A day after the State of the Union, a dog and a cat weigh in. Theirs is a house divided.
CAT WAS AS ADAMANT as I’ve seen him.
“I thought we agreed that we weren’t going to write anything about the State of the Union speech,” Cat growled.
“We weren’t,” I said.
“Then, end this right now!” Cat said. “Real people, real pets, don’t want to read about the State of Union ahead of time. They don’t want to listen to it or watch it in real time. Afterwards, they really don’t want to think about it any time. By now, they’re in recovery and need to be left alone.”
“Okay,” I said, “I’ll keep it short.”
“Stop!” Cat said. “Short is as bad for State of the Union recovery as is medium-long, and the same goes for too long.”
“Well, the speech WAS too long,” I said.
“Shut up,” Cat said.
“I want to make just one point about…” I said
“Please. Just. Shut. Up.”
“But here’s the thing…,” I began again.
“What part of ‘Shut up’ is it that you don’t get, Phoebe?”
Cat was screaming, now.
“Is it the word ‘Shut’ that you’re hung up on?" he demanded. "Or is it ‘up?’ I’ll try to make it simple: In this context, two words combine to become a unified transitive verb, meaning a forceful command synonymous with: ‘Don’t talk anymore.’ ‘Be quiet.’ ‘Say no more.’ ‘Forgo running thoust mouth, NOW!’ ‘Shush.' "
Now, Cat was up on all four feet, claws digging into the couch cushion.
“Congress should not allow itself to be used as a presidential applause machine,” I blurted. “It’s a co-equal branch of government, not a TV studio audience, clapping whenever the ‘Applause’ says to, or leaping from their seats when it says, 'Stand, Stupid!' It’s demeaning. To the Constitution. To the voters.”
“You are a dead dog talking,” Cat said, leaping off the living room couch and, now on the run, coming straight for me.
“CAT, YOU WEIGH just 13 pounds,” I yelled as I raced up the stairs, “It’s a lot for a cat, I'll grant you. But I’m 52, 54 pounds.”
Luckily, I made it into one of the second floor bedrooms and slammed the door before he could get so much as a claw into the woodwork.
“No sane being wants to hear one word about the Stupid, Silly, Senseless State of the Union,” Cat roared, in a strange voice, which, even muffled by the closed door, was definitely maniacal.
“The man’s a liar!” I said.
“You are not listening.”
Turning the door lock as quietly as I could, I whispered: “Point taken.”
After a long period of holding my breath, I could hear clumsy feet going down the stairway, one thud at a time, followed by a thump, each step growing more distant. Thud. Thump. Thrump. Trump.
Then the house was completely quiet.
It was nice.