Episode 74: Like Cat And Dog by Michael Stone

Sophie is a bartender…and a were-leopard. All she wants to do is be left alone, but an annoying patron has run afoul of the local pack leader. Now it’s up to Sophie to do something about it. bloopers

Afterward, Big and Rish ask if this can be considered a werewolf story, Rish says many offensive things and tries to burn bridges with the author, and Big brings you Round 3 of the Anti-Cat Association Round Table discussion.

Special thanks to Bryan Lincoln for producing this week’s story. Also, special thanks to L. “Scribe” Harris of the Pendragon Variety Podcast, Liz Lincoln, Bryan Lincoln, Rebecca Lincoln, and John Lincoln for lending their voices to today’s episode.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Related Links:
Michael Stone’s Website
The Pendragon Variety Podcast
Bryan Lincoln’s Iocane Project Podcast
Bryan Lincoln’s Fullcast Podcast
Graveside Tales
Some sound effects were provided by freesound.org.
Music was Night Voices, When It Slips Away, and Forgotten by Somewhere Off Jazz Street.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

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60 Responses to “Episode 74: Like Cat And Dog by Michael Stone”

  1. For Rish, a transcript of my author’s note:

    “My name is Heather and my dad is the author of Like Cat and Dog. Hope you all enjoyed it. Dad says I’m not old enough to listen to it yet. I’ll have to take your word for whether it’s any good or not.”

    “It’s no good looking at me like that, you’re not listening to it and that’s that. Just get on with the interview, come on.”

    “Harumph. Right, Dad, tell the listeners how this story came about.”

    “Well, the punchline came from a hundred word story I wrote for Fusing Horizons in 2003. A couple of years later, that story grew into a werecat story – No Dogs Allowed – which was published in an anthology called Twisted Cat Tales. And then, in 2007, it grew again to become this story, Like Cat and Dog, which was published in the Beast Within anthology from Graveside Tales.”

    “Where will it all end?”

    “Good question.”

    “You would say that, you asked me to say it!”

    “Sshh! Just ask the questions like I told you to.”

    “So, where will it all end?”

    “Good question. I’m currently working on a novel-length mystery that features Sophie. She’s tracking down a mysterious bogeyman that preys on the Gifted, called the Skinner.”

    “Okay, I think we’ve covered everything. Can I listen to the story now?”

    “No.”

    “Bloody kids!”

    Hope this helps. :)

  2. Thanks for doing a bang up job on the story guys — massive thanks and big dollops of kudos to all concerned, L. Harris, Liz, Bryan, Rebecca and John Lincoln, Big and yeah, even Rish. You people know how to bring a story to life.

    The artwork above is by my brother-in-law, Mark Cartlidge. He doesn’t have a web presence, sadly, but he will be providing a cover and 20+ interior illustrations for my collection ‘Memory Bones’, due out next April from Graveside Tales. Mark’s a top bloke and I reckon you’ll be seeing more of his stuff around in the future (and not just in my books!).

    As for a follow-up to ‘Like Cat and Dog’, I did indeed write a novelette called ‘The Skinner’, which became a novella, and it is now growing into a novel for my agent to shop around. Nothing short enough to send your way, more’s the pity.

    Thanks again!!

    • Love the cover art! And Michael, you could always write a short story length sequel separate from the novel. *nudge, nudge*

    • It was a ton of fun voicing Sophie! I hope my British accent wasn’t too cringe-worthy. Thanks for writing such an interesting story. I loved the twist at the end. Always wanted to play the “bad”? guy. ~Scribe

      • I thought your English accent was great. The only place I noticed a difference was your pronunciation of Graham. We say it as Gray-uhm. Apart from that, I can’t say I never really twigged that the readers were American.

        As someone else has said in the comments, there are hundreds of dialects and accents in the UK and there are probably as many in the US. Your English accent was as good as mine!

      • I’m American, so I have absolutely no idea about the accent, but you were fabulous!

  3. Mike, it was just a joke that I couldn’t understand a word you were saying.

    Sort of.

    Thanks for all the stories over the years, and we wish you the best of success with “The Skinner.”

    • Mate, I can’t tell what I’m saying! I hate my voice, but at least it makes me more appreciative of the skills of people like yourself who can narrate and do accents.

  4. That really was an uttely splendid tale. Quite enthralling.

  5. Miriam Palfrey Says:

    Great story Michael! It has a refreshingly different tone to any of the Urban Fantasy I’ve read. I didn’t have any problem understanding your accent :) The Midlands still has such a rich collection of accents and local dialects despite the spread in Estuary English across the UK!

    Rish, I think a female cat is called a Queen. Reading Twilight out of curiosity seems fair enough, it’s probably better than me reading it in order to mock my friends and co-workers. I’m not sure it was worth it…

    Big, if your cat seems otherwise healthy then she may be eating too fast or too much.

    Is there an English to American version of Dick Van Dyke’s Cockney accent? Most of the English and Aussie actors I’ve seen playing Americans seem fairly convincing but do they all sound completely off to the native ear?

    • Glad you enjoyed the story, Miriam!

      Worse than the spread in Estuary English is the inflection known as (I think) Australian Question Intonation, where every sentence rises in pitch at the end as though it’s a question. Five minutes of that makes my teeth ache.

  6. Cambodia Carl Says:

    Cary Elwes always sounds English, even when–ESPECIALLY when–he’s doing an American accent. And Sam Worthington seems to have difficulty hiding his Aussie accent (unless Perseus, the guy in Terminator, and Jake Sully were all transplants from Perth).

    Still, I think Brits and Ozzes and Kiwis and Scots tend to be more exposed to the American accent and taught to emulate it while acting than Americans do . . . well, any accent other than American.

    • Miriam Palfrey Says:

      The guy who played Wesley in Buffy was very convincing and Spike in later seasons sounded like a Brit who has spent a long time in America. I think that Americans tend to be less aware of regional and class variatons in UK accents but that probably cuts both ways.

  7. Oh, and that Kate Winslet. She’s got the WORST English accent! You can totally tell she’s from Wisconsin, every role she gets.

    Damn Yanks.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Ironically, her parents live around the corner from here! Apparently her sister is the really talented one, perhaps she has a better ear for accents :)

  8. That was a fantastic story. A ‘were-story’ that stands out from most of the others I’ve read.

    The cover art is also wonderful and the voices were great. It was a real pleasure to listen to.

  9. Whoa, I hope my British accent was up to scratch! I’m from North Carolina. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed voice-acting Sophie! If there’s a chance of doing a podcast version of the novel-length one, count me in!

    Lauren “Scribe” Harris

    • You are now the voice of Sophie! In my head, at least. :)

    • Miriam Palfrey Says:

      Just to clarify, my comment wasn’t intended as a criticism of any of the voice actors. I was just following up on the post-story discussion and I find accents interesting.

      Lauren, don’t worry your accent was great! I thought you made Sophie sound a little bit exotic which seemed spot on for the character. It also came across that you were having fun with the role which, once again, seemed quite in-keeping with the character and story.

      I’m curious now as to what you really sound like. I my head you are being played by Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind, but I’m pretty certain that’s wrong, especially as she was from Surrey and the film is set in Georgia.

      • Ahahaha, that’s awesome. I approve. I definitely didn’t think you were criticizing. ^_^ If you want to hear what I actually sound like, you can nip over to the Pendragon Variety Podcast and hear me in all my Standard American English glory. XD Definitely no Southern Accent, though. The most recent episode is all stories with no RTD, so it’s possibly a good one. ;)

  10. Great story. Original concept. Wonderful readers! kudos all around on this one!

    Please keep writing and sharing your work. Only thing wrong is there aren’t enough of your stories written yet!

    Fantastic podcast, you two!

    re: the cat puke, could be hair balls from grooming. If so, frequent brushing might help, and they make special hairball control cat food. It sorta helps drag the hair down the system so it doesn’t build up and have to be upchucked…yeah, tmi. Sorry.

    ~ Mrs Mouse

    (Rather appropriate for a ‘mouse’ to respond to a cat & dog story, eh
    ?)

  11. Thank you for your kind words, Mrs Mouse. And yeah, very appropriate!

  12. Michael Josef Says:

    Wonderful story, Mike! I enjoyed the presentation very much! I would also like a sequel to this.

    • Cheers, Mike. The guys did a brilliant job, didn’t they!

      As I’ve said above, a short sequel may happen, but for the time being I’m 100% focused on a novel set in this world.

  13. I just wanted to thank you Michael for such a fun story! I had a great time voicing Jade, got to get out of my comfort zone a bit. I can’t wait to hear the full-length novel someday.

    –Liz L.

  14. Thank you, Liz. I hope your optimism re. a full-length audio book is rewarded someday! That would be something. :)

  15. The twist ending is what made this story really sing. Great job, Michael, and great job, Bryan, and everybody else who worked on it! The sounds and voices were perfect.

    Sadly, the after-show was the only Dunesteef I’ve ever turned off in the middle. My sense of humor hits a brick wall with jokes about torturing animals.

    Big – you might improve the vomiting by brushing the cat (less hair to swallow) or changing something about the diet (hard to say what, since you didn’t mention it). Have you asked your vet? Rish, young kittens or puppies in a dumpster die slowly of exposure and thirst. If they survive long enough, they are crushed and mutilated when the dumpster is emptied, perhaps with a period of slow suffixation at the end. That is why it is inhumane to throw infant animals in dumpers.

  16. Wow, Abbie, I feel like sh*t. Sure we make no bones about the fact that we don’t like cats, but I didn’t even realize we were joking about torturing animals in there. I guess I’ll have to watch out in the future and make sure to not be so insensitive.

    • Oh, well, it’s probably just me. I don’t think you bothered anyone else. I’ve cared for too many discarded animals.

      • Thanks for the kind words about my story, Abbie. As for the afterword by the guys, I didn’t care for it, either. I haven’t said anything before now as it, um, might look like I’m biting the hand that feeds me. I know the guys were joking – or at least I hope they were – but it still made me uncomfortable.

        Please, don’t do it again, guys!

        • I’m sorry that we left you all feeling so uncomfortable. We didn’t mean to. I think we were a little misunderstood, but maybe we weren’t, I don’t know. The joke that we were trying to make was that traditionally cats have been very at home in dumpsters, garbage cans and the like. It’s just the kind of thing that you see in “Tom & Jerry” cartoons, or Warner Bros. cartoons, or Mickey Mouse cartoons. I assume that predilection is where the term “alley cat” comes from. So the joke was that that’s their natural habitat, not that tiny kittens deserved to be crushed or starved or whatever else might happen to a small kitten left in a dumpster.

          I thought we’d communicated it clearly enough, but apparently not. I guess it’s like Mike’s story. Some people thought he gave enough clues to make the twist ending perfect, others wanted there to be more. I guess we needed to come right out and say what the joke was.

          Or maybe that’s not even what you were offended about. Maybe it was something else. I don’t know. If it was something else. I’m sorry about that too.

          • Mike – you’re welcome! I thought the twist was neatly executed, and Jade was just irritating enough that we didn’t feel too bad at the end. :)

            Big – The term “offensive” has been so abused that it’s no longer an acceptable way to describe the feelings of anyone who is not your enemy. No one will ever admit to being “offended,” because it’s come to mean “thin-skinned whiner who can’t take a joke.” So I’ll say this instead: Your comments made me sad. Rish’s comments made me sadder. If this had been my first Dunesteef, I would have never return to the podcast, stellar story not withstanding.

            I said “maybe it’s just me” because I can laugh at jokes about child abuse and rape quicker than jokes about torturing animals. I think the reason is that NO ONE really believes abuse of humans is ethical. It can be assumed that not a single person means those jokes seriously. It’s just gallows humor, and I love gallows humor.

            But a huge number of people believe that when nobody is looking, it’s OK to cause an animal intense suffering. People need incredibly little incentive to dispose of an inconvenient pet. Squeamish people who don’t want to see the animal suffer often cause it far more suffering in the end by leaving it somewhere to die slowly.

            Rish seemed to be seriously playing devil’s advocate for disposing of a living kitten as you would dispose of a bubble gum wrapper – in the trash. Discussions about throwing kittens in the lake tied to a rock also have zero humor value for me. All of my pets are animals that someone threw away.

            The third world – yes, I’ve lived there, too. I’ve fed those dogs. I rescued one of those kittens. Humans who aren’t sure they will have enough to eat have little compassion to spare on an animal. However, once we get food in our bellies, our horizons and our compassion expands. That’s part of living in a civilized country. -Of course-, it should be illegal to throw away kittens or puppies or box turtles in dumpsters. There’s nothing cockeyed about that.

  17. My cats are assholes. Every morning when I come downstairs I wonder what fresh hell I’ll be walking into. Will it be barf-worms from the fat one, who gorges herself every time we put food in the bowls? Will it be something knocked over, thanks to the smallest one? Or will it be clumps of hair everywhere because someone messed with the tetchiest one?

    As for the story, I don’t know if there were enough clues to indicate that once Sophie licked the blood off her finger she would become instantly obsessed with eating Jane. That part didn’t feel like a twist to me so much as an “out of nowhere”. The dog being a cop, that whole thing made enough sense.

    Oh, and guys? “Michael Stone rocks”? Was that an intentional pun? Or did it just happen?

  18. The scene where Sophie asks Jade if she’s feeling suicidal after pricking her finger in a bar full of cats, and explaining the bloodlust experienced by shapechangers was the clue. But feeding the reader clues without giving the twist away is a tightrope. I realized it’s impossible to please everyone when I had a story on Pseudopod and half the comments said the ending was predictable while the other half felt it came out of nowhere!

    Thanks for the feedback, Josh!

    • I’m totally with you there. Sometimes I just give away the farm and then make the story about the journey to grandma’s house.

      When Owen (was that the werewolf cop’s name?) and Sophie were talking civilly before she escaped from him, I figured it out. I figure that, if I’d come in knowing the rules of the universe, I would’ve gotten it and still enjoyed the story — kind of like, in the Anita Blake novels (don’t laugh), if a new attractive male character shows up, I know there’ll be a long-ass paragraph about how hot he is, followed by another of Anita whining about having sex with him, and in the end they’ll do it. Rules of the universe. *g*

  19. Really enjoyed the production, as I do every time I stop by. Just brilliant.

    Mike, great story as usual, but I particularly loved Sophie. It’s true, too– if you fall in the shower and crack your head, your dog will go and get help for you. Your cat will wait until she’s hungry and then eat your face off.

    Very cool.

  20. And that’s where I come in…

    I interpreted the end that the Snow Leopard wanted a saucy tete a tete with the human woman, not a meal.

    If someone would kindly spell out everything for me from now on, so that I actually know what’s going on, that would be good. Kay? Thanks.

  21. Ha ha! Well, if you wanna read it like that, be my guest. I’m sure it would be a lot less messy. :)

  22. I was very happy that for this episode I got most of the references!Ex. Monty Python and the Holy Grail…
    This was a very good story! Keep up the good work!

  23. moonowl Says:

    I also want to chime in express my shock at the outro. I’m certainly no thin skinned cat lady whiner, either. I can take gross out humor and bad jokes. I turned the podcast off when you were musing in what states it would be illegal or not to kill your pet via dumpsters/drowning. Abbie said it much better, then I- I wasn’t ‘offended’ per se, but frankly a bit disappointed on how far it went. I simply just didn’t want to listen anymore.

  24. I commend you for taking the high road and remaining silent, but I believe it would be neither sanctimonious nor inappropriate for you to reveal at this time that you were both in fact raised in alleys by a cross-species coalition of domesticated and semi-domesticated small animals.

    I’m probably the only one who read the weekend insert in the Albuquerque Rebellion Times featuring you two in which that information was revealed. My favorite quote was when Big made some clever quip about ‘Birdz in da hood’, and then Rish misted up and said to the interviewer, ‘Them’s my Peeps!!…..no, literally, they’re constantly peeping.’

  25. Due to travel and various home dramas I have not been keeping up with my podcasts as well as usual, so I missed the after-discussion and was puzzling over the lack of a new episode.

    Okay, I’ve read the comments, and I feel that the subject has been adequately covered. And look, you’ve given them podcaster’s block.
    That’s enough about that.

    It was a great story, love the art. Michael Stone managed the tightrope walking very creditably – I got it, so the ending was just right. Yum.

    • Gail – I think the recent silence has more to do with Rish working on a paid screen play :D and being out of town – http://rishoutfield.blogspot.com/

      However, if it does have anything to do with the opinions of listeners, think of it this way: Big and Rish, this is how you know that our compliments are sincere – because when we don’t like something, we tell you! Compliments from someone who’s afraid to criticize you are cheap. You remember all those times when you made potentially offensive jokes, and everybody said nice things? That’s because we were all laughing! So you finally found something that a lot of us won’t laugh at. Make a note. Talk about what bleeding heart psychopath morons we are (with the mic off). Then turn the mic back on, and proceed. Everyone still thinks you’re funny.

      • Oh, good.
        Thanks, Abby. Nicely put.

        OT
        I just heard Rish and Big at 19 Nocturne Boulevard , doing Yill voices for a Keith Laumer story, “The Yillian Way”
        . I never imagined anybody could read Keith Laumer aloud, but our guys are brilliant. The whole cast was great, pretty much nailing the voices as they existed in my head.
        One of my favorite stories.

    • Glad you enjoyed the story, Gail!

  26. For the benefit of Rish (& Bigg), I just wanted to note that in most werewolf mythology, the werewolves have the power to change shape at will. The most common European werewolf stories involve shapeshifters who use a token – a wolf skin or skull or something – to change. In fact, a lot of werewolves are heroes in legend. They take on the curse of being a werewolf to help their communities survive a harsh winter. The state becomes a curse later, when the experience becomes addictive and the poor hero forgets how to stop changing, becomes cut off from human society, and eventually runs off into the wilderness.

    Anyway, long and short version: the movie werewolf is only one version and it differs significantly from the mythic version.

    Don’t ask me for references. This is the internet and I’m lazy.

  27. For the benefit of the puking cat, have your master switch to the Iams cat food in the PINK bag. We’ve got a 6 year old (cat) that we switched a few years ago and haven’t had a problem since!

    Great job on the podcast, and another great story, by the way…..

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