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Everything You Wanted To Know About Cats
Wednesday, November 24, 2004   By: Mahone Dunbar

A philosophy primer.


Cats: To the perplexity of historians and archaeologists, the Egyptians venerated them: to the devil's everlasting disgrace, they were once associated with him. - Mahone

As the operator of a multi-cat household, and thus a keen observer of felineanity, I have decided to share my valuable observations about cats with the world. Having a multi-cat household is like operating a school for ‘special’ children; they are, for all practical intent, un-educatable, and whatever faults or shortcomings they have will persist until the end of time. Caring for and living with them must be a labor of love unblighted by any desire to see them achieve a logical or worthwhile end.

First off, you should know that cats come in two versions: male and female (more or less equally troublesome to the homeowner). The latter has the added disadvantage of producing subsequent duplicates, but at least she exhibits nurturing, mothering characteristics. But the male, the tom cat, a self-centered creature with an egotism matched only by successful sociopaths and politicians, is a different story.

Tom Cat Philosophy, Dominant Traits and attributes

A tomcat is born with the ability to engender sympathy, and can con a home owner quicker than a siding salesman can con an elderly widow. For supposedly lovable creatures, cuddled by children, fed and taken in by the unwary or undiscerning homeowner, and found thriving among the elderly, the male of the species has an odd philosophy toward his peers, other creatures, and humanity. To wit: Any creature smaller than himself is apt to become the daily snack, which is not so bad, as this is the way nature intended; but if not hungry, he'll most likely spend an hour torturing it for sport. As to the young, old, or feeble of his own species, he thinks nothing of stealing their portion of a meal, in fact feels it’s his privilege and derives particular pleasure from taking the bread from another’s mouth. If you're another tom cat, he will attack you unprovoked. If you prove stronger, he'll run like a coward with little evidence of shame. In a fight, he considers nothing underhanded; if he gets the better of an opponent, and the opponent attempts to leave the field of battle, he's not adverse to attacking the other's back (most bite wounds are to the rear of the male cat); if he is feeling amorous, he simply rapes, or attempts to rape, any female of the species he comes across. And, if you're human, and let him into your house and heart, he reciprocates by favoring you with urine on your sofa, or brand new carpet, or by shredding your favorite chair. And if a neighbor offers him better fare and a warmer berth, he thinks nothing of betraying your affection and attention without so much as a goodbye.

The Paradox

Cats are enigmatic beasts and care not the least what you think of them.  Bitter experience has proven that they  cannot be beaten, trained, cajoled, teased or bribed into submission or obedience. This arrogant beast, this living paperweight and indolent athlete who lays in the sunny spot on the window seal vainly grooming himself, this genetic culmination of the saber tooth tiger and speaking cousin to the lion, this assassin of birds, cruel master of mice, terrorizer of lizards, raker of fine furniture, and host to the parasites of the world, is vaunted for his nobility and independence; yet, he expresses little reservation about begging a table scrap or yowling pathetically to come in from the cold.  And though they are capable of remarkable athletic feats, and possess an agility found nowhere else in nature, the cat spends an inordinate amount of time, (roughly ninety percent) lazing around, his vital signs only occasionally betrayed by the twitch of tail or whisker, or a leg movement perhaps aimed at getting a more even distribution of fleas.  All of which poses another problem: how do you tell if a cat has a sleep disorder? For example: if a cat stays awake more than two hours a day, does it have insomnia?


Having a man to man talk with your male cat

Okay. Let’s have a talk. Settle down for a minute. Hey, please put that catnip mouse down and pay attention when I’m speaking. . . . In a minute; you’re already got a bowl of dry food. Besides, this is important. The reason you’ve been stalking about the house and moaning in that obnoxious voice is because you were born with a congenital defect: you have two unsightly and painful growths just behind your penis that are negatively affecting your behavior. . . .. Yes. I know you keep them clean, but that’s not the point . . . No, I’m not jealous.  Look, this is a rather common condition affecting approximately half the kittens born, and, thankfully, the vet can perform a simple surgery to alleviate the source of your misery and my irritation. Your companion cat, Junior, as a matter of fact, had the same operation a few years ago. Look how peaceful and docile he is. . . . Is he awake? Right. It is hard to tell. Okay. Maybe that was a bad example. But many male cats prosper after "the operation". The surgery will have immediate benefits for you, and result in improved appetite and disposition, a diminution of aggressive behavior toward others, and an increase in your ability to enjoy leisure time activities, uh, such as napping. Please do not feel stigmatized by your current affliction. It is common in males of all species, even humans such as myself. . . . Yes, I have learned to live with the pain and confusion it brings, but why should I let you suffer. .. . . Anyway, it’s not my idea, it’s hers. Please don’t look at me like that. At least I talked her into leaving your claws.

Some further observations and statistical Information

Cats are beautiful, are full of natural grace, and produce a soothing purr if you pet them or feed them.

In a household emergency, as you lay bleeding on the floor, that bump you just felt is your cat using your prone body as a springboard to the window and escape.

Experience has proven that gray cats last the longest and that hungry cats are the most common breed.

Statistical evidence clearly demonstrates that there is an inverse ratio between the length of a cat’s fur and it’s ability to successfully cross a highway.

Cats have natural immunity to all forms of behavior modification.

Cats don’t have a leaning curve so much as a slope.

The Feline: A feline is defined as the interval of time it takes for a stray cat to go from living outdoors and gratefully consuming any tidbit or scrap you feed it to moving indoors and turning into a four-legged culinary snob who disdains having to endure prime-cut Albacore tuna two days in a row.

Hell, for cat lovers, is more cats



(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren