Updated: Oct 4, 2021
Over the last 10 days, many adoring citizens have asked, “Veronica, why so quiet? Where is your concession speech?” Or, “Veronica, you campaigned so stunningly. Are you sad? Disappointed? Relieved?”
The answer: None of those.
Why not? Because. I. Won.
Word of my unprecedented, irrefutable, victory roused me from an especially satisfying nap. Barely past 9pm, in Texas, on November 3rd, Mother’s telephone rang and she rushed to tell me the news. I took a long yawn, an even longer stretch, and groomed myself quickly, preparing for the inevitable onslaught of media.
Surprised? Of course not!
In all the excitement, I missed my 9:15 nap! Enduring a full quarter hour of scritches and praise, I longed to retreat to my Night Time Box. Meanwhile, the television blared all manner of histrionics. Growing tense and irritable, I wondered, “Who are those people? Why are they claiming my victory as their own? Had their mothers’ telephones not rung to share the news of my triumph? WHY? WHY ARE THEY STILL TALKING?!” Unable to suffer the din another moment, I launched myself most gracefully across the coffee table, pausing, mid-air, for an opportune smack on Lacey’s hindquarters.
In box at last, I lounged on my proverbial laurels – real ones are much too uncomfortable – and reflected on the change I would bring, - Tinkle bells in abundance. - Obedience school, free of cost, for dogs and humans alike. - Comic sans? Out. - Red dot? Out. A better, happier America. America. Cute Again!
Floating away on distant cheers that rose and fell and rose again, I drifted into hearty, self-satisfied, slumber.
The following morning, before breakfast (rude!), a pack of well-meaning civil servants appeared at my door. Obvious dog lovers, they fawned awkwardly and scritched amateurishly, in clumsy attempt to curry my moderate approval (and, most certainly, a few extra tinkle bells). They replaced my jewels with a hideous, clashing, nylon affair (most unflattering!), and commenced a round-robin litany of my executive obligations: Breakfast de-briefs, policy luncheons, state dinners. Whenever would I nap? No. I will endure. Hideous collar and all. I will endure for the greater good.
On and on they blathered (what is it with people?) about what, even then, I’d already forgotten.
Perhaps seeing my dispassion, they shared the perks of the office: “Personal groomers! Regular brushing and nail clipping! And ba— (abrupt silence).” Sigh. I will do it for my citizens, I thought. They told me about my new home, far away. 35 litter boxes, 147 windowsills - the place sounded lovely - plenty of room for my loved ones, yet not nearly enough for Lacey. They promised exotic boxes, crinkle mice and floppy birdie sticks – gifts from Cats of similar station. All that AND my vision of Cute come to fruition? My excitement rekindled. Then they told me about the dog.
Apparently, it is tradition for the Chief of State, with great fanfare, to adopt… a dog.
“Not a mouse? Or a bird?” I asked. No. “A small squirrel?” No. “Can I smack the dog?” No. Bad press.
Enough. I rose, vexed, hungry and late for my morning nap. “Thank you, gentlemen,” I said. “I must ruminate on this.” Aghast, they insisted. They pleaded. They even whipped out the catnip. “But… the nation has spoken!” one bleated.
I shed the hideous collar and took leave for my Rumination Box.
As the pack retreated, I overheard their anxious murmurs. “What are we going to tell (unintelligible name)?” “She’s gonna be so angry with us!” “Man, we’re really in for it…”
They faded into the distance.
Mandated photo ops with dogs? Goodness knows how much I hate to be photographed! And regular nail clipping? With 132 rooms full of furniture at my disposal? I have heard of government waste, but never dreamed of the magnitude. Endless mealtime conversations? One wonders how my predecessors ever found time to eat, much less nap!
In the following days, I grew philosophical about my stunning victory, and critical of the, well, unpalatable aftermath. Of course I won. I mean, truly, there was no other possible outcome. A tigress among quail. A queen among rabble. A Cat among a bunch of old guys who like to talk about themselves too much. No. Triumph was inevitable. It was predestined. Yet, it left me cold.
My thoughts turned you all, to the #CalicoArmy – my unflagging champions who worked tirelessly to spread the vision of a Cuter America. "Would they forsake me?" I wondered, "Would they abandon the dream of a #CalicoNation – a populace as beautiful and nuanced as the lavish coat of a certain humble TortieCo?"
"No. They will not."
I know, you will not.
We Will. Prevail.
Away from the prying spotlight, in shadow and obscurity – sleek, cunning, with flashes of passionate intensity – the #CalicoArmy will prevail!
A Better, Happier, Cuter place for everyone! Even the dogs! Total World Domination is within our grasp! ***
On Friday, November 6, from my Afternoon Box, I heard muffled wails and pleas as Mother spoke into the same odd, inscrutable device.
“No. I’m sorry. Veronica has decided. You’ll have to go with one of the other guys.”