Compliments to the felines

Even the New York Times runs “Corrections” (selectively), and in honour of a venerable, nearly lapsed meejah tradition, I would like to take something back. In a recent Idlepost I wrote that one may put a cat into a bag twice, but the second time it has to be dead. This might be true enough, empirically, but apparently gentle readers took an implication, that if our progressive masters ordered a second Batflu lockdown, people wouldn’t obey. News from Auckland, New Zealand, and a hundred other places, now indicates that this is false.

The citizen of a modern Western democracy will, indeed, do whatever he is told to do, no matter how stupid or repugnant. (Here in Canada, they will even vote for the idjits again.) If you can scare him enough, with unending speculative nonsense, he will get right back into the bag.

A further implication of my assertion was that humans are at least as intelligent as cats. Let me admit I was going out on a limb there. The evidence goes decisively the other way. Arguably, there are some cats who could be fooled twice, on a range of minor issues. But on something so important as being stuffed into a bag, I’ve never met a cat who would countenance a repetition. At the risk of annoying some reader in Auckland, I must now say unambiguously, that cats are smarter. It would seem to follow, moreover, that they are better-informed.

Not having a cat at the moment, up here in the High Doganate (and please, nobody send me one), I am unable to administer a simple quiz. But by now I should think any human who knows anything, knows that lockdowns, social distancing, and the wearing of sub-medical masks, have no effect whatever on the transmission of microscopic particles. Smarter, apparently, than cats or people, the Batflu goes where it wants to go, and infects whom it pleases.

This has always been the way in epidemics, and they have never answered to the wishes of our political masters, even in those rare moments when their wishes were benign. There are ways to help a disease spread, and our politicians have discovered a few of these, but as T. S. Eliot said of Rum Tum Tugger, “He will do / As he do do / And there’s no doing anything about it.”

There is evidence that in the past, populations subject to a plague knew this. They went about their lives, unless they happened to be dead; and while some who could afford it fled to the countryside (carrying the plague with them), it was a voluntary act. Instinctively, even in the face of death, they prized their freedom, just as much as cats.

Well, more than one reader has accused me of “living in the past.” And as one particularly noted, I look back on the Black Death as to the good old days. But now, I fear, they will never come again.