Saturday, March 19, 2005

THE FUNNY FARM CATS UNITE


Percy dons the writing hat for a good cause


THE FUNNY FARM CATS UNITE
Copyright 2005 Janice Price

“I have called all the felines together while Jan is running our errands,” Percy begins, “because I made a very upsetting discovery while reading her email today.”

Crystal stretches and yawns. “Is it worth waking me from a nap in the only warm spot in the house?”

“Where’s that?” Cotton asks. “I haven’t been able to find a warm spot in two weeks.”

“I have something far more important to discuss,” Percy says impatiently.

“Can I collect the dues first?” Cameron asks.

“No!” Crystal snarls. “Don’t start with the dues. This isn’t even a Funny Farm Writing Club meeting.”

“What’s not a Funny Farm Writing Club meeting?” Buddy asks as he strolls into the living room and leaps onto the swivel rocker. He calls into the bedroom, “Merci, you better come join us. We’re having another meeting.”

“Well, at least this one is being held at a decent hour,” Merci says, sitting in the bedroom doorway.

“You canines aren’t allowed,” Percy tells him. “This is strictly for the feline family members.”

Buddy ignores him, settling comfortably into his favorite chair. “Go ahead, then. Merci and I can listen. We live here too.”

Percy decides not to argue. “I came across a news story about some place called Wisconsin.”

“Where’s that?” Cyndi asks.

“It’s probably near Atlanta,” Merci says. “Everywhere is near Atlanta.”

“Will you let me finish?” Percy complains. “It doesn’t matter where Wisconsin is. What matters is that the people there are going to vote on Question 62.”

“Do they already know the other 31 answers?” Cameron asks.

“Don’t pay any attention to him,” Cotton says. “He’s young. He can barely count past his toes.”

“Question 62 is important to us. Folks are going to vote on whether hunters can hunt and shoot cats.”

“Shoot cats? You mean vaccinate them, like for rabies, don’t you?”

“No, Buddy, I mean shoot them with a gun, to kill them.”

Buddy sits up, straight and tall. “Don’t worry, cat critters, We’ll protect you, won’t we, Merci?”

Merci nods her head energetically. “We sure will. But why would hunters want to shoot cats? I like cats. They make good dust mops.”

“We need to warn the other cats,” Percy declares, waving a paw in the air. “If we don’t, hunters could be shooting at us next. All cats don’t have Internet access, so we need to do what we can to warn them and get Question 62 voted down.”

Cyndi is puzzled. “You mean cats can vote on whether they’re hunted?”

“We need to unite. Hunt the hunters. Distribute slingshots to all felines, spring booby traps on lone hunters, steal their ammunition, make night forays into their camps…”

“Percy, have you lost your mind?” Jenny calls from her bed on the clothes dryer in the kitchen. “I’m a lot older than you and I can tell you that violence is not the answer. You need to convince people who are eligible to vote to get out and vote to kill the bill.”

“Jenny is right, Percy,” Cotton says. “We’re indoor cats, but we can help by emailing the information to our friends and they can tell their friends, and if you drop a hint to Jan, she can email to her friend and maybe to a few of her enemies… “

Cyndi searches Jan’s email program. “Which message is it?”

“The one from Don’t Shoot The Cat,” Percy says. “www.dontshootthecat.com is their web address.”

Cyndi jumps down from the chair and Percy, a nimble typist, takes her place. “Okay, Jenny,” he calls into the kitchen, “we’re going to take your advice and email all the cats we know and even some we don’t know. Buddy and Merci can email the message to their canine friends and we can type a message in Jan’s name for her friend.”

“Do you think Jan and her friend vote?” Crystal asks.

“They should. This is important. Everyone who lives in Wisconsin should vote.”

“But we don’t live in Wisconsin,” Cotton reminds them.

“That’s okay,” Buddy says. “If we just tell everyone we know, at least one of them is bound to live in Wisconsin. And the email says we don’t have to live in Wisconsin to vote.”

Percy finishes addressing the message and clicks the Send button. “There. Finished.”

“Uh, Percy,” Cameron says, hesitantly, “you forgot to write a message. You just sent a blank email to everyone in Jan’s address book.”

Percy realizes his enthusiasm carried him away.. “Don’t worry. I’ll just include an apology for the blank email in another message. Jan is so forgetful that everyone will believe she made the mistake. The important thing is to spread the word on Question 62.”

“Yes, it is.” Cyndi sighs. “I wonder what those hunters will come up with next.”

Cotton looks steadily at Cyndi. “What do you mean, what will they come up with next? Question 63, of course!”

Percy,
Secretary of the Funny Farm Writing Club

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