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March 5, 2008
I'm going negative, I tell Q. He and I have split our vote this year for the first time in our married life -- we may have walked to the polls arm in arm on election day, but we canceled each other's vote once we got there. It has been amicable up until now, but I'm bringing out the big guns.

I tell him he's handing the election to the other side. I tell him I have not yet begun to fight -- this is true, since I only just now decided to go negative, so I'm new at it. Actually, I should be able to ramp up my negativity skills fairly easily -- after all, I've been a churchgoer all my life. And, I tell him, I've learned a lot about negativity from watching the cats, so he should be very, very scared.

He had a hard day yesterday. All four cats were outside, securing the perimeter of the yard, checking for signs of spring and staking their claims to latrine space, and he couldn't get any of them to come in when it grew dark and rainy. I finally got What's-Her-Name to eat something out by the garage, he said. Then Gypsy went there, too, and began to eat.

That's pandering,
I told him. You don't want to chase cats around the yard. Let them get hungry enough to come to you. If you've ever fed them, tell him, they'll be back. Cats and people are identical in this respect.

Feline negative campaign strategy is inspired and subtle. Of course, some of them do it vocally -- Ben is one, with his compulsive quacking when he is nervous or wants something. But then, Ben isn't terribly successful. The really smart cats are silent in their dirty tricks -- they do something terrible to you, and then when you confront them with it they give you that expressionless stare and walk off. Never explain and never apologize. A cat made that up.

Now, no cat would not tell you he was engaged in dirty tricks. They don't view themselves as negative. They prefer "focused on the mission." We are the realists, they tell each other in back rooms and bars. Isn't politics is about winning?

I wonder.
Tonight, Wednesday, March 5th: St. Peter's, Bay Shore, Long Island's Lenten School of Religion with Barbara Crafton and Joanna Depue. Begins with the Eucharist at 5:45. Call 631-665-0051.

Tomorrow, Thursday, March 6th: The Geranium Journey continues at Christ Church, Oyster Bay, NY at noon. Bring a brown bag lunch and enjoy lively conversation with Barbara Crafton. To reserve some time for private conversation with Barbara Crafton or prayer and healing touch with Joanna Depue after lunch, call the church at (516)922-6377.

This weekend, March 7-9, Barbara Crafton at St. Paul's by the Sea and Christ Church San Pablo in Jacksonville, FL. Call 904-249-4091.

Saturday, March 15th, Barbara Crafton at Holy Trinity Ocean City for their annual pre-Holy Week Retreat. This year, "Prayer in Time of War: Living the Love of God as Citizen and Christian." Call the church at (609) 399-1019.
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