Saturday, April 24, 2010

In Defence of Cats

I am incredibly honored to post this amazing and insightful piece on cats by Allan Goldstein, author of “The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie. I got this originally from I Have Cat who is a very nice person I follow on Twitter. It may be long but it's a very good read.

I come before you now in defense of cats. They shouldn’t need my help, Americans have over eighty million cats, more than dogs, more than any other animal. But if the cat is much-loved, it is more misunderstood.
I have written a novel, “The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie,” to give the cat a voice.
Cats play the villain in Western culture. It starts with Looney Tunes and never lets up. Cats have a terrible image.
If you love a cat, you love something distinctly not human. People are more dogs than cats. We hunt in packs, we’re highly social animals, we crave approval. We’d lick ourselves if we could reach.
Cats are aliens, they operate by a different set of rules. They are rarely conflicted or neurotic. For every neurotic cat there are a hundred neurotic dogs, and a thousand neurotic humans. Cats have it figured out. Cats are perfected.
It’s a paradox. Cats are what cool people really want to be. That’s where the phrase “cool cat” came from. But a cat person? Far from cool. It’s some old lady whose house stinks of litter and who hasn’t had a man since the Eisenhower administration.
Which only goes to prove how misunderstood the cat is. Cats are much more than living knickknacks for lonely shut-ins. Cats are cool, efficient, predators whose love is as unexpected as it is impossible. Yet they do it and we give it back to them. Because so are we.
Falling in love with a cat is falling in love with an equal. A cat won’t guard your house, herd your sheep, guide your blind, or chase your criminals. A cat won’t work for you or anyone else. Cats don’t work. They live. And they’re very good at it. Nine times better than we are.
Sometimes cats are in, sometimes they’re out. We all know cats were deified in ancient Egypt. This enlightened attitude was a matter of indifference to ancient Egyptian cats. We are equally familiar with the burning of cats as witches by the Church in medieval times. This behavior was somewhat more concerning to middle age felines, but they survived it.
Humans, on the other hand, got rats and the plague out of the deal. That’s a pretty high transaction cost for indulging in cat genocide, especially when the genocide didn’t work.
We are all fortunate it failed. But only some of us know it. Only some of us know the extreme pleasure—I’ll come right out and say it—the sweet bliss of loving a cat and having that cat love us right back.
It’s enough to move the poet to raptures of song, to inspire great art and lovely stories; it’s more than enough. But, somehow, it hasn’t. It is the other love that dare not speak its name. The arts have failed cats.
There is something about a cat that’s hard to capture on canvas or paper. I’ve seen paintings by the Old Masters, masterpieces of portraiture, with people so real they seem to breathe, domestic scenes so cozy and perfect you want to move right in, every brush stroke a testament to enduring genius.
Then you notice the pretty lady in the velvet dress is holding a hairy handbag with a face. I think it’s supposed to be a cat. Could be a purse, though. I know they had cats in the 17th century, but they seem to have been afflicted with a horrible, disfiguring disease.
It’s pretty much the same in literature. On those rare occasions when a cat graces the pages of a book, the imagination seems to fail even the best of writers and we get dogs that meow. “She’s as devoted as a dog,” they write. “She follows me around, comes when I call, and licks my face, just like a dog!” I’ve read some version of that a dozen times.
It’s considered a compliment. But it’s not. It’s a cop-out. The arts have failed the cat, over and over again.
That is the monumental gap I want to fill. I’ve written a story about a cat as a cat, not a dog with silky fur. I do not believe my talent is so strong it can succeed in bringing a cat to life on paper where all the greats before me have failed. But I think I figured out what thwarted those artists and authors, I think I found the secret.
Artists have been trying to solve the riddle that is cat since the Sphinx. They’ve been looking from the wrong side of the fur. The cat’s story can only be told from the inside; you must let the cat speak.
“The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie” is my attempt to do that. It is written in defense of cats, by a cat, for the people who love them. If that is you, or these words have persuaded you that there is something about cats you might have missed, or you just love a roaring adventure story set all across America, take a look on You can read a chapter there. The first one’s free.
But I warn you, cat love is more addictive than heroin. And your next fix will cost you $17.99.
About the author: Allan Goldstein lives in San Francisco with his wife, Jordan and a minimum of two cats. His op-ed newspaper column, “Caught off Base,” has appeared in San Francisco West Portal Monthly for the past decade.
About the cat: Doo Doo cat lived in San Francisco with the Goldstein family. He wants you to know he was as beautiful, loving and wild as described in these pages, and continues to be so in the eternity beyond. He considers Mr. Goldstein to be his faithful literary executor and will expect his cut of the royalties when they meet again.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cats Speaking Bird

This is a kinda "fun" post i'm doing because I recently found the fun in the web sensation Twitter! I have been twittering like crazy for the past week and that's partly why you don't see any really new stuff on the blog. No worries though! I'm still here! Anyways, I urge any cat that isn't on Twitter already to sign up! It's painless and easy. All the cats tweeting are awesome and always have something to say.
I want to shout out to @ShivaandJaya who have been so kind to me... also to all of my fantastic followers! Follow On!
Twittering cats isn't really a new thing, @sockington was the original tweeting cat and he deserves the title! That grey cat is one of the most funny creatures I've ever seen. The post's picture is of Sockington himself and his twitter page. Remember, if you want a closer look just click on the pic! After that tons of cats began to tweet and dogs too *blah! dogs* . So come join us, all you cats that yearn to speak bird, and have the ride of your life!

If you have a twitter and wish to follow me, see my twitter page @catinaseaofdogs. If you don't have a twitter yet you can still follow the link and set up a twitter page for yourself... and even if you don't want a twitter you can still read all my tweets!

Happy twittering to all!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Top Ten... er... Eight

So, as you read in the last post CATalyst has come out with a list of the top 10 cat-friendliest cities. The image at the right is a map version of that list so please click on it to view larger. Unfortunately this is the 2009 list so I'm going to wait till the 2010 list comes out to post a text version of the list. A recent comment on the site contained a wonderful list of what they thought were the eight most cat-friendly cities. I completely agree so here it is:

  • Los Angeles, 
  • San Francisco, 
  • Santa Monica, 
  • Beverly Hills, 
  • Berkeley, 
  • Culver City,
  • Burbank
  • West Hollywood
Those eight are the cities that now have a ban on declawing. As you can see by the list California is definitely making a stand about this cruelty. Hopefully the rest of the U.S. will follow their example and ban declawing in America for good.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Beginning-weekly update post #1

Welcome to by blog! A place where cats get exactly what they deserve: a little respect. Even though cats are America's #1 companion, there are 10 million more cats then dogs in the U.S. alone, they are under-appreciated. In fact, cats are taken to the vet less then dogs! That doesn't seem right! What are we cats to think but that the people we care for think that they can just throw us away like last night's fish! Well, I want to make a difference... oh... wait, I haven't officially introduced myself! I am The Little Black Cat, your author. Anyways, as I was saying, I want to make a difference and spread the word that things are gonna change, they have to. So soak in what I've written and maybe even join the fight. At the end of each article I include a little of my opinion on the topic. And I'm warning you now, that sometimes... well... I lose my temper a little bit. If you're wondering why this post is comming out now, after three other posts already, well let me explain. This is the "site update" post. Every week I plan to have one post that talks about what the CATalyst Council is doing and what I have put on the site in the past week. I will tend to post these at the end of each week so that I won't miss anything. This week, for example I put up a mews box where loyal readers can post little comments and get in touch with me better then with the comment system. I will also post small updates in there, these updates will also be mentioned in the weekly post. I also put up a re-tweet button. If you're on twitter and like what I've written please re-tweet me! Today's news on the CATalyst efforts is the announcement of the ten cat-friendliest cities in America. Since someone's always announcing a dog list why not do a cat one?  Just always remember: it's all about the CAT!

~the little black cat =^.^=