Parental Bureaucracy

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.

~ George W. Bush

Dear Mom & Dad,

We are writing this letter to ask you a very important thing. We know that you have said no to this many times before, but we are hoping that you will change your mind after reading this letter. We want to get one of the free kittens they are giving away up at W——–. We have come up with a few ideas of why you should let us do this.

The first reason is that we will make sure that it has all its vaccinations and gets them if it doesn’t have them. We will also make sure that it is a boy kitten.

The second reason is that we will care for it and keep it company until it gets used to the family. We will also pay for its collar, tags, and maybe a litter box. We will also take turns cleaning out its litter box.

The third reason is that if you let us get the kitten we will keep our room clean so the kitten will have a safe environment to live in.

As we said before, we know you have said no many times before, but we still hope that this letter will change your mind. Thank you.


Aryn and Zoe

Dear Aryn and Zoe,

We have received your written request for a kitten. We wish to commend you both for choosing this form of request over your previous method of nagging, whining and puppy-dog-eyed pleading. Clearly you’ve taken the time to give this some thought and, as a result, have crafted a well-worded solicitation โ€“ a pleasingly preferable method toward achieving your goals.

The success of your recent lemonade stand venture, in spite of our nation’s current recessional tendencies, has proven that you are budding entrepreneurs treading the rocky path toward economic viability. Your lean business practices have netted you a sizeable profit which, properly invested, will go a long way toward underwriting both the startup and overhead expenditures which are part and parcel of kitten ownership.

We have also noticed the recent upturn with regard to the safety and efficiency of your living quarters. There is a noticeable decline in trip hazards, and the myriad storage spaces are organized and largely free of clutter. The willful and consistent attention to these duties, with minimal upper-management prompting, has shown that your department is accruing, to its benefit, a modicum of initiative lacking in previous months.

Most importantly, we have taken note of the increased level of care shown toward our organization’s current pet population. Seldom do they pine for fresh water or food, and they are also reporting an increase in belly rubs and neighborhood walks. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, and this positive feedback indicates an upward trend with regard to the quality of service you are providing.

Kitten ownership is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Yet your recent activity has shown that your department is clearly ready to undertake such a task. We hereby submit your request, along with our evaluations and sentiments, to The Cheek of God Tweaker Committee for their considerations and comments. Upon receiving their input, we’ll further consider your request and present you with our response.

Until that time, we encourage you both to continue demonstrating proper departmental practices. Documented and consistent success in future days will be taken into consideration and no doubt influence our decision.


Mom & Dad

[photo credit]


35 thoughts on “Parental Bureaucracy

  1. Make up your mind yourself Mom and Dad. Leave your tweakers out of it.

  2. Oh for the love of Pete, get them the kitten! These kids are clearly more responsible than I was when I had a real live human baby!!!

  3. Hee. I love the professionalism of all this. My only concern is that “kitten ownership” becomes “cat ownership”. Kittens are cute and little and fun and silly. But they grow to be cats – cats that are not quite as exciting. If your kids love CATS and not just kittens, I say “go for it.” But I would emphasize that the love and care must continue even when the kitten has stopped being it’s little adorable self and turned into a regular old cat.

  4. You are very brave to crowdsource the addition of a family pet. I, on the other hand, inherited our cat and will most likely be coerced into a puppy at some point in the future.

  5. Pat – Thank you! This mom is fighting a uphill battle here tho – I need all the “no” votes I can get!

    Ginny – Oh these girls are pro’s at feigning responsibility! The room will stay clean for about a week tops, the paying for stuff will end shortly after it’s begun or Zoe realizes she needs more bubble gum, and the cleaning of the litter box – well let’s just say – it won’t happen as often as it will need to happen. I’m hopeful that the current trend toward responsibility will last in hopes of getting this kitten, but I also KNOW my girls.

    Gwen – yes – cute little kittens grow up into wandering tomcats that find themselves with unfixed females and breed more unwanted kittens. Seems to happen a LOT in this area!

  6. I need more information.

    1. What is the current pet population? Do you expect that to decrease anytime soon? (imminent or age death on any horizon?)
    2. What is the current healthcare policy on pets? Meaning is said kitten needs care to the tune of $100, $200 etc dollars who pays? What’s the cutoff? My husbands limit is $500 for example. So after what financial point are you and your wife allowed to say “the cat dies vs us paying for care”
    3. Why. Why do they want a kitten. Do you HAVE a cat now? Two cats? f the answer is yes, then no. They don’t need a kitten. Kittens turn into cats. They can go down and “socialize” the existing kittens until they are adopted then you find a shelter and let them volunteer there. They can have kittens forever.
    4. Regardless of how well presented the argument, some times you just dont get rewarded. For example – I can make an extremely compelling case for why a couple with no children should will me their $700000 home. That doesn’t mean I will get it.
    5. Kittens turn into cats that live 18 to 20 years. when they go off to college, will they arrange care for the cat? will they pay for this cat until the day it dies? I think not.

    My answer is no. If you already have pets then a kitten is a novelty. If you have shitty arsed pets that bite, scratch kick and hate your family, and you feel like you WANT another cat, I will revise my decision.

  7. Well Brian

    We now have 3 cats and all I can think of is how to get them over to the “glue factory”. Oops, did I just say that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Awwww…. kittens… and children at least attempting to feign temporary responsibility. You could always make kitten ownership conditional on a signed service agreement, where you take away something they value for every missed “maintenance” issue…

  9. Awww let them have a kitten!!

  10. I say, “yes”, to the kitten on the strict condition that it is desexed regardless of gender. Then again, I am slave to a child and three perpetually needy guinea pigs, so what do I know?

  11. i am voting for the kitten. sounds like those kids are ready…

  12. Well, if the budding entrepreneurs have the cash, part of the deal in them gettting a tom kitten is for them to pay for neutering and declawing, depending on whether they want their cat to be an indoor fellow ( with a longer life expectancy) or risk having him run over by cars, eaten by coyotes or seduced away from home by a neighbour cat-besotted old woman ( where the living is easier to said Tom. Also, you might not be remiss in insisting that your budding calt-lovers interview a local vet, get a price list of services needed for health maintenance. That little reality check might compel them to go to a local shelter and select a lovely old gentleman cat who is in danger of being euthanized.

    I love cats, and they are both a pleasure and work. Cats with claws are perverse and can destroy drapes, wooden furniture, upholstered furniture. The kids will need to be armed with a supersoaker at all times during the training phase, ready to blast that cute little critter into a sodden mess and to do so with superlative aim.

    I recieved a lovely bunch of gladiolas the other day. My Captain, 10 year old character Maine Coon, immediately went up to the vase and began to chew the flowers off the stalks. He loves it when we get flowers; is nuts about them, even to the point of going about sniffing the ones with nice scent. But then he proceeds to chow down. I don’t get too Martha Steward-ish about this, as i think its a funny quirk, and provides me with entertainment.

    I like the tone of the appeal letter, and your businesslike response. You guys need a signed contract, which, if breached, means disappearing kitten. G

  13. crap. now I want a kitten.

  14. Awww. Get the kitten, but only if you can manage taking care of a cat once they grow up. The kids, that is. They’ll be off to college in about what, six years?

  15. Theoretically, could the introduction of a kitten into the pet population upset the ecological balance vis a vis the decrease in certain populations such as rodents and/or aquatic life? And would this resulting impact be viewed as positive or negative?

  16. Ok Gars, I vote no. There is already 2 dogs, 1 cat and 2 gerbils in the house. Why add more? What happens when summer is over and school stuff goes nuts. You are usually the one cleaning out stuff.

  17. The gerbils are both deceased – One this past March and one in May. The first one had a stroke, near as we can tell and the second one was likely just lonely as she just laid down in the corner of the cage one day and refused to do much of anything including eating. The next day she was gone. I’m just not ready to introduce another cat to the population! Meepo, and the dogs get along well for the most part – don’t want to upset the mix so to speak. This might change tho if and when one of the dogs dies. And Kitty has a point. Soon enough all of them will be so busy with high school and college that it will be left to Brian and I to take care of.

    “Well, if the budding entrepreneurs have the cash, part of the deal in them gettting a tom kitten is for them to pay for neutering and declawing, depending on whether they want their cat to be an indoor fellow ( with a longer life expectancy) or risk having him run over by cars, eaten by coyotes or seduced away from home by a neighbour cat-besotted old woman ( where the living is easier to said Tom. Also, you might not be remiss in insisting that your budding calt-lovers interview a local vet, get a price list of services needed for health maintenance. That little reality check might compel them to go to a local shelter and select a lovely old gentleman cat who is in danger of being euthanized.”

    Oh I like this! Let them do the research on what it would take to get the kitten fixed and all! This might be a great wake up call!

  18. Those kittens/cats need a home – if not with you, then with whom? Someone who might be neglectful/abusive? I think you may owe it to the universe to save the life of a kitten…

  19. Oh, and pet health insurance is a marvelous invention. Just sayin’

  20. Ah, give the poor dears a cat. What do you have to do for cats anyway – chuck them outside and let them hunt rats? Easy peasy.

  21. such a funny post. Very creative.

    Get the kitty!

  22. I’m telling ya now, Mr. B, if you’re going to have an inside pet, cats are the way to go. They’re snobs. They almost take care of themselves. The occasional litterbox cleaning is nothing compared to a trip outside every few hours. And if you get them those cheap little self-feeders, it’s even easier to care for them! They bathe themselves, they’ll sleep anywhere.
    I do have one bit of advice, though. It has been my experience that female cats are easier house cats. Once they hit maturity and go into heat the first time (around 6 months), you can pay a small fee to have them fixed, and ta-da!, everything’s fine. Where every single male cat I’ve ever owned has found it his sole purpose in life to mark everything else I own with his pee. Almost nothing on earth stinks worse than leather shoes that have been sprayed by a male cat. Now, it’s pretty common that after a male cat has been clipped, he might not do that anymore as he no longer has the desire to mark territory, but I did have a boy once who continued to do it anyway.
    Get the kids the cat!

  23. Get the kitten…but by all means get a female. Males are mean, they wander, they get in fights and they “spray.” We have an indoor/outdoor cat. She has access outdoors during the day and is kept inside at night. She has claws, but never claws anything in the house because she can claw on trees all day. Of course, either must be spayed/neutered.

    1. The research says neutered male cats make waaay better, more docile pets than spayed females; males are more cuddly, less aggressive, more playful. Any feline vet will echo this.

      Let us know what you decide…

  24. Do it! Doooooo it! Dooooooooooooooo it!

  25. I love the idea of letting the kids do their own research on having a pet. I agree – getting the animal fixed is a must.

    BUT: I am adamantly anti-declawing. Personally, I think if you want a cat, you want the whole thing. Claws and all. I’ve seen so many botched jobs and infections and favored feet with severed nerves that come from declawing…I just think it’s wrong.

    If you have a cat that is declawed, then I agree that you can only get another cat if it has already been declawed. Having one cat with claws and one without is just unfair to the cats.

    But choosing to declaw a cat, in my opinion, is just plain cruel. I’m a strict, strict bitch about pets and petcare, though. So don’t get offended by my thing. I just have to voice it, because I’m obnoxious.

  26. I never have to worry about my kids asking for a kitten, they are all allergic to cat dander. Are there any allergies you need to worry about in your household? If not, I say get the kitty with the understanding that if any part of the agreement is “forgotten” the kitty will go bye-bye.

  27. Do not, under any circumstance, tear up their letter and throw it in the fireplace. If you did, you would probably find it taped back together on your front door step with a kitten in a basket. Just sayin’.

  28. Yeah, I’m with Rassles on the de-clawing thing. My two cats have their claws, and there are ways to keep them from destroying your furniture. And what if they got outside? How would they protect themselves? Don’t say your cat will never be outside. You can’t swear to that. I had a cat a couple years ago, back when I swore that, and while we were on vacation someone broke into our home. Our alarm sounded which caused a chain reaction of my dad showing up, police, etc. While going through our home to check it out, they let my cat out. He never returned. We hunted, posted pics, kept up with local vets and shelters. Nothing. If he’d been de-clawed, he’d have been defenseless.

  29. OHMYGOSH that was so funny!!! They make some good points… ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. This is awesome! I hope by now your extremely responsible, articulate kiddos are the proud owners of a kitten. Go for it, Mom and Dad! [the kitten that is ;-)]

  31. don’t forget to get the cat fixed. Male kittens can be just as gross when it is time for them find a suitable mate.

  32. Wow! I guess I’m the odd one out. We’ve had a gazillion kittens and cats since my kids were little. I never thought of saying no, except when my daughter asked in 2004 and I said no because our lease said no cats. Well, I said no for about three months but then when it was her birthday, I helped my older daughter pick out the kitten for her sister’s birthday.

    This is the cat she is taking to college with her. In fact, she took him. She left on Friday, with the cat, on the plane and is there. She won’t part with the cat. I think it was a good choice.

    I don’t think it’s natural to grow up without a cat/kitten.

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