Feline facts, humor, and how to help cats and their larger relatives

Feline Trivia

Kitty Humor

Cat Activism

Feline Trivia

The cat was the symbol of liberty in ancient Rome.

Rome has more homeless cats per square mile than any other city in the world.

Since housecats are clean and their coats are dry and glossy, their fur easily becomes charged with electricity. You can see sparks if you rub your cat's fur in the dark.

Cougars can kill animals eight times their size.

A group of cats is called a clowder.

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear - and can turn that ear to catch noise much faster than the most alert watchdog.

During the reign of Kublai Khan, the Chinese used lions on hunting expeditions. They trained the big cats to pursue and drag down massive animals, including bears and wild bulls, and to stay with the kill until the hunter arrived.

The domestic cat is the only species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. Wild cats hold their tail horizontally, or tucked between their legs while walking.

There is no single cat called the panther. The name is commonly applied to the leopard, but it is also used to refer to the puma and the jaguar. A black panther is really a black leopard.

Cats cannot move their jaws sideways.

Cats have over 100 vocal sounds, while dogs have only 10.

The calico and tortoiseshell coat patterns are sex linked. All three-color cats are female - except for the occasional male, which is always sterile.

Neutering your tomcat increases his life expectancy by up to three years.

The normal body temperature of a cat is 38.6 C.

Cats are the only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible.

In Egypt 4,000 years ago, the penalty for killing a cat was death.

Tigers have striped skin as well as striped fur.

A cat uses its whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. The whiskers act as feelers or antennae, helping the animal to judge the precise width of any passage.

Why can Tiger arch her back so high when she's frightened? This is because she has five more vertebrae in her spine than you do. Also, they are more loosely connected than yours.

The cheetah is the fastest animal on four legs, which races at speeds up to 110 kilometers per hour in short distances. It can accelerate to 70 kph in two seconds, and cover 7 to 8 meters in a single stride while completing four strides a second.

White tigers are not albinos - they have black stripes and blue eyes. A true albino is pure white with red or pink eyes.

Cats have 6 blood types.

Cats can't chew their food, they just cut into it and swallow.

Cats in Japan say "neow" or "nee-yahn." In Thailand they say "mao," and in Germany they say "miaou."

Napoleon was terrified of cats.

A wild cat, known as "the fishing cat" actually swims to catch fish. Called the Bengali Mach-Bagral, this cat has extra-long claws that it uses like fishhooks. The fishing cat is found in Nepal, Burma, Southern China, and parts of India.

Cheetahs are the easiest of the big cats to tame.

Cats can hear ultrasound, and can hear higher frequencies than dogs can.

The average cat's teeth are harder than the average human's.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a strong-scented member of the mint family. It causes many cats to experience a trance of extreme pleasure and playfulness that can last for several minutes. A cat's capacity to detect and to react to catnip is inherited and is sometimes described as the presence or absence of a "catnip gene." About 30 percent of cats do not have this gene. Kittens with the gene usually do not respond to catnip until about six to eight months of age. Sometimes sickness or even stress will prevent a response. The intensity of responses varies from cat to cat. Fortunately for cats who enjoy catnip, its effect is short-lived, non-addictive and harmless.

Kitty Humor

Why Cats are like Teenagers
Cat Bathing as a Martial Art
Cat Owner's Manual
How to give your cat a pill


For all of you with teenagers or who have had teenagers, you may want to know why they really have a lot in common with cats:

  1. Neither teenagers nor cats turn their heads when you call them by name.
  2. No matter what you do for them, it is not enough. Indeed, all humane efforts are barely adequate to compensate for the privilege of waiting on them hand and foot.
  3. You rarely see a cat walking outside of the house with an adult human being, and it can be safely said that no teenager in his or her right mind wants to be seen in public with his or her parents.
  4. Even if you tell jokes as well as Jay Leno, neither your cat nor your teen will ever crack a smile.
  5. No cat or teenager shares you taste in music.
  6. Cats and teenagers can lie on the living-room sofa for hours on end without moving, barely breathing.
  7. Cats have nine lives. Teenagers carry on as if they did.
  8. Cats and teenagers yawn in exactly the same manner, communicating that ultimate human ecstasy -- a sense of complete and utter boredom.
  9. Cats and teenagers do not improve anyone's furniture.
  10. Cats that are free to roam outside sometimes have been known to return in the middle of the night to deposit a dead animal in your bedroom. Teenagers are not above that sort of behavior.
Thus, if you must raise teenagers, the best sources of advice are not other parents, but veterinarians. It is also a good idea to keep a guidebook on cats at hand at all times. And remember, above all else, put out the food and do not make any sudden moves in their direction. When they make up their minds, they will finally come to you for some affection and comfort, and it will be a triumphant moment for all concerned.


Some people say cats never have to be bathed. They say cats lick themselves clean. They say cats have a special enzyme of some sort in their saliva that works like New, Improved Wisk - dislodging the dirt where it hides and whisks it away.

I've spent most of my life believing this folklore. Like most blind believers, I've been able to discount all the facts to the contrary - the kitty odors that lurk in the corners of the garage and dirt smudges that cling to the throw rug by the fireplace.

The time comes, however, when a man must face reality; when he must look squarely in the face of massive public sentiment to the contrary and announce: "This cat smells like a port-a-potty on a hot day in Juarez."

When that day arrives at your house, as it has in mine, I have some advice you might consider as you place your feline friend under your arm and head for the bathtub:

In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He will usually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine.

You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't usually the case. As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath. But, at least now he smells a lot better.

CAT User's Manual

CAT v.6.1b: Completely Autonomous Tester, Manufactured by MOMCAT

User Installation and Maintenance Documentation:


User Friendly
Low Power CPU
Self Portable Operation
Dual Video and Audio Input
Audio Output
Auto Search Capability for Input Data
Auto Search for Output Bin
Auto Learn Program in ROM
Instant Transition (Energy Saving Standby Mode When Not In Use
Wide Operating Temperature Range
Mouse Driven
Self Cleaning

Production Details:

After basic KIT construction, the unit undergoes six weeks of onsite ROM programming and burn-in testing. Listed features are installed during this period. Since MOMCAT uses local suppliers, there may be a variation between individual units. Some of the units may not meet general standards.

MOMCAT's quality assurance may reject inferior units. Users may sometimes salvage rejected units. Beware of Far East clones. These may violate import restrictions.


A suitable transportation case should be used for transportation to the operating site. Failure to properly ship a CAT unit may result in loss or damage to the unit and serious injury to the user.

Installation Procedures:

Upon receiving the CAT unit, the user should examine the unit to verify that all I/O channels are free of debris and operational. The user should look for minor bugs in or on the system. Bugs are indicative of the MOMCAT production environment. The user may manually remove any bugs. Bring the CAT to operation in an environment temperature of 20degC (+/- 3deg tolerance). Use a quiet room with the primary user(s)present. Open the transportation case and let the CAT unit autoexit. Initialize the self learning program by displaying the output bin. The next step consists in displaying the input bins. These should contain H2O (liquid state, room temperature, 99% purity) and dry energy pellets. Immediately afterwards, you must display the output bin.

If the user already has a CAT unit successfully installed, it may be possible to download the BASIC routines to the new CAT. For the first day or two, the CAT will stay in self learning mode. When the learn buffer overflows, the CAT will autoswitch to sleep() mode. This is normal. The MMU system will store the new information to permanent memory. After 72 hours, the CAT will be interacting with the operating environment. The unit may often be placed in direct sunlight. If all basic environment requirements are satisfied, the CAT system will produce a slight hum. This is normal.

A new CAT should not exit the primary site facility. Full portability comes after extensive burn in. Some users never let the CAT unit autoexit the site. The advantages are longer unit life and fewer bugs. Contact with pirate CAT units may lead to unplanned BATCH iteration. Contact with untested CATs may lead to virus infection. If allowed to exit, some CAT units may try to port across a street. Fatal errors may happen. These errors are never recoverable. Such situations are not covered by warranties. If you decide to let your CAT out, it should have a READ_ME.TXT file with a system address and URL.

Your CAT should have a system name. The name may have to be repeated until the system can read it correctly. This lets you issue voice commands to bring the unit to an online state. Many owners give their CATs a secret password as well. You can also get the CAT's attention by booting the system. While this is effective, it is discouraged. Too much booting will abuse the system. The manufacturer is not responsible for injuries to the user.


MOUSE is a killer app. This is pre-installed. At present, there are few productivity applications for CAT. Many owners use their system for game playing. CATs play best when they are young. Older units suffer a system timing decay which leads to reduced response and flexibility. Some of the better CAT games are:

The CAT will CACHE a data code. Similar to the K9 unit game, but the object code must be smaller.

Place the unit in front of a mirror and watch it attempt to parse itself. Some units may ESCape. Reboot the system by calling its name.

The CAT attempts to parse a data string.

Move the data string through the air. The CAT unit will reach new heights of operation.

Played between two CAT units or a CAT and a K9 unit. Units take turns as one is the data and the other attempts to parse it.

Offer fishy data code to elicit a range of audio output.


CATs will self recharge. This takes 20 hours in a 24 hour cycle. CATs are self cleaning and require little user maintenance. Do not clean the unit with alcohol or benzine- based solvents. This can lead to violent explosions.

A CAT unit should be taken once a year to a VET (Very Expensive Technician) for a system checkup. Do not attempt to open a CAT. There are no user serviceable parts inside. If a unit emits strange smells or sounds, it should be serviced immediately by a VET.

You may examine the CAT system to determine if it has a male or female scuzzy port. If the port is male, then the CAT unit may emit a non-toxic aerosol. The VET can remove this component. CATs with female ports are plagued by periodic heating problems. The VET can fix this permanently by removing an internal part.


CAT systems are normally user friendly. However, in certain documented situations, a CAT may pose a danger to the user. Repeated jamming or obstruction of air ports may lead to a CAT deploying its auto defense mechanisms. Do not strike a CAT. Its CPU clock rate is over 500 mHz. Twin D -shaped five- pin connectors have an average seek rate of 3 milliseconds. Children should not poke anything into the CAT's I/O ports. CAT may BYTE.

In dry, cold weather, a surface electrostatic charge may build up. To avoid electric shock, stand on an insulated surface. Do not operate the CAT above water. This may lead to user damage. Carry a CAT firmly. Do not swing it by its "tail".

Service Life:

As CATs become older, the learn program will recognize every situation. The CAT may become too smart for its own good. The Ctrl key on many CAT units is defective. CATs like to have their own toys. They often have hobbies, such as bird watching or studying tropical fish.

If you properly care for your CAT, it will give you years of loyal service. Many users get a second or even third unit. Most users don't need the extra capacity, but they enjoy the ability to run complex simulation games.

User Groups:

CAT users can find other users on the msn group called The Scratching Post.

Lifetime Warranty:

The CAT unit is guaranteed against catastrophic failure. Nine coupons are included.


Models Main frame, desktop and laptop models (smallest footprint in the industry). Interface Touch sensitive interface for maximum user friendliness.

Memory 16 MB with 1 MB in ROM. Upgrades available real soon now. Expected Lifetime 12 years with +/- 72 months (although 20 years are common).

Weight 3-6 kilograms without optional cables. Speed 3 milliseconds search/find with self-uprighting supertwist technology. Color Graphics Either paper white, monochrome (black/white), 64 grey shades, or maximum of 16 million colors with 40 gigabits of high resolution pixels. Sound Chip 16 octaves, digital MIDI output (MI/OU). Power Consumption 250 grams protein daily (2 micrograms per second.) Operating Range -30 to +45deg C. Vibration 5-500 Hz, one octave/min, dwell at all resonance points.


  1. Grasp cat firmly in your arms. Cradle its head on your elbow, just as if you were giving baby a bottle. Coo confidently, "That's a nice kitty." Drop pill into its mouth.
  2. Retrieve cat from top of lamp and pill from under sofa.
  3. Follow same procedure as in 1, but hold cat's front paws down with left hand and back paws down with elbow of right arm. Poke pill into its mouth with right forefinger.
  4. Retrieve cat from under bed. Get new pill from bottle. (Resist impulse to get new cat.)
  5. Again proceed as in 1, except when you have cat firmly cradled in bottle-feeding position, sit down on edge of chair, fold your torso over cat, bring your right hand over your left elbow, open cat's mouth by lifting the upper jaw and pop the pill in - quickly. Since your head is down by your knees, you won't be able to see what you're doing. That's just as well.
  6. Leave cat hanging on drapes. Leave pill in your hair.
  7. If you're a woman, have a good cry. If you're a man, have a good cry.
  8. Now pull yourself together. Who's the boss here anyway? Retrieve cat and pill. Assuming position 1, say sternly, "Who's the boss here, anyway?" Open cat's mouth, take pill and...Oooops!
  9. This isn't working, is it? Collapse and think. Aha! Those flashing claws are causing the chaos.
  10. Crawl to linen closet. Drag back large beach towel. Spread towel on floor.
  11. Retrieve cat from kitchen counter and pill from potted plant.
  12. Spread cat on towel near one end with its head over long edge.
  13. Flatten cat's front and back legs over its stomach. (Resist impulse to flatten cat.)
  14. Roll cat in towel. Work fast; time and tabbies wait for no man - or woman.
  15. Resume position 1. Rotate your left hand to cat's head. Press its mouth at the jaw hinges like opening the petals of a snapdragon.
  16. Drop pill into cat's mouth and poke gently. Voila! It's done.
  17. Vacuum up loose fur (cat's). Apply bandages to wounds (yours).
  18. Take two aspirins and lie down.

How to Give Your Cat a Pill, Take 2

  1. Sit on sofa. Pick up cat and cradle her in the crook of your elbow as though you were going to give a bottle to a baby. Talk softly to her.
  2. With right hand, stroke cat's throat until she opens her mouth (be patient). Drop pill into mouth. Let go of cat, noticing the direction she runs.
  3. Pick the pill up off the floor and go get the cat. Sit on floor in kitchen, wrap arm around cat as before, drop pill in mouth. Let go of cat, noticing the direction she runs.
  4. Scoot across floor to pick up pill, and go find the cat. Bring her back into the kitchen. Hold cat as before, but hold down her front paws with forearm. Drop pill into mouth.
  5. Pry claws from her back legs out of your arm. Go get the cat, pick up the half-dissolved pill from floor and drop it into garbage can.
  6. Get new pill from bottle. Go into bathroom and get a fluffy towel. Stay in the bathroom with the cat, and close the door.
  7. Sit on bathroom floor, wrap towel around kitty, leaving only her head exposed. Cradle kitty in the crook of your arm, and pick up pill off of counter.
  8. Retrieve cat from top of shower door (you didn't know that cats can jump 5 feet straight up in the air, did you?), and wrap towel around her a little tighter, making sure her paws can't come out this time. With fingers at either side of her jaw, pry it open and pop pill into mouth. Quickly close mouth (hers, not yours).
  9. Sit on floor with cat in your lap, stroking her under the chin and talking gently to her for at least a half hour, while the pill dissolves.
  10. Unwrap towel, open bathroom door. Wash off scratches in warm soapy water, comb your hair, and go find something to occupy your time for the next 7-1/2 hours, then repeat.

Kitty Activism

Help cats large and small!

Alley Cat Allies

Feed a Big Cat

Tiger Haven, a refuge for big cats

Enjoy Ragamuffin's collection of Kitty Quotes.

Bound back to the Crazy Cosmos