My Cat and Other Selfish Creatures

Animals. Are they really worth the trouble? My cat is selfish to the point of Cleopatraesque imperiousness, quacking like a duck when either attention or food is required and treats me with sublime and effortless indifference at all other times. She demands to be let out on to the balcony to take the evening air and when she’s had enough, merely looks at me, disdaining to actually ask that the patio door be opened to her. Our preoccupation with other species is incomprehensible. Live and let live. A few choice interactions follow, beginning with a thoroughly sensible offering from Greenpeace, not usually remembered for its lack of interest in cross-species communication.
Citing “organization-wide disinterest in a truly mundane species of bird,” Greenpeace announced recently that it is ending its decades-long fight to save the endangered Northern Spotted Owl. “For some reason, we devoted more than 30 years to trying to save this unspectacular little owl,” Greenpeace associate director Tomas Lindsburger said. “But somewhere along the way, I guess we just came to our senses and kind of lost interest.” Lindsburger said the environmental group plans to shift its focus to “saving animals that people actually see every once in a while.” Like pandas. Obviously.
Meanwhile, Arkady Raskolnikov, the longsuffering comander of the International Space Station reported yesterday that a raccoon, safe and well despite finding his way there via the centripetal orbiter, had wrought havoc on board.”Yesterday, we found fruit rinds in the EVA suits and helmets, and the day before, it was garbage strewn all over the Pirs Docking Module,” Arkady said via a video-link to Russian mission control. “Today, a controller on the starboard truss failed because the power cord was chewed clean through. The little guy’s curious, that’s for sure.” Captain Raskolnikov plans to move to Kentucky. Closer to home, MacArthur Park visitor Cindy Bliss, 26, reported that she was disappointed to discover that the ducks she’d fed for more than twenty minutes yesterday were only interested in her bread. “I thought I’d really connected with them”, she said. “But as soon as the bread ran out, they swam off to another part of the lake. All that time, they were just using me for my crumbs.” Bliss said she has not felt so rejected since the “squirrel and peanuts incident” last year, and matters were worsened by the agonies of indecision she experienced when trying to decide whether to feed the ducks or give the bread to a homeless man in the park. Her therapist has taken control of the situation and the prognosis is excellent. Cindy suffers from agoraphobia and is eagerly awaiting Obama’s long-promised help for the middle classes.
The author has a headache and two middle-class pandas are celebrating their good fortune.

One thought on “My Cat and Other Selfish Creatures

  1. I know it's terribly politically incorrect to say so, but the Spotted Owl is not “sexy.” One does not ever hug it, nor dream about having it as a pet. The fuzzy little brown bird doesn't appeal to the money-giving public. Unlike pandas, of course. Even if the reality is somewhat different, one can imagine oneself hugging a panda. Somehow, this seems to loosen the purse strings.
    Go figure.

    And quacking “Cleopatra” likes me just fine… even without food.


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