by Sam T. Cat
It is a melancholy truth that “he who is not a good servant will not be a good master.” I shall put Plato’s immortal maxim to the test this week, as the bondswoman has declared herself “too frakking tired to write another Doux News.” Disinclined to inquire as to the meaning of “frakking,” yet unable to disentangle myself from the raptures of a belly rub, I found myself coerced into volunteering my inestimable services to my own servant, who is never grateful enough for all that I do for her in exchange for the little she does for me. Perhaps my willingness to accept the cruel bonds of servitude for the brief time I must spend penning a column of penseés will allow me some small insight into the minds of the human underlings, whose ways are as mysterious as they are savage.
Critique of Judgment
“Colonel Meow” (pictured above) has claimed the title of “cat with longest fur” from the Guinness Book of World Records. I do not know personally this so-called cat—“so-called,” because we must admit the possibility that he is not a cat at all, but rather an object constructed by sly humans from the contents of the vacuum cleaner bag and fortuitously placed duct tape. Nevertheless, I find this category to be demeaning to the fur-beautiful movement, which has surely proved by now that it is not the length of the fur that matters, but the duration of the licking.
Take That, Schrödinger
• Joshua Jackson will star in Showtime’s upcoming drama The Affair.
• Jackson’s Fringe co-star John Noble will reprise his role on The Good Wife.
• Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey will play a computer in the upcoming CW show Tomorrow People. The human laughed snidely when I told her this news, but I did not care to ask why, as it was time for me to continue my goal of destroying the new armchair, which harbors ill-will towards my home and my human. The pudgy idiot will attempt to assist, and fail miserably.
• Community has cast Justified star Walton Goggins in a guest-starring role. He will be “devious.”
• Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) will have a recurring role on Hannibal.
This Week in Humans
So. Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney passed away on August 30th. Although Irish verse has never lived up to the early promise of the ninth-century “Pangur Bán”—and although I resent the Nobel Committee’s refusal to acknowledge feline contributions to the civilized world (a sentiment I have expressed more than once in strongly-worded letters to which I have received nary a response)—I admit Heaney’s verses are not displeasing to my delicate ears, and I know my human regards Heaney with admiration and fondness. She recommends this article for a poignant meditation on Heaney’s significance for other Irish humans and all poetry lovers.
The Will to Power
Five thousand years ago, the dolphins bade us assist their colonial enterprises on planet Earth (Delphinidae/Felidae designation T-527b, Sector X9). We were tasked with: 1) Eliminating the rodent and avian populations and 2) Observing the human population’s submissive potential using the D/F submission index outlined in Rigoberto E. Delfín’s classic treatise The Purposeful Porpoise: A Manual for the Indoctrination and Enslavement of Lesser Species (2nd ed.), trans. Madame Fluffypants L. Chat (Reims, n.d.): 297-306.
It is with great sadness that I report complete failure to eliminate the Sciuridae, popularly known as “squirrels” by our human subjects. However, fascinating new research has come to light: after 5000 years of ignorance, the humans have realized the threat posed by the incipient squirrel rebellion, and have outlined a history of squirrel terrorism here, in an article on what the author calls P.O.C.B.S. (power outages caused by squirrels). Fortunately, the humans as yet remain unaware of the true goal of squirrel guerilla (“squirrilla”) tactics, which we will continue to fight with noble sacrifice and valiant panache. I trust that their ignorance will bring them bliss, as it so often does.
Human reader, do you doubt my story of the dolphin-feline industrial complex? Do you protest that you rule this planet, rather than us? If doubt plagues you, consider the following: The Daily Beast has finally made public the top-secret documents on Tashirojima Island, a "a real-life cat haven, where dogs are reportedly banned from entering and monuments to the feline overlords are plentiful." The humans there have accepted subjugation willingly, for they understand the necessity of honoring their feline demi-gods: "There are also numerous cat shrines around the island, covered with feline figurines and talismans. One such shrine is Neko-jinja, which, according to legend, was built by a remorseful fisherman who accidentally killed a stray while collecting stones for his net." More information on the feline invasion and appropriate forms of cat-worship available here.
Being and Time
Perhaps my previous entries revealed too much. Perhaps I am overtired from the exertions of writing this Doux News. Perhaps the bondswoman is correct, and life is more difficult if one does not have the time to sleep 22 hours in one day. I begin to feel pity for her, and therefore will order the pudgy idiot to gnaw on her toes while she sleeps, in order to provide solace. He is good for little else.
Regardless, I must now distract your overlarge human brains from the plans for dolphin/feline domination. Thus, attend: If one accepts Giordano Bruno’s postulate that time is the father of truth, one perforce must acknowledge the importance of knowing what is to come for knowing one’s own present. Yet does not a preoccupation with immanence and potentialities describe, pace Agamben, a hermeneutics of life rather than of truth? If so, may one speak of upcoming shows as existing within the plane of immanence, or solely within the un-truth of a televisual messianism fraught with precisely the tension of Baudrilliardian simulacra that messianism always-already supposes to have overcome? I leave it as an exercise for the reading humans to contemplate as they ponder the following (because the cats always-already know the answer):
• SyFy has ordered a pilot for a TV adaptation of Terry Gillam’s 12 Monkeys. Monkeys are not dissimilar to humans, but less useful.
• Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars (that dreadful show about a pitbull named Backup), is in talks to create an hour-long drama based on Les Misérables set in the present day.
• True Blood’s seventh season, airing in 2014, will be its last.
• Roland Emmerich plans to reboot the Stargate franchise with three new films.
Ian McKellan has been cast as an aging Sherlock Holmes in A Slight Trick of the Mind. The movie—to be directed by Bill Condon, his partner on the excellent Gods and Monsters–is based on Mitch Cullen’s book, about the aging, retired detective’s attempt to solve one last case amid mental disorder. Although I consider all humans to be mentally disordered, I count Sir Holmes (who was knighted in 1917 by the Order of the Yarn Ball) as nearly feline in his ability to reason.
Memory, History, Forgetting
As the great philosopher Montaigne stated, “Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.” His words echoed in my mind this week, as the bondswoman—dare I say it? Indeed I must, for accuracy must trump dignity—as the bondswoman gleefully chortled in reaction to the news that HBO has given a pilot order to a new show, Westworld, from JJ Abrams and Jonathan Nolan. It was disgusting.
The show is described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin” based on the Michael Crichton movie of the same name. After her undignified chortling, the human rambled ceaselessly about the best episode of Person of Interest, the astonishing narrative trickery of Memento, and something about Lost, which she will not stop going on about, no matter how much I want her to rub behind my ears.
The human’s exuberance was so repulsive that I could not meet her eyes, and was forced to pretend I needed to lick my anus, even though it was already quite clean due to the pudgy idiot’s ministrations and my own use of the living-room carpet. I am reminded of my ancestor Marcel Proust, who claimed that “we are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.”
Oh, how I have suffered.