Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pension cuts

LT was catching up on the news.  He’d decided many years ago that what happened to the humans effected him, so he tried to keep up with happenings in at least this country, even though he didn’t understand half of it.  This morning there was a story about state pensions – how employees would have to work more years before they could stop working, pensions would no longer get a cost-of-living adjustment and that humans would have to contribute more money to their pensions while they were still working.  

After listening to the story, LT thought he understood what a pension was, but he wasn’t entirely sure.  Cats, of course, didn’t have anything like pensions.  They didn’t have anything like jobs, other than the few odd cats like Greymalkin.  If they lived wild they just caught or scavenged their food, and it wasn’t like they could do anything with it so that it would still be there when they were old and didn’t want to hunt or scavenge anymore.  LT thought it would be a nice system, at least for cats who lived wild.  After they’d lived wild and got old, the state would come out and feed them.  Yeah, right.  That would never happen.  And anyway, what self-respecting cat would put up with the kind of rules set by humans?  Show up at a certain time?  Not.  Follow some human’s rules?  Not again.

LT was glad that Daddy didn’t have to worry about things like this.  He worked for himself, so it was kind of like he was a cat living wild.  If he wanted to eat, he worked.  If he had enough to eat and wanted to relax for a few hours, he could.  LT wasn’t sure, though, about what would happen when Daddy got older and didn’t want to work anymore.  Retirement, that’s what the humans called it.  Time when you pretty much did what you wanted to, and got paid for it, although it seemed from the news stories that a lot of humans weren’t getting paid enough to stay retired.  

Whatever.  Too much for a cat to figure out, even if LT did believe that the government would be better if it were run by animals than humans.  He had a recurring daydream about how different parts of human government would be run by various species.  Vultures, of course, would be in charge of trash collection.  The legislature would be staffed by rabbits, since by nature they sat around a lot and didn’t do much and no one listened to them anyway.  The police force would be a combination of birds and various dog species.  Birds to figure out what was a problem, aggressive dogs to take care of bad problems, and nice dogs to help people with things like stuff dropped down holes that needed to be dug out.  Cats would be at the top levels of government, of course, being the most intelligent of all species.  They would consult with the other species for their ideas and then tell them what to do.  

LT thumbed off the remote and considered what to do.  He decided to get a mid-morning snack of crunchy food and then lie in the sun.  Perhaps after a nap he’d have another snack and then go visit the cats down the street.  He wanted to be home before sunset, though, so he could see Daddy for a bit, in case he went out again this evening.  Then LT thought he’d probably lie in the pine needles and snooze again.  As he walked into the kitchen for his snack, LT wondered if he should retire, since he was getting on in years, but decided that he wouldn’t notice any difference in his life if he did.  

Photo adapted from photos courtesy of Andrew Fung - and Sharon Mollerus -

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