Lessons from dogs and cats

I don’t know the source of this parody, but I’m posting it here for more than its humor. As a writer, I think it offers me lessons in the following:

1. use of voice to reflect character/personality/attitude

2. use of word choice as appropriate/believable for character

3. use of sentence structure and lengths to carry meaning and tone

4. use of meaning determine format/shape

Excerpts from a Dog’s Diary

6:00 am – At last! I Go Pee! My favorite thing!
8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am
– A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am
– A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30  am
– Got rubbed and petted! My favorite  thing!
12:00  pm
– Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00  pm
– Played in the yard! My favorite  thing!
3:00  pm
– Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00  pm
– Milk bones! My favorite thing!
6:00  pm
– They’re home! My favorite thing!
7:00  pm
– Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00  pm
– Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite  thing!
11:00  pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite  thing!

Excerpts from a Cat¹s Diary
              Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
        Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a  “good little hunter” I am.
        There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of  “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.
                Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs. I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously an idiot. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now…


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