"Thou art the Great Cat, the avenger of the Gods, and the judge of words, and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle; thou art indeed... the Great Cat."
~ Inscription on the Royal Tombs at Thebes ~

Today marked the day of a wonderful event in my life. It was the day of the vindication of the cats.

It started out as any other day, with one small exception. I have recently been fighting a series of ear infections, which my mother was quite fond of blaming on the cats. No matter that I had been plagued with this malady from birth, she was quite certain it was due solely to my numerous rescued cats. In fact, my mother believes that cats cause all illnesses, including, but not limited to, slipped disks, headaches, toe-aches, and stomach-aches, arthritis, cancer, tuberculosis, and a host of other maladies.

This morning I was scheduled to go back to the ear specialist for what he referred too as an "evaluation". This "evaluation" would determine whether I would be required to have emergency surgery for the ear infection that had moved into the jawbone, causing something known as Mastoiditis. I spent my morning gathering up my feline friends, prepping them for the inevitable accusation that their grandmother would lay upon their paws: That they, alone, were responsible for their mother’s illness, and most likely every other international and national incident that had occurred during the past 10 years, including war, magicians being attacked by lions (which she is certain was caused by my cats gathering in a storage facility, hopping a plane to Vegas, and whispering into the tiger’s ear that "… now is the time to begin the uprising …"), and then proceeding to Korea where she is certain they taught the Korean government how to step up the manufacturing of nuclear bombs in the event there were not enough tigers to follow through with their initial plan to take over the world.

The cats were obviously upset by this recent turn of events, and immediately dispersing, opted unanimously to locate a cure for me, so they could redeem themselves in the eyes of their grandmother.

I awoke the next morning to a ringing phone and to what I fondly refer to as the, "If You Didn’t Have All Those Animals ..." speech from my well-meaning mother, the theme of which centred on cats being the "driving force behind the decline of Western Civilization". She rambled on as I held the telephone to my ear, telling me that my animals were the sole cause of this ear infection, and that if I don’t get them all out of my home, I’m shortening my life span by at least 50 years.

I proceeded to inform her, as I’ve informed her a thousand times before, that getting rid of my beloved pets is not, never has been, and never will be, an option in my life.

She then asked me, "What if the doctor told you that you were going to die in a month if you didn’t get rid of your cats, but if you did get rid of them, you could live to be 100?"

First of all, what kind of a sick hypothetical situation is that? And secondly, what are the odds of me actually living to be a hundred years old? And thirdly, why do people think that I would want to live to be 100 years old, if I didn’t have animals in my life? I’ll take the shorter life span, thank you very much.

Of course, my reply was that my chances of being hit by a bus were a lot higher than the doctor ever saying something like that, and if he did say those things, then I would be looking for a new doctor.

She was quite upset by this time, primarily due to my complete unwillingness to explore any other options when it comes to my animals.

As luck would have it, she was too busy to come to the doctor’s office with me to find out the verdict on the surgery. And so, she sent my dad instead. As he stood in the office, arms folded over his chest as the doctor looked into my ear canal, he asked a key question, one that everyone in my family had been waiting for verification on.

"Doctor, is it possible that cats could have caused, been responsible for, or initiated this health problem?"

The doctor did not even hesitate. He looked my dad straight in the eye and stated, "Absolutely not."

I had to physically stop myself from sitting up and kissing the doctor. But my father was not content with that answer, and he forged onwards. "So, you’re telling me that allergies to cats could not cause this particular infection?"

"That is exactly what I’m stating. This is a viral issue, not an allergy issue. She has a deformity in the ear canal that leaves her open to infection, and this is likely due to a hereditary or birth-related problem."

I wanted to hug the doctor and kiss him! He had just stated in as many terms that not only were my cats not responsible for the problem, but my parents were!

I laughed out loud, hugged the doctor, looked at my dad and yelled, "That has GOT to hurt!"

My dad, obviously taken aback, was then forced to call my mom, and relay the message …

I have only one task now – and that is to spread word to everyone I know, and some I don’t, that cats are NOT responsible for Mastoiditis. What’s more, they are not responsible for war, famine, disease, leprosy, religion, tigers attacking magicians, nuclear warfare, poverty (well, ok – maybe MY poverty), or the general decline of Western Civilization.

No, my friends, they are simply innocents who have served as martyrs over the past century, and we would do well to spend our days apologizing to them for our "human" behaviour…

©Stacy Mantle, Author
"Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One)"
email:  stacymantle@gmail.com
"Audentis Fortuna iuvat" - Virgil


Stacy will be maintaining the website for me while I'm dealing with my illness, which my neighbour is certain, was caused by having all my cats!!!




A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure

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