101 uses for a dead cat
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As soon as it hit the bookstores the fur began to fly. This is the story of that fur. And also of Simon Bond, the man without a country.
edit British Reaction
Within hours of the publication of 101 Uses a group of London cats formed the group Feelions Uginst Rotton Barstids And Arse Likkers (cats are very bad at spelling) and vowed to fight Bond's felinocidal message. FURBAAL began with peaceful protests, caterwauling as they marched from Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace. But the protests escalated as cats urinated on Simon Bond's photograph and clawed copies of his book to pieces. The BBC aired a statement from FURBAAL calling for Bond's extradition to Britain on charges of anti-feline crimes:
- We catz uv FURBAAL deemands the Xtradishun
- uv Simun Bond becus he is a badd mann.
- And wantz to kill catz.
- Deelivur him in to owur claus!!!!
Prime Minister Thatcher said that she had personally seen many of the protesters "toking up on catnip like a pack of bloody hooligans". She refused to consider FURBAAL's demands, and called out the riot police.
edit American Reaction
In the United States, cats responded more slowly but once they got off the couches of America they quickly became more vehement and violent than their British caterparts. A horde of militant manxes and snarling siamese marched on Berkeley, forcing President Reagan to call out National Guard Dogs to chase them away.
On April 23rd, just a few weeks after Bond's book came out, several radical Black Tabbies infiltrated his apartment through a half-open window. Once inside they clawed his sofa, scent-marked his underwear drawer, and left a wet hairball in his refrigerator.
DNA analysis of the hairball was inconclusive, as genetic fingerprinting would not be invented until 1985.The FBI went on high alert. FBI director William Webster himself trained a handful of special agent cats, but 5 out of the 6 defected and joined the protest movement. The sixth had an unexpected litter of kittens and was taken off the case. The authorities realized that cats are just too independent to make reliable stooges.
Simon Bond was put under FBI protection.
Meanwhile cats on university campuses organized Siamezes fur a De-Simonized Sosiety. The SDSS charter set out the grievances of the angry felines in almost unreadably bad prose:
- Catz uv the Whirld desurv eckual respeck.
- Mokkery uv 1 cat mokks all catz.
- We arr all 1 cat tho we speek with manie voyses.
- Owur voyses arr all 1 voyse tho we are manie catz.
- Simon Bond and hiz buuk MOKKS CATZ WITH EVEL MOKKERY!!
- Simon Bond iz badd mann and we demand to kikk him owt!!!!
From this radical manifesto sprang a violent revolutionary group, the Wetharcats Ondergrownd. While SDSS promoted peaceful protest and societal change, the Wetharcats stood ready to plant destructive items -- hairballs, cat dander, even turds -- in order to hasten the revolution.
edit The Summer of Rage and MangeProtests spread worldwide. When the Persian Grand Yowlatollah Abdul bin Fuzziboy issued a fatwa on Simon Bond, the author went into hiding at 1562 Avenida Poquito Sueño, Mazatlán. He stayed in a white-painted fake adobe cottage with a lime tree in the courtyard, just a few blocks from the Howard Johnson. No one but his trusty dachshund has ever learned where he is.
Simon Bond has become a man without a country.
Meanwhile, American cats stormed state offices and destroyed their vaccination records. Chanting "Power to the Pussycats" and "Bond, Bond, throw him in the pond" they marched 50,000 strong on Washington DC. In Paris Chats s'opposant à 101 Utilisations overturned windowboxes and yowled at the riot police. In Berlin the Katzemeisterfreiheit staged a mass rally at the Berlin Wall and, to the screaming music of electrified accordians, pooped on a bust of Helmut Schmidt. In California the cats of Haight-Ashbury scattered catnip from the windows onto the packs of National Guard Dogs patrolling the street below.
The sinister Authoritarian Establishments of the world heaved a weary sigh. They thought they'd finished with all this counterculture protest shit in the 1970s.
edit The Commie ConnectionAmerican politicians of the time touted a supposed connection between communist agents provacateur and the Summer of Mange protests. But was there a connection?
In the USSR most common cats were not trusted at the highest levels of the Party. They simply did not fit well in the Soviet totalitarian regime: they wanted to go out when the Party wanted them to stay inside, they yowled and howled when the Party wanted to sleep, they used the whole country as a litterbox, and as for meeting work quotas...HAH!
Dogs, now, would do as they were told. Doberman pinschers made fine KGB agents, and a labrador retriever would do anything it could to please it's communist masters. But cats were loose cannons.
Chinese communists for once agreed with their Soviet rivals. In Chapter 19 of his Little Red Book Mao Zedong wrote, "The socialist has an indomitable spirit and he is determined to vanquish all enemies and never to yield. But the imperialist is like a cat: if his prey fights back he hisses, spits, and runs away." Of course Miaow Zedong, chairman of the Chinese Cats' Communist Party, disagreed with Mao but the human communists had the guns -- not to mention the fingers with which to fire them -- and the cats of the CCCP did not.
The truth of the matter was, as much as the communist blocs welcomed dissension and strife among the capitalists in the West they did not trust the rebellious western cats as far as they could throw them.
For their part the western protesters sometimes invoked socialist ideals but in fact their spirit and goals were completely at odds with any political power structure -- real-world communism included.
Then, on September 13th, hippie poetcatster Allen Catsburg scrawled a brief poem on a gatepost in San Francisco:
- There arr ovur 101 uses fur
- Simon Bond, ded or a live.
- He wuld maaik a gud
- flood sandbagg or if
- covvered with koncreat a
- fukking gud gardun
The San Francisco Free Press picked up the poem and published as a joke. But the angry cats of the world seized upon the idea of 101 Uses for Simon Bond as a vehicle to express their outrage. Protests faded as cats went home to think up ever more grotesque "uses" for Bond.
- Bern him to ashes and put him inn catz litterbokses.
- Feed him to doggz soe he will maik them sikk!
- But downt maik cat fuud of him becawze catz wont eet him!!!
- Giv him to skwirrels becawze he is nutz.
- Nale him to the roof fur pidjuns to krap on.
Cats pass these gems of wit through the semi-telepathic Cat Wireless Network, transferring them directly from mind to mind by staring at each other from windows, sidewalks, and lawns.
- Stik him on a pikket fents and lissen to the muzik of his yowuling.
- Taik his pants owff and use his laigs for skratching poasts.
- Tye him in the burd feader to addract rilly big burds like kondors.
Dear reader, when you see a cat with half-closed eyes and a furry smile it is probably at that very moment thinking up new "uses" for Simon Bond.
- Giv him ringwurm and manjge and then Veterinaryuns can prakktise on him.
- Let him plaiye with gorillaz chilldrin and they can puull his tayle owff.
- Feed him fierkrakkers and bloe him up to skare doggz.
- Use him to stuf in vacoom kleeners to maik them bee kwiet.
- Use him to eat cake.