A Cat Explains What the Craig Fuss is About

August 30, 2007

By Fred

“Let me be clear. I am not gay. I never have been gay.”

As a red-blooded American domestic shorthaired tomcat, I could have said that, but I didn’t. Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig said it.

I must dip a claw into politics here because this hairball is just too juicy to ignore.

If I ever waved my paws around and played footsie with Yul while we were using our respective litterboxes, he’d be wearing my tail as a trophy on his collar. Real men just don’t do that stuff.

What I don’t get is all the suits on talk shows saying we’re making a big deal over Larry Craig just because he’s a Republican.

Hello? Haven’t the Republicans made it mandatory to stick your nose into everyone’s personal business and judge what behavior is acceptable?

If Republicans’ relentless curiosity about all things sexual didn’t put cats to shame, what Larry does in the privacy of public restrooms would be irrelevant.

This all reminds me of Bill Clinton, that hero of tomcats everywhere. He, at least, did his deeds in the relative cleanliness of the Oval Office with the opposite gender, and now he’s living happily ever after, no worse for wear.

Mom cats tell their kittens, “When you make your bed, you better lie in it.” To avoid being hypocrites, Craig’s conservative buddies have no choice but to condemn and shun him and destroy his career. It’s only the same level of courtesy he and they would extend to any gay stranger.

Once all the perverts on Capitol Hill fall out of their closets and end up on the receiving end of the disgust and abuse they so gleefully dish out, maybe they’ll be more inclined to live and let live. That would end some wars and make the world a much better place for the rest of us.

The only thing wrong with Larry Craig is that dirty public bathrooms seem to turn him on. I hope his wife gives him a good bleaching and a flea bath before she lets him curl up beside her in bed again.

South Beach Diet for Cats

August 28, 2007

By Yul

Karen’s been on the South Beach Diet, regaling us with her crazy stunts in the kitchen. Like eating spinach for breakfast – it’s worse than liver and egg. And passing off muddy portobello mushroom caps as pizza crust. And trying to turn “spaghetti” squash into pasta.

That last one got ugly because the recipe innocently said to “split the squash lengthwise.” We don’t own a chainsaw, so Karen slammed the rind with a meat cleaver, and then beat the back of the cleaver with a hammer to cut through that stupid squash, which turned out to be full of stringy yellow slime – nothing like pasta.

Anyway, this has all made me realize that Fancy Feast® has been selling South Beach in a can to cats as Elegant Medleys®. They both consist of meat, poultry, fish, veggies, eggs, and cheese. If you don’t believe me, check out these flavors:

Turkey and Cheddar Cheese Soufflé with Garden Greens
Wild Salmon and Whipped Egg Soufflé with Garden Greens

Fred and I pooh-pooh the frou-frou because we know their game: minimize the meat and maximize the cheap fluff. But Adele finds feline soufflés trés chic and licks her plate clean every time. Next, she’ll be getting her nose done to look like that snooty white Persian in the commercials.

Just for laughs, I’d like to try Elegant Medleys on Anthony Bourdain to see if he’d spit the stuff across the room, like I do. Tony knows the good stuff. Unlike that crazy, guinea-pig-eating Andrew Zimmern. I say, never trust a man who’ll eat your pet.

From the Ridiculous… to More Ridiculous

August 23, 2007

By Karen

Last week we had the mother of all thunder-storms. Comcast cable TV was down for six days. I was so upset to miss Jon Stewart on The Daily Show and two episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s new “season” of No Reservations (who are they kidding, calling six episodes a season?), I was ready to pull the plug on basic cable, get a library card, and save myself almost $60 a month. Comcast has been bleeding channels over to digital for months, leaving nothing but sports and network dreck. AMC is going next month, so I was desperately trying to wean myself off my latest addiction, Mad Men, before things got ugly.

But then a miracle happened. I called Comcast and spoke to a woman named Sheila who actually gave a damn and knew what she was doing. Not only did she credit me for the six days of no service without being asked, but she told me I could switch to digital cable for only about $5 bucks more. AND she sent the guy out to install the box in less than 12 hours. (Hear that, Verizon? I begged you for a MONTH for a FIOS hookup after you excavated my backyard to run the cable, but you never made it happen.)

If I did it only to regain the channels I’ve lost, I’d call it a Comcast screw job. But as it turns out, digital is more TV and music channels than I could ever possibly appreciate. It’s a veritable orgy of sound and images. I haven’t felt this giddy since the first time I signed on to AOL years ago and suddenly had the whole world’s data and smut at my fingertips.

For once, I’m not hating Comcast. They’ve given me so much TV, but there’s so little time…

Macho Mice? Why?

August 21, 2007

By Adele

I’m not usually one to defend rodents, but female vermin are being made fools of in the name of science and someone needs to “make a stink,” or cats could be next.


Scientists genetically disabled some smelling organ in girl mice’s noses, and they immediately began behaving like assholes — oops! — like male mice during courtship.


These females were jumping on and thrusting their tiny pelvises at other surprised mice and howling like boys on the prowl. They also lost their interest in motherhood.


(It’s going to take some powerful catnip to wipe the disgusting image of unnatural mouse-on-mouse action from this kitty’s mind.)


Basically, all science has shown is that any mouse with a good nose job can swing either way and be a bad parent.


So is there any upside to this for cats? Would gender-ambivalent mice make better nemeses? Could we fake their pheromones and turn difficult kills into feckless putty in our paws, or would that suck all the sport out of it?


I hope the mice put on such a spectacular show that the scientists quit while they’re ahead and leave cats alone. I can’t see myself trading my flowered collar to turn butch and go “catting” around, yowling on fenceposts. Yul would laugh me into my next life.


You’ve got to wonder about humans who deign to disrupt the natural order of mouse minds. Anyone can see they’ve got all the smarts of furry Popsicles.

What Cats Know About Job Stress

August 17, 2007

By Karen

There’s a reason the words “cat” and “job stress” never appear in the same sentence. It’s because cats never suffer from it. Performance anxiety is a foreign concept to them.

But that’s not to say cats never work. Many have rewarding careers in retail as greeters. Others are in the hospitality industry as bed-hopping companions for guests at trendy B&Bs. Certain laid-back cats work in healthcare as therapy felines. And in farming, they’ve been “rodent proliferation control engineers” for centuries. However, you’ll never find cats in risky occupations like sniffing out corpses at crime scenes or nosing for bombs and drugs in airports. Dirty work – that’s for dogs.

No matter how they make a living, cats don’t fret: “Am I making people happy enough?” “Have I nabbed my quota of vermin today?”

They just do what they do and let bean-counting schmucks worry about the bottom line.

I try to write like a cat: Just sit down and start without endlessly questioning if my ideas are brilliant enough. Don’t let blank pages intimidate me. Have no fear I’ll run out of inspiration before the end.

When cats work, they find something they enjoy doing enough to let it become part of their persona. That way, they never dread or over-analyze it. As a writer, I’ve got an enjoyable job. Now I’ve just got to work at perfecting my joie de vivre.

“Dog” Days of Summer?

August 16, 2007

By Fred

The temperature’s supposed to hit 101 degrees today — hot enough to barbecue a cat on a hot tin roof. We have reached the dog days of summer.

To us cats, it’s no surprise steamy days that make you regret being furry have a canine association. It’s August and summer is going to the dogs. Hurricanes are popping up on both coasts, the stock market is making a suicide plunge, and man’s inhumanity to man is on every page of the newspaper.

Dogs thrive on misery like this. You can beat ’em, tie ’em to a tree all day with no water bowl, throw sticks off cliffs and tell them to go fetch. They love it and keep coming back for more.

Besides, calling such miserable weather “Cat Days” would be ludicrous and nonsensical.

But if there were such a thing as “Cat Days,” they’d be in the spring when you want to dash outside and chase butterflies, or lie in sweet grass so green and lush you’re tempted to pet it. Or they’d be on the cusp between fall and winter when you can curl up in front of a cozy fire with great book and a hot toddy. (Actually, I’d curl up on Karen’s good book and spill her hot toddy.)

As for this pad-scorching melt-down that’s good for nothing but raising the price of shade, the dogs can have it.

Cats finally have a voice

August 13, 2007

Once upon a time, there was a writer named Karen who lived with three cats named Fred, Yul, and Adele. Fred inspired Karen to write a magazine column about working with cats. Karen expanded the column into a book  called How to Work Like a CAT, published in October 2006 by Willow Creek Press.

Karen never realized she had been working a like a cat (clumsily) almost her whole life – and getting laid off and fired a lot – until she fled Corporate America and began working full-time at home as a freelance writer with these cats as her only co-workers.

 They have graciously shown her the error of her ways so she could write a useful book and help others avoid making her mistakes.

Karen and her cats are voracious readers (actually, the cats prefer to sit on books and magazines) and decided that all their fascinating insights are being wasted unless they’re shared. So Karen will discuss the writing life and living with cats, and the cats will contribute their observations on human behavior whenever the spirit moves them.

They’re cats — that’s the firmest commitment Karen could get out of them.

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