It finally happened as I knew it always would happen; as cat people all over the world know someday it will happen to them and as even non-cat people suspect it happens despite them being dog people and extremely jealous and hateful of any outward manifestation of feline superiority.
I talked to my cats last night. And they talked back.
What’s that? The answer is no more than usual but I wouldn’t have wanted to take a breathalizer. And because I know you’re curious, Ebony, the liberal’s liberal, sipped several bottles of my best Fritz Haag Estate Riesling and nibbled on Edam cheese all night while wise old conservative Aramas went through my entire stock of Courvosier (VSOP) and the little angel Snowball was knocking back chocolate/Rasberry milkshakes as fast as I could make them – that is, until Ebony, tiring of the youngster’s interruptions and attention getting antics, strongly cuffed the little girl across the ear, sending her rolling like a ten pin out into the kitchen.
Cats make great parents. The little one was barely heard from again for the rest of the night.
Now I know what you’re saying. Even if cats could talk, they wouldn’t be political animals. And before last night, I probably would have agreed with you. But the way Ebony explained it, everything makes perfect sense.
Cats are not so mysterious or otherworldly as much as they exist in a world of emotional and psychic intensity that is so foreign, so unfamiliar to us humans that it seems to put the beasts on a separate plane of existence.
They are, in effect, the barbarians of the animal world. They are the Visigoths sacking Rome, ravaging without pity or remorse. Now what do you suppose the politics of the Visigoths were all about? Or the Huns, or Vandals, or any number of other pagan hordes who swept across Europe, bringing about 1000 years of darkness, disease, and death not to mention unpronounceable names and really bad teeth?
Pretty basic at that. Cat’s are not sophisticated creatures but they are direct and will tell you exactly what they think about any issue under the sun. For instance, my old girl Ebony (who swears she wouldn’t have voted for Clinton if she had the opportunity but thinks that Noam Chomsky is the cat’s meow), is blaming Bush for the massacre at Virginia Tech.
“It’s Bush’s fault,” she said, her tail whipping furiously back and forth showing her displeasure. “The nutcase who did this was obviously inspired by the violence going on in Iraq.”
“Put a sssssssssssock in it,” hissed Aramas. “Can’t you see that it was the guy’s parents who are at fault here?” The old kitty’s face assumed a “wisdom of the ages” look – the kind of look that cats get when they watch PBS - “As usual, you are delusional when it comes to Bush. You even blamed him for the Imus flap.”
“Imus is a penis! Imus is a penis!” screeched the baby Snowball, rolling around at my feet begging for another milkshake. The two adults exchanged knowing looks with Aramas taking the responsibility. He sauntered over and buried his teeth in Snowball’s shoulder causing the youngster to yowl in pain and make a beeline for the cat condo where she climbed to the topmost perch and looked out in fright over the carpeted cat rest. Ebony cast a baleful glance in her direction telling the baby with her eyes that no more interruptions would be welcome.
And so it went, far into the night. The more wine she drank, the louder Ebony got, sometimes breaking into hysterical laughter when talking about how stupid Bush had acted in some crisis or another. She mewled uncontrollably when talking about the war and became absolutely incoherent when trying to convince us that 9/11 was an inside job.
For Aramas, the more brandy he drank, the more sense he made. Or maybe it was because I was drinking as much as he was. He stopped trying to rebut Ebony’s charges and would simply whack her across the nose when she said something really stupid. This would send the two of them tumbling into a heap of a catfight, neither one doing much damage due to their diminished capacity. And just as suddenly as they began, they would stop, taking turns licking each other and quietly nursing their drinks. Until Ebony would blurt out something ridiculous and the fur would fly again.
Sometime toward morning, I tried to change the subject to cat behavior but both of them looked at me as if I was some kind of dog. I distinctly got the impression that both of them felt it was none of my business why they would spend hours just looking at me and what they were thinking (although Ebony continually licked her lips, salivating at the thought of something when I asked what was on her mind when she was staring at me with an intensity that would put 150 watt bulb to shame).
I finally fell asleep sometime around dawn. When I awoke, I was confused. Had I dreamt the entire episode? Can cats really talk?
I’ll have to ask them when they wake up…