Thoughts on Furpeople (Cats)

In loving memory of Pud, Nuisance and Miss Kitty, three of the nicest people I have ever met.

Many thanks to the students who have added to this list.

"Who said food?  Time to eat?"
---Mama Cat
(a.k.a. Gordita)
"Go away.  I'm too busy being cute."
(a.k.a. Liitle Girl)
"Silver?  Shiny?  Play time?"
(a.k.a. Big Dumb Orange Cat, Goofus, Knicknack, Meter)

On this page, you'll find...

Have any more good cat quotes? Send them to Dr. H!

Cat Links

Cats as Gods Cats and Dogs Cats and Ownership On Having Multiple Cats Cat Habits and Personality Cats and Humans Cats and Significant Others
  • "My husband said it was him or the cat ... I miss my husband sometimes." -Anonymous
  • "I got rid of my husband. The cat was allergic." -Anonymous
  • "A man who was loved by 300 women singled me out to live with him. Why? I was the only one without a cat." -Elayne Boosler
  • Cats and Children Cats and Technology Cats and Lawyers Cats and Publishing Physics Research
    From "Organic Chemistry: The Name Game"

    "By now you may think that the feline family does well by chemists.  Quite right.  But cats fare even better in physics, where they have appeared as authors on research papers.  In 1975, Professor Jack H. Hetherington (Michigan State University) wrote a theoretical paper on his own and was about to send it to Physical Review Letters.  But a colleague warned that the manuscript would be returned because of an editor's rule that words like "we" and "our" should not be used in a publication with only one author. Dr. Hetherington did not relish revising and retyping the whole text, so, instead, he simply added a co-author: his Siamese cat Chester (sired by Willard).  And for legitimacy, he tacked on two more initials, FD (from Felix domesticus) to create "FDC Willard."  The Hetherington-Willard article was duly published and Mrs. Hetherington went on sleeping with both authors. Eventually the cat had to be let out of the bag when a visitor came to campus to see Professor Hetherington, found him unavailable, and then asked to speak to Willard.

    . . . Willard became bilingual and authored his second paper in 1980 in La Recherche. . . .

    But, because of some disagreement about its content, FDC Willard ended up as the sole author.  That way if the paper had flaws, the cat could take the rap.  Occasionally one sees references to "FDC Willard, private communication."  And sometimes in acknowledgements he is thanked for "helpful discussions."

    Cats and the Afterlife

    One day a cat dies of natural causes and goes to heaven. There he meets the Lord Himself. The Lord says to the cat, "You lived a good life and if
    there is any way I can make your stay in Heaven more comfortable, please let Me know." The cat thinks for a moment and says, "Lord, all my life I
    have lived with a poor family and had to sleep on a hard wooden floor." The Lord stops the cat and says, "Say no more," and a wonderful fluffy pillow appears.

    A few days later, six mice are killed in a tragic farming accident and go to heaven. Again, there is the Lord there to greet them with the same
    offer. The mice answer, "All of our lives we have been chased. We have had to run from cats, dogs and even women with brooms. Running, running,
    running; we're tired of running. Do you think we could have roller skates so we don't have to run anymore?" The Lord says, "Say no more," and fits each mouse with beautiful new roller skates.

    About a week later the Lord stops by to see the cat and finds him snoozing on the pillow. The Lord gently wakes the cat and asks him, "How are things since you got here?"

    The cat stretches and yawns and replies, "It is wonderful here. Better than I could have ever expected. And those 'Meals On Wheels' you've been sending by are the best!"

    Cats in Hollywood

    Cat Haiku
    You never feed me.
    Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
    That will show you.
    You're always typing.
    Well, let's see you ignore me
    Sitting on your hands.
    Want to go outside.
    Oh, no! Help! I got outside!
    Let me back inside!
    You must scratch me there!
    Yes, above my tail! Behold,
    Elevator butt.
    My small cardboard box.
    You cannot see me if I
    Can hide my head.
    Oh no! Big One
    has been trapped by newspaper!
    Cat to the rescue!
    I need a new toy.
    Tail of black dog keeps good time.
    Pounce! good dog! good dog!
    Terrible battle.
    I fought for hours. Come and see!
    What's a 'term paper'?
    Humans are so strange.
    Mine lies still in bed, then screams!
    My claws aren't that sharp ...
    The rule for today:
    Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
    New rule tomorrow.
    Kitty likes plastic
    Confuses for litter box
    Shouldn't leave around
    Cats meow out of angst
    "Thumbs! If only we had thumbs!
    We could break so much!"
    In deep sleep hear sound
    Cat throwup hairball somewhere
    Will find in morning
    Small brave carnivores
    Kill pine cones and mosquitoes
    Fear vacuum cleaner
    Litter box not here
    You must have moved it again
    I'll go in the sink.
    Grace personified,
    I leap into the window.
    I meant to do that.
    Want to trim my claws?
    Don't even think about it!
    My cries will wake dead.
    The Big Ones snore now
    Every room is dark and cold
    Time for "Cup Hockey"
    Blur of motion, then-
    Silence, me, a paper bag.
    What is so funny?
    I want to be close
    To you. Can I fit my head
    inside your armpit?
    We're almost equals
    I purr to show I love you
    Want to smell my butt?
    The mighty hunter
    Returns with gifts of plump birds-
    Your foot just squashed one
    Gravity is fun!
    Oh, you wanted that up there?
    Get another one.

    Cat Commandments

    Instructions for Medicating Your Cat

    1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth.  Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

    2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

    3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

    4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of 10.

    5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe.  Call spouse from garden.

    6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, holding front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold cat's head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

    7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap.  Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines from floor and set to one side for gluing later.

    8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with its head just visible from below spouse's armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw,  force cat's mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

    9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

    10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

    11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot.  Throw away T-shirt and fetch new one from bedroom.

    12. Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

    13. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed.  Force cat's mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour pint of water down throat to wash pill down.

    14. Get spouse to drive you to emergency room; sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye.  Stop by furniture shop on way home to order new table.

    15. Arrange for vet to make a house call.

    16. Repeat three times daily.

    Cat Bathing as a Martial Art

    (By Jeffery LaCroix, a veterinarian with an office in Wilmington. He writes a column for the Morning Star called "From Paws to Tails."  Here is his response to a letter regarding bathing a cat:)

    Dear Dr. LaCroix:  I've heard that cats never have to be bathed, and that they have some sort of special enzyme in their saliva that keeps them clean.  This doesn't sound believable to me because there are definite "kitty" odors on my couch and dirty cat paw prints on our white hearth. Is this true about the saliva?  If we do decide to give "Nice Kitty" a bath, how do we do that? - NSP, Wilmington

    Dear NSP:  Fortunately for you, several years ago a client gave me a written set of instructions about cat bathing which I am privileged to share with you:

    A. Know that although the cat has the advantage of quickness and lack of concern for human life, you have the advantage of strength. Capitalize on that advantage by selecting the battlefield.  Don't try to bathe him in an open area where he can force you to chase him.  Pick a very small bathroom. If your bathroom is more than four feet square, I recommend that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding-glass doors as if you were about to take a shower.  (A simple shower curtain will not do.  A berserk cat can shred a three-ply rubber shower curtain quicker than a politician can shift positions.)

    B. Know that a cat has claws and will not hesitate to remove all the skin from your body.  Your advantage here is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect yourself. I recommend canvas overalls tucked into high-top construction boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army helmet, a hockey face-mask, and a long-sleeved flak jacket.

    C. Use the element of surprise.  Pick up your cat nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his supper dish.  (Cats will not usually notice your strange attire.  They have little or no interest in fashion as a rule.)

    D. Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to survival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door, step into the tub enclosure, slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him with shampoo. You have begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life.

    E. Cats have no handles.  Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the problem is radically compounded. Do not expect to hold on to him for more than two or three seconds at a time.  When you have him, however, you must remember to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub like crazy. He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record for cats is three latherings, so don't expect too much.)

    F. Next, the cat must be dried.  Novice cat bathers always assume this part will be the most difficult, for humans generally are worn out at this point and the cat is just getting really determined. In fact, the drying is simple compared with what you have just been through. That's because by now the cat is semi-permanently affixed to your right leg. You simply pop the drain plug with your foot, reach for your towel and wait.  (Occasionally, however, the cat will end up clinging to the top of your army helmet.  If this happens, the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and to encourage him toward your leg.)  After all the water is drained from the tub, it is a simple matter to just reach down and dry the cat. In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He will usually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine. You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't usually the case. As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath.

    Cat Bathing Using Other Bathroom Fixtures
    Submitted by an anonymous Dog

    How to Bathe Your Cat
    1. Thoroughly clean the toilet.
    2. Add the required amount of shampoo to the toilet water, and have both lids lifted.
    3. Obtain the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.
    4. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids (you may need to stand on the lid so that he cannot escape). CAUTION: Do not get any part of your body too close to the edge, as his paws will be reaching out for any purchase they can find.
    5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "powerwash and rinse" which I have found to be quite effective.
    6. Have someone open the door to the outside and ensure that there are no people between the toilet and the outside door.
    7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.
    8. The now-clean cat will rocket out of the toilet, and run outside where he will dry himself.

    An Example of Why Cats Are So Proud of Themselves

    The Long Journey of a Homesick Cat

    EDINBURGH, Scotland (Reuters) - A homesick cat named after British explorer Ranulph Fiennes traveled 300 miles to return home after his
    owner gave him away.   Ranulph, a black tomcat, was given to new owners in the north of England 18 months ago but last week turned up on the doorstep of Gil Bray in Archiestown, Scotland.  ``I'm totally amazed but delighted he's back,'' Bray told a Glasgow newspaper. ``He certainly lived up to his namesake's reputation as an adventurous traveler.''  Bray's wife gave the cat to a friend in the north of England because her work kept her away from home for long periods. When the cat turned up last week, the Brays called their friends and found out it had disappeared in June. ``He is half the weight he was when he left and the local vet reckons he has honed up his hunting skills during the trek, probably living off mice, small birds and scraps,'' Bray said.  In a lucky twist, the cat showed up only days before the Brays were due to move to Glasgow, the Herald said.

    Computer Software for Cats