Saturday, July 31, 2010

An important but difficult Cat Club meeting

The July 30th meeting of the Cat Club did not start out well.  Rudy and Peep looked mutinous as LT opened the meeting to order.  LT began by saying that he wished to deviate from the usual order of business.  Greymalkin broke in, saying that the minutes of the last meeting needed to be read an approved before they could go on to any new business, and old business should be discussed before anything new anyway.  Rudy slitted her eyes and Peep made a low growl in her throat, staring at the officious secretary.  

Greymalkin realized that all was not well, and huddled into a low crouch, fearing that Peep was about to attack her.  “What’s wrong, folks?  I know I didn’t have a chance to get the mission statement committee up and running this week, but that’s no call for incivility!”  

LT took command of the situation.  “Peep, Rudy, settle down.  There is no reason not to approach this in a polite manner.  Greymalkin – I don’t exactly know how to say this in such a way that it won’t hurt your feelings.  Well, here goes.   The Cat Club really isn’t the type of club that needs formal minutes or Robert’s Rules of Order and we know what our mission is.  It’s to be cats and enjoy ourselves.  This isn’t so much of a club as a bunch of cats that like to hang out together one night a week.  We do follow somewhat of a meeting format, but we got that from the Esther Averill books about a little cat named Jenny Linsky who looked just like Peep.  The Mommy read us that book a few years ago, and it had a Cat Club in it.  We thought that was a neat idea, so we formed our own club, and invited all cats who would agree to sanctuary rules for meeting nights to join.  Do you understand, what I’m saying?”

The little grey and white cat looked crushed.  “I understand.  You don’t need me.  I’m just a nuisance to this group of friends.  I can take a hint.”  She started to slink away, but LT called her back.

“It’s not that you’re a nuisance, Greymalkin.  You’ve just been a bit, um, pushy about all these rules.  You’re probably a perfectly nice cat, but all we’ve seen is a businesscat who doesn’t ever take a break to relax.”

She shook her head.  “That’s just not me.  I am a business cat.  Before we moved here, I ran a mousing cooperative.  I worked my way up from assistant mouser to counter to secretary and ended up running the whole thing.  That was my life.  I didn’t ask to move here – my owner just packed me up one day and drove hours and hours to get us here.  I had hoped that I could offer my expertise to your organization and not waste everything I’d done with my life up to now.  I see I was wrong.  I shouldn’t have assumed you wanted what I had to offer.  I should have created a business plan, pitched it to you…well, it doesn’t matter now.  I won’t bother you any more.”  With that Greymalkin ran off into the trees at top speed.

Fuzzy sneered, “Well that went well, LT. You used your usual tact with the ladies.”

“Not true, Fuzzy.  LT was perfectly tactful and explained everything nicely.  I think Greymalkin would have been upset at anything we said.”  Peep felt bad now that it had been done, and even regretted playing with all the shredded minutes last week.  

Rudy sighed.  “We didn’t realize that she did all that simply because it was all she knows how to do.  I’ll go talk to her tomorrow and let her know that we’ll like her for herself, even if she doesn’t know who she is.”  

“Unfortunately, we do have an important new item to discuss tonight.”  LT looked serious.  “Our Daddy has had his name stolen, and we decided to help him pick a new one.  Will you all help us by voting on names that we think would be suitable for Daddy?  We each came up with three names, and figure that if we all voted on them we could come up with a good name for him.”  

Mr. Snoogums looked confused.  “My lady never knows when I’m talking to her, so how are you going to let him know that you’ve picked out a new name for him?”  

“That’s almost the easy part.  The yarn lady knows that we’re smart cats and can read and write.  We send emails to her sometimes and she helps us out.  Only for real important stuff, because she is just a human after all.  We can’t expect her to understand everything, but simple stuff like this is okay for her.”  LT himself was unclear how smart people were in relation to cats, but he knew they could handle a job like this.  

“Okay, I’ll read out the names.  Raise a paw if you like the name.  You can vote more than once, because we have more names than cats.  If we have a tie, we’ll do a run-off and then it will be one vote each cat.”  

LT read the names off, and Peep counted the votes.  After the first round, they had a three-way tie between the name Horatio, Curtis and Marvin.  The tie-breaker was close, with Horatio getting just one vote more than Marvin.  Bunny proposed that the second place name could be the Daddy’s middle name.  That way he’d be Horatio Curtis, and Bunny thought that had a nice ring.  

The meeting ended soon thereafter, and Rudy went inside to compose an email to the yarn lady.  Since she came over every Saturday night, she could propose the new name to the Daddy then.  Rudy loved it when they’d solved a problem.  She sat on the keyboard and purred.

Horatio Curtis

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