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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, May 8, 2013 5 years ago

Mama mia ... Cat tax on the way?

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Birds in Germany are croaking like gangbusters, apparently, and a scientist named Peter Berthold intends to do something about it.

What does he intend to do, you ask? Oh, that would be impose a cat tax.

It’s true. I read it in Forbes. (And if you remember, my last column was also based off a Forbes story, but don’t get too impressed. I don’t keep up with the magazine and read full articles like some bonafide nerd. I skim the headlines on Twitter. Obviously.)

Anyway, Berthold says (paraphrase) that cats are running rampant and unchecked through the streets, forming posses, making up new racial slurs and conducting hate crimes on birds like it’s nobody’s business. And they get away with it, too, because they’re so darn adorable.

The perfect crime.

Berthold reports that the average German cat, mostly stray, kills about 40 birds per year, many of which are the last of their kind of winged brethren in a given district. And when I read that point, the whole story started seeming a little less ridiculous. If cats are legitimately putting dents into bird populations, maybe doing something to cut down on that — a tax? — isn’t so crazy.

I even started thinking of my own past experiences.

Once, I went to an Italian restaurant and ordered lasagna, but the waiter told me they were fresh out. Were cats behind this tragedy, too? Garfield’s love for the cheesy entree is well documented.

Coincidence? I think not.

The subtle point I’m trying to make here — which I assume, by now, is painfully obvious — is that this Sunday is Mother’s Day, and if you live in Germany, probably don’t buy ol’ mommy dearest a canary.

Instead, here are five tips to make the holiday count.

1) If you live in the same city: Refer to everything you eat on May 12 in a thick, southern drawl as “just like mama used to make.” Even if your mother never cooked a thing in her life that didn’t come boxed, comparing all things tasty to “the way she used to make” will give her a motherly sense of accomplishment — and it will give you a fun, new way to annoy your waiter.

“Excuse me, kind sir, the caviar-encrusted peking duck looks scrumptious, indeed — but first a query ... is it prepared like mama used to make?”

2) If you live out of state: Remember to call — but not just once. To really make your point, call your mom every hour on the hour from dusk till dawn. This repetition will show that you really, truly care (and it will give you a get-of-jail-free card in case you forget to call one year in the future. And that’s pretty clutch.)

3) If you live in the same house: Make your bed. Seriously. It’s not that hard.

4) If your mom doesn’t have a sense of humor: Don’t show her this column.

5) And if you’re my mom: Get off my back about making my bed, OK? You’re not my boss anymore, so stop nagging!

(Hi, mom!)

BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR

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