Un-Un-Cat — Episode 7. Dog’s Point Of View on How to Save the World.

As an extraterrestrial Dog-person Lee was not a very good writer, but he tried his darndest. U.G. was never certain how much of Lee’s over-explaining-everything with way too-many-words was because of the AIC’s translation of Dog-speak to English, or if his verbose writing and speaking style was just an aspect of his personality. Poet or not, he wrote and wrote, almost every day and most evenings from the winter of 1993 to July 2001. He composed his written works on a few different blogging sites, and two-million, eight-hundred-forty-two-thousand, seven-hundred and ninety-one words later. He backed-up everything he had written, twice, and gave one copy to his BFF the Cat-person Utah Green.

The opening cartoon I didn’t draw, Lee typing away and U.G. standing behind him.

Words in Lee’s thought bubble: Know these universal truths — life is more precious than any cold hard jewel of mineral, and friendship is more valuable than gold or any solid chunk of non-sentient elemental material.

U.G.’s thought bubble. WORD COUNT — 2,842,791 words !!!

Lee kept relentlessly writing even as his health slowly deteriorated. As he and the AIC gradually lost the battle with cancer he moved around less and slower when he did decide to move away from writing on his Dog-computer in his bed. Towards the end the AICs had U.G. grow and harvest some herbs and mushrooms that they processed not as chemotherapy but to help manage pain, nausea, bowl and stomach discomforts. But, even with the AIC’s detailed help it was difficult to manage the doses of Lee’s self-medicating. He had good days and he had bad days. Sometimes on a sunny afternoon, U.G. would take Lee down the road in the truck for drives.

U.G. would drive and Lee would hide from humans by laying flat in the bed of the truck out of the wind watching telephone poles and electric wires go by for mile after mile. Lee would imagine cutting down the exposed ugly black cables and grey metal grounding wires waving one paw like imaginary scissors. “Clip, clip,… clip, snip,… snip… snip…” for miles and miles. “What a waste to generate all that non-renewable energy only to push it so far. All that electricity lost into the air.”

Lee had written up detailed instructions on all the renewable and passive energy additions he had built into U.G.’s off the grid cabin, and he also wrote out a lengthy from a Dog’s point-of-view, recommendation on a lot of human behavior on just about every subject from big-industry airplanes-to-zoos, and tons more everyday people could do from avoiding aerosols, growing plants bees like, to being aware of the true cost of xenophobic motivations on both culture and actual wars. Awareness being the key to friendship, and friendship being the cure, for war.

Of course in the late 90s, most humans seemed more interested in Lee’s profile picture than what that Dog-person had to say. “U.G. what does global warming have to do with all these am I hot-or-not comments on my blog?”

U.G. laughed instead of answering him.

Lee glanced back at the thread of comments. “They think I am a human and they are debating if they can tell whether or not I am sexy based on a tendency for human pet-dog owners to look a little like their pets.”

U.G. nodded ‘yes’ still smiling at her funny friend, he will never be an Earthling, no matter how long he lives here. That Dog doesn’t see this world the way people who have lived here for their entire life do. Of course people take planet Earth for granted, they have never lived in another world. She thought, feeling no need to say this out-loud.

To say Lee’s ideals about non-renewable energy were complicated is an understatement. During the Dog-dark-ages there were quite a few electricity and natural gas accidents. Therefore the Dog-people decided that less-is-more when it comes to depending on any dangerous power source.

“People, some of them children and Earth dogs have gotten electrocuted. Humans and animals die every year because of downed power lines.” yelped Lee batting a paw to flip the long fur around one ear that had escaped from the old baseball hat he was wearing in case they came in contact with any people. “Why don’t they bury those dangerous power lines? Or better yet generate local electricity managed by smart grids? Oh yeah, these damn lines are in the air because it’s high voltage?!”

“Lee don’t you start crying and whining back there.” U.G. softened her tone as much as she could while hollering from the driver’s seat in the truck at Lee “seatbelted” in a makeshift spacecraft “bed” in the back of the truck.

“Just over a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions are the result of humans generating electricity. This is made worse by the factors of weather and wear on old electric wires and the distance the electricity has to be pushed from where it was generated. Less than half of all the electric current generated will ever reach where it’s going and be used by someone. Less than half because of the 60 to 70% that isn’t used to push power long distances and finally makes it to a transfer station, where it is then cut-down and sent to some house or business where someone will use appliances or power tools for a job that they could do by hand or because of TVs or lights left on in a another room that they are not in, not to mention electricity used up by phantom power and electric water heaters left set to high on a hot day when folks take a lukewarm bath to cool off.” Lee howled frantically waving paws in the air like a dog running while asleep in a dog-nightmare.

In the last few years of his life, U.G. found herself trying to comfort Lee on his bad days, a lot. She flattened her whiskers back and muttered a few rules, in hopes of stopping Lee from barking repetitive laments about humans. For example, she had learned. “Use energy directly; convert to electricity only when you have to.” Was the correct response for when Lee was so upset by above-ground power lines strung on poles.

“I hear you Lee, and I am pretty sure that you have told me a lot of this before.” But she thought, “Gosh darn it, Lee, please don’t start going on about how inefficient human refrigerators and air-conditioners are, they like ice, and to keep living inside in rooms kept too cold in summer and too hot in winter and we don’t know why, and we also don’t know what to do about it.”

“Why is this the data the Dog-person focuses on to distract himself when his body is suffering?” U.G.’s AIC asked adding to the din of misery ruining the lovely view of their afternoon drive.

“I sure love the wildflowers in the grass.” She said out-loud with a purr to prick-up his ears as she attempted to change the subject. “Lee, can you smell the wind ruffling the waves of long grass on the hills around us?”

Often, in the evenings U.G. would help Lee organize his written works. Lee had a very tough time separating ideas into actionable lists. U.G. enjoyed being organized and tidy. Everything Lee ever brought to her over the years was organized by subject. Before typing ideas into his computer when they returned home Lee would write notes on anything he picked up, always marveling at all the paper stuff humans generated willy nilly: napkins, the backs of flyers, junk mail envelopes, in addition to his notes he would often tear articles from Newspapers and Magazines.

U.G. didn’t like the mess of these seemingly random clippings.

“I’m not defacing periodicals, the bulk of the paper people leave laying about will get thrown away or best case scenario recycled” was Lee’s opinion on printed articles he found when they went to town. With that Dog-person nose of his, range extended by the AIC, he could smell printed paper from a long ways away, so he tended to find a lot more discarded reading material than a normal human person would ever come across.

U.G. sorted, read Lee’s blog posts and took notes generating an index. At first it was just one file on her computer, when she found it too complex to keep straight she sorted the first index by subjects, printed out the lists and then divided the lists of subjects into an entire shelf filled with notebooks, then she organized the subjects by order of importance and made a tree chart with an index key.

Standing back to scan U.G.’s shelf of three-ringed binders Lee would ask stuff like “How do you know where you put my notes on junk-mail, there’s no ‘J’ binder.”

“Under ‘D’ for Digital Divide, because that’s how you solve junk-mail.”

“Ah, everything is connected and interdependent, of course you have to create a digital branch of the post office to replace junk-mail, in order to make sure everyone has access to local advertising everybody needs to have access to the internet. But, the binders are not in alphabetical order.”

“No, the order is by what is most important.”

“So? If you have to eliminate the digital divide to solve junk-mail, how do you know what’s most important?”

“Everybody working together to save the world, that’s idea number one.” U.G. said with a shrug, “I made a key.” she pointed to the wall behind them.

“Okay, yeah.” Lee agreed studying U.G.’s subject tree.

“I made a few lists first see, then drew this on the back of my old school map of the U.S.”

“Of course, it was the biggest sheet of paper you had.” Lee smiled. “How appropriate that the key for a Dog-person’s opinion on how to save the world to be drawn on the back of a map of your world.”

“Well yes, tho, it’s just a map of the U.S. not of the entire world.”

“Have you ever traveled to anywhere else?”

“Well… no.” U.G. paused thinking she hadn’t even been very far away from Idaho. She had only traveled as far away from home as they could drive in a day or two.

Lee, of course, knew this, having asked multiple times. “Then it is your world.” He said waving his paw in a circle around the center of the U.S. map.

Un-Un-Cat, Episode 8.

2019–2020 Un-Un-Cat story episodes are science fiction prototyping about ‘How to postpone the apocalypse’, Cat seriously has a plan to save the humans.