Tuesday, June 2

My Cat Stella Not So Into Thomas Paine

My cat Stella has always preferred Dan Brown to Balzac, Nicholas Sparks to William Shakespeare, and Entertainment Weekly to The Economist. In fact, the other day I came home and caught her stuffing an issue of Woman's World under the couch cushions. Shameful, I know, but she's my cat and I love her, even if she still thinks Obama is a Muslim.

Stella is 15 years old now and, like most senior citizens, she gets pissed off easily. And when she does, she has taken to pissing on whatever is irritating her, be it the bathroom rug, my gym bag, or a pile of laundry just back from the laundrymat. This is understandable--those things can be pretty annoying. But yesterday I was shocked to find out not just that Stella hates my gym bag, but that she specifically hates my copy of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason. I never realized that she had such a passionate dislike for books that called into question the very idea of organized religion and the divinity of scripture, but leave it to Stella to surprise me even at the ripe-old-age of whatever she is in human years!

If you look closely you can see Stella's displeasure with my choice of reading material.

I was on the L train against my better judgment and I had just pulled my book out of my bag for the long days’ journey into Manhattan when I realized that the person right beside me smelled like piss. I gave this person—a dirty hipster, don’t you know—a friendly yet irritated glance that told him, “I know you haven’t showered in five days, but I still like your shoes” and then opened my book. It only took a few minutes for it to dawn on me that the smell was actually coming from my book—the pages were stained and curling up. Stella had obviously visited my man-bag the previous night intent on letting me know that she doesn’t care for Paine’s blasphemous blathering.

Lesser men would have tossed the book. But I’m not one of those, so I continued reading because I’m not about to let the terrorist (in this case, Stella) win.

Stella also thinks torture works and that Sonia Sotomayor is a racist. And she voted for Palin. (Not McCain-Palin, just Palin.) Thankfully, though, she is pro-gay marriage, but that's not unusual for a cat.