Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

I have been living with cats and dogs most of my life: though my life has far more been dog than cat. My father hated cats, so we simply had dogs. Almost as soon as we got hitched; over 30 years ago, we ended up with a pet-mixed marriage, due to the fact our just purchased abode needed mouse extermination.

Early this morning; cat and little dog on bed. Second cat out looking for another fresh kill to bring in: so they can both chase it around the house then slaughter it. Elderly collie on floor, only because it hurts for him to jump up and get down these days. I came to the realization that this whole pet thing can go far in describing political dynamics.

Take Conservatives, for example.

My family was very Conservative. We not only voted that way, my father ran for office in Rockland County: next county up on the western side of NYC. I helped with the campaign when I was 12.

We had dogs; yet I think many Conservatives think humans more cat-like. They think of themselves as very independent. So independent they think no one needs help from anyone: we all can pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, or in the case of cats by the sinews, the intestines and the organs ripped out of mice, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and left everywhere to step on, lay on and wake up face to face with. Or with as little “face” that may be left.

They have so much fun doing that, don’t they?

Never you mind, if both cats and Cons honestly looked back at how they got where they are today, plenty of help was received. Even if it’s just the roads that took us where we needed to go, or the diseases we don’t get because someone took care of all the waste we produce: including all too human waste and the dumped litter box. Neither cat or human rarely, if ever, has a better life as a stray. Most have had a warm home, food, friends of “family” that offer various opportunities, a nurturing environment… or they wind up abandoned: poor shivering strays crushed under the unforgiving wheels of a semi… or homeless too often found frozen in nearby rivers or under bridges.

The irony is, having listened to their human rants, or feline “meow” pleas, while they act as if everyone else does such to themselves, they are always willing to give themselves a break as victims of “bad luck.” Or “victims” of those who won’t agree to serve their every whim, or simply dare to disagree. Their attitude about others is so predictable: persistent, willingly ignorant. No matter what the real truth their response is frequently some variant of, “It’s their own damn fault.” Everyone else “should have pulled themselves up by…” something. Something by definition, everyone else often doesn’t have.

But something they rarely acknowledge is that others have helped them get where they are: others as in parents, teachers, friends and sometime, gasp! …the government. This refusal to acknowledge such is all to convenient: supposedly allows them the “right” to sit around and judge others, and enjoy the beloved “hunt.” Their favorite thing: rip their prey apart with as much noise as possible when any sane person would least want to hear it. It’s vile. It’s disgusting.

Now you may think I’m only referring to cats, or segued to Sarah Palin and her, “Watch ‘Momma Grizzly’ kill another moose” fetish. I assume she has killed a few Momma Bears too, even if it’s just firing her own word bullets at herself from time to time. OK, maybe more than just “time to time.”

But if you have ever had to sit at the family table near one of these cretins, or tried to listen to TV, or hold a decent, civil, conversation while their in the same room, you might find one of these over zealous and often bitter Conservatives turn everything, anything, into an ongoing, loud, commentary on politics and society. They enjoy clawing their targets apart, dissecting them, right in front of you. They take great joy in making as much unnecessary noise as possible doing it. Usually in absurd ways that only make sense if you realize this is all too often more about making a scene and making you squirm, than the kill. Their prey, you, and everyone else, are just “entertainment,” for them: butterflies to pin with their inflated egos.

Even cats rarely go that far. Makes me respect them more.

Doing it everywhere, damn near any time, is fair game. Like when you are trying to just visit your mother-in-law, not do battle. Or just trying to watch TV, a movie, talk about the weather, a book, or even sit and read quietly. Everything is an excuse to spout, “That damn Kenyan-born, socialist…” or to respond to “nice day today” with “not as long as some baby is being aborted.”

Of course even if made illegal there still will be babies being aborted. But logic and common sense doesn’t play into this. You realize that, right?

I admit to my own rants. Some of my former conservative-ness still thrives, for my wife will surely tell you about the times she has fallen asleep mid rant. Even midday. Am I really that boring?

Sometimes, I suppose, “yes.”

Some who expel the loudest gaseous rants, and most obvious sighs and grunts of exasperation when their fav activities are interrupted by the slightest thing, have no qualms about interrupting what you are doing with their supposedly righteous, ongoing commentary.

You see, no matter what’s going on in any group, it’s never about us, or you, it’s always about them, just like the cat will sit in front of the TV just at the most crucial moment in a show and refuse to move.

How do I know this? Been there. Done that. Yes, once upon a time, upon a distant time so warped, I was a Conservacat too.

If cats are more like those Conservatives who think themselves independent but use our roads, our fire departments, seek aid from government while ranting against all of the above, then dogs… the ultimate pack animal… are perhaps more like too many on the Left these days.

Once upon a time the Left was a bit more cat like, in the 60s, perhaps. But these days the leadership, and even much of the citizenry, on the Left has been filled with pack animals. So much so our leaders are damn near willing to compromise anything away as long as they can claim they did something “for the pack.” Even if that’s not really true, or it’s obvious the cats will ignore what they did “for the pack” and do what cats will do anyway. These same Leftie leaders will continue to behave this way. Why? Because they simply can’t comprehend non-pack behavior.

Dogs usually seek approval. From pretty much everyone. Cats? To put it politely: not so much. Often not at all. Just as often they seek disapproval. In fact, I think they often enjoy disapproval. They know they’re “getting to you.”

Now admittedly this four footed analysis may seem to fall apart a bit when it comes to locked in step voting patterns. But this is a bit false because it’s just “cats” voting for what’s best for “cats,” not what’s best for the community as a whole which includes humans and dogs.

You know, like my cat-dog household where occasionally the two cats conspire in the same way, against us and for them, and only “for them?”

Many Liberals/leftists/progressives… whatever the hell term, or half-assed distinction, you wish to use… just want us all to get along. They may growl over the dog food dish with fellow dogs, like over what we should call ourselves, but their protests over all the insults, deception, lies and slander coming from the “cats,” like calling it the “Democrat Party,” are weak, at best. But when a cat eats from the dog dish? No canine complaints at all. No growls, no whines. Nothing.

Today’s Cons not only complain, they love to stir things up: pit us against each other. Drive a wedge between us.

Just like my cats.

There’s a possible oddity here: a seeming conundrum. My over a half a century worth of observations have concluded that generally most Righties prefer dogs and Lefties: cats. But it’s not really all that odd. You see dogs are generally obedient. That suits the Catcons just fine. They get to rule and are rarely meaningfully, consistently, challenged when it comes to their behavior. And they loathe being challenged. They want to rule and assert their rule by getting in your way no matter how important what you are doing is.

It didn’t used to be that way as much when I was with the movement. One can hope this is all a shifting dynamic, but not for a long time as far as I can tell. Why? Because we reward that kind of behavior far too much.

Cats require figuring out: thinking, shifting tactics, understanding. And some cats you might as well well hang it up. Sometimes I think damn near all of them. Most Lefties I know are fascinated with being challenged, enjoy brain teasers.

I find it entertaining and challenging living in a multi-specie-d household. Less so the political divide. Some days I almost wish the animal control folks would take the most rabid ones away. Fantasy has its pleasures, yet I wouldn’t wish that upon them. But spay and neuter at least the most brainless, the loudest and the most arrogant?

Ah, we can dream, can’t we?


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2010
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved

By Ken Carman

Retired entertainer, provider of educational services, columnist, homebrewer, collie lover, writer of songs, poetry and prose... humorist, mediocre motorcyclist, very bad carpenter, horrid handyman and quirky eccentric deluxe.

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Ana Grarian
13 years ago

Ah, but then, what political flavor are those of us who prefer a multi-species household, with room for the rodentia, reptilian, and aquarian as well as multi-mammal?

RS Janes
13 years ago

I think it’s fascinating that if you identify yourself as a ‘progressive’ these days in a social situation, automatically you are assaulted for ‘liberal’ crap that you may not agree with.

For example: I don’t want to ban people from eating fast food, as long as they know the risks and have the nutritional facts;

I don’t want to censor anyone’s free speech, even ‘hate speech,’ as long as other viewpoints are given a fair chance to rebut the viciousness or racism of the hater, or point out the facts;

I don’t want to stop anyone from making as much money as the market will bear, as long as they do it legally, aren’t exploiting or otherwise mistreating those who work for them, aren’t destroying the environment for others, aren’t taking advantage of tax breaks or loopholes to increase their wealth, and don’t have undue influence on our political process;

I’m all for unions, but not corrupt unions that take the worker’s money and then don’t use it to help their members;

I don’t agree with everything Obama says nor everything he’s done, and the same goes for the Democratic Party. It’s just that Dems are full of it about 70 percent of the time; the GOP close to 99.

I am against the ‘Nanny State’ approach to things like smoking, drugs and certain food issues; I think it’s cruel and unusual punishment to make some poor slob go outside in 10-below weather to have a cigarette; all drugs should be legalized and any problems thereof treated as a medical issue; and the government shouldn’t ban any food, except for the genetically-modified variety since we have no idea what effect that Frankenfood will have on our bodies or other crops in the future.

Of course corporate power should be curtailed – how is it any different living in a tyrannical country ruled by a strongman to living in a plutocracy run by despotic corporations? Our government is of, by and for the people, meaning human beings and not the ludicrous legal abstraction of ‘corporate people.’

I could go on, but at one time or another, I have been accused of agreeing with things that I don’t agree with because I said I’m a ‘progressive.’ Often, the accuser is so far gone they don’t even listen to my refutation of their accusation. I blame this deep divide on the neocon right more than the nutcase left — backed by billions of dollars, they have, for the more than three decades, intentionally pursued a ‘divide and conquer’ policy, which is how they win elections. Labels are terrible things but, if I had to have one, I guess it’d be, ‘Libertarian Progressive.’

BTW, following a recent week-long visit by a canine guest notorious for begging, our cat now emulates him, even sitting in the same pose as the dog, although he rarely eats any morsel of food offered him. Cats are strange creatures, but we love the little goofball who lives with us — he has a great sense of humor, for one thing.

RS Janes
13 years ago

I’ve talked to people at length who identified themselves as ‘conservative,’ only to find out we agreed on mostly everything. The part we disagreed on was usually a woman’s right to an abortion and taxation but, even there, they were willing to see the wealthy pay more in taxes to balance the budget and allow for abortions in the case of rape, incest or where the mother’s life is threatened. The ‘success’ of the right-wing media is in getting people to accept the ‘conservative’ label no matter how meaningless it is compared to what they actually think, vote for conservative candidates on that basis, and reject ‘liberals’ as evil Nanny State commie goons who want to run your life and, as some idiot once said, “take away all your hard-earned money to give to the poor who don’t want to work.” Sadly, some people think in these comic book terms, but I see that changing now that so many are out of work and getting kicked out of their homes.

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