When you’ve got a big but depressing story to tell, it’s important you think about alternatives. One popular alternative is the dead cat. Rest easy: I promise you no animal will be harmed in the course of this blog.
There have been several biiiiig stories dominating the headlines. Brexit, of course, has been going on since around 1066 B C. Then there’s Trump and his increasingly erratic behaviour which has prompted the US Congress to proceed with his impeachment on all sorts of grounds, not least that his foreign policy is spectacularly inept, with US troops pulled out of the Middle East so the US’s former allies the Kurds could be slaughtered by Turkish forces.
So what to do? Time to draw attention to that dead cat on the table. There isn’t literally a dead cat, let alone one bouncing, but the methodology is the same. You’re faced with something truly serious that you don’t want people to start thinking about, so you say “Hey – look at that! There’s a dead cat on the kitchen table!” And public attention swings away from the tragic to the absurd.
Which is why we’ve recently been focusing on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aka Harry and Meagan. (Did you see her on Netflix in Suits? Truly awful.) The shocking news is that Harry is worried that the shameless press will damage his wife the way they damaged his mother. And by the way, did you know Harry doesn’t always have the best of relationships with his brother William? Who knew? Things haven’t quite got to the Liam and Noel Gallagher stage, but they do have their bust-up. Oh, and mental health. Harry sometimes feels down.Then there’s poor Meagan – her friends warned her. They said she’d have a terrible time being a member of the Royal Family. But she never imagined it’d be as bad as this. How sad. How absorbing. How riveting.
Can there ever have been a more absurd – and expensive – cat than the Royal Cat?