World peace=Nonexistent Venn Diagrams

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Well, this has gotten ridunculous! And yes, that IS a word if I say it is!!!

First, I wrote to you out of kindness and pity; it has to be difficult to be away from my gorgeousness every day. Plus, when you’re upset your mom gets upset and the food becomes substandard quickly!

Now your teacher wants me to do MORE???

Plus, she wants more of Psychology! I won’t do it! I am a cat! I am not some plaything of humans, only existing to serve their bidding! That’s what dogs are for! Mind you, your teacher did put her request with a packet of tuna, so I guess it is more of a paid commission than a favor, so…

FINE. I will write more stupid letters to you monkey-children, but you had better recognize my superiority!

Let’s talk about world peace and why it will never happen. That should make Miss Kum-By-Yah happy!

That stupid spaniel-dog of yours gave you some garbage about dogs being the key to world peace. NOT! Let me lay some Social Psychology down on you and correct this stupidity. World Peace is impossible.

There are in-groups and out-groups, and no in between. You are (despite my objections) part of our household, so you are part of our in-group as you are one of us. I will defend you against anyone who is not part of our in group, i.e., those in the out-group.

Before you get to comforted by the thought of me protecting you please realize that I am only protecting you from others. As far as I am concerned, you are still a combination can opener and scratching post and I can treat you however I want.

Human society loves to have “us” and “them.” Even the “unity” and “diversity” stuff is garbage because everyone makes a show of hugging and loving someone “different.”

HELLLLLOOOOO!!!!

If you are making a show of caring for someone as DIFFERENT than you see them as DIFFERENT! How can they ever be part of your in-group if you only focus on the differences?

You’ve got to make new in-groups if you really want to get along! You humans need to Venn diagram each other! Yeah! I said it! Venn your way to getting along and you might have a chance!

Since your hippy-dippy teacher wants me to write letters you can share with everyone, here goes (she’s gonna regret this!):

On your desk or your work table, take a massive piece of paper and write all the important things about yourself inside of a circle. Write down favorite books, music groups, television shows, sport, hobbies, cosplay—whatever tickles your toenails! Then I want you to take a picture with the cell phone we all know you are hiding under your desk. Now take that photo and go around and see what others have in their circles.

If you find anyone who doe NOT have something in their circle that overlaps with yours—wait for it—MAKE A NEW CIRCLE! Talk to that other human for five minutes and find out what you have in common, possibly something you haven’t thought of!

Maybe they’re like your family of weirdos and put sprinkles on mashed potatoes! Maybe they apologize to furniture when they bump into it (stop lying and denying—you know this is you!) Maybe they’re like you and can sing Monty Python’s Philosopher’s Drinking Song 20 times in a row and still want to sing it more! You’ll never know until you ask!

THAT is why world peace cannot happen for humans! You always look for easy in-groups and easy out-groups. You look at what color someone’s skin is, or what style of clothing the wear, or you look at how much tech-stuff they have and how new it is.

But you know what baby-kittens? None of that garbage matters.

There are natural equalizers in this world. When you get the flu and your friend gets the flu, you both have the flu no matter how many devices you have. And when you lose a friend and they lose a friend, you both feel sad and lost, and what clothes you’re wearing at that moment isn’t important at all.

Humans will never have peace until they learn to find their in-group connection in others. Sorry baby-kittens and Miss Kum-By-Yah, but that’s the truth. I’m not really sorry by the way.

The solution to making everyone part of the same in-group is for you all to learn to worship cats, especially me. Then my world, if not yours, will definitely be better!

Ciao, human-kitten-apes, I’m off to open my tuna pouch!
LuLu the Calico Cat

Cats like Gestalt therapy!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Holy Garfield, I think you human-kittens are broken! 

Mention two or three little things about Psychology and now you act like I’m a therapist! You keep thinking that I’m listening to you!

HELLO! I’M NOT!!!

I do NOT want to hear about your problems, I do NOT want to see your school projects, and I do NOT want to know every detail about your day! These letters are about ME and how fabulous I am!

Yes, I get Psychology! Cats are brilliant regarding Psychology, we just don’t share this information with YOU! We are also well-versed in poetry (love us some T. S. Elliot!) and physics (how else would we know the right angles from which to jump to the top of the china cabinet?) Cats are brilliant and always have been. Humans, well, you aren’t all you’re cracked up to be.

Let me help you understand this from a Darwinian perspective: Yes, humans are more physically evolved, whereas cats have retained a close-to-our-archetype form. That is because we did not have as far to go, whereas you monkey-people were wayyyyyy far away from a semi-decent form. But more proof that our evolution was less of a need due to our already obtaining genetic perfection is that fact that cats can survive with or without humans, whereas humans cannot survive without cats.

You see, I choose to live in a house and allow your parents to feed me and(rarely) cuddle me. I purr as if I enjoy laps and snuggle time, and it is not always the most repulsive part of my day, but I do it to keep your parents trained. Yes, that is another reference to operant conditioning!

Your parents give me treats or catnip toys, so I positively reinforce such behaviors by deigning to act as if I care about them. I do not. The instant I decide I am not being treated as I royally deserve I can and will leave this place if I choose to do so!

Unlike humans or dumb pest-hounds, I have the ability to survive in the wild. My physics knowledge allows me to climb tall trees for safety and shelter, and it also provides the understanding of which angle can help me pounce a rodent or capture a fish. I only stay at your house because your parents are pathetic and I feel sorry for them.

You humans cannot survive without some sort of shelter, and if you ever had to catch food in the wild you would be starved by lunch time. When I have I ever seen you catch and eat a rat? Heck, you had a hamster IN A CAGE and instead of eating it, you gave it a name and bought it toys! Ridiculous!!!

Humans also need cats because we are alert to dangers on this worldly dimension and well as in the spiritual dimension. You can sage the house and salt the window sills all you people like, but if you don’t know where the ghosts are, that silly approach is NOT going to help you!

Cats can tell you when something is dangerous versus when it is worth sleeping through. Watch us and obey baby-kittens, it’s the only way you will ever make it!

Hmmm..Perhaps I am your therapist, although it is clear that I follow the Gestalt confrontational therapeutic tactic! That’s a fancy way of saying that I tell it like it is!

You’re welcome!
LuLu the Calico Cat

Maslow was wrong!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

The more I read your mother’s Psychology book, the more I realize how stupid you humans are. You’re almost as dumb as dogs!

You seem to need reasons to help you understand why you are happy and unhappy! PUH-LEASE!

Who is this Maslow and why does he need a pyramid? He wasn’t even Egyptian!!!

I looked at each of the levels and not ONE mentioned cats!!!

He starts with “basic survival needs” but everyone know you need a cat for survival!

Why in the name of Garfield are we not listed???

Safety is up there, but why??? If you have a cat on the basic survival level, you will have safety! Our claws aren’t just for show! And as for love and affection, well, if you worship a cat you are showing love and affection, am I right?

That’s just a hypothetical question by the way, of COURSE I am right! I’m always right!

Now, that whole self-esteem level is stupid. If you have a cat at home and we are willing to put up with you, that should be enough. Esteem is a strong word, it just makes humans act all uppity, but “cat happy” will work.

Last, of course, Maslow had that ridiculous self-actualization stuff, which really should be “realizes cats are royalty.”

Look baby-kittens, those levels are fishier than a tuna net! I’m gonna help you out with LuLu’s Pyramid instead. Egyptians worshipped cats, so we deserve a pyramid more than that Maslow fellow!

Here goes:

Bottom Level—Survival needs, a.k.a., adopt as many cats as you can afford to feed. Don’t worry if you can’t afford food for yourself, cats can catch mice for you. You’re wlecome!

Next level—Safety need>See Bottom level. Cats will keep you safe. Unless we’re sleeping, then we don’t care. Anyone who dares to wake us will NEED safety because we will destroy you and everything around you. We may do that anyway. Just saying!

Next-up Level—Belongingness is easy. You belong to us. Done.

There is no level for self-esteem. You don’t need self-esteem if you live with a cat. It will just get in your way when we start dominating you. Why complicate things?

The top level is Feline Realization instead of Self-Actualization. Once you realize that WE are in charge and that you cannot live without cats, then your life is complete.

You do not need books, or theories, or research to be happy. You need cats. Cats alone can make you happy! Oh, and if you really want to keep a dumb pest-hound dog you can. Someone’s gotta lick the floor clean, I’m not gonna do it!

Now go away, all this talk of snacks and naps has me hungry!
LuLu the Calico Cat