Put Cats on the Currency!

The humans’ U.S. Treasury Department is contemplating changing the look of U.S. currency again. Despite all the recent changes, the bills are too easy to forge. As long as they are going to change things, why not put pictures of CATS on the new currency instead of presidents. Everyone knows WE’VE been running things since Day One anyway! The nominations for Cats on Currency are:

  • Cat in the Hat
    We don’t need a reason why,
    Be it girl or just a guy,
    Just a cat within a hat,
    No better reason than just that!
  • Morris
    Still finicky after all these years.
  • Cheshire
    Cat proverb: “Always keep a smile on your face. Makes ’em wonder what you’ve been up to.”
  • Mr. Snookums
    Perhaps the most famous cartoon cat at the turn of Y2Kitty.
  • Mr. Bigglesworth
    Big Owner to Cat: “Oh, Behave!”
    Cat to Big Owner: Zip it!
  • Puss’N Boots
    “One of these days these boots are going to walk all over you …”
  • Salem
    Best comedic timing of any cat – or human – on Television.
  • Felix
    A pioneer. If it weren’t for that funky first name…
  • Sylvester
    … No otha, my brotha …
  • Snagglepuss
    Just barely made my lisp, I mean list. But also the first to: Exit stage left …
  • And my winner of Feline Dollar fame is:

    Now I must decide between Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Lee Merriwether, or Michelle Pfeiffer! Oh No!

This is part of a great collection of great cat stories, told from the cat’s perspective. For more information please visit the website!

The Case of the Creeping Cat

I was lying on the couch, grooming my left rear leg. Bars of light slanted across the room through the venetian blinds. I woulda had a bottle of hooch and a glass handy, but the Humans put the vodka in the freezer. Too high for me to reach, damn the luck.

Business had been thin lately. I was just thinking about jumping up on the windowsill to check out the action on the bird feeder next door when the phone rang. I ran to the bedroom RUN RUN RUN SKID POUNCE! and knocked the phone off the cradle. “Mrrroww?” I said. My tail curled into a question mark. Silence. Then I heard something – distant purring? I mewed plaintively, just in case. Click, then the dial tone.

Damn. The second time today. Someone was playing cat and mouse. I gradually coaxed the handset back in place. Man, that thing is heavy. I ran crazily around the apartment several times, just for luck, and… oops, time for food. The case would have to wait.

Back on the couch, I licked myself all over and pondered. There was something fishy about those phone calls — I could smell it. My claws extended involuntarily, and I kneaded the upholstery for a while. Hmm. Patches was doing time in San Quentin, but maybe one of her torpedoes was prowling around. Or who knows — maybe those damn tomcats from Miss Puff’s gang wanted revenge. I’d made a lot of enemies in my career.

Suddenly there was a flash of movement at the other window. My ears pricked up. GO GO GO adjust my back feet for traction POUNCE onto the end table! Crash! Aw nuts, didn’t see that beer bottle. I stared out at the ratty calico with the notched ear on the outside sill. Her ears went back, and she hissed. This kind of trouble I didn’t need. I locked my stare on to her, bristling slightly, until she looked away.

Oh yeah, lick your paw like nothing just happened, I thought. She gave me a low growl. “Stay away from the big tree at the edge of the parking lot, get me?” she gritted. “That’s my territory. I chase the squirrels down there, see, and I don’t need any two-bit gumshoe horning in on the action.” Something clicked. Yeah, I’d seen her before. Used to be a B-girl down at the Kit Kat Club. Rap sheet twice the length of my tail. I hear her Human calls her Snuggykins now, but I’d seen her yowling and dragging her butt down the gutter plenty of times when she was in heat in the old days.

I combed my whiskers with my paw. “Quit pussyfooting around,” I said. “We both know you didn’t come here to talk about squirrels. Give.”

She gave me an innocent look. “Don’t they say curiosity killed the cat?” she purred.

I felt my tail switching back and forth in irritation. “They say a lot of things,” I growled back. I woulda slugged her, if the screen hadn’t been in the way.

She looked around. “This is strictly on the Q.T.,” she whispered, “but I hear Pumpkin and Sheba are gettin’ kinda tired of you prowling around their operation. Keep your paws outta their cat dish, OK? Be a shame if some kind of *accident* knocked off a couple of your lives. I hear you’re down to five or so.”

Just then, we heard a car turning into the parking lot. She stiffened, then jumped down and crept around the corner of the building. I raked the screen with my claws in frustration. The car pulled up and stopped. Could it…? I mewed. Yes! My Humans! They were home! Meow meow meow! I heard a key in the door, and ran over. All RIGHT! Cat toy! Cat toy! Make it MOVE! Food food food KITTY TREATS KITTY TREATS!

“Hi, Henry,” my smaller Human said. “How was your day?” She picked me up. Man, I HATE that. Let me down! Mew! Cat toy, no hugs! Cat toy! CAT TOY! She stroked my head. My larger Human looked over and saw the broken glass under the table by the window. “Sheesh, Henry,” he said. “Did you do that?” Aw, hell. I arched my back slightly and relaxed. Purr purr purr. Beer bottle? Little old me? Somebody *else* did *that*. Look how cute I am. Oh yeah, scratch under my jaw. Oh baby.

Later, when they were in bed watching TV, I saw something moving under the blanket. SMALL ANIMAL! POUNCE? But wait. Every time I attack, it stops moving. Maybe it’s just the small Human’s hand, like it was the last forty-seven times. But what if it’s really a SMALL ANIMAL? No. Maybe it is. Maybe it IS! Tense tense TENSE TENSE wigglebutt POUNCE! D’oh! It was her hand again. I turned away and started licking my paw. Didn’t fool me, nuh-uh. I curled up on the blanket. I’d solve the Case of the Creeping Cat tomorrow. Big yawn. Purr purrPurrrrrrrrrr…….

The Creation Story – As Told by the Cat

On the first day of creation, God created the cat.

On the second day, God created man to serve the cat.

On the third, God created all the animals of the earth
to serve as potential food for the cat.

On the fourth day, God created honest toil so that man
could labor for the good of the cat.

On the fifth day, God created the sparkle ball so that
the cat might or might not play with it.

On the sixth day, God created veterinary science to
keep the cat healthy and the man broke.

On the seventh day, God tried to rest, but he had to scoop the litterbox.

Wrapping Presents (With a Cat)

  1. Clear large space on table for wrapping present.
  2. Go to wardrobe and collect bag in which present is contained, and close door.
  3. Open door and remove cat from wardrobe.
  4. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.
  5. Go back and remove cat from cupboard.
  6. Go to drawer and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors, labels, etc.
  7. Lay out present and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.
  8. Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since last visit, and collect string.
  9. Remove present from bag.
  10. Remove cat from bag.
  11. Open box to check present, remove cat from box, replace present.
  12. Lay out paper to enable cutting to size.
  13. Cut the paper to size, trying to keep the cutting line straight.
  14. Throw away first sheet because cat tried to chase the scissors and tore paper.
  15. Cut second sheet of paper to size by putting cat in the bag the present came out of.
  16. Place present on cut-to-size paper.
  17. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present, wonder why edges now don’t reach, and find cat between present and paper. Remove cat and retry.
  18. Place object on paper, to hold in place, while cutting transparent sticky tape.
  19. Spend next 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from cat with pair of nail scissors.
  20. Seal paper down with transparent sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.
  21. Look for roll of ribbon; chase cat down hall and retrieve ribbon.
  22. Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two-directional turn.
  23. Re-roll up ribbon and remove paper that is now torn, due to cat’s enthusiasm in chasing ribbon end.
  24. Repeat steps 12-22 until down to last sheet of paper.
  25. Decide to skip steps 12-16 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper. Retrieve old cardboard box that you know is right size for sheet of paper.
  26. Put present in box, and tie down with string.
  27. Remove string, open box and remove cat.
  28. Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for lockable room.
  29. Once inside room, lock door and start to re-lay out packing materials.
  30. Remove cat from box, unlock door, put cat outside door, close door and re-lock.
  31. Lay out last sheet of paper. (Admittedly this is difficult in the small area of the toilet, but try your best!)
  32. Seal box, wrap with paper and start repairs by very carefully sealing down tears with transparent sticky tape. Now tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst affected areas.
  33. Label, then sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulating yourself on making good of a bad job.
  34. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to make drink and feed cat.
  35. Spend next 15 minutes looking for cat, before coming to obvious conclusion.
  36. Unwrap present, untie box and remove cat.
  37. Retrieve all discarded sheets of wrapping paper, feed cat and retire to lockable room for last attempt, making certain you are alone and the door is locked.
  38. At time of handing over present, smile sweetly at receiver’s face, as they try and hide their contempt at being handed such a badly wrapped present.
  39. Swear to yourself that next year, you will get the store to wrap the darn thing for you.

A Cat Workout Program

Cat fitness really can be fun. However, it is important to start any fitness program only when you feel like it. Don’t let a few extra pounds intimidate you into becoming more active. The most important aspect of fitness is: when to start the program. The best time is at about 2 a.m. The house is quiet; there are no distractions. The warm-up is critical. Cats are experts at stretching, so this won’t be a problem. Start with a few wind sprints, full speed, toenails clicking on the tile or linoleum floors. A few low but loud growls will help you feel charged up.

Now it is time to add some eye-paw coordination work. Find a marble (the big steelies work even better) and roll that down the floor as the sprints continue. See how many times you can ricochet it off the wallboards before it disappears under the fridge. Finally, work on that upper body strength. Climbing is a great exercise. Use draperies, macramé plant hangers, or clothing on hangers. You can even find some carpeting on some basement walls. Backs of chairs work well, too.

Now put it all together. A speed sprint to the end of the hall! A race around the living room! Leap to the back of the rocking chair! Let the rebound launch you to the top of the swinging planter! Rock that baby! Feel those muscles work. Just as the hook pulls loose from the ceiling, dash to the bedroom and dive under the covers. Establish your alibi just in time to hear the crash of the plant to the floor below.

Have a good Work-Out!

The Truth About Cats

  • Dogs come when they’re called; Cats take a message and get back to you later.
  • Cats don’t like being baptized.
  • Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.
  • A cat is always on the wrong side of the door.
  • A cat will always sit on whatever you’re trying to read.
  • A cat’s purr: The most effective stress medicine known.
  • Cats are quite good at domesticating humans.
  • Anything not nailed down is a cat toy.
  • Cats know Mom’s black suede gloves are giant tarantulas that need to be killed.
  • Cats must attack their human’s shoelaces when they are tying them.
  • Cats must crawl into the dishwasher when it is full of clean dishes.
  • It’s always darkest before you step on the cat.
  • Cats must rub against your legs while you’re carrying two bags of groceries.
  • You’re not a real person until you’re ignored by a cat.

The Cat Toothbrushing Kit

The pampered pet catalogue offers a kit for brushing the teeth of cats but the kit is missing one item: A little straight jacket to keep the cat from eating your face if you try to brush its teeth.

I’m not making this up. The catalogue that came in the mail offers a kit that includes a cat toothbrush, cat toothpaste, cat breath spray and a jar of something called “gauze dental pads.”

I don’t know what that last item is but my guess is that gauze dental pads are what you put on your wounds after trying to brush the teeth of a cat.

Or maybe it is for the cat’s wounds. You spend a few minutes trying to ram a toothbrush into the face of a struggling cat and it isn’t going to do the cat any good either.

It may be that after each morning’s brushing both you and the cat have to sit around dabbing at the surprising new openings all over your bodies.

Cats are not as enthusiastic about their dental hygiene as are the people trying to sell you the products for that purpose. And some of those products are bizarre:

The cat toothpaste, for instance. It is flavored. Maybe that’s not so odd by itself. A cat might be a little more willing to listen to reason on its dental hygiene if the toothpaste is mouse flavored or fish flavored or something like that. If they can sell people bourbon-flavored toothpaste, they should be able to sell cats bird-flavored toothpaste.
Birds are the bourbon of cats. You may stop by after work for a bourbon and water. But a cat prefers a couple of birds after a hard day of doing what cats do all day absolutely nothing.

Actually, I have never understood bourbon toothpaste, even for people who love bourbon. Most people who love bourbon are not nearly so keen on it first thing in the morning. People who use bourbon tooth paste are the same people who have a quick pull on the bottle when they awaken just to get their blood moving. That’s pretty hardcore.

The only people in deeper trouble are those who rinse with a stiff, high-alcohol mouthwash but don’t spit. There are people who will tell you they quit drinking years ago but who have started using mouth wash five times a day.

The cat toothpaste isn’t bourbon-flavored but it is a long way from the flavor you would expect just the same: Malt. The toothpaste they are selling for cats is malt-flavored.

I was unaware that cats like malt. But who am I to question? For all I know, they may not stop by after a hard day of doing nothing for a bourbon and water, but maybe cats do like some sort of sparrow-and-malt blender drink a malted bird shake. (If anybody would go for blender drinks it is those hairy sissies who call themselves cats.)

I have no idea why cat toothpaste is malt flavored. My first guess was that it had something to do with bad breath. But the catalogue specifies malt “flavored.” And the tooth kit includes a separate container of breath spray for the way a cat’s breath smells.

The breath spray must be for the benefit of people who let cats breathe in their faces at close range. I don’t even let people breathe in my face at close range.

But some cat owners are into that sort of thing and I’ll concede I would use a breath spray on the cat if I were in the habit of sharing air with a creature that has just finished drinking a sparrow-and-malt blender drink.

Of course, cat products aren’t the only silly part of a pampered pet catalogue. They also have toothpaste for dogs. And they specify that it is “no-rinse” toothpaste. It is no-rinse toothpaste because dogs don’t know how to spit. And they don’t want to learn. Dogs specialize in putting things into their mouths, not in expelling them.

In other words, they swallow their toothpaste. That gives you a rough idea of what dog toothpaste is made of: It’s a blender drink made of malt and cat.

A Cat’s Apology

Dear Dog,

I am so sorry about you being sent to the dog pound for the broken lamp which you did not break; the fish you did not spill; and the carpet that you did not wet; or the wall that you did not dirty with red paint…

Things here at the house are calmer now, and just to show you that I have no hard feelings towards you, I am sending you a picture, so you will always remember me.


Best regards,

The Cat

A Cat’s New Year’s Resolutions

  • My human will never let me eat her pet hamster, and I am at peace with that.
  • I will not puff my entire body to twice its size for no reason after my human has finished watching a horror movie.
  • I will not slurp fish food from the surface of the aquarium.
  • I must not help myself to Q-tips, and I must certainly not proceed to stuff them down the sink’s drain.
  • I will not eat large numbers of assorted bugs, then come home and puke them up so the humans can see that I’m getting plenty of roughage.
  • I will not lean way over to drink out of the tub, fall in, and then pelt right for the box of clumping cat litter. (It took FOREVER to get the stuff out of my fur.)
  • I will not stand on the bathroom counter, stare down the hall, and growl at NOTHING after my human has finished watching The X-Files.
  • I will not fish out my human’s partial plate from the glass so that the dog can “wear” it and pretend to be my human. (It is somewhat unnerving to wake up, roll over in bed, and see the dog grinning at you with your own teeth.)
  • I will not use the bathtub to store live mice for late-night snacks.
  • I will not drag dirty socks up from the basement in the middle of the night, deposit them on the bed and yell at the top of my lungs (Burmese LOUD yowling) so that my human can admire my “kill.”
  • I will not perch on my human’s chest in the middle of the night and stare into her eyes until she wakes up.
  • We will not play Herd of Thundering Wildebeests Stampeding Across the Plains of the Serengeti over any human’s bed while they’re trying to sleep.
  • Screaming at the can of food will not make it open itself.
  • I cannot leap through closed windows to catch birds outside. If I forget this and bonk my head on the window and fall behind the couch in my attempt, I will not get up and do the same thing again.
  • I will not assume the patio door is open when I race outside to chase leaves.
  • I will not back up off the front porch and fall into the bushes just as my human is explaining to his girlfriend how graceful I am.
  • I will not complain that my bottom is wet and that I am thirsty after sitting in my water bowl.
  • I will not intrude on my human’s candle-lit bubble bath and singe my bottom.
  • I will not stick my paw into any container to see if there is something in it. If I do, I will not hiss and scratch when my human has to shave me to get the rubber cement out of my fur.
  • If I bite the cactus, it will bite back.
  • It is not a good idea to try to lap up the powdered creamer before it dissolves in boiling coffee.
  • When I am chasing my tail and catch my back leg instead, I will not bite down on my foot. This hurts, and my scream scares my human.
  • When it rains, it will be raining on all sides of the house. It is not necessary to check every door.
  • Birds do not come from the bird feeder. I will not knock it down and try to open it up to get the birds out.
  • I will not stuff my rather large self into the rather small bird feeder (with my tail hanging out one side) and expect the birds to just fly in.
  • I will not teach the parrot to meow in a loud and raucous manner.
  • The dog can see me coming when I stalk her. She can see me and will move out of the way when I pounce, letting me smash into floors and walls. That does not mean I should take it as a personal insult when my humans sit there and laugh.
  • Yes, there are still two very large dogs in the backyard. There have been for several years. I don’t have to act as if I’ve just discovered the Demon Horror of the Universe each time one of them appears in my window.
  • I will not play “dead cat on the stairs” while people are trying to bring in groceries or laundry, or else one of these days, it will really come true.
  • When the humans play darts, I will not leap into the air and attempt to catch them.
  • I will not swat my human’s head repeatedly when she’s on the family room floor trying to do sit ups.
  • When my human is typing at the computer, her forearms are *not* a hammock.
  • Computer and TV screens do not exist to backlight my lovely tail.
  • I am a walking static generator. My human doesn’t need my help installing a new board in her computer.
  • I will not bring the city police to the front door by stepping on the speaker phone button and then the automatic 911 dial button.
  • I will not speed dial the overseas numbers.
  • I will not walk on the keyboard when my human is writing important emiognaioerp ga3qi4 taija3tgv aa35 a.
  • Any critter that lives in the house (hamsters), stay in the house and any wild critters (frogs and earthworms) stay outside. I am not allowed to set the hamster free in exchange for finding a frog to put in the fish tank.
  • I will not stalk the deer in the apple orchard next door. They have sharp hooves and could hurt me if they weren’t laughing so hard.
  • I will not watch the guinea pig constantly as the guinea pig likes to sleep once in a while.
  • The goldfish likes living in water and should be allowed to remain in its bowl.
  • I will not put a live mole in my food bowl and expect it to stay there until I get hungry.
  • I will not eat spider plants and hallucinate behind the toilet.
  • I will not drag the magnets (and the papers they are holding up) off of the refrigerator and then bat them underneath it so that they adhere to the underside.
  • I will learn to relax at the vet’s office so they will start writing things in my records like “Good Kitty” and “Sweet Kitty” instead of the stuff that’s there now like “MEAN!!” “BITER!!!” and “GET HELP!!!!!”
  • I will not be miffed at my human all day and then kiss her on the nose at 2:00 a.m. to tell her that she is forgiven and can now pet me.
  • I will not scratch the children of lawyers, no matter how much they chase me or how hard they pull my tail.
  • If I MUST claw my human, I will not do it in such a fashion that the scars resemble a botched suicide attempt.
  • If I must give a present to my human’s overnight guests, my toy mouse is much more socially acceptable than a big live cockroach, even if it isn’t as tasty.
  • I will not soak my catnip toy in the water bowl to make tea. I will not get high and sit there drinking my tea and kneading the floor afterwards. I will not then get delusions of grandeur and make tea in the toilet bowl or the tub. And I will not try to make tea with used socks, dirty panties or hair scrunches when my humans take the catnip toy away from me.
  • A warm pepperoni pizza is not a good place for a nap.

Cat Sled Races?

From The Cat Diary
excerpts from my cat’s diary.
Copyright 2004, Mark Mason, all rights reserved

I overheard the Big Owner talking about the Alaskan Iditarod Sled Dog Race. For some reason humans gather every year in the American frontier to race across the frozen Alaskan tundra. I don’t get it. Most Americans in the lower 49 don’t, either. The only thing that makes sense is that dogs do all the work. The humans are just along for the ride. The hardest thing humans do is carry a map and wield a pooper-scooper. Dogs have sunk so low on the evolutionary ladder that they are now the designated haulers in a race through an ice-cold territory. It’s a shame dogs let that happen. It’s doubtful that the organizers ever considered cats pulling those sleds, because everyone knows cats are smarter. Then again, the scientific answer might yield some clues.

It takes an average 12 to 16 dogs to pull a 500 pound sled including an overweight and out of shape human for the duration of the race. At the average weight of 100 pounds per sled dog, my estimate is that it would take 14.28 cats to replace the each dog. Assuming they’d run with the full compliment, a musher would need to outfit a minimum of 228 cats at the starting line.

Assuming each cat was given one small can of cat food per day, which is unlikely, but for the sake of argument a given, and the race takes 10 days, that is 2,280 cans of cat food for the span of the race. With each can weighing 5.5 ounces, the total additional weight at the outset of the race would be 784 pounds. If it’s gourmet, the cats could probably handle it. Another bonus is that the load would get lighter as they ate their way to the finish line.

Most cats nap at least 12 hours of the day and do not wish to be disturbed. As all competitors would be faced with the same problem, most racing would be done at night when – as every human knows – cats are most active. The human musher would have to adapt to cat hours. The added night illumination gear including batteries would be a conservative 200 pounds.

Here’s an idea. Have cats lead, with the dogs in back. The dogs’ constant pursuit of the cats could set new race records! Then again the cats would probably go their own way, anyway, and end up at Santa’s house.

This is part of a great collection of great cat stories, told from the cat’s perspective. For more information please visit the website!

Copyright 2004, Mark Mason, all rights reserved