A word or six about cats

When my friends started having babies, I asked them all this question: Are they better than cats?

To a woman, the answer was “yes,” but I still find it hard to believe. While infants have their appeal, they lack the full-body hair of most quadrapeds and eventually become inchoate toddlers, who, because they have yet to acquire any facility with language are perpetually bitter and frustrated. Toddlers are unhappy wretches, and if it weren’t for the fact that nature supplied them with big heads and small bodies, an accident of assymetry rendering them apparently irresistable, their parents might be tempted to leave them at Chuckee Cheese for the clowns to raise.

Be that as it may, eventually they absorb enough language to develop senses of humor and grow into this charming, delightful stage when they are still cute, but have yet to become bitter, frustrated teenagers. It’s no small surprise that we have 4,000 institutions of higher learning in this country, where parents can pay others a king’s ransom to shepherd their children through the final throes of adolescence. 

My point exactly. About cats, that is.

I’m being facetious. Somewhat. I like children quite a bit, especially teenagers. But there’s something about cats, the way they sit on you when you work and press their bodies against you when you’re sleeping. Suddenly, you’re no longer hurtling through space alone, but have a purring companion for the journey. They’re actually quite difficult to write about without descending into muck like, “I wuv my kitty”!


My friend Lisa sent me some “cat” quotes recently. Do you have any of your own?

No heaven will not ever Heaven be
Unless my cats are there to welcome me.  -Anon

The cat is the animal to whom the Creator gave the biggest eye, the softest fur, the most supremely delicate nostrils, a mobile ear, an unrivaled paw and a curved claw borrowed from the rose-tree.  ~Colette

Most of us rather like our cats to have a streak of wickedness.  I should not feel quite easy in the company of any cat that walked about the house with a saintly expression.  ~Beverly Nichols

Kittens believe that all nature is occupied with their diversion.  ~F.A. Paradis de Moncrif

She clawed her way into my heart and wouldn't let go.


When you're used to hearing purring and suddenly it's gone, it's hard to silence the blaring sound of sadness.  ~Missy Altijd

Cats speak a subtle language in which few sounds carry many meanings, depending on how they are sung or purred.  "Mnrhnh" means comfortable soft chairs.  It also means fish.  It means genial companionship... and the absence of dogs.  ~Val Schaffner

I love cats because I love my home and after a while they become its visible soul.  ~Jean Cocteau

Who would believe such pleasure from a wee ball o' fur?  ~Irish Saying

He liked companionship, but he wouldn't be petted, or fussed over, or sit in anyone's lap a moment; he always extricated himself from such familiarity with dignity and with no show of temper.  If there was any petting to be done, however, he chose to do it.  Often he would sit looking at me, and then, moved by a delicate affection, come and pull at my coat and sleeve until he could touch my face with his nose, and then go away contented.  ~Charles Dudley Warner

Even overweight, cats instinctively know the cardinal rule:  when fat, arrange yourself in slim poses.  ~John Weitz

Women, poets, and especially artists, like cats; delicate natures only can realize their sensitive systems.  ~Helen M. Winslow

I put down my book, The Meaning of Zen, and see the cat smiling into her fur as she delicately combs it with her rough pink tongue.  "Cat, I would lend you this book to study but it appears you have already read it."  She looks up and gives me her full gaze.  "Don't be ridiculous," she purrs, "I wrote it."  ~Dilys Laing,

Comments (5) -

November 6. 2007 07:33


I have two:

"One cat just leads to another." Ernest Hemingway

"Once you go cat, no dog will you pat." Bucky Katt

Deirdre |

November 6. 2007 10:45


Magda's cat in Bali had a particular kind of whirring purr that she used to call her kittens. She had a very different sound when she was happy and yet another when she wanted to be fed or petted. Also, Balinese cats all have odd, broken tails, a genetic mutation, so they say.

Susan |

November 6. 2007 10:51


When my dog is giving stink eye and growling at one of our cats...I remind her that

Cats rule and dogs drool.

martie |

November 7. 2007 23:06


Not a quotation (and too long to excerpt here), but I've always been fond of "To my Cat Jeoffrey," by Christopher Smart. (a link to part of it is at <A HREF="www.poetryfoundation.org/.../poem.html">www.poetryfoundation.org/.../poem.html site</a>. (They spell it "Jeoffrey" but I've seen it as "Geoffrey" elsewhere).

Yes, he was a madman, but he understood cats.

fillyjonk |

November 7. 2007 23:07


Dangit - the link is:


I thought html tags worked in this. Sorry.

fillyjonk |

Pingbacks and trackbacks (1)+

Comments are closed