Pet Alley

The Chasm Between Us by Scott Quinn

Each night

My partner and I plop into bed,


Ready for comfort in each other’s arms.

Such a blissful notion,

And a naïve one,

For we are not alone.


There arises between us

A chasm

A breach

An interloping space

That cannot be broached,

At least not with any lasting effect.


It begins with a bounce,

Then a poke,

Then a demanding look

As the Fox Terrier

Reclaims his daytime territory

From misguided humans

Who mistakenly believe it to be their sleeping nest.

Inserting himself horizontally in the bed

So that minimal space remains for

Either human,

He then allows them,

With both insistence and feigned apathy,

The right to stroke his fur

As payment for squatting down for the night.


Soon he is joined by his nemesis,

The mistress of the night,

Whose wide whiskers

And pitch black fur

Portend of dark omens.

With her inboard motor

At full throttle

She treads with deliberate pace

Across each human,

Kneading all soft tissue with

Her Siamese technique.



The Fox Terrier begrudgingly

Allows her admittance

While forbidding the Airedale,

Three times his size

Yet with only one-third the temper,

From entering the entering room.

With teeth bared from a narrow snout,

His alien grimace and growl

(The likes of which have not been seen

Since Sigourney Weaver saved humanity in space)

Cause all critters to flee except for the black cat,

Whose path he dare not cross.


And so,

They lay between us.

Twenty-five pounds of snoring dog,

Miraculously claiming over half the bed,

Until, with no assistance from His Majesty,

Who lies rigid like a wheelbarrow full of bricks,

He is turned vertically for the night.

And two feet away,

Our masseur also settles in for the night.

Two balls of fur

Set aside their enmity for a few hours

To share the bed

Nuzzled up against their human companions.


And thus,

A chasm

Between my partner and me,

A space known as “Pet Alley”.



Each night,

A miracle of Biblical proportions occurs

As the fox and the feline lay down together.