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Disrespected cats need to meow louder.

Byline: Dianne Williamson

With everyone still focused on the failed effort to legalize discrimination in places such as Arizona, a similar injustice is barking up the wrong Worcester tree.

I refer, of course, to calls for a dog park at Green Hill. Last week, residents begged City Council to create a pooch paradise for their pets, where dogs of all sizes, breeds and political affiliations could gather and drool together amid an open space of parkland.

These days, it seems, everyone has a pet. This is different from the olden days, when everyone had nice furniture. Today, pets are a spoiled and pampered species, not unlike children raised by lesbian couples, and people are always eager to find new and stimulating diversions for them (the pets, not the lesbian couples).

I have no objection to providing something diverting for the dogs, as I trust they tire of their usual tasks -- sniffing each other's private regions, barking frantically at nothing, violently humping the defenseless Chihuahuas, sucking up to their owners and chasing the postal carrier. They need room.

But here's the thing -- what about the cats? Must we continue to treat them as second-class pets? Must they always sit in the back of the bus? And, if so, are we prepared to watch them claw the leather seats to shreds in protest?

At Wednesday's dog park meeting, City Councilor Rick Rushton waxed poetic about a cat he had as a kid. His name was Spunky or Frumpy or something, and even though he's technically dead (Spunky, not Rushton), I'll bet he would have loved his very own cat park.

Last week, however, Rushton noted that cats and their owners are intellectually superior to their canine counterparts and would thus disdain such a manmade contrivance.

"If Spunky was around today, he'd get his gang of friends and head up to Green Hill Park and just laugh at all the dogs inside the pen,'' Rushton told me. "Cats can't be contained. They need to roam and enjoy the seven hills, not just a patch of grass at Green Hill.''

Rushton has a point, but he's feeding into bigoted, catist stereotypes: Cats are ... different. They're happy where they are.

I say, let the felines decide. And I have lots of ideas for Pussy Cat Place, based on extensive knowledge of my own cat, Morgan, an aloof yet haughty Persian who would thrive in the park as long as it contained stuff she could bulldoze with her paw, preferably a freshly poured glass of Chardonnay.

Because cats have more pride than dogs, Pussy Cat Place would be self-sustaining. The entrance would contain a video camera for the creation of funny cat videos that would go viral and provide revenue. The inside would feature a giant sand box, even bigger than Chris Christie, and the park would be stocked with empty paper bags, boxes and twist ties. Loudspeakers would pipe in the sound of a can opener.

The sole staff member would lay motionless on a bed as though asleep, so the cats could take turns kneading his chest until he awakens, at which point the cat would meow helpfully in his ear that it was time for breakfast.

The point is, Pussy Cat Place wouldn't cost much. As a longtime cat lover, I'm tired of felines getting the short end of the stick, one it has too much pride to chase around like a, well, dog.

My late Aunt Mary liked to say that dog owners were needy and craved attention, while cat owners were secure enough to be ignored by their pets. Regardless, let's shower some attention on the prideful puss for a change.

As an added personal benefit, while Morgan is busy at her new digs, I might finally finish a glass of Chardonnay.

Contact Dianne Williamson at
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Title Annotation:Local
Author:Williamson, Dianne
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 2, 2014
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