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Saturday, July 24, 2004

JAPAN LITE

Rent-a-cats bring women love at first bite


It has long been said that for men, walking a dog is a good way to meet girls. I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a cute dog too. Whenever I see a dog, especially a black Labrador retriever, I run over and pet it, hug it, kiss it and tell it how beautiful it is. So walking a dog is a good way to meet girls -- for the dog, anyway.

Now there is a service in Tokyo that lets you rent a dog for about 1,500 yen per hour and pretend to be a dog owner. For just over 10,000 yen, you can keep the dog overnight. Supposedly, the purpose of the service is for people to get an idea of the responsibilities involved in having a dog before they actually buy one.

This is a fine idea, but doesn't anyone else see something wrong with this? Of course you do: They've left out cats.

My attention-starved cat, Frank, has been begging me to start a rent-a-cat service. After all, most people have no idea what they are missing by not having a cat. Especially a cat like Frank. In addition, walking a cat would be a great way for women to meet men. Here's why.

In my Frank the World rent-a-beast service, I would rent out Frank along with a brush, a pair of sturdy gloves and some earplugs. Rules are you must brush your beast. Be sure to wear the gloves, because Frank has very sharp teeth and hates to be brushed. The earplugs are for when Frank screams bloody murder at the top of her lungs when you're brushing her. Don't worry, this will attract the attention of sympathetic men.

Frank the World service includes a set of shin guards and a roll of stretch bandages, but only because our insurance company requires it. Guards and bandages are required to protect you from random beastly bites to your shins and ankles.

Rental also includes a choice of hair dyes so you can give your beast stripes to make it look like either a baby Bengal tiger or royal white tiger. Give your feline a tough name such as Bobo, Montecore or just Killer. Men will flock to pet your baby tiger.

Brush often to get up the cat's ire and attract attention. Those gloves will really make it look authentic. In addition, we include a special belt for you to wear with a toy tranquilizer gun in it.

When that good-looking guy stops and reaches down to pet your tiger, Frank will respond by biting him. Don't worry -- that's why we send you off with a first aid kit, also attached to the belt. You have to understand that the beast is just hungry and prefers to eat flesh, as it would naturally out in the jungle. Begin bandaging up the wounds immediately and offer to take the man to the hospital. Have confidence -- by the time you pass our required courses in CPR, top tourniquet techniques and feline taste testing treatment, you'll have the confidence you need to get the man to the hospital as soon as possible.

Once out of the hospital, nurse the man him back to health at your home. At that point, you can either return Frank and consider it a job well done, or, for an extra 10,000 yen, you can keep her overnight and be awakened at 4 a.m. by yowling and running up and down the staircase at breakneck speeds.

If you do decide to return Frank, you can still pretend to be a cat owner by shopping in the Frank the World Boutique, which specializes in selling clothing with cat hair already on it.

If rent-a-cat hasn't worked for you, you might try my rent-a-cattle service. Each rental herd comes with lassos and two horses: one for you and one for a cowboy.



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