Thursday, December 08, 2005

To: Kaboodle, Thank you for your early commitment and dedication as a Charter Member of the campaign in Florida. Grassroots leaders like you are the key to building a winning team.
Best Wishes,

Or so the faux, handwritten inscription reads on the bottom of the personalized photograph that our Persian cat, Kaboodle, received from the White House. The photo arrived at our house, several years ago, just prior to the engines of both political parties being revved into high gear for the elections. Upon opening the official envelope(I have taken to handling Kaboodle's mail due to difficulties stemming from his front declawing), I must admit to being a little shocked. Truth be told, we had not had many political discussions with Kaboodle. Being from immigrant stock(he is documented and he has papers), "blue"(a cat of color) and 13 years old(71, in cat years), we knew he had issues and concerns, like all of us but, he often seemed bored when the subject of politics or religion arose. In fact, having Iranian heritage, we always assumed him to be a Moslem, but I digress. Having known Kaboodle since he was a kitten, the Republican party is not who I would have intuitively picked for him to be involved with. Which is exactly what my wife intended to tell the young RNC fundraising staffer that called our house and asked for Kaboodle. After composing herself, she replied, "You realize of course, you're asking to speak to our cat?" When the line went dead, she just assumed that the caller had sensed that a large contribution was not forthcoming(he had probably just pulled up Kaboodle's latest free credit report) and had moved on down his phone list to begin calling "dogs", the next domesticated(and traditionally more conservative) animal in the alphabet.
We had eventually pinned the photo to our kitchen bulletin board and had pretty much forgotten about it. Several months later, I was making a sales call on a big shot at his corporate headquarters. I waited in the outer office and made small talk with his secretary. Finally, I was afforded entree into his office and was seated in a leather chair in front of his huge desk. As a salesperson, you learn to covertly scan the room, looking for things that your prospect has on display that may give you insight or talking points to include in small talk or your sales pitch. As we began to converse, I couldn't help but notice that this was one of those guys that had a picture of seemingly everyone he had ever known, framed and autographed on his office wall. Athlete, priest, politician, entertainer, they were all there. As this powerful business man was making a point, I couldn't help but glance over the top of his balding head. There it was, dead center in his wall of fame, THE picture of W and Laura with the an inscription. As I tried not to smile inappropriately(as the subject of the photo often does) and feigned interest in what the man was saying , I strained to see if his inscription also mentioned Kaboodle.
Lately, we find ourselves watching the evening news, hoping against hope that Kaboodle is not dragged into the Tom Delay or Scooter Libby affairs. A Persian doing the "perp walk" is not a pretty sight. Those tiny little leg irons.... Oh, you can just imagine. As close as we are though, I don't know how I was fooled into thinking that he was a liberal. I guess it's because his meow has always sounded like a Howard Dean cheer or is it visa versa.

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