Sunday, February 24, 2013

Save The Planet. Vote For Billy.

The cats of Australia in their wisdom have made me an honourary feline so that I can represent the newly formed Feline Party in the seat of Wide Bay in this September's general election. The Cat Party should not be confused with the Katter Party. The Cat Party is an organisation run for the benefit of small furry things who poo in a litter tray, catch lizards and are quite capable of licking their own testostricles. While the Katter Party is run for the benefit of strange, backwards looking humans with a penchant for large hats who are not capable of licking their own testostricles but think it might be fun to try. 

The best thing about the Feline Party is that you don't have to toe the party line if you don't agree with what they stand for on any given issue. This is different from most political parties and is the main reason my my staff have never joined one. In most cases, once you sign up to a political party you are bound to support it's policies, even if they appear ludicrous. In fact even if they are detrimental to the people you were elected to represent. In fact even if you deem it to be against the national interest. Guinea pigs like yours truly find it outrageous that the two main parties in Australia often seem to put the interests of their part before the well-being of the nation.

Anyway, I'm going to take advantage of the platform of my weekly blog post to outline my vision for the future of the nation and to announce the policies that will make Australia a proud and powerful nation in ten years time, not one that is just a bloody great big disused open cut mine filled with toxic sludge.

1. The Feline Party will recognise climate change as a scientific reality . This is the most important issue facing us all. Political parties who continue to believe that it is a lefty pinko plot to deprive their head office of air conditioning will be branded as terrorist organisations because ultimately they are a threat to world stability and as such they will not be eligible to contest elections. So that's pretty much every conservative leaning party in the world out of the way for a start. Actually, come to think of it, that's about it really. We only need one policy as long as it's a good one. Everything else is just tinkering at the edges.

Let's examine what would happen if we addressed climate change. Certain sectors would lose jobs in the short term. There'd be fewer jobs in mining, especially coal, but this would be offset by new jobs coming online in renewable energy such as solar, wind, even tidal, and ultimately more jobs would be saved than lost if we all keep going the way we are at the moment. Severe weather events made more common by climate change destroy jobs. They wreck infrastructure, close businesses for days, prevent people from travelling to work and destroy farming jobs and ultimately the little towns that act as service centres for those farms. The odd thing is that the folk that live in these little farming communities are often the ones most likely to pooh-pooh the idea of climate change and yet they have the most to lose from it. Still they choose to believe the mad ravings of Lord Monckton rather than thousands of real scientists worldwide. Our own home grown buffoon Tony Abbott - scarily perhaps Australia's next Prime Minister says that climate change is "a load of crap".

Tony Abbott "A load of crap."

So, what will happen to these farming communities as the planet warms. The surrounding farmland will become more and more marginal. Droughts will last longer, floods will be more severe, bush fires will be more common. Gradually the viability of the farms decreases to such an extent that many farmers are forced to walk off their land. It's already happening. Farmers and their families no longer have the money to spend in these little towns and so slowly these little communities die a death by a thousand cuts. Young people leave because there are no longer jobs for them. Hospitals close, schools close and people leave for the cities in search of a wage.. In some cases mining takes up the slack, but this is not sustainable. Mines don't last forever and sooner or later they too are destined to close.

In other words, contrary to what many political parties believe, it is more expensive to bury your head in the sand and do nothing about climate change than it is to address the problem. Doing nothing is not only foolhardy financially either. It will lead to conflict between nations as they compete for water and food and we all know how expensive wars are. Let's face it, the only people who benefit from them are the arms manufacturers of China, Russia and the United States.

So, what do we need to do? Well for a start vote for me or your local Feline Party candidate in September. Even if you don't live in Australia, vote for me anyway, and don't limit yourself to just one vote. I for one will be voting for myself several hundred times, as will my staff and Badger. Lets get things moving now to save the planet. If we leave it to humans and their complacent political parties nothing will happen because they are all beholden to the donations that they receive from big business and are too short sighted to risk the flow of funds from their donors by putting in place climate change mitigating legislation that might decrease their donors' profits - even in the national interest. Even in the interest of the planet.

The Feline party is the only party to put the long term interests of the Nation first and foremost. A vote for any other party is a vote to continue the status quo. (Not that there's anything wrong with that. They are a fine band. Even better, now that they have their old age pension.) A vote for either the Australian Labor Party or the Liberal National Party is just a vote for the short term interests of the Party.

Now, in the wildly optimistic words of former British Liberal Party leader David Steel "Go back to your electorates and prepare for government"

I'll be voting for whoever promises free and unlimited foot care. I think that's important. Don't you?


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Enjoy Your Human

Humans make great pets for young guinea pigs. They provide hours of entertainment, and are reasonably self contained in that they feed themselves and clean their own living quarters. They poop and pee in one place mostly, though some of the males have been know to pee in the kitchen and bathroom sinks when they have imbibed too much alcohol. I suspect the females would too, but their anatomy makes it difficult for them, especially when they are drunk. Common health problems include a tendency towards obesity (Especially in middle age.) and a disease called "a hangover". Obesity is pretty hard to cure as in my experience humans have little or no self control, while a sharp bite to the inside of their upper thigh first thing in the morning seems to snap them out of a hangover.

Humans rarely bite and are quick to provide food when wheeked at persistantly. Other than this simple task it's not easy to train them. In fact I have heard it said that it is easier to train a slug to dance. Males should not be housed together because they tend either to go off the the pub until the early hours of the morning or they sit in front of the television guzzling beer (Which can lead to peeing in the kitchen sink.) and watching rugby. Males only watch rugby together because if they watched something like Downton Abbey other males might assume that they are gay.

Females can be housed together, though this can be extremely noisy with constant chattering. If you do keep them together avoid giving them any sort of alcohol as this will result in hysterical squealing which makes the males bad tempered as they are trying to concentrate on watching the rugby. If males are present the females will often leave the house in groups called packs. These packs will migrate to the nearest shopping mall where they will spend most of the day trying on shoes and clothes. Now and again they will pause to drink coffee and make spiteful comments about other females who are not part of the pack.

Breeding humans is fraught with difficulties, although some can be persuaded to reproduce. If you really want your humans to breed you should prevent them from reaching a state of what is known as marriage. Once they reach this state the females show a marked decline in willingness to breed, although it is still possible on rare occasions if the male can be persuaded to vacuum the house or do the washing up. Even before they reach the state of marriage it can be difficult to get them to reproduce because they tend to use primitive preventative measures like slipping a little rubber sock over their naughty bits in the case of the males, while the females prefer to take a concoction of chemicals in the form of a little pill. You can combat this by chewing holes in the little rubber socks; be warned though, they taste awful, though I have seen banana flavoured ones. In the case of the little pills, they can be hidden in your cage by burying them in your bedding. On no account should you eat them yourself though. I did this once and started to grow a pair of boobs and became very snappy with poor old Badger every month for about a year.

It is possible to observe your humans in the act of procreation if you sneak into their sleeping quarters. Although if your humans have reached a state of marriage you'd have to be very lucky to catch them at it. Mostly you'll see the male reach out a hand to stroke the female's shoulder, then ninety nine times out of a hundred it will be shrugged off and the words "Not tonight dear, I've got a headache." will be uttered. Females who have reached a state of marriage get a lot of headaches. Often with unmarried humans you don't have to observe their breeding habits to know when they are doing it. You will hear them. There will be a lot of heavy breathing, quite a bit of grunting and often squeals of simulated pleasure from the female. This will generally cease after about ninety seconds and you will be able to smell tobacco smoke.

Serious human breeders usually go for a species of human called Roman Catholics. This is because there are averse to any form of contraception, considering the prevention of the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases a grave sin. They also believe that over population of the planet is something that should be encouraged no matter how many people starve to death or what damage is wrought on the environment.

Anyway, to sum up. There is no manual on how to care for your humans. There are manuals for how humans should care for each other. The two main ones are called the Bible and the Koran. Both are widely ignored until they find something obscure in one or other of them to justify their misbehavior.
Oddly, my staff do have a manual for looking after guinea pigs. It's called "Enjoy Your Guinea Pig" which sounds disturbingly like a recipe book.

The worst thing about keeping humans is caring for their feet. They just don't look after them. The females squish them into really stupid shoes that are at least a size too small and the males never lick their toes clean.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Joy of Depression

A few years ago, before I came on the scene (So I can't be blamed.) my female staff went into the bathroom one morning to find my male staff standing in the shower, weeping uncontrollably. Her first thought was that he had run out of shampoo and had realised that he was going to have to get out of the shower, dry himself, fetch a new bottle of shampoo and then start all over again. A quite horrific prospect for someone who doesn't like showering much in the first place. But then as she watched, he climbed slowly out of the shower and still dripping wet, sobbing and naked he slid to the floor.

Strange, thought my female staff. He doesn't usually do that unless he's drunk, but since it was only six thirty in the morning she felt that this was unlikely - even for him. Normally she would have kicked him in the ribs and told him to get up off the floor and get her breakfast ready, but something told her that on this occasion all was not well. It may have been the loud, ragged sobs tearing from his throat, but she thought that perhaps a gentler approach might be more appropriate. Between sobs he declared that he couldn't go back to his work as a travel agent. That was quite obvious. Nobody wants to buy a holiday from someone who's tears are soaking their brochure.

 A cute photo of yours truly will relieve anyone's depression.

When he finally uncurled from his foetal position and stopped weeping my female staff drove him to the local doctors surgery, where all the doctors were out playing golf, but he was able to see one of the cleaners. I'm kidding of course. It wasn't a cleaner at all. It was a courier with an urgent delivery of a new set of golf clubs for one of the doctors. Anyway, the courier diagnosed my male staff as having anxiety and depression. He had little to be depressed or anxious about and yet something odd happened in the depths of his pea sized brain, some sort of chemical imbalance. It happens to thousands of Australians and millions of people around the world. For some it becomes unbearable and they end their own lives. Luckily it didn't strike my male staff in that way, though it's true that for a while he didn't really care one way or the other whether he lived or died, there was no way he was going to harm himself since he is entirely allergic to any sort of pain.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I don't want my male staff's fellow depression and anxiety sufferers to think that they are on their own. My male staff overcame his problem with the help of medication (which he refers to as his loony pills), exercise, and an enormous amount of support from my female staff and his employer. Just know that there are ways out of the blackest depression and there are people that can help. In Australia there is Beyond Blue and no doubt there are similar organisations in your country too.

I'm having a week off from doing a footnote this week. Oh bugger! I've just done one.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How To Age Gracelessly

Birthdays are funny things. On the 31st of January I was two years old, then the 1st of February comes around and all of a sudden I'm fifty percent older. My staff tell me I'm now three. How does that happen? How can my age increase by fifty percent over night? My male staff also had his birthday on the 1st of February. Why didn't his age increase by fifty percent too? No wonder guinea pigs don't live as long as humans. My male staff shares my birthday and yet his age increased by less than two percent. I think it's a conspiracy to prevent cavies - clearly a higher intelligence - from taking over the planet. If my male staff's age increased by the same percentage as mine he'd be well over seventy, which means that his age would have overtaken his IQ.

In my experience humans have an odd relationship with age. The young ones, say between the age of four and eleven tend to exaggerate their age. Ask a six year old how old they are and they'll tell you that they are nearly seven. They want to be older than they are. Then from about twelve years to thirty five you have a reasonable chance of getting the truth when you ask a human their age. Then it gets complicated. At some point between the age of thirty five and forty five human females have some sort of unfortunate brain explosion which makes them forget their age and habitually knock at least five years off when asked how old they are.  At about this same age male humans have a different sort of brain explosion which suddenly makes them think that it is acceptable to go out and collect the newspaper from the lawn in their underpants and that younger women now find them attractive when they don't shave and wear grubby tee-shirts and shorts so tight that dogs follow them around, convinced that they are concealing sausages and meatballs on their person.

My male staff prepares to go and fetch the newspaper from the lawn.

In the male of the species this phase peters out eventually and is replaced by a much worse stage. Between the ages of forty five and fifty they start sucking in their stomachs and dressing in clothes that they think are trendy, but which in fact went out of fashion about twenty years earlier. My male staff for example has kept his flared trousers and wing collared shirts from the nineteen seventies, convinced that at any moment he will start to look good in them. Good grief, the silly old goat didn't even look good in them in 1978. But of course age and alcohol consumption has withered his brain cells in the same way that Autumn withers the leaves a tree, and his brain cells are now laying in a crumpled pile at his feet, hiding his platform shoes - thankfully.

Wealthier male humans might go out and buy a Ferrari or a Lamborghini in the mistaken belief that being seen in a brightly coloured chunk of fast Italian metal will make them seem viral and attractive to chicky babes, whereas in fact they might as well wear a neon sign around their neck that says "This Silly Old Fart Is Past It, And Has A Very Small, Shrivelled Willy And A Bladder Problem Caused By Having A Prostate The Size Of A Coconut."

Females of this age lose interest in sex or physical contact of any sort, considering it insanitary, but they do gain a peculiar interest in television programmes like Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs in which the characters often have the morals of a small furry rodent. They'll tut like Skippy The Bush Kangaroo at the goings on, and whisper to their friends about the terrible behaviour, but they can't wait to watch the next episode.

At around about the age of sixty five males revert to wearing just their underpants to fetch the paper from the lawn again, and this continues until their family get sick of them and they are shuffled off into an aged care home. Females of about seventy years of age revert to their pre-teens in that they start to exaggerate their age again.
 "I'm eighty-nine next March." 
 "So you're eighty-eight then." Is the wrong response to this and will earn you a stare so hostile that anyone witnessing it might assume that you have tweaked the old dear's nipple. Octogenarian female humans will also use their age as a weapon. For example, you beat an an old dear to the supermarket queue by a short head only to be told "I'm eighty-four you know." At this point you should give up your place in the queue to her. If you don't you will almost certainly received the nipple tweaking stare and the disapproval of all the other people in the queue.

Anyway, at least my age will only increase by thirty-three percent next February.

I'm still only two, but I'm told that my feet don't look a day over eighteen months.