Of the Feline Persuasion

EDIT: I wrote this two days ago, and while I could swear I clicked “Publish,” apparently I didn’t..


Olive “Fishy” “Stanky the Bulldog” “Bolivia” Gilbert died last night, assumed to have been hit by a car at some point between 7pm and 1am on South Sunset Drive in Broadway, VA, aged 1 (human years). Olive was a friend to most, albeit from a distance, and the only cat in the house to really like Crash, her ‘brother.’ Found by her dad on his way home from work, collected and placed in a paper bag and cardboard box by her grandpa, to be buried in a small ceremony this evening.

I don’t really like cats. They are kinda weird. But they have grown on me, and while it seems odd to think about, she was my cat. The last memory I have of her was her laying on the couch in the living room, resting. I kicked the end of the couch a couple of times and she just glared at me, knowing I was the cause of the sudden vibration that was disturbing her sleep. I passed her in the truck when I got home from work, some time just after 1am, and wasn’t sure it was her. I came inside the house and ran a quick sweep, looking in vain to see if I could see her somewhere. When she was nowhere to be found, I let Kelly know that I thought I’d seen her on the road. After we checked the house a little more thoroughly, I got in the car to go and take a closer look. I don’t like dead things, so I didn’t get too close, but from the first side it looked like a generic tabby cat, but slightly Olive-like. So I got back in the car, and turned around and took a look from the other side, and I saw it. The mitten. The single feature of her body that would allow us to identify her to anyone, anywhere. Not wanting to touch her, I drove home to deliver the bad news. At about 1:30 my inlaws were woken, and my father in law and I walked down the road to collect her. She was rather stiff, so it had been some time. Judging by the way she had been laying on the road, it had also been a quick death – a small consolation to a terrible event.

This afternoon I dug a hole, about 1.5 feet deep before I hit too much clay and rock to get past. She will be buried tonight. RIP, stanky kitty.

Dear Mr. President

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to you in this public form to appeal not only to yourself, but to others in power who may stumble across this.

Allow me to introduce myself quickly. I am 23 years of age and I live in a small town in Virginia with my wife of 20 months, our 1 year old Golden Retriever “Crash,” our 7 month old kitten “Olive,” and my wife’s family – her Mom, Dad, Brother, and their 3 cats.

Since moving to the United States in April 2008 I have held 2 jobs, one as a Camp Counselor at a Christian Camp and one as a Program Leader for a local Boys and Girls Club Unit. I have also done casual work for another camp in the area, hardly enough to call a job in most senses of the term and I am presently unemployed. My wife works at a Day Care Center as a teacher for 3 year old children, and enjoys it a lot.

However, we are stuck in a position where a lack of job openings in the local area as well as high fuel costs are preventing me from finding or accepting job offers. Just a week ago I had to turn down a well-paying offer to work in Northern Virginia because we couldn’t afford the gas to allow me to work the first day, let alone until the first pay check. I also stopped by the local Food Lion (supermarket) last night to inquire as to whether there were any open positions and how I could apply, only to be told that they are cutting their employees hours – they simply aren’t making it themselves.

I feel that “free” health-care, paid for by the taxpayer, is an important issue – especially having moved from a public health care system in New Zealand. I know that if our health insurance bill was lowered or indeed gone then my wife and I would be a lot closer to making our personal financial ends meet. I am also very much aware that the mainstream media have done a very good job of scaring us all with what might unfold if that were allowed to happen here. I feel that stimulating the economy is important too, especially because it seems a lot of people have little money to spend. I know if American products could better compete in price-wars against imported products then I would be more inclined to purchase the “home-grown” version. I am also very much aware that what most people are spending their money on are imported goods from overseas – simply because they are so much more affordable to them.

I wouldn’t mind if my job was providing technical support to a foreign organization that purchased a product from a US source, while I went to a store during my break and bought meat imported from outside the country for a meal, but from what I can tell there are very few things of worth being exported from the United States compared to the vast amount of things being imported. What the people need is employment to provide them with an income and the US economy with a profitable product, and what the economy needs is an increase in exports and a decrease in imports in order to create a balance.

Perhaps this means increasing taxes on imported goods intended for sale, or imposing limits on how much an individual or an organization can import every year. Perhaps this means increasing and reducing taxes on individuals and organizations who refuse to produce in the United States or who take the initiative to create jobs and products in America for Americans (and others). Whatever the solution, it needs to come quickly.

I am not an American, I am certainly not someone to tell you how to do your job or what this country needs. In all honesty, I don’t know. Maybe a start would be some form of inspiration to lower gas prices. To increase the desire of Americans to buy American. To foster the ideas of individuals or organizations who have something of exportable value and help them to bring dream to reality.

Kind Regards,

A Concerned Legal Alien.