Exclusively Online | Fall 2021 Issue

“A Lighter Look” — Catnip and Dog Biscuits

Rick Meyer’s regularly appearing column takes a lighter look at politics and public affairs around the world. This month: Catnip and Dog Biscuits

By Richard E. Meyer

“Do you think he can do it?” Willow asked.

“Do what?”

“Make us get along.”

“Cats and dogs don’t get along,” Commander said. “They’re like members of Congress.”

Willow, the Bidens’ new cat, and Commander, the President’s dog, had just discovered each other. They were in the State Dining Room, where all people, especially from different countries, are supposed to get along.

“Does the President know that you’re a Republican?” Commander asked.

“I’m a cat, but that doesn’t make me a Republican!”

“You’re haughty like a Republican. I’ll bet you won’t even share your catnip.”

“You’re a dog, and dogs don’t like catnip.”

“I’d like to know that I could have some if I needed it. It’s like political support. If I ever get thrown out of here, like Major did when he started biting people, I’ll need some catnip to show that I have broad support, even from Republican cats. May I have some of your catnip?”

“But I’m not a Republican!”

“What if I gave you a dog biscuit?”

“That sounds like a bribe.”

“Members of Congress are not above bribes. Neither are dogs.”

Willow put her nose in the air. “Bribery is beneath me. So are dog biscuits. When I got here, the First Lady hugged me and said I could have my favorite toys and treats. Catnip is my favorite treat. I like to sprawl on the couch in the Oval Office with some catnip and play with my toy ball.”

“But that’s my couch!” Commander said. “Everyone always wants to sit on my couch. Especially Republicans. Sometimes the President invites them to meetings in the Oval Office. Including the ones who are up to no good.”

“Like you dogs.”

“What Republicans really want to do is sit behind the President’s desk. They want to be important. They want to run things!”

“Like you.”

Commander growled. Willow hissed. They circled each other. Slowly, however, they began to realize that they weren’t adversaries. They lived together. Besides, the two of them had to get along, or they would both be in trouble.

“In trouble with the President,” Commander said.

“And with the First Lady,” Willow said.

“What should the President do about members of Congress?”

“Maybe he could give all of them catnip and dog biscuits.”

“They would just fight over who got what.”


“They’re hopeless.”

Richard E. Meyer

Richard E. Meyer

Meyer is the senior editor of Blueprint. He has been a White House correspondent and national news features writer for the Associated Press and a roving national correspondent and editor of long-form narratives at the Los Angeles Times.

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