Essays Written for The Plantation News

I wrote essays for The Plantation News, our family newspaper, between 1983 and 2003. Some essays recorded actual events, while others were humor, satire or fiction. The Plantation News transitioned from paper to blog and continues online here.

Giant Cat Found Buried in Desert

Egyptologists were stunned to discover a giant cat ritually buried in the Sahara Desert below the ancient Egyptian pyramids. “The famous pyramids are actually just small temples, built around the tips of the giant cat’s ears,” explained visibly shaken scientists and historians. “We now see the Sphinx is just a gravestone, marking the megacat burial site.” The cat’s tail also sticks above ground level, and is entombed in a minaret about a third of a mile away. Hieroglyphs found in a secret tunnel below the Sphinx indicate the 11,000 year-old cat’s name was “King Totenkatzen”, translated by Egyptologists as “the big dead cat.”

News of the incredible discovery flashed worldwide, bringing expressions of disbelief and amazement to scientists and laymen alike. “We understood that cats were important to ancient Egyptian culture,” said Egyptologist Helmut Schtupidkopff, leader of the swiftly formed Totenkatzen expedition, “but we never suspected this magnitude, this magnificence, this, this….” “This smell!” echoed graduate student Buss Butz, referring to the odor released by newly decaying parts of the cat, amazingly well preserved by the arid Egyptian climate. “Big, smelly, dead cat!” exclaimed Arnie Lampposter, an American tourist, capturing the sentiment of many. “I mean, what do you do with a dead cat!” the Cleveland bar owner continued. “So they buried it in the back yard, like we all do.”

Some anthropologists and sociologists see more to it than that. “The pyramids were not built for the pharaohs. The early dynasties apparently understood that the giant cat was there, but somewhere in history this fact was lost,” explained one archaeologist. Said a scientist who asked not to be identified, “A project that big, with so many people organized; and at that time period? We could have here the beginnings of civilization itself!”

The story of this discovery begins with the recent Egyptian earthquake near Cairo. Geologists with their computers monitored seismographs and, using modern software to make an “X-ray” type photograph of the rocks below the quake region, were startled to discover a large structure below the pyramids. Geologist Abdul Duliabi passed the photograph to a friend, Egyptologist Martin Messier, who was not able to make sense of the X-ray photo either. Then Thursday the team led by Schtupidkopff discovered an unknown tunnel below the Sphinx, which sits near one pyramid. Excavating further, they encountered an enormous organic deposit, well preserved, about 300 feet below the desert. A team member who had seen Messier’s seismographic photo put the two together. Said Schtupidkopff, “Maybe there is a giant cat buried here.” Further excavation, more computer seismic modelling, and the aroma of rotting flesh confirmed their suspicions.

Biologists were shocked by the size of the mammal. No cat of this size had ever been seen, nor predicted. Egyptologists noted the position of the cat’s paws, hinting that perhaps this influenced the formerly misunderstood perspective in many Egyptian paintings. Said Schtupidkopff, “Most likely this is a one-of-a-kind animal, and its uniqueness and singularity may have driven ancient Egyptian religions toward monotheism.” Arnie Lampposter’s thoughts had a more practical turn: “Hell, that cat could use the whole Sahara Desert as its litter box,” he is quoted as saying. Nearby, previously mysterious organic deposits apparently support Lampposter’s hypotheses. But as to how this will effect Egyptology and the history of early human civilization remains to be learned from upcoming excavations. “We’re excited,” said Buss Butz. “This discovery opens new vistas, destroys old paradigms… Maybe giant cats civilized us, instead of humans domesticating them.”

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February 25, 2020
11:54:56 PM