Quicksilver Chronicles by Frances K. Woods
Quicksilver Chronicles is one woman’s surreal yet satirical memoirs spanning seven years -- from the beginning of this new century -- depicting what life throws at her family of gem-mining misfits struggling to live with acid mine drainage in a forgotten western ghost town called New Idria. As the clan copes with the deadly, mercury-laden mess left behind by unscrupulous mining corporations and the U.S. Department of Defense, the family’s hopes of environmental justice grow dimmer with each new anti-scientific edict fobbed upon them by the Little Bush/Cheney Administration. That is when they realize their only realistic prospect is to out-govern the government. Nothing is sacred. They spoof all politics and cultural mores.
After they officially secede from the United States, the tiny community earnestly elects an orange tabby, a people-hating cat, as Mayor to represent their micro-nation.
The family struggles to obtain respect from the outside world -- if only their sole source of water and its ensuing biophysical attacks on their motor skills (along with a neighboring cult-like reservoir-hoarding failed drug rehab) would cease foiling their endeavors.