Garcia: Sharing a ‘tail’ about compromising

By Thomas Garcia

Staff Columnist

If it is on the coffee table, then it is communal property and therefore is up for grabs when you leave the room.

At least that is the logic that my cat Brownie has been living by for the past few weeks.

I figured it’s a good time to update you all about the continuing exploits of “dos gatos trabesos” Toby and Brownie.

In the beginning, the two cats used to listen to me, somewhat, when I would say, “No, get down from there; don’t climb that, or get your nose out of my food!”

These days the boys seem bent on testing my limits in just about everything they do, including the removal of food from the coffee table.

It first happened two months ago, I ran out of hot sauce while eating a burrito and placed it on the coffee table. When I returned from the kitchen, Brownie and Toby were chowing down the burrito that somehow rolled off my plate and fell to the ground.

I’ll admit I was mad, but moreover, I was intrigued as to how the burrito had fallen to the floor. I left it on my plate in the middle of the table so an accident bump was out of the question.

A few days later, I was at home for my lunch break and sat an open bag of chips on the coffee table while I made a sandwich. While applying the mayo, I heard what sounded like the bag of chips being moved around.

I stepped into the living room and — lo and behold! — there was Brownie perched against the coffee table, stretched across it with the bag of chips clenched in his teeth.

However, when Brownie saw me he did not run. Instead he just kept eye contact. It was almost like Brownie was letting me know my threats of sending him to the pound were as empty as the bag of chips would have been if I had walked in two minutes later.

Now as this was happening, I glanced back into the kitchen and saw that Toby was about to jump on top of the counter where my now defenseless sandwich lay.

I reached atop the fridge, grabbed the squirt bottle, and both Toby and Brownie got sprayed.

Of course both cats were mad, as they never feel anything they do warrants the spraying of the squirt bottle. To be honest I felt bad about spraying them later that night.

So, in the spirit of cooperation, the boys and I came to a compromise.

I leave napkins on the coffee table with cat treats on top of them so when they pull them down they feel like they are getting away with stealing. In return they eat the treats and hopefully leave my sandwich or food alone.

It might not seem like much of compromise but it’s actually a win-win situation.

The cats get treats, I get to eat my food and have a few laughs watching Brownie and Toby trying to be sneaky as they pull down the napkins.

Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at

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