I Have A Cat

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“I have a cat!!

I have a cat. She lies on my bed next to my computer while I rub her belly, talking to me in a quiet voice that reminds me of my mother. My mother is dead. My kids talk to me, but they don't rub my belly.

So I have a project. I want to tell a story that my cat will understand. It will start, "My cat, Fred, is dead. What will be my new password?" I don't know if the idea has any promise because cats don't understand much about death and aren't big readers.

You see, if I had claws, I'd stand up to my landlord and it wouldn't be so cold in my apartment. Maybe I would have done better in school or not be as crazy as I am. Perhaps I could talk to people honestly while maintaining my self-respect and not hiding my innate (and well-deserved) ability to hedge and marginalize anything important.

But I don't have claws. What I can do is attack things that I don't understand. This appears to be the guiding principle of America my country.

Anyway, yes, I do have a cat. I'm actually afraid of her. She likes to sleep on my face.

Vast groups of people don't think about these things but, then again, living beings tend to become increasingly complicated with time. The world only appears to be simple. It's easier to love people you don't know and who don't know you. I might be a shame to my dead parents, but they never out and out say so on the rare occasions that they say anything to me. After all, they're still dead.

So what's the use of speaking up when you own a cat who sleeps on your face? They slap you down and then tell you to stand up straight and take it like a man. You can't hit back because you know that they don't know what they're doing. They don't own cats, which makes them both especially vulnerable and confoundedly ignorant. To make matters worse, the powers-that-be tell you to live in the present, but you have to deal with the past and anticipate the future, don't you? That's how much they know.

You begin to understand. I've had to boil every cat I've ever owned. My cat ("Pretty") is growing more suspicious of me every day. I'm afraid she knows my secret. Therefore, she must be eliminated. Therefore, all cats must be eliminated. Therefore everybody must be eliminated.

Ha! Way too serious! I'd better run for president.