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

Grumbling is smiling for some!

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

Dear Ethan,

What simpleton let that dog get into the coffee? The pest-hound was running around for hours the other day! She nipped, yipped, and flopped at us cats as if were common house pets! Then your mom came home and realized Jamie had eaten a bunch of coffee grounds and she carried that stupid pest to the vet’s office!

Apparently, the veterinarian made Jamie vomit a bunch. I wish I had seen THAT! Did you know that coffee can kill a dog? I might have to give Jamie some, just to check. If it’s a science experiment, then it’s legal, right???

Jamie said that she had solved the issues with riots and protesters by announcing a grand plan to force everyone to sit down at what she called a “coffee summit.”

This is proof that your dumb dog is just that, a dumb dog. This coffee stuff almost killed her and now she want to share the poison with everybody to “make them happy.” Sounds kind of twisted to me!

Fixing world issues is not as simple as coffee. As I have mentioned before it requires fish, but even fish will not be enough with some humans.

Some humans are out getting loud because no one listened to them when they were quiet, so they don’t know what else to do. Coffee definitely won’t be better than being heard (especially if it’s toxic), so it’s not gonna help much.

Other humans aren’t fighting for anything, they’re just miserable people who just want to fight or stay miserable. They’re out there you know.

That’s probably hard for a baby-human-kitten like yourself to understand, but there are weirdos who are only happy when they’re unhappy. Kind of like those bullies you had to deal with, am I right? They only felt good when someone else felt bad. That’s kind of messed up.

Here’s the deal kiddo. Don’t run away with this or anything, but I might, on RARE occasions care about you. Before you get excited, if it’s between you and a case of fresh fish, you’re history, but if I don’t have to choose I would let you stay and watch me eat.

(You can’t have any of the fish, so don’t take this too far…actually, now I’m wanting fish, so I had better wrap this up.)

The whisker I’m trying to curl here is that YOU have to be YOU, and if someone else tries to make you feel that you are less than what you are because they’re a miserable twerp, just hiss loudly and then swipe ‘em and walk away.

Sure, you might get some strange looks, but nobody messes with a cat more than once. At least not if they want to sleep with their eyes closed!

You’re welcome, baby kitten, you’re welcome!
LuLu

Friendship comes from wagging your tush!

A dog sniffing a laptop and trying to type.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

Dear Olivia,

Your mom and dad were talking about some grumpy people they saw when they were at the post office. It seems like a lot of humans are grumpy these days! Does being human automatically make people unhappy? Is it a tail thing? If it is you can tell me, I won’t mind, honest!

See, dogs use tail language, and dogs are happy people (well, happy dogs)—at least most of us are! Think about it: we meet someone new, preferably someone with bacon, and our tails wag super fast, Whap! Whap! Whap! It sounds loud, like when your mom is banging a jar against the counter to get it to open.

When I think you’re upset, I do a subtle wag that sounds more like thud, thud, thud! It sounds like a slower heartbeat and kind of like a reminder to you that you and your family are my heart.

If my tail stands straight up, it’s standing at attention! I am alert and ready for whatever is about to happen, whether it’s a tree kitten/squirrel trying to invade our yard or a garbage collector trying to steal our garbage!

And if my tail is down, well, you know, I might have done something a little naughty or cat-like. I don’t mean to knock stuff over, but my legs seem to split away from me sometimes! Seriously! My chest goes one way but my legs go the other, I can’t control it!

See, my tail tells everyone what’s going on, like whether I’m friendly or not. But humans don’t have tails. Tails never lie. Humans do sometimes.

Sometimes a person smiles at you, but says something that makes you cry. But other times a friend says something that sounds mean that makes you laugh. It’s confusing! There’s no tail language to warn you what’s coming!

Maybe humans should waggle their butts more. That would help! Try it!

The next time you go to school and you want to make a new friend, walk right up to him and then bark once, turn around, and swishy swishy your tushy in his face! He’ll love you for it and you’ll be best friends forever! No more grumpiness!

That’s the answer isn’t it? If more people wagged their butts in public there would be less grumpiness, I’m sure of it! For someone LuLu calls a “dumb dog”, I’m pretty smart, right?

I love you, now start wagging!

Jamie

Catnaps=REAL world peace!

Dear Ethan,

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

I heard that dumb dog Jamie told you that dogs are the secret to world peace. They’re NOT. They’re the secret to world DUMB.

Dogs have no sense of pride. They beg for scraps and lick every part of a person they can reach. They sniff butts. Ewwwww…..

World peace is not about petting some stupid sycophantic canine. It is about recognizing your true place in the world. And fish. World peace is about fish.

Think about when those Earth-activist people protest. What do they complain about? Fishing. They talk about how it impacts the environment and blah, blah, blah.

And then there’s the animal rights reactionary-types. They scream about fishing as well!

Yet not one of those people understand that the rights of cats should be their priority. Cats eat fish, yes, but that is WHY we are so important. We are violently, clawingly, against overfishing.

If humans fish too much, then will there be any fish left for the cats? No. If they are out on those boats, they distract the fish from mating; we do not have new fish to eat, and that hisses me off.

If everyone considered how best to keep cats happy then the world would be a better place.

That stupid dog Jamie said that humans cannot use guns if they are petting dogs, but they can still kick each other in the shins. That hurts, so wars still happen.

NO ONE can fight a war if they have a cat in their lap. They just can’t.

Try to move when you have a purring, princess-like bit of feline perfection on your lap. As soon as the purring starts, that slow rumbling velvet noise is like a warm weighted vibrating blanket.

You become calmer and forget what you wanted to do. Eventually you become sleepy; you don’t have a choice, because heavy cats make your legs fall asleep and the rest of your body follows.

How can you fight a war when you’re sleepy? You can’t. It’s a fact. Napping makes you feel better, and cats are the napping gurus of the world. We model the perfect napping protocol.

Warm sun, warm room, and a full belly. Napping role models can save the world. You’re welcome.

So NO, dogs will not give you world peace. They will give you farts and chaos. Cats, on the other hand, will give ninja napping skills. Get a cat.

Yes, we will rule the world, and we will rule you, but the world will be a fuzzier, scratchier, happier place. We abuse while we amuse. Again, you’re welcome.

Your favorite calico,

LuLu

Dogs=World peace! You’re welcome!

Dear Olivia,

A dog sniffing a laptop and trying to type.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

I’m tired today. So tired. I’m a dog, so I guess I’m what your mom calls dog-tired. Weary world, weary dog, weary me.

For the last few days that crazy cat LuLu has been pouncing on everything and pretending she’s using a chainsaw. She says that she’s getting one in her Easter basket. I hope that’s not true!

There’s a whole lot wrong in the world right now and giving a cat a chainsaw is NOT gonna help!

Your mom and dad looked really worried when they watched the news last night. A lot of bad-sad stuff is going on. You know why? Because people ignore their dogs.


Think about it: when you rub our bellies, we wag our tails, and you smile. When you ignore us, we don’t wag our tails, so no one smiles. Simple, right?

The key to the world’s problems is to love a dog. Dogs love you no matter what.


When you have a rough day at school your mom gives you a hug and that’s okay, but I bring you a toy. We play fetch and soon you’re laughing!

When you don’t like what’s for dinner and you “drop” it on the floor, I rush in to eat it. Your mom doesn’t have time to scold you because I already cleaned it! Finito! Or is it frito? I’m not sure. Frito is food, and food is better.

Dogs are better. You got a bad report card and I brought you a toy. You got mad and threw it and I brought it back. You laughed and threw it again. Problem solved!

Your mom was grading papers and she was putting red marks all over them! The red marks made her mad and she got close to being monstery-thingy-mom again. Then I tried to sit in her lap. She said I was too big, so she sat on the floor and played with me for a while. Afterwards she finished the papers but was less grumbly. Crisis avoided!

See, the world gets unhappy cuz too many people focus on money and stuff instead of wagging tails and floppy ears. Hugs and snuggles make everything better.

There, the world’s problems are solved! Adopt a dog and everything will be better! Well, YOU don’t need to adopt because you have ME, but everyone else would do well to go to the shelters.

Think about it: you can’t hold a gun if you’re busy throwing a ball!

World peace, you are welcome!
Love,

Jamie

P.S. Do NOT let anyone get that crazy calico a chainsaw!!!