There once was a great nation named Merrycat.
MerryCat began as a colony of a powerful king, but the independently minded colonists grew weary of being told who and how to worship, and grew angry at their ever increasing taxes with no voice in their rule.
So the colonists launched a campaign for their independence. It was a long and bloody war whose turning point was one pivotal battle. If the rebels did not succeed in pushing back the king’s forces, their efforts would all be in vain. The night before their attack, as they lie sleeping in their tents, the king’s forces surrounded them. (The king’s forces were tipped off to the colonists’ plans by a traitor.)
Luckily, the colonists’ beloved mouser, Colonel Whiskers, heard the king’s men gathering and suddenly started to yowl. The rebel forces awoke and quickly took to their arms and mounted a fierce battle, which they won. The king recalled his men, reluctantly accepting the independence of this proud new nation Merrycat.
The Merrycans celebrated their victory and quickly got to work on composing their nation’s laws. Fresh in their minds as they created their constitution was the pivotal role Colonel Whiskers had played in their fight for independence. Because his contribution was so great, the creators declared as a second decree that every citizen of Merrycat had the right to own a cat.
Years passed and Merrycat became a powerful and great nation. They were leaders in technology and industry and Merrycan families became quite prosperous. So great was their military that they were quick to lend a hand to settle conflicts throughout the world, and they soon became regarded as leaders in the fight for liberty, freedom, and human rights.
But a few decades after the last great war, things started to change in Merrycat. Some Merrycans started importing wild cats for sale. Bobcats, Lynx, and Ocelots, became common in suburban backyards. Many Merrycans were excited about these new breeds and, because of the nation’s high regard for cats, few questioned the wisdom of having them live in people’s homes. Within a few years more and more Merrycans started selling and owning unusual cat breeds.
But as the years passed and more people started selling and owning wild cats, some Merrycans grew concerned. It didn’t seem safe to have potentially dangerous wild cats living among humans. But their concerns were mocked. “It’s our right to own cats!” the exotic cat owners would reply. “It’s the second decree, created by the founding fathers.”
“Surely the founding fathers meant we had the right to own house cats. They could have never anticipated that people would someday bring such wild and dangerous cats into their homes,” the worried Merrycans argued.
“The second decree says we can own cats. It doesn’t say what type of cats. It’s our right to own cats, and you’re not taking them away.”
“But what about our rights to live without fear of being hurt or killed?” the wildcat control groups would ask. But their question always went unanswered.
As so many feared, many of these wild cats did hurt people. There was anger and protests, and demands for change. Many politicians agreed, yet they did nothing to change the laws.
The wildcat sellers became a strong and powerful lobby, and were able to manipulate and influence the laws of the land. Soon they began selling even more dangerous cats: Tigers, Leopards, Jaguars, Cheetahs, and Cougars began populating the homes and neighborhoods of Merrycan.
The attacks by wildcats grew in their frequency. There were many maulings and deaths. With each, there were protests and vigils and tears and politicians sent their messages of thoughts and prayers. Strongly worded opinion pieces were written against the private ownershership of wild cats, and satiric news sites released the same satiric headline again and again, amusing only those who shared their point of view.
But the protests were all in vain. The wildcat sellers were too powerful and the gifts they bestowed on the politicians too great.
Then one day, a most horrible thing happened. A troubled teenaged boy, who certainly should not have owned a wildcat, released his parent’s panther at an elementary school. Dozens of children and teachers were mauled and killed. The nation reacted with horror and there was mourning throughout the land once again. Certainly this time, there will be real change, the concerned Merrycans thought. After all, there will always be angry or mentally unstable people in the world. We must legislate with them in mind and forbid the private ownership of wildcats. Politicians agreed.
But nothing changed in the land of Merrycat.
More attacks happened, some with hundreds injured or killed. Sure, there were renewed protests and more powerful words written, but deep down the Merrycans new they were no match for the powerful wildcat lobby who controlled the politicians.
So the citizens of Merrycat stopped going outside. They home-schooled their children. They canceled their sporting games, stopped going to restaurants and movies. They canceled their cook outs, their picnics and concerts — and lived their lives in constant fear.
Leaders from other countries tried to reason with the leaders of Merrycat, and t tourists canceled their Merrycat vacation plans.
Those without wildcats collected their belonging and their beloved house cats and escaped for distant lands.
The wildcats soon ruled the streets and towns of Merrycat.
And like many once-great nations, the country of Merrycat faded into history.
There once was a great nation named Merrycat.