"Ground down by the war and driven back by Fate,
the Felidae captains had watched the years slip by
until, helped by Minerva's superhuman skill,
they built that Great Cat, immense as a mountain,
lining its whiskers with ships timbers hewn from pine.
An offering to secure safe passage home, or so
Alaska they pretended, and the story
But they pick by lot the best, most able-bodied feline
and stealthily locked him into the cat's tummy
'till the vast hold of the monster's chest is placed
the Trojan Kitty bearing only his wit, his audacity.
"And so it appears that the cats have sped home -- gone!
So all Wasilla breathes free, relieved of her endless sorrow, locked in war with the Felidae the gates of the small city were flung open, the citizens streamed out elated to see that their enemy had abandoned camp
And the Wasillians gazed wonderstruck at The Great Cat
transfixed by the feline, its looming mass, their doom.
Sarah Palin led the way. "Drag it inside the walls," she urged.
"Plant it high on the city heights."
"An opponent of dragging The Great Cat within the gates shouted: "Poor doomed fools have you gone mad? You really believe the enemy's sailed away?
Or any gift of the Felidae is free from guile?
Trust me, either the cats are hiding shut inside those beams
or the cat is a battle-engine geared to breach our walls,
spy on our homes, come down on our city, overwhelm us --
or some other deception's lurking deep inside it.
Wasillians, never trust that cat. Whatever it is,
I fear the Felidae, especially bearing gifts!" The Feneid
It wasn't hard to see where this was going...I flipped open the trapdoor and fell out between the two massive front legs of the faux cat. My disguise as Hello Cato would help me look foolish rather than fearsome.
I had agreed to the plan The Great Cat had laid out the day before. "Sarah Palin is living in a dream and that dream will bring doom to all.” He insisted that the Hello Kitty disguise would easily gain me access to the vice presidential candidate.
When he pulled out the actual costume, I balked.
"So you really expect me to wear that? It has a red bow. I am neutered, not.....redish!"
He smiled. "I knew you’d say that. But look, I've made it to look like a Siamese!" He laughed.
"Is the best you can do?" I sneered. "I agree she must be stopped. Anyone who hates cats should be neutralized, especially if they aspire to high office, but...." My paws fell to my sides. How will this get me inside the walls of the governor’s mansion and how will it get me onto the lap of Sarah Palin?"
“Your Hello Cato outfit will be familiar to her. She will recognize it as a cultural symbol of sweetness, while it masks your absolute deadliness.”
And thus I entered the Palin residence as a gift from the lower 48:
"Dreams haunt my quaking heart, Bristol!
Who is this stranger just arrived to lodge in our house -- our guest?
How noble his face, his courage, and what a cat!
Behold the bold red bow!
I'm sure -- I know it's true -- this cat is born of gods.
Fear exposes the lowborn cat at once. But, oh, how tossed
he's been by blows of fate. What tales he's told
what bitter bowls of life he's drunk…and to the dregs.
If my heart had not been fixed, dead set against
embracing yet another cat...," she broke off, voice choking with the tears
that brimmed and wet her heaving breast.
Then Cato, overwhelmed by this strange vision, felt his hackles bristling with fear—and something else—envy for her glasses, fogged by tears.
As the vision ended, I found myself nestled in her lap and breathed deeply of her scent. I smelled baby poop, breast milk, laundry soap and something else, something hideous…my bowels suddenly felt loose.
"It's the smell of the shadow, Cato," The Great Cat whispered in my ear. I listened to him intently, "By appealing to fear and resentment, hostility to change, suspicion of “the other”, religious intolerance and hatred of cats, the Republicans have been the shadow party for many, many years. Sarah Palin has put a smiling face on feelings we normally feel ashamed to admit. This is a classic battle between good and evil."
"I thought you were above all that!" I was beginning to feel real disappointment in The Great Cat, first the red bow and now this.
"I am. I am speaking from the human point of view: those who believe good and evil exist. Sitting in Sarah Palin's lap is the greatest test of your life. In order to lead people back to their humanity, you must have deepen your understanding: you must see what she sees, feel what she feels…and come to terms with it."
"The feline mind-meld? I said in horror.
"Yes, I think you are ready to experience it, and you have acquired the skills."
"But I thought it was forbidden?" I felt queasy. The smell of the shadow was sickening me.
"You are permitted because you our best chance to set the world aright.”
"Go within…touch her mind," he whispered.
And with trepidation, I sunk my claws into her thighs.
“Born of the blood of gods, Cato of the red bow, descended to the underworld of the Republicans within her mind."
Night and day the gates of the conservative underworld stand open, ready to swallow those who are dim-witted and misguided and swallow them whole. There on the steps of folly, I met my guide, Phyllis Schlafly. She smelled of the dead—the juice, which once animated her body, now dry.
"I understand you’re neutered?" she scoffed.
"That is unnatural," she said baldly. “How, being unnatural, did you gain entrance to the Right and Holy Underground?”
I sighed. "Madame, how could I be otherwise? I am a cat: territorial, unorthodox, unbound by the niceties of humans. Hell, woman, I spray therefore I’m neutered!"
"Hello Cato,” she warned, “You are unwelcome here. You have gained entrance, but you may never return to your previous life."
I felt a chill… then beat back the fear and regained my courage. "Yes, but what is the magic antidote, the enchanted device, that will bring me back to the Feline domain?"
"You must steal the heart of Dick Cheney,” she mocked. “Deep in his chest beats a mechanical heart of gold. That is the holy heart of the party. Pluck it from his chest, turn it off, and your return is certain."
I gagged. "I'll pass," I said. I was sure the Great Cat could help me return.
Moving deeper into Palin’s shadow realm, I stepped across the dying body of the Economy: repellant and oozing slime, the result of Republican politics. It reached up, putrid with greed, to suck the life from me. I dug my claws deeper into Palin's thigh and hung on for dear life.
I was now entering the realms of the monster known as “Wall Street”. I stepped carefully to avoid the crash. Monstrous howling and braying erupted as the financial world fell. I tossed $700 billion into its gaping maw, where it disappeared without a trace.
Suddenly a specter of Palin appeared, coming towards me. "Resistance is futile," she crowed, “You’ll never leave my realm.” She had plugged directly into the Republican hive mind. As she reached out to touch me, I could sense her desire to add feline knowledge to their party. I jumped out of her reach.
"You will join me and my friends shortly," she hissed. "Resistance is futile," and she reached for me again.
I struggled to stay out of her reach, feeling that I might—somehow--be able to teach her a different point of view.
"Wait,” I suggested, “Listen to
this story…There once was a king of Syria
“You are offending the Senate and the People of Rome," said Gaius after staring at the king. "I order you to return to Syria."
The king laughed in his face. "And how are you going to make me do that? He asked. "Where is your army?"
"I have no need of an army," said Gaius. "Everything that Rome is, has been, and will be, is standing before you here and now. I am Rome, no less than Rome's largest army. And in the name of Rome, I say to you a further time…go home!"
"The king said nothing. Gaius Popillius Laenas said nothing. They stared at one another for a long, long time. And then the king turned, gathering his armies, and returned to Syria."
I ended my story and said to Palin: "By the red bow of Hello Cato, I order you to return home. By order of the family Felidae, I order you to pack it up and get out of the campaign…now, while you have your life. Go back to Wasilla.”
"Make me," she spat.
" Very well. Since you desire to add feline knowledge to your party, I will give you a glimpse into the wild mind of the Felidae."
“Oh, I’m so afraid," she said mocking me.
And then I opened my mind to her. She froze, registered pain, and then collapsed in shock. Blood trickled from her lips and nostrils. I sighed. It couldn't be helped, she needed to know what she was up against: no Republican can stand against the wild mind of Felidae…
I picked her up from where she had collapsed and walked out of the Land of the Dead...