Guest post by Montague Calvert-Mitchell

Me and my roommate Larry at the beach.

Me and my roommate Larry at the beach.

Call me Monty.

As you can see, I am of the feline persuasion. I trust I need not add that I am handsome and highly discriminating.

I have been asked to guest-author this blog post because of my recent experience with a horde pack of four wild-ass nice dogs on Hatteras Island recently. True, I kept to my own bedroom/bathroom/office suite, which I generously shared with Larry and Mike. But I was not unaware of the tumult going on in the house.

This beast is Cody, aka Cody Bear. To look at him, you might think, “Sweet older dog.” People have been saying how loveable he is for sixteen years. IMG_2484But don’t let that doe-eyed golden retriever faux-innocence take you in. Cody is a thief and a liar. Should one leave an unprotected Oreo, say, on Bob’s stomach while he sleeps? Snap. Gone down Cody’s gullet. That dog treat intended for Harry? “I got it, I got it,” you see Cody thinking, and woof, it’s gone.

“I have to pee,” Cody indicates to the novice dog wranglers when his owners are out of the house. But once his leash is attached and he’s ridden down the elevator (oh, okay, he has arthritis), Cody dashes for any bit of carrion he can root up. This year, he sneaked half a dead snake into the house, clamped firmly in his jaws. I was highly disturbed in my post-nap grooming by the sound of people screaming and jumping onto chairs. Cody maintained his demeanor and his death-grip on the carcass until Bob thought to toss him a dog treat.

These are the kinds of canines I have been living with for two weeks. IMG_2412Max is the frat boy of the house, game for anything. He is generally admired for his jack-rabbit, hind-end-in-air form when playing in shallow water. Obviously, that activity interests me not at all. He is also reputed to be a good cuddler, but I ask you, wouldn’t you really rather sleep with a soft cat? Mmmmpppppuuuurrrrrrrrrr.

Harry’s the most demure of this bunch of goldens. He was a rescue dog, so they tell me, and had to learn about doors and cars. Harry has two modes of action: pacing and lying down.  He’s physically capable of sitting, but he won’t sit. IMG_0953I must admit I grudgingly admire a dog who understands that commands from humans are to be treated as light jazz – a little background music, perhaps, but nothing to unduly concern yourself with.

New this year in our beach house is Titus, said to be a German shepherd. He believes himself to be a guard dog, in that he sits at the glass front door and barks sharply at anyone within a 100-foot radius. Even at his youthful age, just over a year old, he has been indoctrinated to sit when told, “Titus, baby, sit.” Disgusting. Titus learned to swim this year, a skill entirely unnecessary in a well-regulated world such as I insist upon for myself.IMG_2268

There are, I understand, other genteel felines in the homes of a couple of people at the beach house. I’ve heard interesting reports of SammySosa, Possum, Leo, Boots, Moon and Tinker, but none of them seem inclined to summer on Hatteras. Perhaps they lack the savoir faire it takes to be a traveling cat.