Every politician tends to have a pet project but, for one Mexican cat, it’s the other way around.
Morris is running for mayor of the eastern Mexico city Xalapa on a platform that includes filling potholes with leftover litter and a campaign slogan most two-legged creatures can get behind: “Tired of voting for rats? Vote for a cat.”
Morris isn’t the only non-human in the political menagerie of Mexico. Chon the donkey is running for mayor in Ciudad Juarez — fitting for those who already think elected officials are, pardon me, asses; a chicken named Tina is running in Tepic — again, perfect for those who think this is just another case of birds of a political feather flocking together; Maya the cat and Tintan the dog are also waging political runs in their respective cities.
If this gaggle of candidates actually triumph, politics really will be a zoo. They will also join Stubbs, an elder statesman among political animals. Stubbs, a cat, has been the honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska for more than 15 years. Guess they don’t believe in term limits up north even if voters do believe four-legged leadership is better than that of the human variety. Over in Nova Scotia, Tuxedo Stan also made a bid for office but sadly the cat lost to an opponent without a tail or natural black-tie attire.
Since most humans of voting age don’t live in any of those cities, we don’t really have a dog in these fights outside of somewhat wishing Fido or Fluffy would try collaring an elected gig around here. Why not? Politics is a game of claws and hisses on some days; naps and yawns on others. Isn’t a cat as mayor then purr-fect, other than sending tongues wagging over his or her annoying habits like swatting at the gavel or whisker cleaning during public comment? Or canines even — isn’t one fat cat politician or another always in the doghouse for not staying on a shorter leash when it comes to spending tax dollars or favoring personal interests?
But personal grooming and a fondness for using staff reports as litter box liners aside, there is another recent controversy that constituents should consider when weighing whether endorsing a candidate lacking upright walking capability and an opposable thumb would be a complete catastrophe. That issue is magic cheese. Yes, cheese.
This particular cheese is the veterinarian-invented vehicle for delivering medical marijuana to sick and pained pets. Think THC meets TLC for beloved animal companions. Some might argue politicians went to pot a long time ago so who really cares if the furry versions partake a little in some marijuana muenster or hash havarti. Yet even with drug laws bending, few political hopefuls are comfortable admitting even a few youthful indulgences. Former President Bill Clinton is the classic example, having tried sidestepping a complete confession with the now-famous bit about never inhaling during his bouts of experimentation.
So what happens if these beastly public servants try a little cannabis with their can-do attitudes? A little magic cheese certainly doesn’t put any politician, even those of animal variety, on the same footing as say Marion Barry but chances are good the fur will still fly. On the other hand, perhaps an electorate that can overlook a candidate’s propensity toward fleas and mange is willing to accept legalized drug use if it is accompanied by dogged determination. When it comes to legislative priorities, there should be bigger fish to fry.
Michelle Durand’s column “Off the Beat” runs every Tuesday and Thursday. She can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (650) 344-5200 ext. 102. What do you think of this column? Send a letter to the editor: email@example.com.