Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big?

September 25, 2013

By Karen

No, that’s not the opening of a joke, but the title of a new diet book for cats by feline humor writer Dena Harris, who claims, “In less time than it takes to cough up a hairball, you too can be fit, feline, and fabulous!”


I think this is the most comprehensive diet book on the market today for cats, and Harris recommends various popular diets according to specific cat types, such as comatose, OCD, ADD, chronic dieter, and psycho kitties.

(My own recent regimen is recommended for chronic dieters in a chapter entitled, “Catty Craig Versus Weight Stalkers.”)

Harris begins with a Quizzzz to help kitties identify their type, with questions like:

When I eat, I most resemble a

a. DustBuster (compact, goes everywhere, picks up every last bit)
b. Dyson Vacuum Cleaner (innovative technology!)
c. Shop-Vac (works on wet or dry food — industrial strength!)
d. Pimped-up Hoover (powerful suction!)

I’ve always wondered if my pink and silver sparkly collar makes my butt look big, but after reading Dena’s book, I now feel confident it doesn’t. Between the calories I expend dodging my two dimwitted “brothers” and plotting ways to kill them, I manage to stay fit and fabulous from every angle. —Adele

Harris also has exercise recommendations to help flabby felines feel the burn, such as Psycho Kitty Workouts, which include paragliding off kitchen countertops, freefalling off doors and cabinets and, of course, the three-hour nap.

One morning I woke up to discover that overnight I had gone from lithe kitten to tomcat with an embarrassing pooch looks like a furry fanny pack. This book inspired me to kick my favorite sport of door-slamming up a notch because I now realize that it not only scares the bejeebers out of Karen, but every time I lunge for (and miss) the doorknob, I’m working my triceps, gluts, and abs and getting a great slam. It’s a win-win!  —Max

Cats will be inspired by the tail tale of Madame Puss, a slender French chatte who acquired the eating habits of Americans who adopted her, with predictable results. When her owner had to glue 2 flea collars together to fit her, Puss took matters into her own paws to restore balance and her joie de purr. Her Magical Eek! Soup is made from chewed food, dust bunnies, and dog’s blood. But rather than eat it, you let your human think it’s souris (mouse) guts and lavish treats on you for being such a fit hunter.

This book is really thorough, so I was surprised Dena didn’t include my diet secret. I call it “The Chipmunk Chew,” and here’s how it works: Stuff kibble in your face until your cheeks bulge. Then chew slowly while sauntering all over the house, dribbling a trail of spitty kibble. By the time the mouthful is swallowed, you’ve left half of it on the floor. You cut calories while getting an aerobic workout, and your human gets some cardio while cleaning up after you. That’s how I stay on the good side of the vet’s scale. —Cole

As you can see, this book has got the Cats Working kitties all abuzz. Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big? has some laugh-out-loud moments and is a high-quality hardcover by Ten Speed Press, retailing for $12.99.

Cats Working gives Dena Harris 12 paws up — and a bag of Temptations® treats.

If No Gun Control, Then People Control

September 18, 2013

By Cole

So, within spitting distance of the White House and the Capitol, some nut walks into the Navy Yard, mows down 12 innocent people, and wounds 8 more before getting shot dead himself.

At the risk of sounding jaded, I’m not even bothering to register this latest punk’s name because the funerals probably won’t even be over before someone else tries to top his body count.

We now know the guy was a well-documented mental case with an irrational shooting incident in his past. He bought his latest weapon in Virginia.

We’re in the process of updating our slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers,” with “Virginia is for Mass Murderers.”

After doing a little target practice and undergoing a perfunctory 4-minute background check that came up clean, the killer waltzed off with an 870 Remington pump-action shotgun under his arm.

No doubt, people will respond to this latest atrocity by dashing out to buy more guns and bullets, and Congress will do nothing. Complaints will be made about the inadequate mental health system, but nothing will change.

So here’s my proposal…

If we won’t stop people from buying guns, let’s declare every person who tries to buy a gun insane until they can prove beyond a doubt otherwise. To crib from Jeff Foxworthy…

You must be insane if… You hear about a mass shooting and want to go buy a gun.

You must be insane if… You think ANYBODY not actively serving in a war should have access to an assault rifle (or a Hummer).

You must be insane if… You’re a member of the NRA because your poster boy, Wayne La Pierre, isn’t wrapped too tight. Extra point against you if you haven’t noticed.

You must be insane if… You ever think the answer to killing is more killing.

You must be insane if… You think it’s OK for any child to live in a home where there’s a gun or with adults who have a gun they can shoot.

You must be insane if… You think it’s OK to bring a gun into a grocery store, Starbucks, church or any other place fellow human beings peacefully congregate.

I may be totally disgusted with humans shooting each other, but I’m ready to accept their empty-headed rationalization that guns don’t kill people, people do.

So now let’s admit that people who think they need a gun are CRAZY. Let’s get serious about keeping weapons away from them.

Let the stores be full of guns. Just make it next to impossible for anybody to prove they NEED one.

And THAT’S how we could have avoided the shooting in Washington.

It’s Bourdain Season Again

September 13, 2013

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain’s back from an extended vacation in the Hamptons, and he describes beautifully for CNN how he goes “Full Metal Ina.” Who wouldn’t want to spend a month at the beach with a guy who does all the cooking? Lucky Ottavia!

Today, David Chang’s magazine Lucky Peach should be on newsstands with a new Bourdain short story.

And on Sunday, Parts Unknown Season 2 begins with Tony visiting the West Bank and Gaza in Israel. Another episode this season that I’m particularly excited about is Copenhagen. (Oh great. Now I’ve done it. I’ve got Danny Kaye singing in my head and he won’t stop!)


Tony recently did an interview with Forbes about Parts Unknown.

The day after he returned from vacation, he did this 47-minute audio interview with Opie & Anthony on Sirius…

Cats Vote No on Syria

September 11, 2013

By Cole

Watching Charlie Rose’s amazing interview with Bashar Assad was like seeing Saddam Hussein resurrected. The only difference is that “weapons of mass destruction” are now “weapons of chemical warfare.”

We KNOW someone in Syria has them, because they’ve killed innocent people. But we only have the word of John Kerry (the white Colin Powell, before Iraq?) that Assad used them.

And now Obama’s itching to start a teeny-weeny little war. Like we’re all stupid enough to believe there is such a thing.

Sorry, Obama. No dice. Congress had better listen to cats and the majority of Americans and squash this harebrained scheme. Here’s why…

Dead is dead. Once you’re gone, how you got there is moot.

We’ve been perfectly fine with Assad killing scores of his people with guns and bombs, so where do we get off saying he stepped over a “red line” with sarin (if he did)?

Obama had some nerve last night trying to whip up outrage over Syrian children dying, “foaming at the mouth, gasping,” when he twiddles every time an American assembles an arsenal and mows down scores of people of all ages — including kids.

And our own depraved citizens respond to such atrocities by dashing out to stock up on MORE guns and bullets.

We’re good with an armed creep (George Zimmerman) trolling his neighborhood and wasting an unarmed black kid. Heck, our LAWS make his behavior perfectly acceptable, and encourage him to go buy more guns so maybe he’ll kill his estranged wife.

Our national sport, football, is among the most brutal. We cheer players who repeatedly bash into each other, knowing they’re probably getting head injuries that will hasten dementia and suicidal behavior as they age.

We kill criminals by lethal injection. Isn’t that basically deadly gas delivered as a liquid?

When it comes to killing, we have no high horse to get on. Our people are just as barbaric as any country in the Middle East. We just take a different approach sometimes.

The way to stop killing is NEVER more killing. Obama should know that.

The way this is unfolding, any military action is doomed to fail. We can let Congress set conditions — 90 days max, no ground troops — and our idiot media will blab it to the enemy so they know exactly how to respond and how to wait us out. Brilliant.

So billions of dollars we don’t have are squandered, people die, nothing is accomplished, and the Middle East has another reason to hate us.

Cats Working says, let’s not make the mess in Syria any bigger.

Marilyn Hagerty, Kindred Spirit

September 3, 2013

By Karen

The book deal Anthony Bourdain forged with Marilyn Hagert bore fruit on August 27 when an anthology of her newspaper columns, Grand Forks, a History of American Dining in 128 Reviews, was released by Bourdain’s imprint at Ecco Press.

I still have no desire to read it, but I caught online last week this clip of Hagerty doing the Today Show.

Only in a galaxy far, far away would an author publishing 30-year-old material be getting even a nanosecond of air time on any national talk show. Indeed, during Hagerty’s interview, they flashed several pics of Bourdain, looking fetching, as if to explain why they were letting this relative nobody fill space between their commercial breaks.

But it was while Matt and Savannah had Marilyn taste and give a spot review on the latest NYC foodie obsession, the cronut, which Marilyn pronounced “chewy,” that it suddenly occurred to me…

In spite of all the attention she’s gotten from Bourdain and the foodie elite since her review of Olive Garden went viral, Marilyn Hagerty was, and always will be, an UnFoodie!

She eats at Taco Bell and McDonald’s. She eats things out of cans. She probably eats cheese slices wrapped in cellophane. And her readers do likewise. And they enjoy it.

In other words, like most of us, Marilyn Hagerty eats to live, she doesn’t live to eat.

As I watched Marilyn hold her own against that pair of New York sophisticates, possibly not even realizing she was defanging them with her innate civility and common sense, I felt great admiration for her.

In the airless, jaded realm of food worship, where the grosser and scarcer a thing is, the more tasty it must be, Marilyn Hagerty speaks with a clear voice for the goodness of a meatloaf made with ketchup and cheap hamburger.

(Yeah, I know Bourdain’s been saying pretty much the same thing while flogging her book, but somehow it rings hollow coming out of his ortolon-tainted mouth. I, on the other hand, have no dog in this fight.)

The plain food we UnFoodies eat is OK, too. Sometimes it’s even tasty. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t feel bad about being grossed out by bugs and animal guts. It’s OK if our cheese is wrapped in plastic so it doesn’t get moldy.

Marilyn, you go, girl!

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