Time for Football to Come Out

February 18, 2014

By Cole

So this hunky defensive lineman at the University of Missouri, Michael Sam, announces he’s gay, and the football world goes into a tailspin.

Will Sam still get picked for an NFL team? Will other players tolerate him in the locker room? How will the fans deal with it?

Well, let a cat address the elephant in this room…

Football is already the gayest sport EVER.

Karen doesn’t know I occasionally watch football on weekends when she’s out running errands. But as a red-blooded, all-American tomcat, I have enjoyed rooting for my teams. The Missouri Tigers would be a college example, along with the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, and Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL.

And this is what I see…

Grown men prancing around in extremely tight, short pants that they must find so fetching, they can’t resist touching each other’s butts.

When they aren’t playing grab-ass, they spend inordinate amounts of time posing in intricate formations like chorus girls rehearsing some Busby Berkley extravaganza.

When someone manages to actually throw the ball, they all use it as an excuse to crash into another player and engage in full-body hugs before everybody flings themselves on top of each other in a heap.

And while they have a mass dry-hump on the ground, the crowd watching from the stands cheers them on.

Golf has its sissy outfits, and baseball has men swinging their bats, but neither can hold a candle to the gayness of football.

Football players are typically brawny and think they’re tough — as long as they CAN think — because the evidence is in that the sport scrambles some of their brains beyond recognition. It’s a high price to pay for a game that delivers 3% action and 97% snooze time (which is why cats like it).

But as Michael Sam proves, gay has no particular body type. If Sam does get in to the NFL, out-of-shape couch potatoes who waste endless hours following this feckless sport had better have their cardiologists on speed dial.

I predict that players they’ve idolized as ruthless killers on the field will start making some shocking confessions, revealing that the locker room has never been the testosterone-soaked sanctuary everybody thought it was.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But let’s face it. American’s have a worldwide reputation as silly prudes. Yet we’re obsessed with watching men engage in fully padded orgies — wearing helmets.

How much kinkier can you get?


Virginia Derby Going to the Cats

July 11, 2013

By Adele

Excitement at Cats Working is off the charts because THREE sons of Kitten’s Joy will be running in the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs on Saturday, July 13. Kitten’s Joy won the Va. Derby in 2004.

The 3 half-brothers include my Kentucky Derby favorite (who regrettably ran 9th), Charming Kitten, and Max’s pick, an alternate who didn’t get the chance to run, Fear the Kitten.

The third brother running is Redwood Kitten.

All three horses were bred by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, but the Ramseys sold Fear the Kitten last fall. This morning, Ken Ramsey was quoted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch as saying he hopes the whole litter wins, but that Fear finishes 3rd.

How’s that for being jinxy and mean?

The favorite to win with 9-5 odds is Rydilluc in post position 4, ridden by Edgar Prado. Prado has won the Va. Derby 3 times, and was Charming Kitten’s jockey in the Kentucky Derby.

Redwood Kitten will be in pp 2 at odds of 10-1. Charming Kitten is in pp 3 at 7-2. Their jockeys is a mystery because both horses are listed with Joel Rosario on top. It’s true they’ll be running side by side, but doing it under the same jockey is never a good idea.

Fear the Kitten is near the outside in pp 9 with odds of 15-1, but he’s not the longest shot (Bethel and Readyshakego are 30-1). Max, with all the confidence of youth, is sure Fear will stun everyone and pull off a win.

(Don’t tell Max, but Fear the Kitten hasn’t won once this year in 6 starts, and this will be his first time feeling turf under his hooves. On the other hand, Fear will have Horacio Karamanos on top, Colonial Downs’ leading jockey.)

Max’s certainty this year probably comes from seeing the 2012 Va. Derby won by a horse named Silver Max.

The course is 1 1/4 miles, with a 10-horse field. Talking heads say this race is mainly between Charming Kitten and Rydilluc, because the Kitten has been runner-up to Rydilluc twice before. But the distance may favor the Kitten.

If you want to catch the race, it will be shown on HRTV and live-streamed at http://www.drf.com/. Post time is 8:12 p.m. ET.

We’ve got our claws crossed that all the kittens horses run safely, and the best one wins!


Preakness Looking a Little Peaked

May 17, 2013

By Adele

Since Orb won the Kentucky Derby fair and square, I’m giving him 4 paws up to win the Preakness on May 18 at Pimlico. Any horse who’s got a decent shot at the Triple Crown deserve the cat vote, and Orb is the strong favorite with humans, too.

This would make his 6th win in a row.

If he pulls it off, I hope they don’t say it was slam-dunk because he’s running against only 8 other horses.

Orb drew post position 1, which puts him against the rail. This could be a problem, since jockeys gravitate to the rail to give their horses the shortest distance to run. If Orb doesn’t have a flying start, he could get crowded out to the back of the pack or worse.

You don’t want to be the horse with all the others kicking dirt in your face.

There hasn’t been a winner from the rail position since 1994, when Tabasco Cat did it.

None of our Kittens are running in this Preakness, which has disappointed Max no end. He’s just getting into the sport, and his Derby pick, Fear the Kitten, isn’t running — again.

If Orb happens not to win, my alternate favorite is Mylute, ridden by the only female jockey, Rosie Napravnik. We girls must stick together. Mylute and Napravnik also ran in the Derby and came in 5th.

The temperature should be in the mid-70°s with possibly scattered storms. I hope it’s not another mudbath like the Derby.

Best of luck, Orb! And may all the horses be safe.

BONUS: Here’s a list of Preakness winners going back to 2000.


A Cat’s 2013 Kentucky Derby Picks

May 3, 2013

By Adele

Triple Crown season is here again. The horses are at Churchill Downs, ready to run the 139th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4.

Rain may make the track a muddy mess, which is always worrying. And my pick has never even run on dirt before, so I’m sticking my tail out here.

This year, the post positions I’ll be watching are 14, 15, and 16. That’s where Verrazano, Charming Kitten, and Orb, respectively, will be running.

My pick to win is Charming Kitten, ridden by Edgar Prado. He’s finished in the top 3 in his 7 lifetime starts (winning 2). For the Derby, he’s one of the long shots, with odds of 20-1.

I think the Kitten’s got the stuff to pull it off. Running between the two favorites may spur him to greatness. Also, he has a Virginia connection. His father, Kitten’s Joy, once won the Virginia Derby.

Watch Charming Kitten’s last winning race, which was in January. Appropriately, he did one for Dad in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Verrazano (4-1) and Orb (7-2) are considered the horses to beat in the full 20-horse field.

The other horse to watch is Revolutionary in No. 3 position, ridden by Calvin Borel. Borel is famous for sneaking along the rail to win, and he’s in the perfect position to do it this time.

Revolutionary, Verrazano, and Charming Kitten were all trained by Todd Pletcher.

PS: Max has been showing an interest in horse-racing because it suits his short attention span. He is bummed that his pick, Fearless Kitten (who happens to be Charming Kitten’s half-brother), ended up just missing the cut at No. 21, so he’s the first alternate for the Derby. If any horse gets scratched at the last minute, Fearless Kitten is in, and then the Run for the Roses becomes the Run of the Kittens!

May the best horse win, and all cross the finish line safely.


Cat Picks for the Virginia Derby

July 20, 2012

By Adele

RACE DAY UPDATE: The forecast is rainy, which has caused Summer Front to be scratched. That leaves Silver Max to contend with 2 Triple Crown runners, Optimizer and Finnegans Wake. I stand by my initial picks, but move Easy Crossin up to be Max’s biggest threat. And now, my original post…

For the first time, I get to see the 15th annual Virginia Derby, a turf race at Colonial Downs in New Kent. It’s on HRTV Saturday night at about 8:45 p.m. (EDST). Only 9 horses are running in this $600,000 Grade II event.

My pick to win (and the track favorite) is Silver Max in post position 7, ridden by Robbie Albarado. He’s already won 5 turf races this year, most recently on June 13 at Indiana Downs, where he set a new track speed record, and his style is to pop out strong and lead from start to finish.

Max will be challenged in Virginia because the 1 1/4-mile track is 3/16 of a mile longer than he’s ever run before. He’ll also have Summer Front (pp 5), who has won all 4 of his previous turf races, and ridden by Ramon Dominguez, on his tail.

To place, I pick Mr. Handsome (pp 9) with Sheldon Russell, although he’s considered a 20-1 long shot.

My pick to show is Optimizer (pp 1). He tried his best in all 3 Triple Crown races, so his glory day is due. He starts in post position 1 under Horacio Karamanos, the track’s all-time winningest jockey.

I have a wildcard up my sleeve with Easy Crossin (pp 5) under Julien Leparoux, who has never run worse than second in his life.

May all the horses finish safely, and may Silver Max triumph again to keep his winning streak going.

PS: Our own Silly Max is leaping around the office while I write this, doing paw pumps.


Belmont: Torn Between Two Horses

June 8, 2012

By Adele

UPDATE: Hours after I posted this, I’ll Have Another got scratched from the Belmont Stakes, and it sounds as if he’s injured enough to never race again. This only reinforces my position that the Triple Crown races should be held at least a month apart. So now I’m predicting my original favorite, Dullahan, will win. We wish I’ll Have Another a speedy recovery.

The oddsmakers finally seem to be paying attention to my astute predictions. Dullahan, my pick for the Kentucky Derby (who came in third), is favored second to win the Belmont Stakes tomorrow.

The favorite is, of course, I’ll Have Another, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner. He now has a shot at being the 12th horse ever to win the Triple Crown.

I would love to see Another do it, but things have a way of going haywire at Belmont. Remember a few years ago when Big Brown was two for two like Another, and then he totally blew it at Belmont, walking last across the finish line?

This will be Another’s third — and longest — race in only 5 weeks. Will he have the stamina to pull off another win, especially from the far outside in post position 11? (There are only 12 horses running in all.)

Dullahan sat out the Preakness, and he’s known as a distance runner, so I think he has a pretty good chance at pulling off an upset.

If there’s no Triple Crown winner again this year, I hope the powers that be will take a serious look at spacing these races out at least a month apart to give the horses a chance to rest and recuperate.

Running these magnificent horses ragged on an unrealistic time table isn’t sport. It’s stupid.

I’ll be cheering for I’ll Have Another and Dullahan. May the best horse win, and may they all stay safe.


Cats Working Preakness Picks

May 18, 2012

By Adele

Unlike the odds-makers who are obstinately picking Bodemeister in post position 7 as the favorite in the 137th Preakness Stakes on May 19, I’m a cat who would never shred any horse’s Triple Crown dream. I’m putting my treats on Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another in pp 9.

I think Bode will run a close second.

My wildcard favorite is 30-1 longshot Tiger Walk, who will be under Kent Desormeaux. Tiger will be at the rail in pp 1, but in a field of only 11 horses, I don’t think Kent will let him get hemmed in.

My original Derby pick and current idol, Dullahan, is taking a pass on the Preakness to rest up for the Belmont Stakes. If I’ll Have Another blows his chance at the Triple Crown this Saturday, Dully will be my man again because distance is his thing, and the Belmont is the longest race of the three.

Good luck to all the Preakness horses. May they and their jockeys cross the finish line safely.

PS: After 800+ posts, Cats Working will be taking a long overdue and much-needed break next week, but we will be back after Memorial Day.


Cats Working 2012 Kentucky Derby Picks

May 4, 2012

By Adele

I could pull a no-brainer and pick Virginia’s own Bodemeister as my favorite for the 138th Kentucky Derby on May 5. He’s the flavor of the day for the human odds-makers. But this year’s a real crapshoot, with no clear superstar emerging from all the prep races.

I’m not sure Bodemeister can do it. He’s only run 2 previous races, and he drew the No. 6 post position for the Derby, which puts him in the middle of everybody. His jockey is Mike Smith, former jockey of the freakishly fabulous Zenyatta.

In his first-ever race, Bodemeister came in 2nd. His next time out, on April 14 at the Arkansas Derby, he seized and maintained the lead, and then blew the competition away by 9 ½ lengths in the stretch. I’m afraid Bodemeister may be tired. Or he may blow us all away on Derby day.

Then there’s Hansen the white horse, and my kindred spirit. His record is most impressive, with 2 wins in 4 races, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in November. He’s never come in less than 2nd.

But on April 14 in the Toyota Blue Grass, he had the lead all the way until Dullahan came from way behind and pulled off a stunning upset.

So what about Dullahan? He ran 4th behind Hansen in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. His overall record is 2 wins for 5 races, placing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the others. He’s in Derby pp 5 with jockey Kent Desormeaux, who won the Derby in 2008 on Big Brown. Dullahan’s half-brother is Mine That Bird, who won the 2009 Derby. Hmmm…

A few weeks ago, I thought my favorite would be Union Rags (under Julien Leparoux). But on March 31 at the Florida Derby, Union Rags came in 3rd behind Take Charge Indy.

At the Derby, Take Charge Indy will be in pp 3 under Calvin Borel, who is notorious for his cunning navigation along the rail — and for winning Kentucky Derbys.

Decisions, decisions…

Here goes: I’m picking Dullahan to win, Take Charge Indy to place, and Bodemeister or Hansen to show.


Ottavia Bourdain Goes to the Mat

March 26, 2012

By Karen

If you follow @OttaviaBourdain on Twitter, you know she eats, breathes, and sleeps mixed martial arts. On Saturday, March 24, Cats Working reader MorganLF had the opportunity to watch Ottavia participate in her first competition at GrapplersQuest in Wayne, NJ. I’m not into that scene, but Morgan thinks Cats Working should keep the Bourdain archive fairly complete, so (with her permission) here is Morgan’s full report and pics…

Man what a scene! Grappling is very visceral. I got there five minutes before Ottavia’s fight at the local Police Athletic League facility. Picture a big gym with large mats on the floor. Each mat is a “ring,” separated by ladies/men weight class etc.

Ottavia was in the corner, ring 2. Tony was standing ringside with everyone else. The Big Gay Ice Cream dudes were there, too. I grabbed a space near the edge of the mat, right behind her coach and some officials, and a few feet from Tony.

When Ottavia came on to the mat, she saw me and waved, then went into full-on fight mode. During the match I stood on the bleachers to get a better view and caught Tony’s eye. We exchanged smiles and waves. We’ve met so many times now, I know he recognizes my bright red head!

Grappling isn’t like wrestling. It’s more aggressive. In this video, she’s winning her first bout, which I sort of missed because I was screwing with my phone’s camera.

Tony looked on, proud and generally just chilling. I went over to him and asked if she won the bout. He said yes. One of the Big Gay dudes said, when the official pulls your hand over your head, it generally means you’re the victor. That’s the part I missed.

I told Tony it was the first time I’d seen this sport and commented on how rough it was. He agreed and said, “Another one is coming up.”

I asked, “You mean your daughter?” and Tony said, “No, she fights again, until she’s eliminated.”

Tony watches the fight (Photo - MorganLF)

At that point, Ottavia was on the sidelines in deep concentration with her coaches.

Her next opponent was not playing. Ottavia put on the fiercest game face; you would never recognize her. It’s wild, not like wrestling where you go for the pin. This is a point system. They jump on each other, wrapping their legs around the other or using any device to get the “take-down,” which puts them on the mat and wins points. Then it’s all this painful-looking twisting and crab-walking.

Ottavia (left) faces off with her opponent, who won this one. (Photo - MorganLF)

Ottavia “tapped out,” meaning she tapped the mat to indicate she was done, and that eliminated her. I went over and congratulated her and then left the Bourdains to the photographers who were swarming around them.

Ottavia wears her silver as she and Tony celebrate with her trainers. (Photo - @NoReservations)

PS: A few times, Ottavia’s shirt got pulled up to reveal a serious 6-pack. She’s in amazing shape. Once again, what struck me is how unpretentious the Bourdains are, in spite of his celebrity. There were no handlers; in fact, Tony was wearing a paper wristband for access into the building just like the rest of us.

Well folks, there you have it. Her first time out, Ottavia won a silver medal. Cats Working congratulates her and predicts she’ll bring home the gold next time!

Bonus…

Some classic video of Ottavia grappling with a guy at the Big Gay Ice Cream shop a few months ago.


It’s a Boy! for Zenyatta

March 9, 2012

By Adele

At 10:10 p.m. on March 8, Zenyatta gave birth to a 130-lb. bouncing baby colt. His father is Bernardini, but the boy looks just like his mother.

Like mother, like son. (Photo - Ann Moss)

Both Zenyatta and Bernardini are former Horses of the Year, so the little guy has plenty of good genes on both sides.

Bernardini was the horse who won the Preakness Stakes in 2006. That was the infamous race where the favorite, Barbaro, sustained a leg injury that proved fatal in spite of his heroic, year-long effort to heal.

Motherhood really seems to agree with Zenyatta. I’ve never seen her looking so contented. Soon she’ll be dancing around the paddock, teaching her little guy her special moves.

If you’ll remember, the rival Zenyatta never raced, Rachel Alexandra, also gave birth to a colt on January 22, who still hasn’t been named. Stone Street Farm, where he lives with Rachel, ran a contest but haven’t announced a winner yet.

Here’s some video of Rachel romping with her colt.

Now that their racing rivalry is over, I hope Zenyatta and Rachel can soon set up play dates for their boys. Then they can sit back and reminisce about their racing days, when Zenyatta was Queen of the West Coast while Rachel ruled in the East.

We wish Zenyatta and her colt the best!


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