CATNIPS on Global Warming 12/18/2009
There are folks out there who do not believe that global warming is a problem, or even that it exists. They seem to think that the 99%+ of the scientists in the world who are warning about the problem are involved in a vast conspiracy to annoy them. Recently I read a remark in the news that global warming cannot exist, because it was snowing in Houston. There is an old maxim that it is better to remain silent and have people suspect you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Global warming does not, of course, mean it is necessarily going to be a lot warmer where you live. It does mean that there is likely to be much more severe, odd, and erratic weather everywhere in the world. What do Bogie and Bacall think about global warming?
BOGIE: I’m against it! I have this beautiful, warm fur coat and I’m not taking it off no matter what anyone says. Besides, Mom and Dad have had to evacuate for more hurricanes in the past couple of years than usual, due to changing weather patterns. I HATE staying in a motel away from home, and I let them know by yowling and tap dancing across their heads all night long. If everyone would be as cool as cats, I bet we could stop global warming now! Certainly, we wouldn’t be arguing about such silly things. Save your arguments for important stuff like whether I am the best cat in the world or not, to which the answer should be obvious to everyone. As for the ignorant and uninformed disputing global warming, there will always be ignorant and uninformed people—some of them are brainwashed into taking this ignorant stance. I don’t let anyone wash any part of me, especially my brain. Listen up folks and learn something!
BACALL: I like a warm lap, but keep everything else cool for me! I won’t even eat table scraps until they cool down completely. Of course, I usually turn my nose up at table scraps, anyway. Why should a princess eat scraps? Bogie is right, some folks are just plain obstinate. Cats are obstinate, but we aren’t dumb! I have a M.E.O.W. degree in Cuteness, so I am well educated. Bogie didn’t get past katergarten. They expelled him for bringing catnip to school.
CATNIPS on Doing the Right Thing 12/16/2009
Recently, I saw an article about a man who returned a library book that was 99 years overdue. Got me to thinking—it is never too late to do the right thing. When mistakes are made, it seems to be the human tendency to make excuses and/or try to cover them up. Even though the book had been checked out by an unknown person and loaned in turn to the man’s mother, who is deceased, he made the effort to return the book and was prepared to pay the accrued fines. As it turned out, the library waived the fines. Most of the time, facing up to our responsibilities and behaving in an honorable and honest fashion turns out to not be as bad as we think it might be. We expend a lot more energy and struggle harder to, if you will permit a colloquialism, “CYA.” When it comes to any expenditure of energy, Bogie and Bacall are sure to have an opinion.
BOGIE: I always do what is right. Of course, cats consider whatever is in their best interests to be what is right. Let’s face it, I am not going to clean up my own hairballs after I deposit them on the rug. I guess Mom expects a little more from people than from animals. People are animals, too, but they have the “advantage” of having a conscience. This man’s foreign-born mother probably was not aware that the book was due back at the library. I say that, because she obviously taught her son very well about honesty and responsibility, and would have returned the book herself had she known. My Dad did teach me not to stick my face in his plate while he is eating. I also know what “no” means, and most of the time I obey. That’s about all you can expect from a cat. Some naughty things are just TOO tempting, like running into my Dad’s closet when he opens the door and then refusing to come out.
BACALL: My Mom is a lot more lenient than Dad. She tends to let me do anything that is not going to result in harm to me. If I had a conscience, I guess it would hurt my brain to do the wrong thing, and doing the right thing would prevent that. I do like to be told I am a “good girl,” though I don’t exactly understand what “good” is. Food is good, tummy rubs are good, a nap in a patch of sunshine is VERY good, but I don’t control those things. I think people are the only ones who are capable of understanding that they can control what happens in their lives by making choices. And it seems like a lot of people don’t understand that there IS a reward for people in every right choice they make, if only the reward of knowing they chose right over wrong. I like my rewards to be bite-sized and crunchy. I think I’ll go enjoy some of the “rewards” in my food dish right now.
CATNIPS on Family 12/15/2009
A recurring theme during the holiday season is the importance of family. I don’t argue that having a close relationship with blood relatives is generally a good thing. However, some of us come from what might be termed “toxic” families. Our family members may have been absent or totally self-involved while we were growing up; may be emotionally or physically abusive; may have totally reprehensible beliefs such as bigoted hatred for certain people or groups; or may just be the kind of people who see other family members as tools to use for their own gratification and aggrandizement. Some of us have very good reasons not to maintain close relationship with our families.
On the other hand, “family” is often defined in a broader sense: close friends and even co-workers. While I have never believed that sharing a workplace automatically makes people “family,” I do subscribe to the belief that we are entitled to choose our families from among those who nourish, sustain, and support us emotionally; i.e., good friends, neighbors, certain co-workers, etc.
Bogie and Bacall have something to say family.
BOGIE: I don’t remember my cat mother. I’m sure she was an EXCELLENT cat, because I am such a handsome fellow myself. When it comes to family, my human Dad ROCKS! I am so attached to him, we might as well be stuck together with Velcro. My human Mom arrived when I was three years old. I like her well enough, but she wasn’t around when I was at a serious bonding age. She is OK, as long as she remembers I was here first and doesn’t hog my Dad all to herself. Also, I expect her to continue to bribe me with treats and lots of attention. In return, I will not bite her.
BACALL: Bogie is right, cats bond best when they are kittens. I bonded very strongly to my human Mom, and we have a whole Velcro thing going, too. I also agree with Mom that “family” is whomever loves, cherishes, nurtures, and supports me. Everyone else can just worship me from afar. The afarther, the better!
CATNIPS on Bullying 12/11/2009
I recently read about a bullying incident involving teenagers that was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube and CNN iReport. The result was that real action was taken against the bully. I am aware that bullying is a BIG problem in public schools. There were bullies even way back when I was growing up, and I can recall being the target of bullies on more than one occasion. I’m convinced there will always be bullies. I wonder what turns a child into a bully, and what can be done about it? I’m sure Bogie and Bacall have an opinion about this.
BOGIE: Bacall is a bully! One day I was walking down the hallway, headed for my food dish. Bacall came running up and threw her hip into me, knocking me into the wall, so she could get to the food first. Then, of course, she ate about three crunchies and walked away. She was mean to me for no reason! I am going to sue her for mental anguish!
BACALL: Bogie weighs twice what I do, and he complains because I am a bully. The real problem is that he is a wuss. If he ever stood up to me, I wouldn’t bully him any more. Maybe he should video my bullying and post it on CNN catseyeReport. The thing about bullies is that you have to take a stand against them, or they never quit. Sometimes that means having the courage to report a bullying incident and insist on action. I have a big motivation to bully Bogie, because I want the best, freshest crunchies in the dish before he drools on them. But I might bully him just because I am unhappy or I don’t like myself. (Of course, that isn’t true. I LOVE MYSELF, and I make sure Mom and Dad keep me happy.) Most of all, I bully him for the fun of it. Unless something happens to take the fun out of it, I guess I’ll keep bullying him. I won’t take responsibility for my actions unless I am forced to, and maybe not even then. I am a cat, after all, and I can do no wrong in my own eyes. And I have Mom and Dad wrapped around my paw, so they won’t believe I have done wrong. I guess a video might open their eyes. Where is that movie camera, anyway? I’m gonna bury it in my litter box.
CATNIPS on Everyday Heroes 12/10/2009
CNN published a report today on “everyday heroes.” I believe there is a hero in most people just waiting to be drawn out by the right circumstances, and there are little, everyday acts of heroism going on all around us, but we don’t read about them. What do you think, Bogie and Bacall?
BOGIE: I will be your hero, Mom, if you get me a cool outfit like Superman’s but with a big “B” on the shirt instead of “S.”
BACALL: Oh come on, Bogie, you’re no Superman. I would like to see you fly your 15 lb. body around the room. And I sure don’t want to see you in tights, no matter what! How about a Catwoman costume for me? I would be fetching in it, I know. But I agree with Mom. What we read in the news is people being selfish, judgmental, greedy, dishonest, and violent. If we read more about kindness and heroics, it would be inspiring instead of sickening. People could learn a lot about bravery from cats and dogs, cuz we love unconditionally. Love is the foundation for bravery--it gives us the strength to be brave. And most of us are stronger than we think.
CATNIPS on Flu Shots 12/09/2009
I got my flu shots today--regular and H1N1 (one in each arm). Some people don't think flu shots are a good idea, and many don't trust the new H1N1 vaccine. I work in a high-risk environment, interacting with grade school teachers and specialists, so I decided to go ahead with getting the shots. What would Bogie and Bacall do?
BOGIE: Shots?!!! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
BACALL: Oh Bogie, you're such a crybaby. Afraid of a little needle. Come here, Bogie, and sample my needle-sharp claws. I don't think Mom should have gotten the shots. I want her to get the flu and stay home sick so I can snuggle up to her feverish body. And I bet she doesn't feel so good tomorrow after having two shots! But then again, I do want her to be able to go to work and earn my cat crunchies. I get shots at the veterinarian once a year, and I don't even cry!! Of course, I wail in the car all the way to the vet's and all the way back, but you have to expect a little drama from a drama queen. I guess we'll find out if Mom's shots work or not. The odds are always 50-50: either they work or they don't. If she didn't get the shots and she got the flu, who would she have to blame but herself? Me, I would blame Bogie. I blame him for everything. That works for me!
CATNIPS on Religion in Schools 12/08/2009
Some very controversial lawsuits have been and are in the courts in the area where I live. The lawsuits concern overtly religious content and expression in the classroom and at school-sponsored special events. At issue is teachers and officials doing everything from leading Christian prayers before a sports event to preaching with a bullhorn in the school parking lot. This being the deep south, there is a great deal of pressure put on students to conform to Christian (mainly Baptist) viewpoints, and some see this as improperly using the strong influence of teachers and school officials to "indoctrinate" schoolchildren in fundamental Christianity. Some students have been told they will "go to hell" if they complain about religion in their schools. Other people believe that limiting what teachers and officials can say or do as far as religion goes is an infringement of their free speech rights. What do you think Bogie and Bacall would have to say about all this?
BOGIE: This is not a problem for me, because I only worship myself. I give everyone else the right to worship me, too. You could say I rightfully expect unanimity of opinion and religious observance--feed me, pet me, care for me, bring me offerings of tuna and catnip, love me, I am a God. But I am polite enough to respect the rights of others, so I don't preach to them or condemn them if they don't realize I am the center of the universe. That is just commonsense and polite social practice, don't you think? If anyone tries to push their beliefs on me, I will bite them. HARD. Cats don't need lawyers, but maybe people do if other people don't have as much social sense and respect for others' beliefs as a housecat .
BACALL: I will settle for being Princess and Boss of the House, I don't need to be a Goddess. I think everyone should be able to do/say what they want, as long as that doesn't take away from spoiling me rotten. If I had kittens, I would teach them not to be afraid of what other cats believe, however goofy their beliefs may be. For instance, Bogie believes he is the boss--WRONG!!! I think religion would be OK in school if ALL religions were taught and especially if respect for others' beliefs is strongly emphasized. If my kittens decided they liked the religion the dog next door believes in--which I think centers around eating Milkbones and pissing on trees--I wouldn't complain. I would just laugh. No one gives a kitten a crunchy for pissing on a tree. But I digress. Let everyone believe what they want to, don't throw kitty litter at anyone for believing what they believe, and don't claim YOUR truth is the ONLY truth that's what I think. And if you want to know the REAL truth, about anything, just ask me.
I asked Bogie and Bacall what they thought about Lincoln University requiring obese students to take a fitness course that meets three hours a week before they can graduate. Here's what they said:
BOGIE: Obese? Did someone call me obese? I'm really just very fluffy. But I know if someone forced me to learn about fitness, I would do so, then promptly forget what they taught me. I don't need a class to tell me I eat too much! And being singled out in a humiliating way would likely make me eat that many more cat crunchies! If I was addicted to sleeping 16 hours a day (oops, maybe I am) and someone said I had to cut down to 12 hours a day of sleep, as soon as their back was turned, I would be snoring.
BACALL: Well, I am just a little skinny mini--really, unlike Bogie who likes to "Photoshop" his pictures to appear thinner. I never have overeaten, and I probably never will, because that is not my habit. I can't change my habits overnight, and it takes a personal commitment to a long-term change to be of any use. Bogie could sure cut down on the crunchies, but I tell him to, he won't. He has to want to himself. I do like to sleep 16+ hours a day, and no one is going to change that! I can tell you right now... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
I asked Bogie and Bacall what they thought about the recent controversy surrounding Tiger Woods--his accident and his alleged affair. Here's what they had to say.
BOGIE: The car accident was news. However, Tiger has the right to his privacy regarding his marriage and family. Being a golfer doesn't make you "public property" by any means. It would be like someone snooping in my litter box and reporting on what they found there! What happens in my litter box stays in my litter box, and what happens in a person's marriage that has nothing to do with, say, their sports ability, should stay in a person's marriage!
BACALL: Bogie, why on earth would anyone WANT to snoop in your litter box??? What I don't understand is why people want to hear all the worst and most scandalous things about other people. Cats aren't like that. You stay out of my face, and I stay out of yours! As perfect as cats are (and especially me), we make mistakes and do things we are not proud of (Bogies does them all the time in his litter box). None of us has the right to throw cat litter (especially used!) at anyone else. That's my opinion, and I stand by it. Just as long as I don't have to stand by Bogie's litter box.