Tabby Sal Esposito of Boston Massachusetts received a summons for jury duty. This is not unusual, everyday people all over the country receive summons, report for duty, and serve on juries, as part of their civic duty. This particular summons, however, points to a new and progressive approach to populating juries, by the Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston. The Superior Crown Court has summoned into their presence, a cat.
It is obvious to everyone, except the Superior Crown Court, that Tabby is a cat, and cats should not serve on juries. I think it is entirely possible she would make an excellent juror. Detractors indicate that she is an animal. I would like to point out that cats have been domesticated for close to 12,000 years. This, according to some women, is longer than men have been domesticated. In fact, my wife is not convinced that I am domesticated yet.
Cats would make wonderful jurors due to their independence, which has been duly noted throughout the years. Rudyard Kipling tells of the “Cat who walks by Himself”. That is what cats do-- walk by themselves. Cats would be uneasily swayed by the impassioned rhetoric of attorneys, nonplussed by the imposing figure of the presiding judge, dressed in long black judicial robe, and most importantly, ignoring the opinions of his or her fellow jurors. Cats have that extremely amazing ability to discern lies; it would be extremely difficult for a lawyer to explain away a defendant’s actions with some crazy story of alien abduction and brain washing, both would be instantly identified as fishy; beyond that, woe to those malefactors who fall into the category of being cat burglars.
It is interesting to note that cats were probably domesticated to keep vermin out of stored crops, catching thieving vermin for some 12,000 years. Many farms still welcome ‘feral’ cats for this very reason. Thus, it makes excellent sense for the Crown Court to tap into the feline’s long history of reducing the population of thieving vermin (rats), to assist in the courts mission to reduce the number of rats.
Ms. Esposito has contacted the Superior Crown Court, including a letter from Tabby’s veterinarian that explained that Tabby is “a domestic short-haired neutered feline.” The Court responded that Tabby must report despite her felineness. Imagine with me what went through the mind of the Superior commissioner of the Crown Court as he or she opened the letter and read the enclosure from the Doctor (of veterinary medicine.) “Oh good grief, another doctor letter, don’t these people know we are handicapped accessible? Well, let’s see what this person’s excuse is…hmmm, suffers from being a neutered feline? Ability to conceive is definitely NOT an acceptable reason for excusal from jury duty. ‘Short-haired? Good grief, who cares how her hair is coiffed. I mean really, what will these jurors come up with next? Besides that, feelings is not spelled f-e-l-i-n-e. And the abbreviation for Doctor is M.D. what is up with this D.V.M? This whole letter is fishy.”
There are some misgivings about requiring the service of cats on juries. First, cats cannot speak English. This, apparently, is not an issue. The federal guidelines for juries do not require that jurors speak English, I suppose they would provide a translator, which wouldn’t be hard, since the government is full of fat cats.
The next problem is the rest of the animal kingdom. Once the dogs find out cats are on juries, they will want to join, then horses, then cows, even monkeys. Fairly soon the entire jury pool will be a veritable zoo. I foresee grave unheard of issues if horses are on the jury. Cows? Utterly ridiculous. And monkeys would only lead to a hung jury.
Therefore, I can say, with respect due to Barney Fife, a jury with a cat? Nip it in the bud.