Cat In The Box

By Jamie, a Trail Mix Contributor

Copies of this wonderful story by Dana Michel of the well loved little grey cat are very rare and you can’t have mine.  More than a half century ago, this was my daughter’s favorite book because it went up and down from the little cat in the box on a chair in the room in a house on a street with five trees in a city in a state in a country in the whole wide world and back down again to the box on a chair each trip going from the detailed & specific to faster and faster as adjectives and adverbs were omitted to speed the trip until finally you got to “Now Go To Sleep”.  She loved it for its view of the safety of the little box to all the places outside her door.

Little gray cat inside a square box. Square box on top of a big striped chair. Chair in the room. Room in the house. House on the street. Street in the city. City in the state. State in the country. Country in the world. Oh, where in the world is my little gray cat?

In the world a country. In the country a state. In the state a city. In the city a street. On the street a house. In the house a room. In the room a chair. On the chair a box and inside that box is my little gray cat.

So how is this political?  I’ve come to the conclusion that Conservatives, Libertarians in the US and the extreme right wing movements around the world, simply don’t have a clue how big anything is, and they really need to read this book.   Their views barely reach beyond the limits of their family to the street and colors every issue from employment to taxes to refugees.  They need to read this book.  The Liberals, Democrats and general left wing see the big big picture with a wide wide world of variables, possibilities and interests, but forget that many of those issues can feel like an alteration of all that is normal in a culture and that the majority of people live and look at a street with five trees.  They really need to read this book.

So where are you on the spectrum?  How to adjust to a globe that in communications and movement is shrinking almost by the second?  How does your view from the little box on the chair to the whole of the globe color your political attitudes?

More Posts By Jamie


41 thoughts on “Cat In The Box”

  1. just a note (instead of a thread) about yesterday beginning holy week and on thoughts of passover.

    according to wiki the major religion christianity  tops out at 2200 million followers, but islam at 1700 million and Hinduism at 1100 aren’t that far behind.  so let’s take pause to consider this last weekend kicked off occasions of importance to a bunch of others we fail to acknowledge in our seemingly naval gazing insularity.

    for example, april 8th began, according to thought co:

    Navaratri (“nava” + “ratri”) literally means “nine nights.” This ritual is observed twice a year, in spring and in autumn. “Vasanta Navaratri” or Spring Navaratri is nine days of fast and worship that Hindus undertake during spring every year. Swami Sivananda retells the legend behind this 9-day springtime ritual during which the devout Hindu seeks the blessings of the Mother Goddess.

    and the 2017 spring muslim holidays   are Isra and Mi’raj

    Apr 24

    Ascension of the Prophet.

     and the Start of Ramadan

    May 27


  2. Circle frame.svg

    Worldwide percentage of Adherents by Religion, 2010
      Christianity (31.5%)
      Islam (23.2%)
      Irreligion (16.3%)
      Hinduism (15.0%)
      Buddhism (7.1%)
      Folk religions (5.9%)
      Other religions (1%)

    btw, solar, that “irreligion” above is described by wiki as: Irreligion (adjective form: non-religious or irreligious) is the absence, indifference, rejection of, or hostility towards religion.

  3. The Orange headed has a boost to his ratings now up to 43%.  There are times when American approval of the latest headlines without knowing anything about the issues, makes me crazy.

  4. Jamie, to answer your question for myself (an interesting exercise, by the way), these days the challenges, determination and joy of a nearly 90-year-old Dad affect my world view. We face health and financial issues that affect how I see a lot of public policy questions. I talk a lot, for instance, about how much we appreciate his VA medical care. Spending so much time in a health care system where profit is not a factor I’ve come to the conclusion that if this is what socialized medicine looks like, I’ll take it.

  5. “Spending so much time in a health care system where profit is not a factor I’ve come to the conclusion that if this is what socialized medicine looks like, I’ll take it.”

    craig, I think that’s a subliminal message that’s getting across to folks also who’ve been watching “call the midwife”

  6. The problem today is that the VA and even Socialized medicine as a whole are a post WW II view of the world.  We all know my population hobby horse.  Global population in 1950 was 2.5 billion human beings.  The majority of the world was in need of repair.  Medicine was just beginning to hit its stride with all sorts of new medications, many thanks to the need for antibiotics and anti-viral solutions emerging from war and exposure to tropical diseases.  Technology was exploding and the rebuilding of infrastructure everywhere demanded attention.  Tax rates were sky high to pay the expenses of all this repair and growth.  The baby boom went into high gear when it probably should have been shut down hard.

    Barring some horrendous event, the global population is expected to hit 9.3 billion human beings by 2050.  Medical advances are saving lives that would never have been saved in previous decades with well cared for people living longer and longer lives to where three score and ten now sounds young.  Technology is wiping out almost all of low skilled, intense labor jobs.  Environmental destruction is wiping out subsistence level populations and along with conflicts causing greater and greater refugee movements.

    For now the Western developed world is fairly safe in its economically protected house with five trees but the encroachments are coming closer and closer as more and more people are displaced in a globe that neither wants or needs them.  So in answer to my own question, I am a globalist, but what scares me to death are that the solutions to these problems must be done by scared people sitting on a striped chair watching the outside world getting nearer by the second.

  7. Jamie…  great post!

    The way I see it…  I think of myself first and foremost as a human being from planet Earth.  Methinks that sums it up the way people on the left largely view things.

  8. Poobah, like you I’m in the socialized medicine camp (and literally so now).  My dad never relied on the VA system although he could have – served for a time in WWII, honorable discharge… – to my understanding he stood on the other socialized medicine available to him after he retired – Medicare. Never heard him bitch about services or lack of access – and that was through 2 knee replacements and a stroke that almost killed him, and form which he never recovered.  Had he relied on private insurance I shutter to think of what we would have had to face – weeks in the hospital, weeks in a rehab facility, then months in the nursing home until he passed away.  He somehow was able to avoid the Medicaid route in the nursing home – I’m guessing he had insurance – or maybe just a large nest egg – but my sis handled that so I’m guessing. Bottom line for me is that there is no argument worth listening to that supports an alternative to socialized medicine – not a moral argument certainly, and not a valid economic argument.

  9. Renee

    We agree, but how do you convince scared people that their salvation lies in slow, hard to implement solutions.  Increase education and opportunity, you get lower crime rates.  Implement single payer socialized medicine may mean higher taxes but lower overall costs with better health than means fewer costs at the extremes.  Be willing to invest in a future with the costs to rebuild infrastructure (i.e tax rates in the 90% range for the highest earners that completely built those bridges that are now falling apart 60 years later).  Encourage female empowerment and control of their bodies.  Guess what, abortion rates drop like a rock and families almost automatically become one or two children.  The issues just go on and on and almost all of them involve investing in the future even if it costs you a hell of a lot more today.


  10. Jamie: Great post and much food for thought, as always 🙂

    I’m on day 6 of my cold so I think I’m on the improving side of the equation. Still a bit fuzzy brained so not sure I can contribute coherently to the discussion but I’m definitely on the side of socialized medicine. I also agree that the #1 issue that the world isn’t dealing with is over population.

    At my present age when thinking about the cat/box scenario I’m definitely the cat. I really want the world to be a better place, but I’ve become more of a pessimist as I age and don’t see the world smartening up in my lifetime. So I’m finally just concentrating on me after years of quietly serving others. My new ventures are exciting and may in the long run do good in the world. I actually made a couple of sales, which I wasn’t expecting for several months and I’m going to be putting up a new website/blog in the next few weeks/months to augment the business. It’s kind of strange but focusing on me and what gives me pleasure is putting me out in the big bad world in a new way. I guess what goes around, comes around, in a round about way LOL!

    Me and my fuzzy brain are going back to vegging out now 😉

  11. Jamie, your population observations always bring to mind a conversation I once had with historian James MacGregor Burns. Back in the day I wrote about him a bit and attended a number of his panel discussions around the country, focused on his interesting ideas for constitutional change (found this article here). Anyway, I sort of got to know him and once put something like this question to him: “What will be the biggest societal challenge in the next 100 years?” Without any hesitation he said (again, something like): “Population growth and massive migration to the West from under-developed nations.” Seems obvious now but back then (around 1987) it was not a topic you ever heard about.

  12. I dont think that either side sees the big picture at all.  You are still stuck in the team mentality…..the right is better at winning b/c they send out a very simple message for their idiots to follow….simple….me god like…no like abortion….me a big for my country…will kill anyone that does not like it… dont like people that are different than me….keep em out…….

    The lefts messages are very detailed about all things…..pick out a cpl and simplify them as much as your can…….once elected, explain the details after you shove them thru… the right does…..

    I will say it again and again…..Obama did a few good things…he had too…he was potus for a long time……..Once he was elected……he had both the Senate and Congress…..what did he do with the big picture???  he did exactly what the rs do…….made himself a multi millionaire……lost both the house and the senate to the rs….and did not take a very good picture of what he was getting us into……no he had a very small picture for the country…

    Now if you mean people like Franklin, former Dennis Kussinch, Simon, and a few others…..yes they were dems and liberals that had the big picture in mind.  Taking a good look at the dems that have been in office just to get rich….are a little short sighted to me also……………the question then should be……..When did the Dem lose the ability to think of the big Picture?……….


    Pat…….I dont have too much to say about those religions…….they dont  look right tho….i think that the %age of people that dont believe at all…..should be close to 27-30%……..other  religions…..dont count me in on it…..but i have nothing against it …..does that include the religion and churches of Satan…..btw never heard a war that they started……….and Buddhism should not be included in there imo….it is  great philosophy that was copied by Jeasus and not a religion at all ……..but you can put me down for just a hominid that marvels at all things……specially how people believe in such myths……..All organized religions break the one and only commandment that matters…and would heal the world……of the golden rule: “treat each other as you would be treated”…that is the only one that counts……

    The end of all organized religions = the end of 95% or our world problems ……..end of wars….

    ps……Dems want a big picture……try what to teach us about the new health techniques that have been around for thousands of years…..pass MJ….a very basic thing that we all need….clean drinking water……….get back to basics….

    Had a great time in the North side of Chicago yesterday….went to a birthday party for a Jewish lady named Lisa……she adopted a little black baby when it was abandoned…..she will be 10 in a cpl of wks…….Lisas was last wk…….so the celebrated the day that the adoption went thru, looked like America, some Africans, some Latinos, some Europeans….etc, etc, all humans sharing each other for a little while…….My son and one member of his band played in the background….lots of good wine…it was the 404 wine bar….i did have on French Martini…………..any way….lots and lot of libs and dems….it was such a great time… people…..great conversations….but there was no politics or religion talked at all…….did not thing about that until the drive home……..later going back to me work out and going to the park for my ti chi…….

    Ps and S:

    If you heart is not clean…purged, etc, etc…….remembered:

    without purification of the heart….all worship is insincere, and unholy and a waste of time”….later

  13. Jamie….  I’m out of the business of trying to convince anyone of anything.  I’m with GrannyM on taking care of my little part of the world.  After a lifetime of protesting, cajoling, volunteering, and putting my money where  my mouth is, I now concentrate on my local community, friends, and family.   My library needs a new computer…  I’ll donate.  The local food bank is in need of certain types of food…  I’ll donate.  Someone needs some time…  I’ll donate.  Someone here needs some money…  I’ll donate (I consider you all my friends).  I now expect the younger generations to step up and do their part.  If they don’t…  I know they’ll blame us…  but they will deal with the consequences.

  14. Renee, go local, good choice. Remember the “small is beautiful” movement back in the late 70’s? Let’s bring it back.

  15. Somewhat in line with the topic de jour from the NY Times

    What if Sociologists Had As Much Influence as Economists?

    Sociologists spend their careers trying to understand how societies work. And some of the most pressing problems in big chunks of the United States may show up in economic data as low employment levels and stagnant wages but are also evident in elevated rates of depression, drug addiction and premature death. In other words, economics is only a piece of a broader, societal problem. So maybe the people who study just that could be worth listening to.

  16. Big picture thinking is starting to give me a major headache. All politics are local. So I do like RR and work in my community as much as possible.

    I learned long ago that I can’t make a huge difference in the big wide world, but I can make a small difference in my own little corner of it.

  17. Three films about our sick-care system:  “Escape Fire” – “Sicko” – “Doctored”

    Until women have equal economic and human rights in all cultures, overpopulation will continue to be a problem.  I think most would like to put resources into fewer children, so they would have a chance at a better future.

    I am going back to my box to sleep off whatever virus has taken up residence.

  18. The above reminds me a lovely motto on how to improve the world:

    Whenever the opportunity presents itself, be kind.


  19. Of course that brings us to Bill Maher’s opposition to the above:  What Would A Dick Do

  20. Jamie, there was an interesting sociology comment on cultural phenomenon in last week’s new Yorker article about In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children have fallen unconscious after being informed that their families will be expelled from the country. [….] …diagnosis of uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome, an illness that is said to exist only in Sweden, and only among refugees. The patients have no underlying physical or neurological disease, but they seem to have lost the will to live. The Swedish refer to them as de apatiska, the apathetic. 
    the children do not move, talk, eat, respond for months/years and are force fed for survival.
    it noted a belief that  people cannot be truly healthy unless they have trygghet, a word that in English translates as “security” but which has a broader meaning in Swedish: trust, a sense of belonging, freedom from danger, anxiety, and fear. The modern Swedish welfare state was built on the idea that it must safeguard trygghet for its citizens, minimizing the risks to which they are exposed. “Security is the most basic foundation of the individual,” the Swedish minister of social affairs explained, in 1967. “Nothing good has ever come out of insecurity.”

    In a seventy-six-page guide for treating uppgivenhetssyndrom, published in 2013, the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare advises that a patient will not recover until his family has permission to live in Sweden. “A permanent residency permit is considered by far the most effective ‘treatment,’ ” the manual says. “The turning point will usually be a few months to half a year after the family receives permanent residence.” The guidelines draw on the Israeli sociologist Aaron Antonovsky’s notion of a “sense of coherence.” Mental well-being, Antonovsky theorizes, depends on one’s belief that life is orderly, comprehensible, structured, and predictable. Antonovsky suggests, as Freud did, that psychological illness is born of narrative incoherence, a life story veering off course.

    fascinating article and well worth the read.

  21. meanwhile, back at the mad house on penn ave

    from raw story:

    During Monday’s White House press briefing, NBC’s Kristen Welker asked Spicer to clarify the administration position removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

    “The goal for the United States is twofold,” Spicer explained. “It’s, one, to make sure we destabilize Syria — destabilize the conflict there, reduce the threat of ISIS. But then, secondly, is create the political environment, not just within the Syrian people, but I think you can have — work with Russia in particular to make sure that they understand that Syria, backed up by Russia’s own accounting, should be held accountable for the agreements that its made with respect to its international agreements on chemical weapons alone.”

    Welker pressed the press secretary about whether it was possible “to defeat ISIS with Assad still in power.”

    Spicer mumbled the question back to himself before finally answering

    “Um, yes,” he said. “Sure.”

  22. Jamie – I’m sure it could serve as one, but I don’t think the joke is very funny. 🙂

    I’m reminded of something I wrote not too long ago. I don’t take credit for the idea itself, but I put it into my own words as a philosophy. I goes like this:

    When we each learn to envelope ourselves in peace, and fall back to that space in times of unrest, then perhaps we can also learn how to ease the boundaries outward, gradually letting the comfort extend to those around us. Then they can do the same within their circles. In other words, peace ripples.

    It’s simplistic. It’s naive. It’s idealistic. And sometimes it’s the only way I maintain my sanity.

  23. In a trumpian world, where all is struggle for advantage, spicer’s description of ‘our Syria policy’ cannot get putin on board unless there is an unstated (and YUUUUJ !) carrot attached. So, what is the carrot ? East Ukraine and Lithuania ? Georgia ? All of Ukraine ?

  24. Anywho, how long will it be before the msm stop attending spicer’s daily lie fests ? I mean, what’s the good of going – to get a chance at extruding patent falsehoods from a bad boy ? You don’t have to go all the way to Pennsylvania Ave to do that.

  25. Ms Dallas,

    This is hilarious : even some of the food you can order from cracker barrel comes from commie China.

  26. Phony Americana disguising the maoist terror. Yup, that’s cracker barrel. Every store proudly stands on the shoulders of 10,000 enslaved victims.

  27. Ms Dallas,

    Under every item on the cracker barrel shelves is a message : ‘Made in China’. Every red spot on that map shows a maoist cell, posing as a celebrant of traditional American values.

  28. Spain has arrested Pyotr Levasov. If they can keep him alive, this will be reeeeaaallly bad news for the deadbeat groper and the russhin tsar.

  29. Who didn’t know dems live on the coasts and in larger cities in the interior? BFD.  Trump lost his own city, county and state. Now WHO could have predicted that? (Me, for one). Now tell me what policies pugns advocate that favor the folks outside those areas aside from keeping Mexicans in Mexico. Are those crickets I hear?

  30. Well, one out of two shirts, one out of three pairs of pants and one in four of your household appliances are currently made in China.  Apple assembles all of it’s iphones, ipads, etc. in Schenzing China.  They’re in the process of opening a R & D facility there as well.

    Let’s now fake ourselves into believing that we can go all Rambo on China and it’s trade policies and $$$ manipulation.

    China controls their internet, no Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, etc.  Ours is open and as hackable as hell.  We’ve been sold out.

    We are China’s bitches – plain and simple.  LOL, ROTFLMAO, WHATUPWIFU,  etc.

  31. Jamie, yours is a post that hits its mark. Reminded me of some of the “light bulb coming on over head” lectures my wonderful Anthropology professor would give. It was because of Dr. Bonanno that I “got”what the New Dealers were up to with the WPA: preserving culture in a time of fear and contraction. Sometimes putting things in a smaller frame helps us understand, or at least see, the bigger picture.

    Great post!

  32. Mr 300, pardon my Anglo-Saxon but, fuck apple, and fuck cracker barrel, and fuck xi and the rest of the cheating, corrupt, sexist, racist, religious bigots, and murdering, upper crust, fascist bastards that oppress China. And, fuck chaing kai shek, whose utter incompetence as a strategist and leader of men brought about the fucking commie victory.
    And that fucking “Fuck you!” goes treble for nixon and the bushes.

  33. I subscribe strongly to Mr Doodlesdog’s view as expressed in his 10:38 post.

    Mr Dexter, are you out there ? I’d like your opinion.

  34. Da Furder Adventures of Xr, Interspace Flyboy, and His Faithful Dog ”Kay?Nein!
    Episode 96 : Lonely at the Top 

    Sometimes I get the feeling that I am out here alone, cruising through interspace on this cranky contraption. But, I know that notes, spammers, trojans, viruses, hackers, dokkktard, botsters, junk mailers, the pip maggot, worms, stange, pokes, bill buttlover, and jeremy are all out there, attacking my craft. Despite all that attention (that ends up in my nets, and that I periodically grind into cybersewage and jettison) it sometimes gets lonely at the top of this old interspace galaxy.

    Fortunately, I have my faithful pet ”Kay?Nein! to keep me company, and amuse me with her encyclopiedic trove of slang from 1940s war movies. No wing man ? Piece of cake, Verdamt’ sclavische Untermenschen, Let ‘er rip, Benjo doko deska?Dive, dive !, and Awrite, Jimmy, give ’em da bombin’ of deir stinkin’ lives.

Comments are closed.