Rock the Vote — Part III

                    Harnessingthe Political Power of the Cats

It’s agood time to be a cat owner in Pennsylvania.As the Senate race between Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican PatToomey comes down to the wire,  both candidates are trying to woo thecat owning citizens with bold promises and flashy ads. A new poll shows that87% of cat owners in the keystone state are undecided, compared to 14% of dogowners, 8% of lizard owners, and 3% of Presbyterians. That’s a number nocampaign can pass up, and it’s no surprise that desperate candidates are usingeverything in their war chests to capture the elusive vote.

After the poll was released, Democrats struck first by giving all Democraticmembers of Congress a kitten that was to be worn either on the shoulder oraround the politicians’ necks in a tiny cage like a necklace as a sign ofsupport. These fashion-cats started a trend, and a poll taken that day showedcat owners were in favor of Democrats, three-to-one.

Thatnumber quickly changed later that night after the Republican group Americansfor American Freedom in America donated three tons of cats to localschools in Pennsylvania. The cats, many of which were adorable and not at allnasty, are now roaming school hallways and brightening everyone’s day. A pollconducted seven minutes after Operation School Cat was announcedshowed that 68% of cat owners were ready to vote for a Republican senator, andstaggering 99% wished rainbows could talk.

Democratstried to retaliate by giving area hospitals a few dozen lions, but according toa very speedy poll conducted in a matter of minutes, cat owners are notnecessarily lion enthusiasts, and the plan backfired. Plus, the hospitals wereill-equipped to deal with lions. The lions were rounded up and taken to a farm,except three lions that escaped and now dwell in the sewers, thus prompting theRepublican TV ad calling the Democrats “Sewer Lions,” a term that doesn’treally mean anything, but when said in a condescending manner is rathereffective.

Looking to even the playingfield, Sestak used his skills as an amateur veterinarian to cure a few sickcats on The Tonight Show. Polls showed that cat owners enjoyed this, but notnearly enough cat owners watched the show, as 45% of them were sleeping and 33%didn’t care for their cats.

Toomey, meanwhile, went onThe View last week to promote feline osteoporosis awareness. And it probablywould have helped put him over the top, if only he hadn’t stumbled over thewords, “feline osteoporosis awareness.” He tried to recover by calling it, “badcat bones,” but the damage was already done. And the cat owner vote was onceagain, up for grabs.

In alast-ditch effort to nab the cat owner vote, the Sestak campaign paid areported $400,000 to have Sestak drawn into a Garfield comic strip. Garfieldauthor Jim Davis rarely uses his comic strip for political purposes, except forthat one instance in which Garfieldtook a stand against the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994.

With onlydays left before the votes are cast, and some polls showing there are onlyminutes remaining, the candidates have big stunts planned to win over the catlovers. Rumor has it Sestak will announce a dog tax later today, and Toomeyvolunteers were seen shoving small, thin kittens under the doors of potentialvoters.

Will itbe enough? Cat owner Lisa Gunkle said, “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll stay home.It’s all so busy.”

Dan Bergsteincannot tell the difference between candy corn and regular corn.