Tuesday, January 6, 2015
I cannot help your cat.
I work in the Office of Lost Merkans. Part of my job is to manage a public facing email box. Most inquiries range from mundane, legitimate questions about legitimate documents ( or at least the idea of a document, whether they intend to acquire legitimate documents is above my pay grade ) to heartbreaking pleas for help. Then there are the people that think they are Elvis' child, Miley Cyrus' mother, or the leader of the KGB ( while simultaneously being married to Joe Biden and working for the CIA. )
Today I got one that really fell in the middle. Again, I work in the Office of Lost Merkans. Not the Office of Confused Kiwis or the Office of Bewildered Brits. Not the Bureau of Cantankerous Canucks or the Cabinet of Beleaguered Belges. Today I received a letter from a Ukrainian, living in Sweden, going to Turkey. On a boat. With her cat. Now, she didn't specify the nationality of the cat, but I think you'll forgive me for assuming the cat was not a Merkan. This lady had, what was probably a legitimate question. For anyone but me. She wanted to know what kind of documents she needed to bring her cat into Turkish waters. I assume she meant crossing the imaginary line from international waters into those under Turkey's jurisdiction and not just permission to give her cat a bath in Istanbul. Regardless, why me? Why the Office of Lost Merkans? And to be even more specific, the actual email box is for the Office of Lost Merkan Children. I mean, I get that her cat is probably like her child, but it's still not a Merkan.
So I penned a response...which of course, I will not send:
Your cat shall obtain diplomatic immunity when the top sail of your yacht has crossed the international waterline of Turkey. However, should you choose to go to the Asian part of Turkey, you will need to acquire a Visa for the cat, per the Cucumber and Feta treaty of 1917, which is still on the books in certain parts of Turkey. Humans of course do not, but you did not request information on human travel.
In order to obtain said visa, please take 3 toenail clippings of the cat to the nearest Turkish Embassy in Sweden. Once thorough DNA testing has been completed to determine that your cat is in fact a cat, and certainly not a wallaby or a beetle, the visa will be issued to you. All cats must wear their feline passports in a waistbelt. Please do not attempt to retrofit a human waistbelt, you must buy a feline waistbelt in a horrid shade of beige. If your cat is caught in the Asian part of Turkey without said passport in said beige waistbelt, you risk the cat being taken as property of the state as all feline diplomatic immunity is forfeited when you pass into Asian Turkey.
Speaking from experience, this may be the best option for the cat. Once taken as property of the state, the cat will be fitted with a small velvet hat and tiny velvet shoes. It will be kept in a compound exclusively for such well travelled felines and fed a daily portion of fish and wine. You, however, will never see the cat again.
As this is the law of the land, aka a sovereign nation, you must abide by the laws. If you choose to ignore said sovereign nation's laws, the consequences are yours alone, and neither Sweden nor the U.S. nor your own country need come fix your problems. You are a grownup, albeit, one with questionable rational capabilities.
Best to you on your sea voyage with feline. Don't forget the waistbelt!
Office of Lost Merkans