It pains me to say this, but our country is in peril. We are so far gone, so consumed by political correctness, that unwanted and potentially dangerous outsiders are poised to put one of our most cherished institutions at risk.
I’m referring, of course, to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
In case you were distracted by lesser news, The New York Times shocked the world Tuesday by reporting that the nation’s preeminent canine competition will, for the first time, “include a program featuring cats.”
That’s right. Cats.
The devil’s house pet.
Never miss a local story.
Brandi Hunter, vice president of public relations and communications for the American Kennel Club, explained in an email that cats will be at a joint event put on by the Westminster and American kennel clubs Feb. 11, making felines part of Westminster Week but not part of the annual Westminster competition.
It’s still too close for comfort, I say.
Westminster Kennel Club spokeswoman Gail Miller Bisher told AM New York: “It makes it interesting. It’s a celebration of dogs — and now cats — but it needs to be a little bit of everything for everybody. That’s what we like about it.”
That may be what Bisher likes about it, but I’m not so sure the dogs would agree.
And that’s why I’m calling for an immediate ban on any felines seeking to enter the Westminster Dog Show festivities. We just need to shut it down until we can figure this thing out.
Let’s consider the facts.
This country was founded by people who loved dogs. It’s an accurate historical fact, according to something I found on the internet, that a 25-year-old Pilgrim named John Goodman brought both his mastiff and English springer spaniel with him on the Mayflower.
(There are also reports of a cat on the Mayflower, but I think that’s just fake news.)
Clearly, canine appreciation is a key part of our national identity, and if we are to preserve that identity, we can’t just let cats start racing across the borders of traditional dog events.
How do we know Westminster and its attendant hound, toy, nonsporting and herding breeds can be kept safe? Do we even know how these cats would be vetted before they’re allowed into the show?
Do we have any idea where these feline invaders are from? It’s possibly some could be Persian, we just don’t know.
I’m not saying all cats are evil, mind you. I’ve known many cats who are fantastic animals. But there are some bad kitties out there, and I don’t think we can be too careful.
We know for a fact that some cats — not all, but some — wish to do dogs harm. It’s all spelled out in the species’ holy book, “Garfield at Large.” There’s a clear hatred of dogs, and acts of outright cruelty to canines are not only condoned but presented as a source of twisted amusement.
So how do we know these cats coming in to Westminster Week aren’t bad dudes?
You may think me callous, but I’m not the only one worrying this misguided attempt at inclusion could be a Trojan Cat.
On Twitter, @chrissierussell wrote: “I’m almost certain ‘cats at Westminster dog show’ is one of the signs of the apocalypse.”
Someone named @norwegiansafari tweeted: “They’re allowing cats into the Westminster Dog Show so why even be American anymore.”
We have to return to thinking “dog first” in this country.
So before cats can be allowed anywhere near the Westminster Dog Show, they’ll need to undergo what I call “maximum feline vetting,” which will ensure they’re willing to adapt to the cultural norms of a predominantly canine environment. (Always be happy to see humans, always know who is the good boy or girl.)
One of the cats slated to appear during Westminster Week is named Jungletrax Abiding Ovation. The first question I would ask is: Is that your real name, and would you be willing to assimilate by changing it to something more traditionally canine, like Baxter or Wrigley?
I would also want to see Jungletrax’s social media account, and make sure she’s a Christian.
The bottom line is this: The best way to protect ourselves against any perceived threat against dogs is to scare the public with inaccurate information about cats and then implement draconian policies that confirm suspicions that we secretly want an all-dog nation.
Let me rephrase: Let’s make Westminster great again!
Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Reach him by email at email@example.com.