Recently, feeling uninspired about what to write here, I asked my friend Siobhan to give me writing assignments. It seemed a simple enough request, but Siobhan surprised me by coming back with demonically difficult assignments. What follows is to the story I wrote for the assignment “Tell me about the time you entered a cat in the Westminster Dog Show.”
Dear Ms. Lyons,
Again, to be clear, the Westminster Dog Show is a competition for dogs. Dressing up your cat to resemble a dog does not make him a dog; beneath the dog suit he remains a cat. Westminster has no category for cats, only dogs. Accordingly, all of our judges are experts in one or more dog breeds. None of them, to my knowledge, are experts in cat breeds. Thus we are not qualified to judge your cat in the same sense and to the same degree as we are qualified to judge dogs.
This is my 12th letter to you. I believe I had been more than patient and understanding in responding to your repeated requests to enter your cat in a dog competition. I am not a doctor but over time I have come to have grave concerns about your sanity. Do you even know the difference between a dog and a cat? If shown a photo of five dogs and one cat, would you be able to identify the cat? I’ll give you a clue: the cat is the one who doesn’t look like a dog. See, it’s not that tricky!
On a related matter: I want you to know that I received the letter you sent that was supposedly written by your cat. I say “supposedly” because cats cannot write, in part because they do not, and cannot, know any human languages, and in part because they cannot grasp a writing implement such as a pen or pencil. I grant that the paw prints at the bottom of the letter were, as you noted, “super adorables”; however, again, because of certain physical limitations, it is not possible for your cat to have made them. Instead I believe that you made them yourself by dipping your cat’s paws into black ink and pressing your cat’s dripping paws onto the paper where a signature would go. Thus I have rejected your cat’s request to be entered into the Westminster Dog Show, since your cat, being a cat, could not have made it.
Please leave me alone now, okay? I am just a person doing his job and you are a total lunatic.
Robert H. Sly
Lead Judge, Westminster Dog Show