Political Correctness At The Pound

Gone are the days when you could show up at an animal shelter and adopt a cat, no questions asked. A friend describes the new, politically correct process used at the King County Humane Society office in Bellevue's Eastgate area.

First step is completing a detailed questionnaire. Among the questions: Will both "parents" be working during the day? How many hours a day will the cat be left alone? Will the cat be allowed outside (not recommended)? Where will the cat sleep? And who will be "the primary caretaker?"

The friend reports, "Next our family met with a counselor, who had us go into a private room and play with the cat to see if it was a good match."

After hurdling those barriers, the family still didn't get to take the cat home. Turns out they must wait until the male kitten undergoes mandatory neutering.

Next week the family will return to pick up their new pet, bringing an approved cat carrier and a collar.

Hmm. Wonder what happens if you're a single-parent household? Perhaps Newt Gingrich could build cat orphanages.

The Supremes: A historic ceremony takes place at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Temple of Justice Courtroom in Olympia.

It's noteworthy that three Supreme Court justices, Phil Talmadge, Gerry Alexander and Richard Guy, will take the oath of office. But the big moment - the glass-ceiling-shattering occasion - will come when two women, Justices Barbara Durham and Barbara Madsen, are sworn in, becoming chief justice and acting chief justice, respectively. A woman's place? It's on the bench.

Billygate: Catholic Northwest Progress columnist Terry McGuire reports the bogus Internet rumor that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was buying the Catholic Church turned into "fodder for the fathers."

At St. Jude parish in Redmond, Father Gerald Lovett, back from a three-month sabbatical in Ireland, jokingly told his parishioners, "I wasn't on sabbatical. I was on a committee negotiating with Microsoft over the takeover."

Meanwhile over at St. Stephen the Martyr parish in Renton, the processional hymn was No. 163: "Lift Up Your Heads Ye Mighty Gates." Quipped Father John Madigan, "Your worst fears are confirmed."

Post election: Where are they now, the legislators who didn't return to Olympia? Selah Democrat Dick Lemmon continues his work as a chiropractor. But he's also planning to open an espresso bar in Selah, a town of 5,113 near Yakima.

Lemmon was in Seattle shopping for espresso equipment. He said, "I was going to open one a couple of years ago. Then I got elected. Now that I'm unelected, I can do all those things I wanted to do."

Surf's up: Abbi Kaplan reports her husband, KLSY news director Dave Sloan, had to return a recently purchased remote control. It was giving him sore wrists, a condition that could lead to carpal-tunnel syndrome.

The replacement control was marketed as "easy to use." Kaplan's comment: "It just wouldn't occur to a guy to put the control down after changing the channel." Jean Godden's column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Local News section of The Times. Her phone is 464-8300.