Personal Space: Dog Vs. Cat by Chris Gall
ONE DAY MR. BUTTON WENT TO THE ANIMAL SHELTER TO PICK OUT A FRIENDLY-LOOKING DOG.
ACROSS TOWN, ON THE SAME DAY, MRS. BUTTON WENT TO A PET STORE AND BOUGHT A SMART-LOOKING CAT.
HOWEVER, THE BUTTONS HAD ONLY ONE ROOM FOR THEIR PETS.
Obviously, Cat and Dog are going to be resistant roommates. But both can see that they are better off at the Buttons than in their previous housing arrangements, so they agree to bury the traditional dog vs. cat hatchet, shake paws, and try to make the best of it.
But soon they realize that their personal habits are not a good fit. Dog litters his side of their room with sports toys, cast-off dog bone boxes, spends a lot of time in his recliner watching the game on the tube. Cat is a persnickety housekeeper, with a place for everything, and everything in its place, especially her prized books on their proper shelves. Dog's predilection for sniffing everything constantly drives Cat up her tree, so to speak, while Cat's fondness for clawing anything that moved made it hard for Dog even to wag his tail!
AND THEN THERE WAS THE LITTER BOX ISSUE.
"CAN'T YOU GO OUTSIDE LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE?" SAID DOG.
"I HAVE INDOOR PRIVILEGES," SAID CAT, STANDING RESOLUTELY IN HER LITTER PAN.
The roommate war escalates. Cat fills Dog's dish with hacked-up hairballs. Dog ends one of Cat's frequent naps with a dog dish full of cold water. They try get each other in trouble with the Buttons--Cat uses a high-frequency dog whistle to make Dog howl in the middle of the night, and Dog sprinkles catnip all over the living room to trigger Cat into a upholstery-ripping frenzy.
The Buttons are at wits' end, and Dog and Cat seem to be at a balance-of-power stalemate.
Finally, they decide to wall off their sections of their room and ignore each other totally. Cat uses her bookshelves to delimit their space, and Dog piles on helmets, hockey sticks and tennis rackets so that they cannot even see each other.
Peace reigns for the odd couple roommates until... both of them discover that isolation is lonely and boring.
A heartwarming reconciliation follows, and it looks like Dog and Cat have an idyllic life ahead of them.
And then....one day the two pacified roommates hear an unpleasant sound outside the door of their room. Waaawwwhhhh! Could Mr. and Mrs. Button have come up with another pet to share their quarters? Horrors!
THEN MR. AND MRS. BUTTON BROUGHT IN THE CAGE.
THE CREATURE NEVER SEEMED TO STOP SCREECHING....
AND IT CERTAINLY COULDN'T USE A LITTER BOX. (OOOH--THE SMELL!)
If Cat and Dog thought rooming with each other was a challenge, sharing their crib with the Button's new baby and his crib is something else, in Chris Gall's hilarious new Dog vs. Cat (Little, Brown, 2014). Gall's comic, color-filled illustrations add much in the way of visual humor to his dead pan narrative delivery throughout, and readers will pore over each detail on his bright double-page spreads. Gall's foreshadowed final sight gag on the last page will leave 'em laughing in the ironic tradition of the best picture book humor.