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How to Get Rid of a Rival

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A newly-married man really hated his wife's new cat. She spent so much time petting it, and grooming it, and feeding it. She even talked to it. After weeks of grueling competition for her affection, he was contemplating drastic measures. He considered taking it to the animal shelter, but knew that was the first place she'd check, if it went missing. He couldn't bring himself to kill it. Finally, he decided on a plan to just get rid of it.

That night, after his wife fell asleep, he reached into the spot between them in the bed and gingerly detached the cat's claws from the sheets. With a wary eye on his wife, he quickly cocooned the cat in a beach towel so it couldn't scratch him or begin yowling. He then sneaked out of the house, put the towel-wrapped cat into the trunk of the car, and drove twenty blocks from home.

Making sure no one was watching, he opened the trunk, unwrapped the cat, guiltily patted it on the head and put it down on a stranger's lawn. It just sat there, staring at him, as he climbed back in the car and sped away. When he got back home, he was stunned. The cat was already there in the driveway, calmly licking his paw, as if nothing had happened.

The next night, the man tried again. Strangely, the cat didn't even try to get away when he snatched him up and wrapped him, just as he had the night before. This time, he drove twenty miles from home. He carried the cat far into the trees in an undeveloped area, dropped it roughly to the ground, and high-tailed it back to the car as fast as he could run, without looking back.

This time, he pulled in his driveway, and the cat wasn't there. He still looked around suspiciously, half-expecting to see the cat slink out of the shadows. To his relief, neither tail nor whisker was seen of it, and he began grinning, anticipating that he'd no longer have to compete for his wife's attention.

After all his activity, he thought he'd stop in the kitchen for a celebratory snack. He made himself a sandwich, piled high with pastrami, salami, ham, and provolone, with slices of dill pickle and savory mustard. But, just as he raised the sandwich to take a bite, he heard scratching at the back door. He slowly pushed the door open, and sure enough, the cat was sitting there at the bottom of the steps, gazing up at him with a guileless expression. The cat leisurely climbed the steps, walked into the house, and slipped right back into bed, next to the man's wife.

The third day, the man was preoccupied with the mystery of how the cat could move so quickly to return home. He began to feel that this was more than just a contest for his wife's affection. He even wondered if there was something supernatural at work, but he shook that feeling off. It was impossible, this was just an ordinary tan and black tabby cat.

That night, despite his nervousness, he repeated all his previous actions uneventfully, and this time he drove sixty miles into the country, where houses became few and far between. He turned off the highway, and crept up and down deserted back roads to where there were no longer any street lights. Watching carefully for rocks, he turned on to a farm road bordered by the empty fields of an abandoned homestead, and stopped the car.

Fearfully holding the cat out at arm's length, he walked far down a darkened corn row, in a field full of broken and tumbled-down dried stalks. He felt a chill as he set the bundled cat on the ground, and the hairs on his neck stood on end. His heart was pounding as he quickly turned his back on the cat, raced back to the car, leaped in, and locked all the doors. His high-beams cast menacing shadows everywhere as he moved gingerly over bumps and ruts in the overgrown farm road, and began retracing his path back to the road.

The sun was rising when his wife got the phone call. She had already called all the hospitals and even the police, but the voice coming from the receiver was her husband's.

“Wherever did you go?” she asked him, shrilly. “I've been worried sick!”

"I'm so sorry,” he said. “I'll explain later. Listen, honey, this may sound strange, but is the cat there?"

"Why, yes, of course he is," she said. "I let him in a couple of hours ago. That's how I found out you weren't here in bed with us."

Her husband paused for a few moments and then asked, "Would you please put the cat on the line?"

"What? Why?" asked his wife.

"Why? Because I'm lost, and I need some directions home.”

She still visits him once a week at the state hospital. The cat now sleeps comfortably on his pillow.

Re-told from a joke by Bob Phillips, from The Awesome Book of Cat Humor