13  Bingley on Politics

One evening we were trying to watch the news, and I got so disgusted with the horrific, mud-slinging politics that I turned it off.

I asked Bingley, “Do you think about politics?”


“Why not?”

“Disgusting,” he said with a sniff.

“Yes,” I agreed.  “Do cats have politics?”


“Like what?”

“Make sure everyone has food and a place to sleep.  Share toys.  Don’t go too far into someone else’s territory, or you deserve to get scratched, unless you’re really really hungry.  Don’t jump on anyone who’s sleeping, unless it’s your brother and he’s just done that to you, or unless it’s your buddy and you want to cuddle.”  He smiled at that last one, because he does it sometimes.

“All that makes pretty good sense.”


“What if someone makes you mad?”

“Stare at him.”

“What if that doesn’t work?”

“Hiss at him.”

“And if that doesn’t work?”

“Growl, and make your fur stand up so you look as big as you can.  If you have to, take a swipe at him.  If nothing else works, pee on him.”

I thought about that for a minute.

“Sounds just like human politics,” I said.

“Mm-hmm.  Not as mean, though.  I’m glad you turned it off.”  He turned around in my lap a couple times and then settled in with a sigh.  Then he opened one eye.  “Can you open the window?  It’s nice out this evening.  We can listen to the birds.”


I opened the window, and right away we could hear several different kinds of birds.  A crow cawed once loudly, and two goldfinches zoomed by, one chasing the other.  A cardinal sat in one of the maple trees pinging.  I was going to ask Bingley about bird politics, but was breathing slowly and deeply and had fallen asleep.