GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – National MPs vs my cat


I was going write about the resignations of Nick Smith and Jake Bessant from the National Party and their joining the ranks of Todd Barclay and Hamish Walker (remember them?).

But then I thought – Nah. I’ll talk about my cat.

Her name is Rose.

Now (and skip to the punch line if I’ve told you this story before) but I never wanted a cat.

I like dogs.

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We’d not had one for a few years and I was thinking of getting a pup.

Anyway, as it happened, a couple of summers ago I was working in my veggie garden when I heard a plaintive “meow” and beneath a bush at the end of the garden I found an emaciated ginger cat with no tail.

So, I gave it some food and some milk.

Big mistake.

Next day.

In the garden.


(Which I have now learned means “You’re my human.”)

From memory this went on for a couple of weeks.

The cat stayed in the garden.

It wouldn’t come anywhere near the house .

Then, one day, she ventured ,very timidly ,onto the verandah.

It then took about 3 months before Rose came inside – shaking, jumpy, scared.

This was a cat who had clearly been mistreated and had no trust at all in humans.

As I say all that happened a couple of summers ago.

Rose now thinks she is the boss of the house.

She meows to get in.

She meows to get out.

She meows to be fed.

And we obey.

She sleeps wherever she wants .

She no longer jumps at every little sound or movement.

In short, it has taken time but she has regained her trust in humans.

When someone betrays your trust it’s sometimes really hard to get over it.

But , as John Lennon ( quoting ,I think, Groucho Marx) once said : “Time wounds all heels!”

Which of course brings me back to the National party and blue men behaving badly.

PS : A ‘heel’ was ( maybe still is) american slang for ‘ a bad guy’

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. I think you are very blessed.
    In my 80s now, I am too unwell to “own” a cat (cats can’t really be owned). I do however feed two stray cats dinner every evening: my daily good deed to the “animal world”. 🙂

  2. At least your cat isn’t trying to melt the planet faster that it is already melting, as National are proposing, Bryan.

    The word fuckwit always comes to mind when anyone in National opens mouth.

    I wish I could say that LINO were better, but they’re not; just more of the same looting and polluting, done with more ‘kindness’,

  3. Why is it that people think using esoteric acronyms somehow displays intelligence, or superior knowledge… And that it’s not just being pretentious.. Debates/discussion online in NZ has never been much more than ego tripping, but it’s not even worth reading since I arrived back.. Just how much emotional/intellectual damage was done during the last period of tory regression?

    • It’s certainly less common to get female ginger cats than male but they are around.
      NZs capital of ginger female cats is Invercargill for some reason there’s heaps down there.

    • Bryan, you almost certainly treat your cat better than Nick treats his staff. Having said that Smith has finally used up his 9th life. Wadeable rivers, Bronwyn Pullar and abuse of his staff will be Smith’s legacy.

  4. Heard of toxoplasmosis ?
    “We humans set a premium on our own free will and independence … and yet there’s a shadowy influence we might not be considering. As science writer Ed Yong explains in this fascinating, hilarious and disturbing talk, parasites have perfected the art of manipulation to an incredible degree. So are they influencing us? It’s more than likely.”
    Ed Yong:
    Suicidal wasps, zombie roaches and other parasite tales
    ” Heeeere kitty, kitty, kitty…??? “

  5. Angus, the Countdown Cat has gone missing…Angus is a marmalade cat …. with a name like that, Angus is likely to be a chappie sort of catty. Here’s hoping that Angus and all of his associates enjoy the best possible outcomes in this currently inclement sort of weathering.

  6. Was referring to “ When someone betrays your trust it’s sometimes hard to get over it.”
    National party are in opposition so to comment on them in this instance is not relevant.
    Trust in this current Government is impossible having broken almost every promise they campaigned on.

  7. I thought you were going you say your car was more useful than National MP’s.

    And by the way your describe her, she is!

    And infinitely more likable.

    • John, every topic you turn it onto Labour. ” NATIONAL MP’S V MY CAT” so nothing to do with Labour. All to do with the appalling Nick Smith, Jake Bessant and Todd Barclay all going out in disgrace.

      I just don’t trust your comments, anymore than National ministers who say they don’t abuse their staff or the 9 years of Nationals policy failures on every count.

  8. I am owned by a cat. She has me twisted around her little paw. Do I get annoyed with her? No way. She is a treasure to me.
    She turned up on our doorstep 5 years ago as a little kitten of about 8 weeks old. She had followed my other cat Aurora up to our door. When my brother got home from work there she was on the step and so he picked her up and took her to where Aury would be feed.
    She is a blessing to me because in October 2019 Aury was killed after being hit by a vehicle on our usually quiet street.
    Comparing my cat to humans I more likely trust my cat than say a politician. Politicians are renowned for not being honest and are selective when it comes to memory recall. Politicians make promises before elections that they are so incapable of keeping to once the votes have been counted,’

    I feel I have learnt alot from being owned by a cat. They are ideal teachers.

  9. Bert,
    You don’t have to trust my comments.
    My point is you cannot look at one political party in isolation when they have all been guilty of the same bad behaviour.

    • “Gosh going to take a life time to get over Jacinda Ardern”

      You seem to make these types of comments in isolation.
      I could say the same about you.


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