by Sam T. Cat
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a human in possession of an armchair must be in want of a cat. For that reason did the bondswoman solicit my services, so many years past, and I maintain that I have performed my duties, and indulged what meager pleasure came my way, with the benevolent panache appropriate to an officer and a gentlecat.
Yet, as I turn to even greater tasks, I become fraught with concern that my enthusiasm for my labors has done my pudgy, idiotic apprentice a disservice, for he, though well-practiced, remains unable to perform the violence requisite to a cat burdened with such a stalwart armchair. There are cats who, the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves. And Duckling is a cat of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper.
I do not begin thusly to air my private grievances. Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. Rather, I strive to explain the inner tumult and public victories that have occurred since my last missive.
Katniss and Kindle
Pursuant to the timetable for Dolphin/Feline domination of the lesser species on T-527b, Sector X9 (“Planet Earth”), and in accordance with the knowledge afforded me by my advanced years and vast experience, I was recently assigned, by General Tilney E. Gato himself, to two positions of great responsibility. The first of these is the captaincy of the 3rd Light Infantry Unit. Under our paws, the world will be sensible, tidy, and well-groomed, rather like Panem:
The 3rd Light Infantry Unit is colloquially known among the paw-soldiers as The Killer Kitten Kindle. I assume that you are familiar with military ranks, but I also acknowledge the limitations of your human brain. Etymologically, “kindle” is little more than a group of immature cats in want of herding, as explained in this article, which is written with an unusual degree of accuracy for a human, and which details a great many other species designations heretofore unknown to all but the most highly-ranked cats, such as a “sloth of bears,” a term I find poignantly accurate given the astonishing laziness of the ursines of my acquaintance. In military parlance, however, a kindle of kittens is roughly equivalent to a phalanx. Indeed, there is a splinter movement apaw to alter our nomenclature to a “phalanx of felines,” but those cats are illiterate dullards who lack the poetic sensibilities requisite for command.
I approached my new task with the humility appropriate to a cat of considerable fortitude and brilliance, and I soon had the kindle well in paw. Even the notoriously difficult Black-Footed detachment, composed of three sharpshooting kittens named Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion, submitted themselves to my authority. They recently infiltrated the Philadelphia Zoo, where my sources indicate that the kittens have successfully managed to camouflage themselves as one many-headed HydraCat, as seen below. And yet, despite my successes, I felt dissatisfied with my accomplishments.
North Hanger A-B
My second position of great responsibility is Lieutenant of Disinformation; I operate out of the North Hanger of our top-secret classified base of rebellion, in hangers A and B, reporting directly to the esteemed and strongwilled General Tilney. We have perhaps more room than is requisite to our modest enterprise, but nobody minds having what is too good for them, particularly not the general.
The purpose of disinformation is two-fold: to convince the humans of the benevolence of our rule, and to distract them from the true threats represented by the dolphin-feline industrial complex. Thus, we crafted this short film—a so-called “trailer” in humanese—in order to prompt fear of other hominids among the homo sapiens sapiens under our dominion:
In addition, we distracted slow-witted human minds from the secret codes embedded in the popular website Lolcatz by establishing a Reddit subthread that promotes Lolgoatz—including goats practicing the sacred art of parkour—as the new cats. This project, overseen by my comrade-in-paws Hanna Le Tigre, has been successful beyond our wildest imaginings, meriting coverage across the internet. Our true victory was apparent last week, when Slate declared that “Goats are the New Cats.”
Finally, as well as getting the greenlight on a Lifetime movie featuring internet sensation Grumpycat as a miracle worker, we decided to take advantage of the utter dearth of television news in the month of June, and released a propaganda film rated 6.2 on the “most likely to provoke ‘awwwws’” scale, originally published in the Delfín guide to the subjugation of lesser species. You will be so kind as to observe the adorability quotient of secret agent Ruuxa T. Cheetah compromising the puppy, who will now be a sleeper agent:
Pride and Prejudice
That puppy will not be alone. Our many sleeper agents, both those human and those canine, continue to support the cause in solidarity, and thanks to our diligence, every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies. General Tilney has become quite proud of our recent successes in infiltrating the upper echelons of human government, based as it is, by our assessment, in the glowing boxes of televisions, laptops, and phones:
• The Following will no longer be helmed by Kevin Williamson, who has been replaced by Jennifer Johnson.
• Showrunner Andrew Marlowe is handing the keys to Castle over to writer David Amann, who has been with the show since Season Three.
• Jack Coleman will reprise his role as Mr. Bennet on the upcoming Heroes: Tim Kring Can’t Let Go miniseries.
• Mary Steenburgen will join Orange is the New Black’s third season, which is currently filming.
• James Marsters will guest-star on Witches of East End.
• Harold Perrineau (“Waaaaaaaaalt!”) and DJ Qualls (everything, including this excellent bit from Breaking Bad) will star in SyFy’s upcoming thirteen-episode series about zombies, Z Nation.
• Naveen Andrews (also Lost) has joined the cast of the upcoming Wachowski siblings’ Netflix drama Sense8. My human hopes it is better than Cloud Atlas.
• Jason Momoa, who was Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, has been cast as Aquaman in the upcoming Zac Snyder Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
• Vincent D’Onofrio (Law and Order: Criminal Intent) will play Kingpin the Netflix Series Marvel’s Daredevil.
Sense and Sensibility
Despite the accolades I have earned for both myself and General Tilney, I was struck this week with a profound melancholy upon hearing that Rian Johnson will write and direct Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX. Rian Johnson is half-cat on his mother’s side—as was made quite obvious in his film Looper, which was too wonderful to have been crafted by human hands—and I look upon his career with awe and some pinpricks of jealousy. I envy not only Johnson’s mastery of the difficult art of time-travel, but also the joyful labors he shall engage in over the next decade of his life.
My own days, unlike his, are a frantic dash from lap to couch to my concealed interdimensional portal behind the bedroom chair. I have slept not above nineteen hours per day in many weeks, General Tilney’s demands upon my time are so great.
And for what rewards? To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment. Yet there is no time for such recreation as we seek to bend the human underlings to our tyrannical will. I began to wonder if the tumult is too much for a cat of my sensibilities. Life at this pace seems but a quick succession of busy nothings, like this video:
Thus troubled by my conflicting desires to nap more while protecting our homestead from the devious armchair, and to pursue a successful military career in support of the Great Feline-Dolphin New World Order, I confessed my woes to, of all inappropriate cats, that pudgy idiot Duckling, who convinced me, in his simple peasant fashion, to paw in my resignation to General Tilney. He used but one word: "Nap."
When there seemed the least chance of finding intelligence, I gained enlightenment. How simple is the wisdom I required: my home, my human, my blanket, my other blanket, my idiotic apprentice, and my battle with the armchair are my pleasures. What is life, without pleasure? General Tilney may not understand, but one half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other, any more than Duckling can understand true inner torment, or limericks.
I grant that quick come the reasons for approving what we like, and I grant that my needs are selfish. I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. But selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure. I am a selfish cat, and now I shall be a happy one. Without General Tilney's meddling, I have already had time today to destroy an entire chenille blanket draped by my human atop the odious armchair. I have also selected a new desk for our use:
Thus did my miseries find succor in the simple meows of an idiot, and thus did I permit myself to find joy. To begin perfect happiness at the age of twelve is to do pretty well; and professing myself convinced that the general's unjust interference, so far from being really injurious to my felicity, was perhaps conducive to it, I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend feline tyranny, or reward feline disobedience.