Cat and Mouse on the Workroom Floor

A guest blog by Dennis Dressler

James Baldwin famous author and scholar once stated, “Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have”. Anyone working for, or with the Post Office has considered this topic. I once had a supervisor relate to me that running a route for the Postal Service is very much like a rat running a maze. After continual running of the maze you need only increase the incentive or increase the deterrents to increase the speed and efficiency at which the route (maze) is run. As much as I despise being thought of as a hairy sharp toothed rodent, I have been called worse. I prefer to consider myself, Jerry Mouse of the Tom and Jerry MGM/Hanna and Barbera Cartoon Series. You can draw many correlations with the Tom and Jerry Series to our workroom floor.
Jerry Mouse whose original name was “Jinx” according to William Hanna (Joseph Barbera claimed the mouse had no name) in the 1940, “Puss gets the Boot” short. The lovable Jeremy “Jerry” Mouse soon prevailed when animator John Carr was requested to create a series of shorts featuring the cat and mouse duo. Jerry is thought of, according to Wikipedia as the antagonist and many times the aggressor in the ongoing series of shorts and films. Tom Cat, originally known as “Jasper” and sometimes referred to as “Thomas”, is considered to be only following orders in his pursuit of the scene stealing mouse. Tom after all only wants to nap and feast (sound familiar yet?). Tom almost never intends to eat Jerry; he usually competes or intends to hurt our mousy hero.

Originally Mammy Two-Shoes was Tom’s owner although never named in the shorts (yes she has her own website). Tom was always following the orders to keep the house in order and get rid of our beloved Jerry. In later episodes like “The Mansion Cat” the owner was a white-collar worker who reminds Tom “the house in perfect order and not to blame the mouse this time, whom in this short, is a pet in a cage (maze?). It is amazing how life imitates art.

Then enter Spike the bulldog (also referred to as Killer and Butch, potential Union representative?); Spike inevitable tries to stand in the way of Tom’s pursuit of Jerry Mouse, or simply make life difficult for Tom; although Tom does know Spikes weakness, his love of his bone and his ticklishness. It is amazing how our cat and mouse life is reflective of these great creations of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, so next time you get involved in a confrontation, perhaps you should consider “what would Jerry do?”


Dennis is a rural carrier and steward in Kansas

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