A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ambitious Cats

Soon it will be that time of year when parents everywhere will have stories about the goals their children accomplished during the summer vacation. They’ll have stories about Johnny’s swimming merit badge from Boy Scout camp, or Paula baking a cake in the shape of a bunny during a class at the community center. Then, once school is back in session, there will be awards for completing the summer reading assignments. I can just hear the teachers now: “Suzy gets a star today for reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica over summer vacation! Good going, Suzy!”

Poor Suzy! All she gets is a lousy star! She could really use free tae kwon do lessons that she’ll need to fend off her jealous classmates in the schoolyard.

Then the parents will have photos of the child with the merit badge/cake/star to share with their colleagues, but I’ll be ready for them this year. With a little help from Photo Shop, I will make my own photos to share my children’s accomplishments. There is just one small detail to work out; my wife and I don’t have children. We have two cats, Meredith and Stephen, neither one of which has done anything at all this season. Still, I feel I can wake them long enough to fire their ambitions and let them feel the thrill of completing a project during the last few weeks of summer.

Yes, in the fall, I can pull out photos and show everyone, “Look, here’s Meredith helping out at a soup kitchen in Center City. No, I don’t know how she could hold that ladle in her mouth. She’s good, huh? Oh, and here’s Stephen helping Dr. Stephen Hawking work on a complex quantum physics problem. Here’s Meredith again marching on City Hall to stop the gun violence. Here’s another one of Stephen measuring planks to be cut at a Habitat for Humanity work site in New Orleans Ninth Ward.”

Who am I kidding? I will more likely get a shot of Meredith gnawing a felt tail off her catnip filled mouse. I don’t know what photo I’ll get of Stephen. He is so fascinated with the strap on our digital camera that he gets too close to the lens to be photographed. He’ll end up looking fuzzy and out-of-focus; sort of the way I feel the day after my neighbors have their New Years Eve party.

I will have to accept the fact that my kids are classic underachievers, which is perfectly normal when you are a cat.

(Bow to your sensei, Suzy!)


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