Tonight was a monumental occasion, in a small at-home sort of way because The Tink, who is just reaching nine months old, got his very first collar. It's a stylish little thing, all in black and white zebra stripes. Tres' chic, as these things go.
I took the bell off as I know no self-respecting cat, no master of stealth and silence, could possibly retain his dignity with a tinkle bell announcing his every stride. And I personally know, I would not like a bell hanging around my neck either. Therefore, there shall be no bell.
Even though Tink had never seen a collar before, as I approached him to slip it over his head he instinctively knew he wanted nothing to do with it. As much as I can appreciate that, there is really no choice in the matter. A big, beautiful healthy boy kitty seen outside without a collar would become instant county meat around here. As it is, all dogs and all cats upon being seen by the League of Pet Nazi's are immediately deprived of their reproductive organs. It's non negotiable where I live, and frankly, I find that frightening. The government is wasting no time setting precedents for intruding deeply into our personal lives, always under the guise of a "good cause".
Over the last decade, this zealotry has proven to be beyond efficient and has evolved into a religious-like fervor. For the first time in my life my qualifications as a loving pet owner are constantly challenged, and I have been verbally attacked EVERYWHERE I've gone to try to find a kitten.
The reasons for this are bizarre and quite worrisome. My desire was to have a cat that had not been violated with deadly vaccinations and that had not already been castrated at the tender age of six weeks. I find both of those things appalling. But more than that, they are not necessary and even more than that, it is not what I want and that is the bottom line. I am in the surreal position of needing to defend my personal beliefs, choices and decisions, to twits in medical garb who have no concept of who's the boss.
So my search for The Tink took three years and I have been repeatedly accused of being a socially deviant animal hater because I don't believe in butchering baby animals or injecting them with vile, deadly toxins. Go figure.
If this were really America, it would be nobody's business what my personal decisions around my own feline family members' health would be. In every sense of the concept, it's nobody's business but my own. If I am the responsible party, and I am, and if I pay all of the bills, and I do, then I will make all of the decisions and call all of the shots. That's just how it works in the real world. Outside opinions are nothing that should ever be able to obligate me. And while everyone has the right to an opinion, I have the right not to give a damn what it is. It's a beautiful system. I do miss it.
Where once I could find a new kitten in a local pet shop or from a local newspaper ad in one day, it took me literally three years to locate The Tink. I think that's overkill, and I use the word deliberately. Anyway, back to the topic at hand, Tink's first collar.
After getting down on the floor with him and petting him for a moment, I was able to slip that zebra striped gizmo up over his chin, then over his face, and finally over his ears, and then let go. At which time he began to walk backwards immediately in the belief he'd somehow walked into something and could simply back out of it. Pretty brilliant if you ask me, but in this case, wrong.
I must confess I did laugh my ass off, but only for a minute or two. He was pretty hilarious. I've rarely seen a cat move in that manner. Jerking his shoulders around and walking backwards sort of reminded me of Michael Jackson back in the 80's.
It was obvious Tink hated the collar. He really hated it. And as I type these words he is sitting nearby staring at me with a look on his face I can only describe as incensed. "How dare you", he seems to be saying. "I will not be enslaved." I honestly, and rather deeply understand what that must feel like.
Some people say life is a hologram, a flat surface with a gajillion identical splinters twinkling in three dimensional repetition. As above, so below, within you or without you, choose your cliché. But just like I slipped the zebra striped collar around this freedom loving creature's neck, an even bigger collar is being slipped around the neck of this entire country. I am experiencing that same feeling of desperately walking backwards, trying to get it off, and like Tink, am having little in the way of luck. In fact it's more like a Chinese finger puzzle in that the harder you pull on it, the tighter it's hold becomes.
For those few of us who are really awake, (and you can tell who we are because we haven't slept in years), it is terrifying to watch the government attaching it's millions of cast iron collars around the necks of our citizens. They are invisible to the naked eye, but with special glasses like the ones in "They Live", you would be able to see everyone walking around with dozens and dozens of collars around their necks. It is very surreal to witness this and at the same time listen to people proclaim that they are free and that this is a democracy. If only we had a few thousand boxes of those special glasses to pass around.
Maybe it's just me, but I think people have the right to know that they are being systematically stripped of rights and freedoms by people who have no right to take them. I just think people should know about things like that. I guess I'm funny that way.
It seemed like it would be the perfect ending to present you with a photo of The Tink in his new collar. Unfortunately he is in no mood to cooperate with me tonight, and who could really blame him.
My hope is that the next time you are presented with an assertion that you are "required" to jump through another government hoop that never existed before, instead of complying without any thought, first think about what it is that someone you don't even know is telling you to comply to. Ask why it's necessary, decide if it even makes sense, and ask yourself if it's really anyone's business or right to intrude into your personal life in the matter at hand.
Also ask yourself if a King or a Queen would be treated in the same manner and if not, I assure you, something is wrong. For we are all sovereigns in this country, meaning we are the Kings and Queens of our own lives, and nobody exists who has the right to tell us what we can and cannot do; or what we can or cannot be. That is the birthright of any sovereign being, to live our lives without interference or state intrusion.
If we are law abiding citizens we should never expect to encounter the government in our lives, our Constitution makes that perfectly plain and simple. We are not here for the benefit of government and authorities. It is they who are supposed to be here for our benefit. They work for us. Their job is nothing more than to facilitate our wishes. It is not the other way around.
The bill of rights is not a list of what we get, it is a list of restrictions on the government. Our rights are not given to us by government, and no one has the right to take them away from us. Yet our own government is taking them away because sadly, too many of us don't understand that simple, astoundingly important fact.
Are you obediently jumping through their hoops on command? Why are they intruding into your personal telephone calls, emails, medical history, financial records and travel plans? Why are they refusing to answer your questions? At what point did our public servants, whom we pay, become our masters?
They have managed to attach their collars to our necks, and now that they have us on leashes they will yank us wherever they want us to go. Are we willingly becoming slaves of the state? Are our servants calling the shots and are we then to obey them without question? I wonder how many of us have abdicated our thrones in the belief we will be safer beings; and have done so without even realizing it. We have fallen into the trap of believing our trusted servants, even when they are stealing our property before our eyes, even when we catch them in continual lies, and even when we demand explanations that are met with refusal and the catch all excuse of state secrecy. The fact of the matter is, no one will ever protect us except ourselves.
A good intention is not the same thing as a good plan; and a stupid sovereign would probably be an almost irresistible mark for a corrupt slave. If we lose our discernment, and if we arm our slaves and allow them to run our lives, the tables will fully turn. The Kings and Queens of America will be reduced to irrelevancy. The bottom line is this: When you no longer have a kingdom you are no longer a king.
Think Or Be Eaten.