My Dog is a Cat by Xavier Garcia

My dog is a cat.

I can’t explain it further than this. I can’t make this make any more sense. When I look at my dog – who should be a miniature pinscher named Tails – I do not see a dog. I do not see a miniature pinscher named Tails. I see a cat. I don’t know its breed. I don’t know cat breeds. And I don’t know its name. Maybe its name is Tails.

Out of a growing sense of nervousness, I go to take a drag of my cigarette and a sip from my glass of whiskey at the same time like I’m Kramer from Seinfeld. But I’m not Kramer from Seinfeld. I am me. There’s at least that. I am not Kramer from Seinfeld, I am me. But that is not my dog. That thing looking up at me is not a miniature pinscher named Tails. It is a cat.

The nicotine and the whiskey help calm my nerves, but it doesn’t help me make sense of this. That thing is still looking up at me with its classic cat eyes: iris slits down the middle. I look back at it. At its classic cat paws, its classic cat ears, its classic cat tail and classic cat body. This is a classic cat. But where is Tails? 

Its eyes follow me as I walk to the little bar I have in my kitchen. I wish it wouldn’t. I wish it would stop pretending to be a miniature pinscher named Tails and just leave. I refill my glass and only when I sip from it does something strike me as odd. The bottle of whiskey from which I refilled my glass, it is not my bottle of whiskey.

I take another sip from it, but the whiskey within the glass is not my whiskey. It came from a bottle that is not my bottle. The whiskey is delicious. It really fucking is. But this does not make sense. I hate this brand. I do not buy this brand. I do not drink this fucking brand. I throw the glass against the wall in anger, glass and whiskey spilling on the floor; whiskey that is not my whiskey.

“Meow,” barks the cat. 

A bark that should be the bark of Tails that I know so well, but it is not Tails’s bark. It is not a bark at all. It is a meow. That thing is a not a dog. It is a cat. And it is not barking at me, it is meowing. I turn to it and stare into its classic cat eyes. It does not move. But I can see its catness rippling underneath the dog flesh, under dogness. It does not fool me. It stares back into my eyes, daring me to take another step, cat drool dribbling from out its mouth. It wants to scare me. It wants me to know it means me harm. 

I cannot take it any longer. I’m going to bed. Maybe I got too drunk. Maybe I’m having a kind of episode. Maybe I just need to sleep and then when I wake up tomorrow the cat will be gone and I’ll be in my own apartment again with my bottle of whiskey and my miniature pinscher named Tails. 

And then, before I enter my bedroom, I see it; my reflection in the mirror. The face looking back at me is not my face. Those eyes are not my eyes, that nose is not my nose, and that mouth is not my mouth. The face looking back at me is not my face.

“Meow,” barks the cat.

I turn around.

“Fuck you!” I yell at it.

“Meow,” barks the cat.

“Fuck you!” I yell again. 

And then I hear giggling coming from my bedroom and I freeze.

“Stop yelling at the dog and come to bed, babe.”

I feel nauseous again. The voice is sweet and playful. It sounds like it should be the voice of my girlfriend. But it is not. My girlfriend is visiting her parents in Montreal. She won’t be back for another week. And that voice, that voice that should be hers, is not a voice at all – it is a meow. 

I gag.

The hallway reeks of cat.

“Meow,” barks the cat behind me.

“Babe, come to bed!” croons the cat inside my bedroom. 

I open the door, slowly, furtively, and I realize my hand is shaking uncontrollably. I am choking on fear and when I see what’s sprawled nude on top my bed, I nearly throw up then and there because the nude thing on my bed is not my girlfriend at all. It is a massive cat inside of Amy’s flesh; it is wearing Amy’s skin tight around itself. But I can see the catness writhing beneath Amy’s body, beneath the Amyness. I can see the Amy skin rippling like worms in meat. And I know what’s below the Amy skin. It cannot hide the catness beneath the Amyness.

“Who are you?” I ask.

“Amy,” giggles the cat in front of me.

“Meow,” barks the cat behind me.

It tries to look seductive for me. Laying in my bed, fully nude, like its posing for a painting. But I can see the catness roiling beneath her breasts, beneath her tummy. I can see the catness in her eyes. They stare into my own, daring me to contradict her on her Amyness, cat drool dribbling from out her mouth. It wants to scare me. It wants me to know it means me harm. I fucking hate it. I hate the both of them. The cat behind me and the cat on top my bed.

“Meow,” I say.

“You’re silly,” she smiles.

And I crawl into bed. 

This is how I’ll play it until I figure this thing out. For now, I will not be me. For now, I will be a cat. 


Xavier Garcia is a writer/editor from Toronto, Canada. His short fiction work has appeared in magazines and anthologies published by Fugitives & FuturistsCold SignalPlanet BizarroBlack Hare Press, Apocalypse Confidential, and Filthy Loot. You can find him walking the nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh, or at