The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


No, not Herman Katz the butcher. Just a poor spelling of Cats.

I am not a cat fancier. I am not even a "cat person" (whatever that means). I am just a sad old man who once owned cats. Or, I should say, lived with three cats for a time.

I was never mean to them. I did not beat them on a regular basis, or kick them down the stairs (when we lived in a 3 story townhouse), or set fire to them and watch them run around in the black night whilst I swilled beer and guffawed. No, that wasn't me... some other guy did those things. I just considered them. And the consequences.

Yes, there are consequences to mistreating one's feline companions. In retaliation, they put interesting things in your shoes. Or shred that new silk shirt you just paid way too much for. Or pee in your lap (a place which they attained by feigning love and appearing to crave attention). Do not ask me how I know these things.

My cats were treated well. If you do not count the time I introduced Bimbo to snow in the backyard of our Manassas townhouse. Or the time I tried to give her a shower after she rolled in the red clay after a heavy rain. She forgave me... eventually. They were well fed (not overfed), de-flea-ed (I made up that word) on a regular basis, and drugged heavily during extended car rides to new states when I whimsically decided it was time to move... every 5 years or so.

The story of the cats is told Here (Bimbo), Here (Floozie), and Here (Carlos).

My family had only had dogs. And I remember only two of them. Raffles, a Cocker Spaniel, and Cindy, a poodle-terrier mix. Dogs are oddly loyal. If you start with a puppy, it doesn't matter too much how you treat it so long as you feed it, it will be loyal. Cats simply are not loyal. At all. Cats are more like the Nobility of animals. They assume you are there to serve them. Dogs look like they are begging when it comes to food or treats. Cats simply demand these. Bimbo certainly did.

We often kept a "can" of Pounce on the coffee table in the living room. Bimbo would jump up on the table, meow, push the Pounce can a little bit and look at me (or whoever was there). If I ignored her, she would meow a little louder and push the can a little further. If I still did not grab the can, open it (whereupon the other two would magically appear in a puff of shedding hair), and give her a couple, she would push the can off the coffee table then jump down and walk away. The snub would last a while, sometimes for hours. But never longer than dinner time.

Carlos was the time-keeper. He knew when dinner time was. He would appear, as if from nowhere, in the kitchen (even if the kitchen was empty and the light was off) and start mewling. If ignored, he would saunter into the living room and sit at the door to the computer room and repeat his demands. What amazed me is that none of the cats would dare to come into the computer room. Training them to stay out took nothing more than a few weeks of scaring the Bejeezus out of them when they came in. Scaring them involved nothing more than raising my voice and chasing them.

Carlos also had a lair. We had a platform bed in one of the bedrooms which had a space in between the two rows of drawers in the pedestal. He had managed to loosen the silly little piece of cardboard that blocked one end and would hide in there. For days, once. The first time he found it. That was when we arrived at the apartment in West Palm Beach.

Carlos had spent a harrowing 4 hours hiding under the driver's seat during the trip from Jacksonville. When we arrived, it took me several minutes to get him out so I could take him upstairs to the apartment. As I straightened up with him in my arms, our new neighbor's dog arrived. A white German Shepherd of considerable size, she stood on her hind feet and sniffed at him from about 3 inches away. I was fortunate that we had had Carlos' front paws de-clawed. I very smartly had clasped both of his hind paws in one hand. I could feel the terror in his body. I quickly dashed up the stairs and into the apartment and let him loose. He took only a second before he bolted toward the back bedroom, found the bed and hid under it. We did not see him for 3 days.

We assume he snuck out in the middle of the night to eat and use the litter box. We hoped as much anyway.

Floozie did none of those things, she just worried all the time and suffered psychologically. And coughed up more hairballs than the other two combined.

Contrary to popular belief, cats are not smarter than dogs. Just more arrogant and disloyal so it seems that way. We always think that people who treat us with disdain are smarter than we are. We just transferred that to cats.

I thank the Ancients,
be they Mesopotamian or Egyptian, (there is some waffling on this) for domesticating them. I also curse them.


Grant said...

It's a little known fact that cats also make great sushi.

Douglas said...

Grant, As chefs or as the meal?

Steven said...

Carlos fostered my love for Russian Blues. I almost got one this year, but ultimately decided on an anti-social Japanese Bobtail.

Steven said...

Carlos fostered my love for Russian Blues. I almost got one this year, but ultimately decided on an anti-social Japanese Bobtail.

Douglas said...

Grant, As chefs or as the meal?