Hemingway Hassle

My wife is the consummate cat lover, and I must admit to a bit of the affliction myself. Having visited Key West, Florida, several years ago, our favorite tourist destination was the Hemingway House, replete with about fifty cats (both six-toed and their less exalted five-toed relatives) descended from Hemingway’s own original brood. Typical scenes we encountered on the house tour included cats snoozing away on quilted spreads atop antique wrought-iron beds, cats curled up on overstuffed Avignon chairs, and cats languishing in the sun-dappled shade of cool, breezy walkways. A few of the more frisky inhabitants greeted us on the trail around the house and accompanied us over sprawling porches and into first-floor sitting rooms.

We were appalled to hear of the recent movement underfoot to confine the beloved cats to leashes during the day and cages at night, as well as subject them to other government regulations. It seems a visitor to the house had complained about some whimsical nuance regarding their care. These cats benefit from weekly vet visits, have the run of the house, enjoy regulated nutritious diets, and most are spayed and neutered to prevent multiplying beyond their present numbers. There are fences and foliage to keep them inside the estate – in fact, they do not attempt to leave because they have it so good, and are adept at keeping wannabe feline friends out so they don’t have to share the wealth. Even PETA has green-lighted their living arrangement.

So I have to ask – in these times of fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings, healthcare confusion, waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars – doesn’t the federal government have more pressing things to do than fixing what ain’t broke? Everyone knows that dogs have owners, but in this case, cats have staff!