Caterwauls
By

    Cat-lovers, beware.I’m about to interrogate your feline fetish.Rest assured: I’ll be showing absolutely no remorse whatsoever, not even a whisker of sorrow.Seriously, what’s up with cats?Why do people insist on keeping these creatures as household pets, even though cats are clearly sitting on some secret agenda?I have a hard time believing that a species could spend its entire domestic history — roughly 3000 B.C. to 2008 A.D. (I’m guessing) — acting all cute and such, unless, of course, it was doing so for the explicit purpose of destroying us.In the night.Without warning.Meeooow!

    I should probably explain my skepticism about these so-called “cats.”Believe me when I say it has many causes.First among them: cats are nimble.Cats are very nimble.Cats are too nimble.If you’ve ever held one (and I assume most people have), you probably remember the way the cat’s body draped across your arm like a curtain.As far as I’m concerned, the only living creature that has any business draping itself across anything is the jellyfish — and that’s only because jellyfish don’t have bones.But cats do.And even though the typical cat won’t sting you until you have to pee on yourself to make the burning go away, the amount of milk it drinks from day to day should, in theory, make its bones as un-Gumby-like as possible.Or maybe it has lots of cartilage.Either way, yuck.

    As if their ability to imitate Auntie’s moth-eaten drapery weren’t enough, I should also point out that cats are always landing on their paws.It’s rather uncanny: You could knock one off a table, shoo one off your bed, throw one out of a moving car, whatever you (I) want, and the wily thing would still land on all fours, most likely with a “gravity? What gravity?” kind of attitude.Now, I’m not sure why, but something about a cat’s ability to make the best of any situation at the expense of one of the fundamental laws of Newtonian physics; something about that scares the crap out of me.It’s awfully satanic.

    I’d feel more comfortable with the entire species if I could just see one cat—just one—not make that perfect landing.Just once.That’s all I ask.One cat, one mistake.I’d give all the catnip in the world to witness this. Heck, I’d even reward the cat (probably injured) with more Fancy Feast or Tweetie Birds or whatever the hell it eats, than it could ever consume in its nine lifetimes.“Here, cat,” I’d say, “here’s for your trouble.Now stop looking at me.I can’t tell what you’re thinking.”

    As to the subject of cats looking at me, I should probably say something about their eyes.How should I put this?Ah, yes: Cats shouldn’t be allowed to have them.If having eyes is a right, cats abuse that right — the yellow-eyed ones, in particular.I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but I do remember a yellow-eyed cat making an awful first impression when I was a kid.I was having a play date with one of my partners-in-crime when a piece from the game we were playing (which, ironically enough, might have been Mousetrap) inexplicably ended up under his bed.

    I was closer.

    Lifting up the bedspread and peeking under the mattress, I squealed in shock when I saw two beady, yellow, slit-pupiled eyes glaring at me from out of the otherwise perfect darkness.How dare you?they seemed to say.Get out!As if that message weren’t clear enough already, the fucking cat swiped at me with its claws.They were sharp.Here’s a metaphor, just in case the experience of two creepy eyes peering out of the darkness isn’t vivid enough already: Have you ever seen the cover of The Great Gatsby? Pretty freaky, right?Now, imagine if The Great Gatsby had a claw and used it to swipe at your face.That’s what this experience was like.

    Another metaphor: the Dark Lord’s tower in The Lord of the Rings movies.You know, the one with the big, fiery eyeball on top, which he uses to observe his conquest of Middle Earth and search for his lost ring.“That doesn’t look like an eye,” my girlfriend remarked once a couple of years ago while we were watching The Two Towers in my basement.“It looks like a vagina.A big, fiery vagina.”

    True, I suppose.But one could also argue that the Dark Lord’s eye looks very much like a cat’s eye.Feel free to agree with my girlfriend on this one.My mind wouldn’t necessarily have gone in that direction previously, although it does now.But she’s absolutely right: Yellow cat’s eyes and big, fiery vaginas are similar in that they’re both heinously colored and have vertical-slit pupils.They’re both unpleasant to look at.Now, imagine that instead of having only one of these, The Lord of the Rings had two.After all, wouldn’t it make sense for both of the “two towers” to look alike?If the two were standing side by side, wouldn’t they look like the cover of Gatsby? By extension, wouldn’t they look like a pair of cat eyes?

    Those of you who are mathematically inclined should be thinking of a little something called the “transitive property” by now.This smart-allecky law stipulates that if A equals B and B equals C, then A must equal C.If you apply this logic to the discussion above, you’ll probably realize that cats don’t really have eyes at all — they have two fiery vaginas.

    But I digress.There’s a lot more I could say about cats, although I doubt any of it would matter in light of what I just said.I’m sure plenty of writers have argued that cats are unfriendly and less fun to play with than dogs.As far as I’m concerned, these things are pretty obvious.This begs the question, then, of why I dislike cats as much as I do.Are they actually as evil as I’d like them to be?Or am I predisposed to revile them?

    Evil, yes.Predisposed, well, yes.I must come clean.Something tells me I wouldn’t be so negative when it comes to cats if it weren’t for my allergy.Simply put, cats make me sneeze.They make my eyes red, my sinuses inflamed, and my mood cranky.And it’s absolutely impossible for me to count the number of pajama parties I missed out on because Grandma had one.

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    I think I’ll crawl back under the bed now, and wait for someone to lose a board-game piece.Be forewarned: My eyes are brown.You won’t be able to see them in the darkness.

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