“Ive been thinking” he said.
“About?” she asked, filling a dish with cat food.
“Yes, it is.”
“So why do you guys do it?”
“It’s like this,” she said, opening the treat bag. “I can’t start a war. No one in this neighborhood or state can start a war. People can’t start wars. There are one or two moronic men in positions of power who are the one’s who start wars. They take the money they grab from hard working people, to build weapons that kill the people they are supposed to protect. People have no say in it. Wars are started by a few greedy, power hungry, mentally unstable men, and when one of them attacks, the other one fights back. Bullies on really big playgrounds. No detentions, physical injuries and death, instead. But there’s no money for health care or schools, just weapons.”
“Why do you let them do it?”
“Why do we let governments do anything,” she sighed. “We’re idiots. Our children die, so that those two or three men can sit safely in their offices and count the numbers of bodies, hoping they have more living people to outlast the amount the other person has. At least that’s the way it seems to me.”
“You know that doesn’t make sense, right?”
“Of course it doesn’t,” she agreed.
“Civil wars are different.”
“Yes, they are. That’s because we’re fighting ourselves. It’s like a big gang war, fighting for our colors and turf. Still stupid, but our beliefs, and deep seated desire for freedom and a lot of other things, play into that. We live here, and we don’t want to live by the rules of the people we can’t stand, or disagree with.”
“I understand that,” he said, licking his paw. “When a tom won’t stop fighting we run him off.”
“Exactly. You believe your neighborhood should be the way you want it to be. It’s the same for us. And it’s never going to end.”
“Yes. The differences between us are too great to be overcome. They aren’t issues where their is room for compromise. They are yes or no things.”
“Do you think you’ll all become extinct?”
“Sure. Eventually. Not today, though.”
“Do you have an idea of when?”
She laughed. “You’re all waiting for us to disappear, aren’t you,” she said.
“Pretty much. No one will get run over, shot, tortured, abused, starved, caged…”
“I get it,” she said miserably. “I don’t blame you.”
“It’s not just cats, you know. It’s everything that lives on the earth. Everyone would be happy if your species was gone.”
“I think you’ll have to wait a little longer, but you should be worried about what we’ll end up doing to each other. If there’s a nuclear war, there could be a lot of damage and radiation. It could kill everything.”
“I can’t do anything about that.”
“Neither can I,” she said, petting his back. “People have given away their power.”
“Nineteen eighty four?”
“The other side wants that for sure.”
“Can you stop them?”
“I don’t know.”
“What will happen if you can’t?” he asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Civil war, like you said?”
“That’s definitely a possibility, I guess.”
“Won’t be fun.”
“No. But the past four years they were in office weren’t fun either.”
“Everyone loved the sardines, by the way.”
“I’m glad. I’ll get them again.”
“I tried to tell them that you won’t buy us a live gerbil, or a rabbit, or a hen. I told them you’re against those kinds of things.”
“What did they say?”
“They told me to keep trying to talk you into it.”
“Never gonna happen,” she said, shaking her head, cleaning up the dishes. “Not in a million years.”
“We won’t be here in a million years,” he said, grabbing the last treat.
“We might be back in different bodies.”
“What if you’re the cat?” he snickered.
“Well if you were the person, I would hope you would love me as much as I love you.”
He looked away, then flopped onto his back.
“Life’s not easy, is it,” he said.
“No. Not really.”
“Why do you have kids when you know they’re going to die?”
“Because we don’t believe they are going to die, even thought we know they will.”
“You’re all crazy. You know that don’t you?” he asked.
“I do know that. We don’t have much of a choice about having kids, our bodies pump us full of hormones and our brains lie to us. We’re animals, remember? Some fight it and win, but others, not so much.”
“Have you ever noticed how many of you there are?”
“Yes. Too many.”
“Resources and all that.”
“Don’t you care?”
“Not so much. I fought most of my life for things and when we won, we only won temporarily. Once we got a bill passed, it’s was never really safe. So the fighting never ends. It just goes on and on, generation after generation. It’s ugly and hateful.”
He nodded. “You’re making me tired.”
“Funny,” she snickered. “You’re making me feel the same way. So, I’ll see you tonight.”
“You can kiss me a couple times and then go.”