“How are the kittens?” he asked. “Behaving themselves?”
“They are absolute angel,” she cooed. “I dropped them off by their mother, so she could see them while we talked. If they want to stay here they can. If they want to come back to my place they can do that too.”
“I’ve been thinking.”
“And?” he said, closing his eyes.
“A world without them. I think the only labels should be hot and cold, danger, earth friendly, and maybe a couple of others. All other labels should be eliminated. Then no one could be hurt by them and have their lives ruined.”
“That’s a good idea.”
“I do. And imagine all of the adjectives you would get rid of. Beauty, ugly, stupid, brilliant…”
“I know what you’re saying, but the world would would be less hostile, and more accepting, if male and female, gay and straight, as well as all the other words like that, were gone. If people could just be who and what they are, without calling everything something, I think things would be better. We need acceptance not division, not hateful descriptions and name calling. It’s pisses me off and people don’t like me when I’m pissed off.”
“I tend to tear out their throats. Metaphorically speaking, of course. At least most of the time.”
“I think I’d like to see that. But is there a difference between descriptive words and labels?”
“I think the intent is different. Words with intent to hurt others should be banished.”
“I don’t know how it can be done, since you guys live by adjectives. Nouns and verbs just won’t do it,” he said.
“Why do we need to categorize words into groups like nouns and verbs anyway? Whose brilliant idea was that?”
“How else could you torture kids into diagraming a sentence,” snarked the cat.
“Too many people are hurt by words.”
“Maybe you just need to accept the words and not let them bother you. I mean you did it with bitch. You embraced that one and made it your own. Just change the meanings, because that’s a lot easer to do. Turn ugly into beautiful.”
“I don’t think it’s as easy as you’re making it out to be.”
“Maybe not. But I don’t think you can get rid of labels either. How would you talk about the president if you couldn’t use the word moron?”
“Of course it is. Labels show displeasure or acceptance and wonder.”
“Maybe I’m not explaining it very well,” she said, biting her lip. “I’m talking about the evil labels that hurt people.”
“The people who use those words will find another way to hurt people. It’s what they do. You don’t want people to feel bad, or be put into danger, dismissed, destroyed by their teachers, parents, friends, and icky people, with labels that will rob them of their self confidence and self worth. You don’t want people who refuse to be put into to a box, punished because they won’t play the game.”
“Yes. That’s exactly what I want.”
“Not going to happen. Therefore, you have to change attitudes or meanings. Like I said, the people who hurt through words, will come up new ways to hurt others, in order to feel good about themselves.”
“This is more complicated than I first thought,” she sighed.
“Most things are.”
“Words can be like shard of glass, cutting and painful.”
“Do people say bad things to you?”
“Not if they want to keep breathing, so no. No one has ever said anything cutting to me. People who even look at me funny don’t do it twice.”
“Where did you get your attitude?”
“So how can we change the language?”
“No idea. I guess you could get rid of all the mean people. But who would decide who the mean people were and who would decided who decided, who the mean people were?”
“That old problem. Well, I suppose those who were life affirming would be a place to start. Those who wanted death, war, violence and brutality, would be the bad guys.”
“Seems that way to you, but probably not to them.”
“I disagree. No one should be allowed to hit others, rape, pillage, torture, or harm anyone else. Who said, “Your freedom stops where my nose starts?”
“I hope no one said that,” said the cat. “It’s stupid.”
“Hamilton?” she muttered. “I can’t remember, and it’s not stupid, it means you don’t have the right to put yourself in my space.”
“You can’t stop hatred.”
“I hate that.”
“Sure. But there are too many injustices. Too many things wrong. Too many lies. Too many monsters.”
“I agree. Part of the problem with humans, is that you need, or want, acceptance and kids want to be liked by their peers. If those needs aren’t met, well, you can see what people do. And people never play fair. Too many are greedy and selfish. Actually, you’re all greedy and selfish.”
“What were we talking about in the beginning?” she asked, frowning.
“Oh, yeah. They should only be on wine bottles and food.”
“Think of something else.”
“Teaching people to be nice.”
She burst into laughter.
“That’s what I thought,” he said, rolling over. “But you can’t get rid of words. They can die out, be replaced by new words, or slang, but you can’t just stop using them. I mean no one says Thou or Thy any longer, so words do go away but they’re usually replaced with new ones like cool is now savage, at lease in some places.”
“You can’t change what is. Life is in the trying. Things change when the tipping point comes along. Once that happens, there’s no stopping it. Even the rich and elites know that. In my opinion they better watch out, because a tipping point is on its way.”
“I never thought about it like that. You’re right. We fight, even for generations, building up momentum, and then it just happens and people forget, how many people worked for so long, to get it to that point.”
“I get it. So all the things I’ve done might make a difference in the future, if not right now.”
“Yes,” he said, yawning.
“That’s why we can never give up,” she said, softly.
“That’s why,” said the cat.
“It’s exhausting and stupid.”
“Maybe, but it’s what you have to work with.”
“It makes me tired.”
“Don’t doubt it.”
“I love you,” she said, petting him.
“So adjectives stay?”
“What’s the DEADLY PILGRIM, on your shirt? Another hang out?”
She looked down at her torn shirt and said, “It’s only open on Columbus Day. They burn cardboard pilgrims, made by party goers during the year, in a big bonfire. It a celebration we came up with to show that Native Americans are the only real Americans and Columbus sucks. The effigies have sayings on them, some are dressed, others jut painted, even Barbie can be included. But we torch them. It’s our way of honoring the true country and the true Americans.”
She nodded. “It’s the least we can do. All the money taken in, is given to Native American tribes.”
“You’re a strange woman.”
“How do you know meant that as a compliment?”
“Because you don’t want me to be angry with you.”
“Oh, right,” he said. “Ripping out throats and things.”
“You’re not always what you seem to be.”
“I am,” said the cat. “Cats are always what they seem to be.”
“You mean until they turn on you?”
“That’s just being true to themselves.”
The cat thought about it for a minute, then said. “That’s true.”
“I know,” she said smiling. “I’m going to see if the kittens want to stay or come home with me.
“Okay. I’m going to take a nap. You make me tired.”