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Since that wasn't an option, Petra drew a deep breath between her teeth and set her eyes on the Jellicle. Kipper watched in awe as Petra stalked straight up to him, sat her fiery orange self down on the bench beside his black and white splotched girth, and said, "My name's Petra Brighton, and I'm running for district representative."

Petra stuck out her paw and the Jellicle stared at it dumbly. "Don't you think it's time we had more cats in the government?" Petra said.

The Jellicle's eyes widened and darted to either side. He clearly felt put on the spot. Kipper could sympathize. She felt equally embarrassed watching the situation. No one likes a politician. But if some cat didn't do the job, all cats would pay the price... At least, that's what Petra and Alistair kept telling her.

"There's that one Abyssinian bloke," the Jellicle finally hazarded, clearly hoping Petra would go away. "Isn't he a senator?"

"Senator Adinew," Kipper offered.

"Yes," Petra said. "Adinew's doing good work. But, surely, one senator out of forty-six is hardly representative of California's feline population..." Petra raised her voice, speaking more loudly than sounded natural. It was terribly embarrassing, but, clearly, she was hoping to catch the other cats' attention. Kipper was deeply glad that she hadn't let Alistair talk her into being the figurehead for Petra. If Petra wanted to change the government, let her do it herself.

"Here in the central district, especially," Petra semi-shouted, "we cats outnumber dogs nearly four to one, but twice as many dogs vote as cats in every single election. Did you realize that?"

The Jellicle cat shook his head, and the tabby in the rain slicker kept shooting them furtive glances. He looked annoyed, but Kipper supposed that, inelegant as Petra's methods might be, she was getting her message across. It was good that the other cats were listening.

Petra had launched into her campaign speech full throttle by now: "Cats have been gaining power and influence in this country and the world like never before. There are multi-billionaire cats and cats with important jobs in internationally valuable companies." Petra stood up and held her paws out in a gesture of decisiveness. "But we don't have sufficient representation in government to protect the ground we're gaining."

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