Thursday, January 19, 2017

Preparing for Inauguration Day

Inauguration day was nearly here, and Clementine's plans were in place.  She was determined that the White House needed a cat, a friendly cat who understood his or her role in facilitating the smooth running of the country.  Finding a cat who fit that description had been a bit of work, but arranging to get the cat into the White House was the really hard part.  Clem had spent hours, well actually days, figuring out who worked at the White House, and then spent weeks finding someone who was 1) a cat lover, 2) someone who might be willing to bend a rule or two and 3) willing to smuggle a cat into the White House.

All of the staff she'd chatted with (online, of course) had agreed that there were times when tension was high.  They'd all experienced it and had felt helpless to diffuse that tension.  And with a new president it became even more stressful. The first few months everyone walked on eggshells, not knowing the President, the First Family and their advisors and friends. This administration promised to be more difficult than the past few, even for staff who'd worked at the White House for decades. 

The Bushes, father and son had been easy. Same family members, a lot of the same advisors, and the staff had experienced four years of HW's conversations with his wife about W's personality. Bill Clinton had been such a laid-back guy that staff felt comfortable with him from the beginning, even if they'd never quite learned to read Hillary's body language. And the Obama family had been so polite and gracious from day one. Donald Trump was a different kettle of fish, even if his wife and son weren't moving in right away. He was reputed to have exacting standards, and was not known for patience or graciousness. 

Clementine had learned all this in her correspondence with the permanent White House staff. A few had joked that they should receive the same type of dossier on him that all new presidents received on the staff.  That had promptly been followed with a request not to quote that remark. Clem had happily responded that she wasn't a journalist and had no interest in spreading any White House gossip. Her only mission was to insinuate a small furry presence into the most secure building in the country. No small task. 

It turned out that David Banks, second assistant secretary to the Chief of Staff's first administrative aide, was the perfect person to get the kitty into the building. His job on inauguration day was to route boxes of the new president's belongings as they were pulled off the moving truck. 

All of the boxes had been screened and then secured in a truck at the Trump hotel in Washington. David would meet the truck at the hotel and escort it onto the White House grounds. He'd carry his usual tote bag through the metal detector, but instead of his lunch and a spare shirt, the bag would contain a small calico cat named Ladybug. 

Once inside, he'd put the bag under his desk, and voila, Ladybug would be in. David arranged with several other staffers for food, water and a discretely located litter box. Past that, it was up to Ladybug to work her kitty magic. 

Photo courtesy of  pjmorse -

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