For Sale or Trade: 1 Cat
The cat pictured here does not chase down antelope or roar like the one at the beginning of movies produced by MGM. This is a common house cat. You know, the breed that the Egyptians misguidedly developed several thousand years ago.
The cat – I call him Henry, but that doesn’t matter, because he ignores everything I say, anyway – is only slightly used and in near-mint condition. I suspect he is about 5 or 6 years old.
I’ve studied this animal for a couple years. It doesn’t do anything remotely useful. I have to feed it constantly, but it never does anything for me. One could reasonably expect that it would at least occasionally bring me something to eat. Maybe a fish. But it doesn’t have any concept of the equitable exchange of services. Though some people seem to like these animals, I’m ambivalent. I keep wondering what it is for.
I never wondered what my previous pet, a rabbit, was for. It always became genuinely excited when I came home from work because it was apparently happy to see me. As a consequence, I never resented having to feed it.
I like things that have a use, make me feel good, or at least have an understandable purpose, so I’m offering this cat for sale or trade. I’ll even mail it to the buyer, if they’ll tell me where to stick the postage stamps and address label.
I offered it to my old friend in New York State, Dan Bohle, but he doesn’t know where to apply the postage either.
I’ll accept a number of things in trade, things that at least have some minimal utility. A number of examples follow, though the list is not limited to those things.
A graduated neutral density filter for my Yashica Mat 124
Two dozen foam earplugs (unused)
A first edition copy of Trout Fishing In America
A Buddhist Football Team t-shirt from San Francisco, size Large
A full toner cartridge for a Hewlett Packard LaserJet 2200D
A red “do” rag
A Webley-Vickers 50/80 leather rally vest (the one with the white lettering on the back)
An X-Acto knife with #11 blade