For years, biologist Dr. Jorge Martinez studied the curious mesmerizing effect of cats and dogs. He wondered at the source of the curiously strong inter-species bond between Humans and their pets. Ever wondered at how a dog can gaze up at you and turn you to mush? Martinez did. It became an obsession for him. Martinez’ fellow scientist, Raj Bharadvaj once noted, “He’s only studying this to figure out how his dog always gets his way. When his dog, Gruber begs for treats, Jorge just can’t resist him. That dog looks like a balloon.” Hoping to save his own pet from morbid obesity, and perhaps save money on bacon treats, Martinez researched the hypnotizing talent of cats and dogs.
Recently, Momus News received a hot tip that Martinez had worked out the secret. He had emailed Bharadvaj and wrote:
The answer is deceptively simple yet complex in it’s execution. I know other researchers have looked into this before, and found nothing. It’s easy to overlook. Then again, I note most of the researchers were pet owners. Their own animals may have used their mesmerizing power to steer the researchers away from the simple answer.
I need to protect myself from Gruber’s gaze to continue my research. I’ve prepared an injection that should block the hypnotic effects. By tomorrow, I expect I will be free of their strange power.
Our investigative team rushed to Martinez’ home in Overland Park, KS where he maintained a lab in the attached garage. Such a discovery would be major news. We wanted to be the first to interview the maverick scientist. Shortly after we arrived, we realized we were too late.
The door to the lab beside his home was ajar. We moved in, cameras rolling and carefully announcing ourselves. To our dismay, we found that the lab had been wrecked. Shredded paper covered the floor. Hundreds of animal footprints coated the torn documents. Wires to the equipment had been chewed through, and hard drives were ripped from the computers and smashed. Martinez’ notebooks were completely destroyed. Not a single hard copy sheet of Martinez’ research survived the curious onslaught. In the kitchen we found several battered tuna cans and an empty box of bacon treats that had been licked clean. There was no sign of Dr. Martinez except for some chewed house slippers and his glasses sunken in a water bowl. The remains of half a duck squeaky toy rested on the living room table
At our motel, we spoke on the phone with Dan Jorgenson, Martinez’ friend and fellow scientist. Jorgenson reported that Martinez was delighted the day before. “He was really excited about his injection. Practically blubbering,” said Jorgenson. “It was late so I told him to call in the morning. He never did, but I found an email from him.”
Jorgenson forwarded us Martinez’ ominous last email. It reads as follows:
The injection seems to be working! I am no longer under Gruber’s Power. I’m so happy. I’m free!
I gotta go. Ms. Nibs and Apollo [Martinez’ cats] are acting really strange. They’ve been sitting in the doorway just watching me for hours now. It really gives me the willies. Gruber has been staring out the window all evening. He’s hardly moved. I hope he’s not sick. I’m taking him to the vet tomorrow.
Anyway, I’ve done it! I’ll call you tomorrow after the vet.
After reading the email, we decided to visit the house one more time. Foul play had occurred and we intended to learn more. When leaving the motel room, we found three large dog manure piles just outside the door. The dog that left them must have been huge and with a taste for indigestible duck squeaky toys. An ammonia reek of cat pee wafted from the door. A message? Undaunted, we drove to the house. As we pulled up near the entrance we noticed all the nearby lights were out. It was preternaturally dark. We all knew something was wrong. We were being watched. Cameron decided to take a pic of the spooky environment. The camera flash revealed the source of our anxiety.
We had investigated stories against the desire of Chicago police before, and we knew the art of intimidation. Except this time, incarceration would have been a picnic by comparison to what awaited us. Call us cowards if you like, but we turned around booked the first flight out of Kansas City. Safe from the possible ravages of fangs and claws.
When I returned home my dog, Chester was delighted to see me. He danced and pranced around like always, licking and nuzzling. He sat before me and gave me, “that look.” Before I realized it, before conscious thought engaged, I found myself handing Chester a doggie treat. My adorable, loving dog crunched away happily. And then, I could almost swear it, he winked at me.