and stove top. I suppose, at seventy pounds, his appetite is greater than we allowed for when filling his bowl.
It’s time to find a Santa hat for Cog. He’s in a gift-giving mode. I met him coming to the front door dragging the last of four presents he’d assembled on the porch. One for each of us, isn’t that too sweet? I believe this last one may be a hawk or perhaps a small vulture. I pray it wasn't a member of some endangered species. Two of the other sets of remains are definitely medium sized rodents but the third is a puzzlement.
Before I came inside I heard a neighbor out calling for her kitty to come home. I would have offered to help her search, but none of our neighbors speak to me anymore.
Today I asked Tom to take Cog back to the lab, permanently. I just can’t cope with it all. The mangled furniture, the obscene noises, the never knowing from one minute to the next who will be banging on the door to complain about something Cog’s done – like burying their bushes in doo-doo. The kids threw a fit. They’ve grown to love this creature. “He’s one of the family,” they cried. Their eyes turned to narrow slits and their mouths hardened into stiff, straight lines as they glared at me. My children now hate me.
Tom says we should give ourselves more time to adjust. He’s not home all day, so it’s easy for him to say.
I can’t stop gagging and vomiting. It is the most horrendous, nauseating, offensive stench I have ever encountered. It is everywhere. My home, my clothing, my children – nothing has been spared. This hundred pounds of feral/canine nightmare has sprayed his manhood over every square millimeter. I cannot, I WILL NOT take another minute of this existence. I am leaving.
In an effort to salvage his marriage, Tom did return Cog to the company laboratory. The one hundred and fifty pound, Halloween striped animal was eventually adopted by a co-worker who, being a bachelor as well as an avid hunter, became deeply attached to Cog. They share a cabin out in the woods and find they have little difficulty keeping trespassers off the property.
Tom’s wife did return after the house was fumigated and most of its contents replaced. The family is currently engaged in a long term therapy program.