3114890290_d42cfc35ae_mWhen I was awakened at 3 in the morning to let the dog out, because she was whiiii-iii-ning to go to the bathroom, it suddenly seemed very important, as I was standing at the back window watching Freja run around the yard trying to find an acceptable place to do her business, that I catalog the ways in which cats are fundamentally Republicans and dogs are fundamentally Democrats.

The photo you’re seeing here captures a rare moment of bipartisanship not often seen in our household.

First, cats are very conservative. They don’t embrace change. They don’t like a new plant being added to the living room, a sudden change of food (unless it’s stinky, wet food) or a litter made from some unfamiliar material. Things should stay relatively the same all the time.

They don’t believe in welfare because they believe in the old adage, “that government is best which governs least.” It’s paws off; every cat for themselves. They also hate immigrants. I’m not saying that all Republicans hate immigrants but cat republicans are the kind of Republicans who hate immigrants. This is because they are, of course, highly territorial. If a new cat comes into their territory, the cat’s first thought is, “Shit, there won’t be enough for me. Not enough grass to eat, mice and birds to kill, garbage to pick through. KILL!”

But the interesting thing about cats is that they are very decadent and naughty when it comes to their social activities. Jones, for example, waits until we’re in bed to hop up on counters, scavenge food and otherwise do things he knows he shouldn’t, like stretch out on the dining room table. But, come morning, he’s breathing into our faces, exhorting us to get up and “contribute to society,” wanting the trains to run on time, when all the time he’s waiting for us to leave so that he can get down to the business of napping.

Freja, on the other hand, most resembles an Iowan Democrat. She wants to help! She wants everyone to pull together. If the neighbors were to lose their barn (if they had a barn) in a tornado, she’d want to pick up a hammer and get to work building a new one. She loves a potluck. She likes routine but she also values novelty – not novelty like, “let’s go to the mall,” but like, “Let’s explore this open field.”

She’s socially pretty liberal but she’s tough on crime. She believes in property rights, to be sure, but she also believes in an open system in which neighbors share opportunities to chase rabbits across all boundaries. It’s good and necessary to have a job, to be sure, but it’s not something you should dedicate your life to. Family – the pack- should always come first.

She’s pretty straight-laced when it comes to fun. She likes to be in bed no later than 9:30. She doesn’t really understand dancing or jokes and she endures teasing with an expression of suffering. She does not believe in drugs or alcohol.

Here’s a more complete break-down of where Jones (R) and Freja (D) stand on the major issues:


Jones The Republican
The Republican

Fiscal policy – No increases in income taxes. Well, at least not for the rich. Since he has a comfortable home, he doesn’t really care what happens to all the cats out on the streets.

Foreign policy – An isolationist who would attack first, ask questions later, if turf was the question. Intimidation is best tactic for keeping nations in line. Keith maintains that in the past 10 years, Jones wouldn’t have invaded Iraq, but he probably would have double-invaded Afghanistan.

Fiscal policy – Supports big business. Anything that keeps the kibble flowing is a good thing, so keep government out of this sector as much as possible. He wouldn’t have wanted the government to regulate derivatives, for example, but he also probably wouldn’t have wanted to bail out banks when they started to fail in 2008.

The U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy- strong supporter

Social welfare programs – against

Immigration – hates anyone different from him; also hates anyone like him. However, if an undocumented worker is needed in order to clean up litter, so be it.

Religion – Big believer in the Piece of String God. We should all spend part of each day worshiping this great and mighty force.

Drugs – doesn’t believe drugs should be legalized & believes we should be tough on drug offenders; continues to imbibe cat nip every chance he gets.

Gun Control – against regulation of all weapons; his weapon of choice are his claws and no one, I mean no one, is putting any regulations on those babies. Spends most days sharpening them for possible attacks.

The Environment – kill everything

Universal Health Care – everyone fend for themselves. Home health care is preferable to going to a doctor anyway. Sometimes if his tummy hurts, he hides in the closet until he feels better.


Freja The Democrat
The Democrat

Fiscal policy – Unfortunately, Freja is the kind of Democrat that gives Democrats a bad name – borrow and spend. Let’s do it now and figure out how to pay for it later. It would be a bit better if she were even “tax and spend,” but that requires too much planning.

Foreign policy – All-out war is the last resort. Diplomacy is best. Everyone is accorded the same playing field at first – avoidance of direct eye contact, butt sniffing, the licking of lips. Sometimes a stand-off is required in which one or the other side maintains position while the opposite side inches forward and then charges.  But if something goes wrong… well, she’s not afraid to show some teeth. She’s also not above crying foul even when there was no foul, just to get everyone’s attention. She’s opportunistic.

The U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy – against – she likes everything to be out in the open

Social welfare programs – Sure, why not?

Immigration – Only against if it becomes an issue of the immigrants taking her treats or attention that would otherwise go to her. Sort of a “Not In My Backyard” policy but, for the most part, pro.

Religion – Not particularly religious. Most strongly identifies with Universalists because it’s a religion mostly celebrating the fact that you and your congregants are all Universalists. Likes any religious holiday that involves food.

Drugs – Anti-drug but believes strongly in the need for reform of sentencing for drug-related crimes and also government-sponsored rehabilitation programs. Believes strongly in the “get high on life” ethic.

Gun Control – For stricter limits on guns. OK with hunting.

The Environment – save everything at all costs. Loves a beautiful, panoramic view. Loves chasing animals through fields and woods. Loves tall grass, lakes, hiking on trails, hugging trees, waves, etc. No drilling in Alaska.

Universal Health Care – Yes, please. Although once a year is enough for her. Heart worm medication should be free!