What the government shutdown means for your cats

Your cats, of course, are only dimly aware of what is going on in Washington. They probably have only the slightest opinions on the matter. When they woke up, the sun was still shining in that perfect little cat sized spot by the window. Even if they remain ignorant, here is what they can expect going forward:


All nonessential cats will not be paid. All essential cats will also not be paid either obviously because cats don’t have jobs. The one exception is the cats from the Meowmix commercials, they will still be paid because those little guys are a national treasure.

What this means is that for the duration of the government shutdown, nonessential cats will not be allowed to work. Some cats want to work even without pay but they will not be allowed. They will not receive backpay. Nonessential cats are out of luck because of a small minority of Republican Representatives.


No cats allowed in National Parks, Zoos, or Museums. These have traditionally held a strict “no cats allowed” policy that will be continued to be enforced while they are shuttered. The Pandacam will not be active so if you stream it for your cat while you are at work so he or she doesn’t poop on the floor out of boredom you will need to find a new activity for your cat.


Cat food will not be monitored by the FDA nor will kitten treats. The FDA is furloughing its workers so cat food is not expected to be monitored by a quality control worker. Expect your cats to show just how they feel about this development by throwing up on your rug. No not that rug, the more expensive one that stains really easily. Food will have to be cooked for your cats just to be sure it doesn’t have any harmful bacteria in it (remember, there is literally no one checking to make sure there isn’t before it gets shipped), so for those of you who already have cats that play you like a fiddle and emotionally manipulate you into doing things that are annoying, time consuming and wasteful get ready for a whole new level of neuroticism.


The already weakened economy will weaken more so. Your dollars are already stretched pretty thin and the odds of you getting that raise are just a little bit slimmer now. But see if your cat notices? See if your cat puts a paw on your shoulder and says “It’s okay, buddy. Maybe we can cut down to the cheaper cat litter. I definitely won’t freak out and pee all around the house until you fork over the good stuff. What gave you that idea?”


Cats won’t get approved for disability money, nor will cats who served overseas. Cats with itchy chins will be left itchy and without money because the office that approves disability funding including for soldiers will be empty. Some cats will be able to get by by relying on family to scratch their chins and behind their ears for them but the ones who don’t have family or whose family are also on disability and unable to perform chin scratches will be left to itch. This is because a minority of Republican Representatives felt it was worth it if it meant not having to pay a little bit more so that 26 million people could get health insurance.

I don’t think anyone could object to the fact that the Republican party just singlehandedly shut down the United States government. It sounds like a statement with an agenda. It sounds like something a liberal would say, but alas, it just objectively happened. A small group of Republicans in the House of Representatives threw a literal tantrum and literally shut down the government because they couldn’t have their way.

Their “way” was to kill Obamacare. They took a normal job requirement of their elected positions (i.e. funding the government and keeping this whole grand experiment running) and decided to use that as a hostage in their Quixotic quest to prevent giving healthcare to people they don’t think deserve it. It’s almost poetic how they took their “invisible hand of the market” and extended it even to the issue of whether or not a person should be able to see a doctor if he or she is injured or sick. If God truly wanted this person to have that operation, their thinking goes, why doesn’t he have a job that gives him health insurance? If he works part time, or if he doesn’t work, or if he works part time at several places, or he works independently or if he had a pre-existing condition then why should he be allowed access to medicine? Better to keep taxes low than suffer the suffering.

This whole affair makes me angry. We live in a powerful and rich nation, we’ve had to exploit and strong arm other nations and even our own ancestors to get us to this position. It is for nothing if we can’t even agree to provide the basics to our citizens. Access to medicine should be considered one of those basics. If we can’t use our privileged and unique place in the world to help our neighbors then what is it all for? This isn’t just a problem that is political. When newspapers and TV networks throw up their hands and say “Can’t you people just get along?” they are doing a disservice to the issue. They are intentionally or unintentionally ignoring that there was a traceable cause to this crisis and that cause lies squarely on the shoulders of a minority of Republican Representatives who are ideologically opposed to government. Not just this government. ANY government.

I highly encourage you to click on the sources I linked to in this article. That’s the impact of this shutdown, among many other things. That’s the kind of stuff a minority group of elected officials are willing to gamble with in order to “win”. If things like National Parks, jobs, oversight, and social safety nets seem like something a nation as prosperous and free as this should have then you are not in line with the people who just took those things away. They may assume that those things will eventually come back and that Americans have a short memory, but they just tipped their cards for all of us to see and what they’re holding is, and pardon the cheesiest thing I’ve ever written, is no hearts.



  1. Gail Brooks

    Hello my name is Gail and I am trying to get into contact with the person that took the picture of the cat that is stretching out it’s leg. I would like to use the image. You can contact me at g.leebrooks@gmail.com. Any correspondence is appreciated. Thank you!

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