Frankly, all of the cats had at least a mild case of cabin fever from the prolonged cold weather, so Sparky’s nonsense was tolerated and even welcome. The company of other cats and something different to talk about was just what everyone wanted.
So far they had discussed the victory of a mere beagle at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show, an explosion that had destroyed a house in south Jersey and some old news about a man who had accidentally killed his infant son when a coffee cup he threw at his wife missed and hit the baby, killing him.
Club consensus was the beagle’s owners must have bribed the judges. The cats were convinced even such a perky beagle could never beat out all the fancy dog breeds. Good grief, beagles were working dogs, and the working class never came out on top, at least according to Mr. Snuggles. The house explosion was of concern to Sparky and Rudy, since they had a Babington burner on the property, and neither of them particularly trusted it, even though the Daddy had followed every safety precaution when building it. Ladybug, who watched the news avidly, was able to allay their fears, telling them they explosion had been caused by a faulty gas main, and not by any type of burner or furnace.
The most heated discussion by far was on the story of the man who’d killed his son with a thrown cup. Ladybug and Bunny argued loudly that the man should go to jail for the rest of his life, as fathers should protect their offspring from harm. Rudy argued that intention should play a large part in assignment of punishment for any harm done. She reminded the Cat Club members that she’d been stepped on by her horse companion a number of years ago, and still shuddered to think that he could have been punished for a simple accident. That silenced Ladybug and Bunny momentarily and Sparky, in a wild display of divergent thinking, asked whether cats who ate their young should be punished in the same way as humans who murdered their children.
Everyone stared at Sparky. What did this have to do with a man who killed his baby while trying to hurt his wife? There was silence for a moment and then several cats started to speak at the same time. Rudy called for order, but no one paid attention until she let out a piercing caterwaul. Order regained, she recognized the cats one at a time to speak their piece.
Greymalkin and Snoogums recounted stories they had heard from other cats who had actually done it, and Ladybug told what she’d heard on a visit to Tibet about such practices. By the end of the discussion they were split 4-3 against the practice as to whether it might be acceptable under certain circumstances for a mother or father cat to eat their own kitten. Each group was amazed that the other did not share their opinion, and Rudy lost all control over the meeting.
Finally, she caterwauled again, and announced that the only way to get to the bottom of this was to poll all the cats they knew as to whether it was an acceptable practice or not. Using her status as senior cat, she decreed the language of the questions to be asked and the answer choices. By the end of the meeting the seven club members agreed that next Friday they would reconvene and whatever the results were, they would agree that they represented the beliefs and opinions of their community.