I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): It Was A Dark And Stormy Night At BARC...

Because Hair Balls has been busy shopping for a decent Halloween costume this week, we needed help in writing about this latest batch of lovelies available for adoption at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. So we turned to members of our fantasy cricket league, which happens to include esteemed authors both living and deceased. These folks were only too happy to lend their unique gifts to the cause, and we just can't thank 'em enough!

 

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Photos by Robyn Arouty

Gumby (Raymond Carver) A1004092

This deaf dog, a ten-month-old pit mix, was a stray. He was picked up September 17. I had never been around a deaf dog before and didn't know what to think. I fixed myself a drink and sat down to watch some TV. "You better adopt him," my wife said. She really liked this deaf dog, my wife. This was a year ago. I didn't know what to tell her. She said this deaf dog was real sweet. I took another drink. "What does he drink," I asked my wife. "Real funny," she said. But I wasn't kidding. I was thinking of what it must be like to be deaf. It just made me want to drink more.

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Izzy (James Ellroy) A1005023

Izzy was out in back. Izzy was relaxing in the sun. What's up, Daddy-O? Stray pit. Year old. She was too cool for school. Cocaine white and leather brown. She had cute in spades. Brooks felt kicked in the gut. Brooks felt his breath go. Brooks felt like he was going to boo-hoo-hoo. Fucking dog. Snap out of it, Brooksy. Snap-snap. Brooks caught himself -- all stiff and starched. Bingo, baby. Open the car door, and Izzy's in like you-know. Fucking L.A.

 






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Maggie (Ernest J. Gaines) A1005596

Me and Snooks seen Maggie out by the pallets, and Snooks said she was the mos' sweetest dog in the parish. I asked Snooks what kind he thought she was, and Snooks said he wasn't the guessin' kind, but if he had to guess, he'd guess that, whatever she was, she got the German shepherd in her. We knew she was a year old, and her coat was light brown like Mama's biscuits, mixed with the blackest black, like that hat with the wide brim and the veil that Miss Jane always wear to church on Sunday.

 





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Star (Cormac McCarthy) A1005823

The rot woke in the morning and looked out on the horizon, at the sun that was breaking through like a boil, splintering dawn's ashy taurpulin into rivulets the color of blood and bile and nightmares. In ten months of life searching for An Owner, she was a tatterdemalion, crouching behind black basalt as the swelling, choking clouds of dust first approached, followed then by the screeching savages, spears glistening with the gizzards of the children they had skewered before the eyes of the mothers they ravaged with rancid appendage and the fathers they hacked with machete and bits of sharpened bone. Star wondered if she was destined to walk the road alone forever, or if she would wake one day and everything would be new again.

 

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Angel (Ernest Hemingway) A1000556

It was the fall, and the war was always there, and there was of course the rule that only certain people could adopt black cats that month. It was a rainy fall that fall, and there were a lot of cats there. There were cats whose owners had grown tired and given them up, like Angel. Angel was three months old then, and she had his photograph of that time in the box, when the war was there, but we did not go to it. There were the cages, and there was the grass beyond, and beyond that the city and Spain and the bulls. The cages were old and we slept. There were people who would come through and look and talk, and sometimes they talked of the war, and sometimes we would listen.

 



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Blacky (Charles Bukowski) A0991122

I was a black cat, and it was October, so I knew I wasn't going anywhere for a while. They had this rule where you had to get special permission to adopt a black cat in October because they were scared of Satanists. Since I knew I was probably going to be there for some time, I figured I'd get to know as many of the females as I could. I'd wake up, fix a drink, and try to find one who was my speed. There was this little tabby for a while -- at two months, half my age. She said she liked my poetry but after a while I didn't like her always coming over to my cage, so I gave her the boot, but in a kind way. She called me an asshole and I said no one ever accused me of being anything more. Then there was this siamese who was kind of exotic, but crazy in that siamese way, and we drank a lot and pretended to have fun, and then one day I snapped out of it and told her I wished I had a home. "YOU'RE A GODDAMN BLACK CAT!" she yelled. "YOU AREN'T GOING ANYWHERE!" I stumbled down the kennel aisle while she was still screaming.

 

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Smokey (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) A0999440

The scent of bitter almonds always reminded Smokey Alejandro Fernandez de la Pina of the time before BARC, when, as a stray much younger than his two years, he would forage for cassava and yams by the banks of the river, where the gypsy women boiled the eyes of lizards and burned almonds in hopes that the angels would smile upon the crops. One morning, when the honey sun was blazing a hazy amber, Smokey saw an angel, his wings frayed and his eyes sunken like death pressed them in with his bony fingers. He told Smokey Alehandro Fernandez de la Pina that he had been waiting one hundred years for God to fix his wings. "I've been waiting two years for an owner," Smokey said, approaching the forlorn and crumpled creature. "We will wait together."    

As usual, none of this could be done without the help of Robyn Arouty, who has been wonderful in giving us her time and mad photo skills. 


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