For once, none of the cats seemed to be eager for the Cat Club meeting. They straggled in to the meeting place and chatted much about little well into the time when the meeting generally started. Even LT and Greymalkin, the only two who cared at all for order allowed the conversations to wander on and on.
Finally LT announced, “Okay, let’s get this over with. I hereby call the Friday Night Cat Club meeting to order. Greymalkin, can we have a brief summary of last week’s meeting?” He grimaced as he said this, as he didn’t really want to hear a recap of that meeting, but procedure was procedure.
Greymalkin looked at LT with an innocent expression and announced that she had been so busy all week that she hadn’t been able to put together any minutes, and sweetly asked if the group could forgive her for this dereliction. Well, the group not only wanted to forgive her, I think every cat could have kissed her for coming up with that little white lie.
“Well, then. All right. Let’s review old business.” They quickly dealt with the usual issues, including Rudy’s finding a bee in the yard, even though it was late in the season. LT pointed out that since there had been a hard frost this morning that the bees, wasps and other nasties that could sting the Mommy and make her sick were much less likely to be out now, since their food sources had just been frostbit. He proposed they go onto winter schedule for flying pests, which was wholeheartedly accepted by all the cats. They cared a lot about the Mommy, especially Peep, LT and Rudy, but all that patrolling of the local area ate up a lot of time that could be spent more productively, say, in napping.
“Well, now let’s have anyone who’d like to speak up about what type of elected official we’d like to have running the Cat Club. We’ve had a chairman since we started, but there are several other types of ruling positions, not all of which have historically been elected, which we could consider. How about we start with anyone who has an idea on this.” He sat back, feeling that he’d sidestepped his proposal from last week that they just declare him to be Czar LT.
Loaf Cat said that he was too new to the group, although he had been living there for a year, and he felt that he should just listen tonight, thank you. Fuzzy opened his mouth and Peep promptly stepped on his paw with all of the claws on her paw fully extended. “Be nice or else” she hissed at him.
Fuzzy sat there with his mouth open for a moment and then said, “I dunno. I’m not a student of history. I don’t have a television to watch or books to read over someone’s shoulder so what I know about elections and rulers can fit on the head of a pin. Or Rudy’s head, which is about the same size. I have no opinion on this matter.” Peep removed her paw from his and gave him a smile. She could count on her brother when the chips were down, if he was properly threatened.
Rudy looked quite insulted. “I am not a pinhead. As a matter of fact, I am a very intelligent and well-read cat. There is a wide variety in the types of rulers, depending on factors such as the size of the area to be ruled, the goals of the beings in that area and the dynamics between those beings. Sometimes there are very charismatic beings who through persuasion are appointed to a life-long position, such as king, emperor or other similar titles. Those folks aren’t really elected, and some even inherit those titles from their parents. Then there are also very charismatic beings who are elected to offices, like presidents. Who’d want to elect a boring president who couldn’t express himself very well? I think though that for elected officials for smaller areas like towns, or even things like clubs, it’s more based on what the folks voting have seen the being do. I mean, if you have someone who does things like coordinate bee patrols and try to help out the cats in our area, you’d want to recognize that cat by electing him to an office because he’s helpful and effective. I personally think LT deserves whatever official title he’d like to have because of all the good he’s done for the cats and humans around here.” She sat back, thinking that she’d put that very well, if a little long winded.
Peep smiled at Rudy. She never could have said that as well as Rudy, although she agreed with everything Rudy had said. “Ditto.” That was short and sweet. Snoogums looked somewhat skeptical but made a short speech saying that he didn’t think it mattered what the title of the head of the club was. He just cared that whatever cat held it act in the best interests of its members and that he thought that LT was that cat. Mr. Snuggles seconded Snoogums declaration and surreptitiously removed his paw from under Bunny’s where it had been imprisoned. Bunny and Ladybug also agreed with Snoogums.
Greymalkin sensed that the cats who shared households had been party to pre-meeting conferences. She’d also had some thoughts of her own since last Friday’s meeting. LT was always the cat who was willing to walk all the way home with her when the weather was bad or when she had been afraid of bears. She remembered hearing how he’d helped a mother cat with her litter before she’d moved to the area. He was a cat who was a true leader. Sure, she would like to be the head of the Cat Club herself, but only because it was a status thing. She wasn’t any type of leader. She was a good second banana. She could keep track of things, come up with ideas and help folks with some problems, but when it came to being brave or taking charge in a difficult situation between cats, that wasn’t her. That was LT.
“I think that LT should be the lifetime head of the Cat Club. Some of us may have brains, or be brave or work hard at something, but LT is the only cat who can keep us all heading in the right direction. He’s the one who pitches in without being asked. What it’s called is up to him. We’re just lucky to have LT.” Greymalkin had stood up while saying this and walked around looking at the cats, finishing facing LT. She gave him a beautiful smile and went back to her place in the circle.
LT was stunned. He’d expected argument or at least disagreement. To have everyone say that he should stay in charge, and to imply that he could declare himself to be “Eternal and Benevolent Czar of all Catdom” or some such nonsense, well it just overwhelmed him.
He’d already thought about what was reasonable as a compromise to the disagreement he’d expected. Thinking quickly, he decided that it was still the best idea. “I would like to thank you all for your votes of confidence. I’ve had a week to think about this, and I’d already decided that since the club has worked this well under a chairman since we established it, that the office should stay as chairman. As Fuzzy pointed out last week, we are cats, not humans. We’re pretty independent beings, and the fact that this club has worked out as well as it has for so long is pretty special in itself. I don’t want to mess with success. So, if everyone agrees, the title will be chairman of the Cat Club, and until you decide you want someone else, I will be happy to serve you all in that capacity.”
Cats can’t applaud, but Peep led them all in a quick cheer for LT. On this positive note the meeting ended. LT decided to break into the bag of cat treats the Daddy left on the back steps, and with Rudy and Snoogums help they got it open and shared it out amongst themselves. Everyone headed home in a good mood. It was nice when the one cat one vote system worked, even when some of the cats did need a little convincing to do the right thing.
Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/migrainechick/3609863593