Keen-eyed visitors to my Tumblr page will notice that my Ask page is titled “Ask Jeeves.” This is because all questions asked through that module are answered by my valet, Jeeves. Here is his response to Jay’s question:
I must confess that I had never heard of the ‘pushmi-pullyu’ to which you refer, having possessed neither a childhood fondness for the Dr Dolittle novels nor a passing interest in the films of Mr Murphy. In order to respond to your query, I consulted Wikipedia, only to find the site’s description of said fictional animal somewhat lacking. I feared I would not be able to respond without much consultation of the Dr Doolittle novels, a task that would prove difficult given my numerous duties in maintaining Ms Pape’s household. As I prepared Ms Pape’s morning tonic, however, I was able to ascertain a suitable way to reply to the question with the knowledge I already possessed.
In my capacity as a gentleman’s gentleman, I am often called upon to participate in the viewing of an employer’s preferred television programmes, many of which would not otherwise attract my interest. One such programme was the animation ‘CatDog,’ which depicted a half-feline, half-canine creature, possessed of two minds but only a single body. Much commotion ensued. I sense a number of similarities between your ‘pushmi-pullyu’ and this ‘CatDog,’ and so I shall endeavour to develop my questions with the more familiar of the Shelleyesque experiments in mind.
I suppose most inquiries to an expert on such a creature would center on questions of reproduction and defecation, those hobgoblins of the modern cerebral cortex. Indeed, these subjects were often the interests of the ‘CatDog’ programme, albeit in a somewhat neutered, child-friendly fashion.
Were I to make my own inquiries, I should be most curious to learn the methods of cooperation these conjoined creatures are required to develop in order to maintain harmony. What strategies are employed to ensure both parties are satisfied, however alternately? Can the quotidian desires of each member of the unit be fulfilled, once acceptance of its indivisibility is reached? Are there lessons from the ‘CatDog’ that can be applied to diplomacy, insofar as all of us are inextricably tied to one another by virtue of our shared domicile, Earth? This would be the direction my inquiry would likely take.
I hope that this statement has been to your satisfaction, despite my lack of awareness on the subject of your initial query. For my part, I shall intimate that it has proven to be a great relief to me; a validation, however small, of my time watching ‘CatDog’ is a rare and pleasant thing indeed. I should hope to someday receive a query that validates the much larger portion of time I was obligated to waste on the myopic faux-morality play that was ‘Lost.’
Until that time, I remain,
Your humble servant,