The Coastal Star

Paws up for Pets: A fictional cat for president? She has a platform

Author Rita Mae Brown’s cat Sneaky Pie Brown (below) is running for president in the novelist’s latest book, Sneaky Pie for President. Photo provided


By Arden Moore

As a reporter for the Sun-Sentinel, I had to leave the soft ocean breezes in the heart of the best weather in Palm Beach County each year to spend nearly two months inside brick buildings with closed windows to cover the Florida legislative session. 

While reporting at the state Capitol, I witnessed my share of catty comments, dog fights and hissy fits displayed by members of both parties. 

Yes, I am delighted that I no longer cover politics, but I am even more delighted to enlighten you about a new brand of politics just unleashed this election year. I’m talking about non-paw-tisan politics.

And leading this campaign has been a savvy cat named Sneaky Pie Brown (with help from her human scribe, New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown). Together, they produced a must-read book called Sneaky Pie for President.

The subtitle says it all: “Ask not what your cat can do for you. Ask what you can do for your cat.” 

This is the 22nd book in the popular Sneaky Pie series and the first one to step outside of the comfortable mystery genre and enter the political arena. Don’t dismiss this as a cute cat book with goofy pictures. Brown did her research into how political actions from both parties have had an impact on the health of every being on this planet. 

The leading characters in the book — Sneaky Pie (a tiger-striped rescued cat), Tea Tucker (a wise Corgi) and Tally (a full-of-energy Jack Russell terrier) — rally domesticated animals and wildlife to produce a political platform that truly gives a much-needed voice to animals and a wakeup call to us two-leggers.

“Sneaky Pie wants to promote interspecies friendship and harmony,” says Brown, during a recent phone chat. “The cat wants humans to really study the different species sharing this planet. The different species know who and what they are, but we humans are the ones who are sort of out of the mix.”

Sneaky Pie also is championing for cleaner waters.

“She wants to end the use of all pesticides and poisons,” explains Brown. “Specifically, we’re campaigning against medical pollution. If you flush pills down the toilet, they get into our water supply and some of those compounds won’t break down for years. It is insane.”

And, this cat, rescued as a stray at a shelter, has a recommendation for anyone considering a career in politics.

“Sneaky Pie hopes that people will spay and neuter their pets and also strongly advises that any human being running for political office should be spayed or neutered,” says Brown. “She feels that it will calm the men and focus the women.”

Interesting notion — and one never brought up during my days of covering the Florida Legislature. 

Brown also did her homework on Sneaky Pie’s eligibility to run for president. 

“There is nothing in the Constitution that says you must be a human being to be president,” says Brown. “You just have to be born in the United States and be 35 years old. And in cat years, she is. She was born in a cardboard box and taken to a shelter in Virginia, where I adopted her. She is now 14 years old. She is very candid and genuinely cares about all animals, domestic and in the wild.”

So, is Sneaky Pie a Republican or Democrat?

“Neither,” barks back Brown. “Her political party is the Surprise Party and her campaign motto says it all: ‘I can’t do any worse.’ ”

Brown and Sneaky Pie have agreed — win or lose this election — to provide an autographed copy of Sneaky Pie for President to the 35th person to email me at She will include the winner’s name, and the names of the pets in the home as well, in the autograph. Please be sure to put “Sneaky Pie” in the email subject field.

So, how farfetched is the notion of a cat running for office? Not so much of a stretch when you consider that critters who walk, swim and fly also have a stake in decisions made by politicians.

“Sneaky Pie and the other animals on my farm have taught me a lot about interspecies cooperation,” says Brown, who lives on the Tea-Time Farm in Afton, Va. “We’re looking at the whole environment. If you don’t take care of Mother Earth, it doesn’t matter if you’re human or an animal, you won’t be able to eat. We need to work together, really work together, on making this a better planet for all.”

Sneaky Pie has my vote. To learn more, check out her website:

Arden Moore, founder of, is an animal behavior consultant, editor, author, professional speaker and certified pet first aid instructor. She happily shares her home with two dogs, two cats and one overworked vacuum cleaner. Tune in to her Oh Behave! show on and learn more by visiting


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