Not that I have anything against cats -

Not that I have anything against cats

FESCHUK: But no nation should have to choose between two cat lovers for prime minister


Photo Illustration by Taylor Shute

“It was a summer of incompetence for the government,” Ignatieff said [during] a rare night home at his official residence—a glass of wine on the side table and a cat, Eric, on his lap.—From a report in the Toronto Star

As an electorate, we’re willing to put up with a lot. We tolerate the shenanigans in question period. We did our best to keep a straight face that time John Baird was appointed environment minister. But this is just too much: no nation should have to endure a choice between two cat lovers for prime minister.

Stephen Harper’s affection for felines is well documented. He has often been photographed cuddling with kitty cats. And the Prime Minister has served as “foster parent” to dozens of cats because he believes in helping creatures in need of kindness and refuge, unless they are Tamils or Helena Guergis.

And now Michael Ignatieff is revealed as the owner of a cat—a cat that sits on his lap during interviews, presumably for stroking-based reasons. I believe I speak for a significant percentage of Canadians when I say there are only two instances in which a grown man should sit with a cat on his lap:

1. He is plotting the destruction of the world and the needlessly complicated death of James Bond.

2. He believes that pretending to like the cat will get him some.

It’s not that I hate cats. They’re the perfect animal to own 200 of if you aspire to be an eccentric shut-in. But there’s a reason U.S. presidents tend to have dogs as pets. Dogs project an image of vitality and loyalty—and they’re great for photo ops. What kind of a photo op can you have with a cat? An aloof-off?

The timing of this cat revelation couldn’t be worse for Ignatieff—people were just starting to come around to the guy.

Many voters have followed with interest the Liberal leader’s “I am TOO a Canadian” tour aboard the Liberal Express. It’s been his Say Anything summer—two months spent holding a boom box over his head and playing Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes to convince Canada that he loves it. Policy wise, he’s still a mess of platitudes and bold promises to fix everything for everybody. But at least now he knows where Yarmouth is.

Harper, meanwhile, emerged from sec­lusion for his annual summer visit to our North. The PM has a long history of promoting sovereignty and territorial control, dating back to the days when he’d threaten to call the cops every time the ball from the local road-hockey game bounced onto his lawn. During the trip, he announced lots of nice programs and projects to keep the region from regressing economically—but no climate change action to keep it from, you know, melting.

Many media reports from the North remarked on the extent of the political stagecraft orchestrated by the Prime Minister’s Office. One photo op alone required the participation of a Coast Guard vessel, an Airbus 320 refuelling tanker, two CF-18 jets, an ice floe, a navy diver, several top military officials and, I believe, the Solid Gold dancers.

Plainly, Ignatieff lacks the resources to compete. But he did tell a woman at a recent event that he wished he could “take my own head off my shoulders and put someone else’s on so that I can feel what they’re feeling.” Yes, Michael Ignatieff is willing to switch heads with you. That’s how far he’d go to get your vote. Your move, Prime Minister.

Harper used his northern sojourn to repeat a message he’s been delivering now for months. The choice facing Canadians in the next election is clear, he says—a choice “between a coalition government of the Liberal, NDP and Bloc Québécois, or a stable Conservative majority government.”

This is plainly designed as a scare tactic to send Canadians running to his bosom: it’s either me or [turns off lights, holds flashlight under face] . . . the evil separatists! (Granted, Harper aligned himself with the Bloc on a number of occasions while in opposition. But he was young then and needed the work.)

What’s unusual is that Harper is defining his future with clarity: he gets a majority or we get a coalition. Can we take him at his word that he’ll willingly give up government if he falls short? Or will the new guy show up at 24 Sussex to find Harper sitting in a darkened room, stroking a cat on his lap and saying, “It seems you’ve fallen into my trap yet again.”


Not that I have anything against cats

  1. Can you believe that anyone who looks like the above picture could be elected Prime Minister? The man is scary looking. Someone needs to educate him on how to have his picture taken. There are some God awful pictures of Ignatieff hanging around and I am sure they will appear in some of the Conservative ads during the next election.

    • yeah……but this old PC voter will be voting for Iggy over Harper……….regardless……and if I see ONE attack ad about Iggy's looks………it will just cement my opinion………..I don't think that the Reformer supporters realize JUST how many old time PC voters have hopped to the greens and Libs…….You can argue or insult me all you like on this………………..doesn't change the fact that I will NOT vote PC again untill they purge the reformers from their ranks…………..(they lost my folks with the census…my dad is a Math teacher)

      • hate to tell you this but there is no PC party to vote for anymore, just C.

    • Just when I think you can't lower the bar any lower, you do. Way to go!

      Politicians are public figures, and as such have photos taken of them all the time. Anyone, no matter how handsome, is going to have some of those pictures turn out badly. It's a fact of life.

      Keep at it, though.

    • It is photoshopped genius

      • HAHAHA!!! – No, it is an outtake from his GQ sessions. Wait till the news breaks that Harper dumped his family, bought a snake, and is dating Bombshell McGee – Photoshop that Feschuk

    • last time y'all went after Chretien's facial paralysis that thing worked like a charm. feel free to wash, rinse, and repeat.

    • Did you run Kim Campbell's campaign?

    • "There are some God awful pictures of Ignatieff hanging around and I am sure they will appear in some of the Conservative ads during the next election"

      If that stuff works for the conservative types then it says more about voter base than the political party.

  2. I know the author's trying to be funny, but I've never understood the attitude that dog owners have toward cats. I've owed both, and both have their charms. I think that if people with this sort of attitude actually lived with a cat for a while, they'd learn to appreciate them (unless they've been raised poorly, but that's even more true for dogs).

  3. Oh Lighten up folks! I'm a cat-lover and this humourous article is certainly tongue-in-cheek! Unfortunately our political choices are a lot more humourless!

  4. I can't be the only one who is picturing a scenario where Harper had nothing to do with cats, thus leading to an attack ad campaign informing the general public that Iggy is a pussy…

  5. Eric S: Look up! See that thing flying over your head? It's the point….

  6. I voted for Dion because I think blundering technocrats make the best PMs. Charismatic leadership is over-rated and expensive. Igantieff was parachuted in by the Liberal party power players precisely because he was perceived to suit the mold of a Trudeau-esque celebrity, an intellectual globe-trotting personable toff. It is somewhat ironic then that he will probably become PM eventually due to Canadian's deeming him to be so bloody dull as to be fit for office by default (IMO). It is my hope at least that by thispoint the man will be so emaciated from politics (which he was never suited for), he can basically fill the roll of a parliamentary blow up doll for MoP to yell at.

  7. Even the cat shows complete disinterest to Ignatieff……what a loser.

    • it's photoshopped, dude. and speaking of losers…

    • While photoshopped (I think Feschuk was going for a picture of Ignatieff with a Cheshire cat grin), Ignatieff's actual cat photo op did not go that well:

      • Hahaha, good one!

      • I like that one! thanks!

  8. Cat people are the worst.

  9. I look forward to casting my vote for Nosferatu and his adorable cat.

  10. Where's the photo of Harper with the Sold Gold dancers – plus cat?

  11. I like the idea of having a cat person run the country. It will ensure that no matter how high they rise, or how big their egos get, they can always have somebody that will look down on them. As for dogs – politicians have enough needy, slobbering yes men around them already.

    In the spirit of compromise however, I also like Winston Churchill's sentiments: "Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us – only pigs treat us as equals."

  12. Cats are the perfect pet for a politician because they are low maintenance. As long as they have food and clean litter boxes, they are OK for days on their own. A dog, maybe 12 hours before that thing pees on your bed, if you're lucky.

  13. You liberal hack so called journalist crack me up, you can never mention the coalition atempt of Liberal, NDP and Bloc Québécois with out then saying that Harper did the same in opposition, when that is clearly not true.Haper did not sign on to any agreement to govern, he simply sent a letter to the GG let her know he would atempt to form a coalition should liberals fall.Big difference,poor liberal msm no one listin to them anylonger.

    • What ever happened to the "Draft Zombie Louis Saint-Laurent" campaign we'd been hearing about last year? Wasn't Feschuk behind that one too?

      Personally, I think running the disembodied spirit of Mackenzie King is the Liberal's best chance at this point.

  14. Cats would make excellent politicians because they only care about themselves. However they'd be great to vote for because they'd leave us alone. And yes, I'm owned by cats.

  15. Cats not masculine enough for you? How about Don Corleone in the opening scene of The Godfather? That's about as masculine as you can get!