Some of you know that my backyard is akshully all of Washington DC, and I could scurry to the Whitehouse any time I want – through the storm drain and down that hill, past the statue of the horse trying to buck the guy offa his back – but I haven’t yet, cuz I been busy. But, being so close to teh action and all does put me in a unique position to opine about the crucial inner workings of the White House. Namely, its cats.
The Oval Office has been graced by quite a few distinguished felines, but we first must honor the President who went out of his way to love kittehs in and out of the White House – the esteemed cat lover Abraham Lincoln.
The Lincolns came to the White House with the first ever First Cat, Tabby, a tabby cat just like me, so another reason I am an expert in this regard. When asked by reporters about her husband’s hobbies, Mrs. Lincoln replied “cats.” The Great Emancipator played with kittehs “for hours.” The man had lots of works to do; saving the Union and freeing slaves and all that, and humans just can’t reach that level of Greatness without regular stress-reducing tete-a-tete negotiations and chase-the-string summits with kittehs.
White House staff was always trying to hurry Mr. Lincoln along on his busy-ness of healing the Union, but this never stopped him from playing with cats everywhere. Three weeks before the end of the war, on his way to send a telegraph to General Grant, Lincoln stopped to pick up three stray kittens. He held them in his lap, and loved on them while assistants fidgeted and cleared their throat and said, repeatedly, “Mr. President, the General is waiting…” But Mr. Lincoln only wanted to know about the kitten’s mommy. When told she was dead, the Great Emancipator replied “Then she can’t grieve as many a poor mother is grieving for a son lost in battle.” He then issued a Presidential decree that “ these poor little motherless waifs are given plenty of milk and treated kindly.”
Taking care of things smaller and sweeter than ourselves only makes it easier to take care of a whole Union of Humans, and Mr. Lincoln knew that better than anybuddy.