"The Cat Who IS Death" To Replace "Elephant" as symbol of GOP
Have you seen the cat who is in the photograph below? You have? UH-OH...
By Colin Nickerson, Globe Staff | July 25, 2007
PROVIDENCE --Oscar the cat makes his grand entrances just as life is about to leave...
..."He's a cat with an uncanny instinct for death," said Dr. David M. Dosa, assistant professor at the Brown University School of Medicine and a geriatric specialist. "He attends deaths. He's pretty insistent on it."
In the two years since Oscar was adopted into the third-floor dementia unit of the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, he has maintained close vigil over the deaths of more than 25 patients, according to nursing staff, doctors who treat patients in the home, and an article in tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine, written by Dosa.
When death is near, Oscar nearly always appears at the last hour or so...Animal behavior experts have no explanation for Oscar's ability to sense imminent death. They theorize that he might detect some subtle change in metabolism -- felines are as acutely sensitive to smells as dogs -- but are stumped as to why he would show interest...
Well, I can tell you why Oscar shows interest. I know something about cats. Oscar likes the way the patients feel as they “cool off”—it’s like in the hot weather and your pillow feels hotter as your head warms it and you can’t sleep. But Oscar’s “pillows” feel “cooler” the longer he sleeps next to them; it’s more comfortable, that’s why he’s so “interested.” It’s the same reason a cat is “interested” in finding a sunny spot on a window sill to sleep on.
But that is not the political point of this story. The political point is that Oscar has been seen hanging around the McCain campaign lately. Which is worrisome to the remaining six McCain supporters. Whenever McCain’s picture appears on the hospice’s TV during news programming, Oscar climbs on top of the TV and snoozes there as McCain prattles on about how he is going to reinvigorate his candidacy.
Oscar was also seen writing in his appointment diary when a news story about the most recent staff shake up in the Fred Thompson campaign was broadcast. A hospice employee said that he had been planning to vote for Thompson until he read the entry in Oscar’s scheduler. “Oscar’s penciled the Thompson campaign in for December. He doesn’t think much of any of the GOP chances next year, and he wants to be around when they “cool off.”" The employees added quickly: "He says it’s got nothing to do with Fred’s cancer or Rudy’s cancer or Tony Snow’s cancer, or anything like that, they’re all going to live a long time, so don’t write Oscar or anybody else and send angry letters and emails and stuff about that. But Oscar clearly thinks that their campaigns--their CAMPAIGNS--are moribund. And he thinks that Gingrich's is already starting to stink; they's flies around it.”
Republican politicians have responded to “The Grim Hairballer” in various ways. Some shag bricks at him and tell him to “get on outta here, ya damned feline”; others have tried to wall him up alive only to have their conscience haunted by him, causing them to have fits of insanity and tear out the wall to reveal the still living Oscar and the bodies of their murdered spouses as horrified police personnel look on.
Other Republicans welcome Oscar as a sweet release, an end to stressful and debilitating political careers that had quickly degenerated into corruption after election. Still others believe that Oscar should replace the elephant as the symbol of the Republican Party.
“He’s a much better symbol of what we’re all about,” said one GOP insider. “The GOP is a political party about death, conservatism is a political movement about death—Katrina, no health care for the working poor, sending an endless parade of American troops to their deaths in Iraq on a military mission doomed to failure. Oscar’s a much better symbol for the GOP than that elephant. He should start “visiting” with that elephant, if you know what I mean.”