Remember that strange elongated object hurtling through our Solar System from another star? The object – named ’Oumuamua for easy reference – that was so strange and so elongated that scientists said that rather than an asteroid, it was probably a spaceship containing alien technology? One minute they were speculating on how the aliens’ smartphones would at compare to the iPhone X, and the next minute the object had vanished from everyone’s news feed, replaced by a Chinese space station that they are planning to have crash into Earth in case the Olympics are too boring.
What we did not hear about was the mission to explore this object. In fact, there were three camps of scientists that speculated on what the elongated asteroid spaceship might contain.
“It has to be bacteria,” said one group of scientists. “Bacteria is the only organism that can survive the harsh and unforgiving elements of space.”
“No,” said another group. “it has to be plants. Only plants could survive in a place where the only food was sunlight and ice.”
“No, no, and no again,” said a third group. “It must be cats. For only cats would have a coat and neck fluffy enough to survive the cold of outer space.”
It was agreed that there was merit to all three views. But Netflix increased its monthly subscription fee by a dollar, we could afford to send just one mission.
After a day of voting, Team Space Cats was way ahead. The mission to confirm the presence of space cats launched a week before Christmas.
But it turned out to be an asteroid ship full of cards. The cards had been sent because there was no room. The mission was a failure.
“There isn’t life at all. These aren’t space cats. It’s just a pile of birthday cards that someone couldn’t bear to throw out!”
Everyone on the mission shook their heads. And they read the cards. There was nothing else to do. And there, at the bottom of every card, instead of a signature, was a little paw print.