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I was a little incredulous when I saw the front of one of your recent issues (“More Than a Feline,” 5/27). It almost seemed as if you were running out of ideas for cover stories. Certainly, the death of a house cat is an important event; however, the average person doesn’t realize the strong effects such an event has upon the community as a whole or upon the tides.
I did read the article. Justice was miscarried; moreover, it was aborted, slapped, and tickled. Anyone who gives a cat the wrong pain medication deserves punishment. Perhaps not the same severity of punishment that one would have to endure if a human being were the victim. Maybe a similar jail cell, but without the compulsory sodomy and random shivvings. The problem is that the victim was a cat. An old cat.
Cats die. Sometimes they die faster if you expose them to veterinarians. Let’s face it: They’d probably rather be in a high-rise office putting breast implants into teenage girls. Perhaps some of them became vets because they love animals, but I would assume that it is the same percentage as those who went into law to “help the indigent”—about a tenth of a percent. If you disagree, ask yourself the following question: Under what circumstances can I imagine myself aspiring to insert my arms, up to my shoulders, into the uterus of a 500-pound sow?
And a pair of people who continue to raise multiple cats after they are married is beyond my comprehension. Multiple-cat ownership is not for the well-adjusted. It is securely in the domain of recluses and people who own boa constrictors. Don’t you people do stories about normal people anymore? We’re not as interesting as career burglars and men who own tiny plots in the middle of construction sites; however, we constitute more of your readership.
I own a cat. One cat. When people ask me about my family, I tell them about the human members of my family, just as when people ask me about my pets, I don’t start a long diatribe on my children. My cat is very old—possibly 18, although no one knows for sure because she was rescued, then rescued again. She isn’t particularly pretty, but she catches mice like a champ. And (this is the important part) I would never take her to a veterinarian, unless it was time for her shots.
That is the real use of a veterinarian: to do things to your cat—horrible things, that you would never dream of doing. Emptying the anal gland, prying her mouth open, sticking needles into her body. A vet is simply hired muscle. No, more than that: A vet is akin to Orwell’s Goldstein—someone for my cat to vent her three-minute hate at. I don’t give her the shot; the vet does. As far as she is concerned, I’m still the hero.
In conclusion, if you need ideas on cover stories, I’d be glad to contribute a few: The Anacostia River is changing its designation from “river” to “extra-chunky waterway”; giant cranes are visible across the skyline of D.C. because people are buying them, realizing, after a time, that they cannot afford to take care of them, and abandoning them in the D.C. area; dozens of Asian women patronize the Holocaust museum daily, but no Asian men—why? As you can see, there are a million stories in the naked city.
And few of them have anything to do with cats.