Cats. Must. DIE!

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Every once in a while, a reader sends me a link to something I've already dealt with (and that's OK, I don't expect everyone to have committed the entirety of the Pharyngula database to memory), but it's a link to something so dang weird it's worth reposting. In this case, I was sent a link to a page that purports to describe the beliefs of some Jehovah's Witnesses about cats, where among many other jaw-dropping arguments, it gives us this jewel:

Indeed, modern studies of classification of cats, while not necessarily being reliable as they may be based on the discredited 'theory' of evolution, strongly associate felines with serpents (despite some external differences in physiology and morphology, which confuse those who do not study these matters deeply).

The consensus of the previous discussion was that the site is probably a satire, although it hews so close to the insanity of the actual religion that it's hard to tell. It's still funny either way, though. It's also a good excuse to quote one of my favorite fantasy authors, Tanith Lee.


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I have a cat. He's a bit of a big pain in the butt, always pestering us for attention and wanting to be fed and petted and all that fuzzy fol-de-rol…but what I did not realize was that he is a feline tool of the devil. It's just as well I'm an atheist, because good Christians shouldn't keep cats. Why, you ask? Read this fascinating page by a Jehovah's Witness that documents the evil of Felis domesticus.

Having a cat leads to idolatry. Egyptians kept cats, and they worshipped a cat god, QED.

It was a common practice in ancient Egypt to worship or idolize cats as 'gods'. Indeed, after death many cats were mummified, venerated and sacrifices were made to them. As Christians we observe not only the Mosaic Law, but also the 'necessary things,' identified by the Apostles at Jerusalem, to include the following edict: '(1) Abstain from sacrifices to idols'. We are to 'guard ourselves from idols' and 'worship no other gods'. Such feline influence could lead to idolatry and thereby 'grieve Jehovah's Spirit' with tragic consequences. May we never take for granted Jehovah's wise and generous counsel brought to you by your spiritual brothers in the pages of this magazine!

Keep that in mind next time you think to give your cat a treat and get it a can of that Fancy Feast gourmet cat food—it's just like offering up a fatted calf to a heathen idol.

Then, of course, we also know what else cats are associated with: witchcraft. Get a cat, and next thing you know, you're dancing naked under the full moon at Beltane.

Throughout history, particularly in the middle ages and reaching its climax in the Salem Witch trials of the seventeenth century, cats were recognized by the forces of Christendom as familiars and carriers if not direct incarnates of demons. While, in common with most beliefs of the empire of false religion, no evidence has ever been found to support this, the symbolism of cats still remain within the public psyche, and involvement with them reflects poorly on God's footstools and footstep followers. Many pagan faiths still conclude that black cats bring ill-luck and possess demonic forces, while we have shown that it is, instead, all cats that share these perceived characteristics. Since cats were associated with the devil, could we as faithful and dedicated servants of God therefore contaminate ourselves by exposure to a 'living symbol' of satanic incarnation? How would this reflect on God's name and that of his visible, earthly organization? Would we want to be linked with a symbol of Satan, the 'god of this beastly system of things'?

I know what you're thinking: you're a good person. You can resist temptations like that. But did you know that cats lead to beheadings? Resist an axe at your neck, Jesus freak.

The Bible does not say that cats were not present at Herod's birthday party when John the Baptist was beheaded. History shows that cats were most likely present at this tragic party that Jehovah did not approve of. Clearly then, as loyal Christians, why would we even want to associate with animals that are without a doubt of such bad influence, remembering how true are the Bible's words: 'Bad associations spoil useful habits'! -1 Cor. 15:33. Some have exposed themselves to possible spiritual contamination in this way. To invite cats in our house is to toy with disaster. Can one deny that the chance exists that the same grave consequences could visit your home that fell upon John? Clearly, God disapproved of this 'birthday' party. Should we not then disapprove (without showing any malicious intent, only Godly hatred) of cats the way the scriptures recommend?

I love the logic of that paragraph. There is no evidence that cats were even present, not even in the author's favorite source of evidence, the Bible, but they might have been there, and John the Baptist was beheaded…so it could happen to you, too! He's not very clear on that cause-and-effect thing, I guess.

Me, I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy. I prefer to think that having a cat increases my chances of having some sexy middle-eastern hottie show up at my house and do a strip tease.

OK, so there's a slim chance of decapitation with cat ownership, but here's an even more pressing worry: CATS EAT PEOPLE!

The careful student of the Bible will acknowledge that nowhere within it is any species ('kind') of cat referred to in favorable terms. In fact, was it not lions of the first century who the Devil used to devour faithful Christians? Jehovah Himself 'stopped up the mouths of the lions' (Dan. 6:22) in Daniel's day. True, the small housecats of today are not quite lions, but being of the same accursed animal family used by God's enemies on numerous occasions throughout history, would it be wise or prudent to own one? In addition, by owing any type of cat (feline), would we not give an appearance of condoning their evil deeds throughout recorded Bible and secular history? The Bible makes clear that God's people are 'no part of this world' (John 15:19) and that we are 'not to share in the sins of others', consume lecithin within nutritive cereal or 'candy' bars, or do other things directly banned in Holy Scripture.

(WTF? The bible directly bans lecithin in candy bars? Let me tell you, this web page is a freakin' gold mine of weird stuff.)

Lessee…idolatry, witchcraft, beheadings, getting eaten alive…yeah, that's scary and convincing. Here's another good reason to avoid cats, though: none of the cool kids owned cats!

The scriptures clearly indicate that neither Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, faithful Job, the Apostles, Jesus nor any other human bearing God's favor himself owned a cat. Should we simply assume that this is a mere coincidence? Surely not! This was most likely because they didn't want to be like the pagan contemporaries of their respective days who showed no regard for how God feels about owning a cat. In harmony with the pattern set by the faithful prophets and worthies of old, it would therefore not be fitting for the true Christian today to own a cat.

I can't really mock this next one. It's true.

But, the most modern scientific evidence also supports the Biblical view. Contrary to popular beliefs among worldly people, cats are unhygienic animals. Recently the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that 'Cats .. can shed Salmonella in their feces, which can spread the bacterial infection to humans'. Salmonella (salmonella typhimurium) creates a condition of 'week-long diarrhea, abdominal cramps and in some instances, hospitalization.' Would we be showing the proper respect to our life, Creator and to our 'neighbor' by exposing ourselves and others to this potentially deadly disease? Would this be seen by your brothers, and by those showing an interest in God's word, as giving a good witness?

Additionally, cats practice many unclean habits not befitting a Christian household: coughing up fur balls, licking inappropriate body areas on their own bodies (inappropriate handling) and even, in some cases, on the bodies of their human owners (wrongful motive?), urination on the floor, vocal and blatant promiscuity (unknown to any other species, all others being endowed with Godly chastity and decorum) and widespread sexual misconduct without the benefit or sanctity of holy matrimony, even orgiastic practices, substance abuse of catnip (an intoxicating herb) which produces conditions akin to drunkenness, stealing food from the table, producing ungodly sounds, excessive playfulness and the employment of devices not known to have been used by Jesus, the conducting of its unholy business under the cover of the darkness of night, and so on. What sort of example does this give our young ones endeavoring to faithfully serve Jehovah? The Bible clearly shows that 'neither fornicators .. nor thieves .. nor drunkards .. nor revilers .. will inherit the Kingdom.' (1 Cor. 6:9-11)

Cats are disgusting, aren't they? It's sad that they aren't going to heaven, but heck, it wouldn't be a good club if it weren't a bit exclusive.

The really impressive evidence that cats are wicked, though, comes from Andrew Lloyd Webber Science.

Clearly, the Bible - by using this kind of terminology - shows beyond any reasonable doubt that the basic nature of cats, while created perfect by God, has become evil or 'beastlike' since the fall of Adam six thousand years ago, and more probably, since the Great Flood of Noah's time (c2350 B.C.E.). This is a development of the condition borne by the 'Original Serpent', the 'Great Dragon' Lucifer himself. (Gen. 3:1) Indeed, modern studies of classification of cats, while not necessarily being reliable as they may be based on the discredited 'theory' of evolution, strongly associate felines with serpents (despite some external differences in physiology and morphology, which confuse those who do not study these matters deeply).

Wait a minute…what modern classification scheme would group cats with snakes? That sounds like a polyphyletic heresy to me.

But then I remembered a source: an exotically stylish fantasy novel about demons, Tanith Lee's Delusion's Master. It has a lovely origins story for cats:

Then Azhrarn smiled, and he went back to Druhim Vanasta. There he took up a snake and he inquired, "Would it be worth while to you, in order to win the affection of mankind, to be a little changed?"

"Of what good is mankind's affection?" asked the snake.

"Those they love," said Azhrarn," fare well. And those they hate they harm."

The snake had heard reports from his cousins concerning mallets, and after some thought, he agreed.

Then Azhrarn conducted the snake to the Drin, and the Drin made for the snake particular extras, which had all to do with what men had said they disliked about him. First the Drin made him four muscular little legs with four round little paws on the ends of them. And then they make him two little pointed ears to stand up on top of his head. Then they bulked out his body with a cunning device, and straightened his tongue with another - but it remained in fact a thin tongue, and in fact a great deal of tail remained to him at the back. Next they made him an overcoat of long soft black grasses, and decorated his face - which was now very pretty - with ornaments of fine silver wire. His jewel-like eyes, which had always been quite wonderful, they had need to alter only a jot. Lastly, to compensate for removing his venom, (although they left the shape of his teeth alone), they presented him with some sharp slivers of steel to wear in his round feet for purposes of self-defense.

When Azhrarn beheld the result, he laughed, and ran his hand over the new animal's spine. At which all was transmuted into flesh and muscle, and the coat of grass into luxuriant, velvety hair. And at the touch of Azhrarn also, the new animal made a strange sound, not a hiss, but -

"My dear, you are purring," said Azhrarn, and again he laughed.

To this day, no cat can bear to be laughed at, even in love.

However, sure enough, the animal, legged, eared and furry, was an enormous success on earth. Men were pleased by his grace and elegance, admired his cool blood and wicked self-command. And when he grew sometimes peeved, forgot himself, and hissed - they did not remember the snake, but remarked: "There is the cat, hissing." Nor did they notice how both the cat and the snake slew mice, or enjoyed milk, though both became the pets of sorcerers. And men never would credit that if they overlooked the fur and held flat the two pointed ears of the cat, then and now, you might see still the wedge-shaped demon head and the sharp teeth of the serpent, poised there, under your hand.

That's probably as close to a scientific source as that author has come, so I guess it's alright. Except that I think reading mildly erotic gothic novels about sensual demons means he's going to Hell now.

You should be convinced by now that cats are bad, and Something Must Be Done. "What?" you ask. Take a guess: this is from a good Fundamentalist Theocrat, and they have one great catch-all solution to un-christian activity, straight from the book of Deuteronomy:

"And thou shalt stone him to death with stones, because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jehovah thy God…

If you are considering taking your pet outside and clubbing it to death with a rock, though, keep in mind the next line:

Of course, we can take no legal responsibility for anything which results from your voluntary application of your interpretation of such Biblical principles as you may believe that we have brought to your attention.

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In _Lords and Ladies_, Terry Prachett says something like "If cats resembled frogs, we would recognize them for the evil beasts they are." I know the only thing stopping my cats from devouring me is that they are only 8 inches high at the shoulder. If they were lion-sized, I'd be kibble.

By Frumious B (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

I have a new Jehovah's Witness officemate. She consistently blows my mind with her not just her beliefs pertaining to her religion (which is the sort of thing one gets used to) but also with unrelated beliefs about such diverse subjects as history, ecology, and ethics. It's a bit of a wild ride but I am good at smiling and nodding and excusing myself when it all gets too bizarre.

Wait a minute...what modern classification scheme would group cats with snakes? That sounds like a polyphyletic heresy to me.

Well, they are both eukaryotes or whatever, right?

Serpents are much less annoying than cats. I've never owned a pet snake, but I would imagine they don't very often clamber onto the bed at six in the morning and yowl for attention.

On a related note, though: Last week, I trained my cat to roll over on command suggestion. She sort of looks like a snake when she does it. (Of course, she won't do it with anyone else in the room, and so no one believes I've actually gotten her to do it. I need a webcam.)

Partial credit for the right subphylum.

Cats. Must. DIE!

Shhh. It's midnight, and the kitties are sleeping...

Hi PZ

I think was mentioned when you last brought this post, but the site is a parody of JW. I know the Carlo behind the site, and he testifies that the article is not from JW.

cheers

Soren

You know what, they are right! And while we are it it, we should do away with humans too since they fit most of the same criteria. Just think about it:

Humans are just as closely related to snakes as cats are

Every witch in history was human, and devils often take human form.

The bible specifically says people were present at the beheading of John the Baptist.

Most humans were extremely unheigenic until very recently, and many still all.

The bible often talks negatively about humans. Lets not forget it was humans who were tempted by the serpent and cast out of Eden, not cats. It is humans' fault the rest of the animal world must suffer.

I think a couple of the people mentioned might have owned humans, but I think most didn't.

I say we punish humans in the same way we intend to punish cats.

By TheBlackCat (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

You doubt? I got a cat when I was a good Christian. 10 years later, I became an atheist. Coincidence? I think not.

That's from Delusion's Master, yes?

I'm not sure I'd qualify Tales of the Flat Earth as "gothic", they are more high fantasy. Some of her other stuff is definitely gothic.

Serpents are much less annoying than cats. I've never owned a pet snake, but I would imagine they don't very often clamber onto the bed at six in the morning and yowl for attention.

Snakes don't do much, actually. Slither around the tank and eat worms.

If you don't feed the cat in the morning you get to sleep in, BTW. Mine is fed at night, he never wakes me up. Now, about the dog.....

The Bible does not say that cats were not ...

Now that is some powerful way of reasoning. I have to remember that for the next time I am out of arguments.

Time to go through your Sandman back issues and find the Neil Gaiman short story on how cats are trying to dream their way back to being the dominant species on the planet.

Well black cats are related to serpents as co-minions of evil of course. As are people with red hair. Something to do with the MC1R gene.

Of course, the article has one major erroneous assumption: the notion that humans own cats. The reverse, of course, is true.

Cats ARE an evil influence, though. The three (very non-homeless) neighbor cats who hang out in my backyard, thanks to the absence of dogs, have conned me into feeding them. And my three indoor feline owners have convinced me to wake up to pet them at 3 am, learn to type with one in my lap, and put up with being shed on enthusiastically.

(Note to potential cat servants: avoid those with black-and-white hair. They are capable of shedding preferentially whichever color clashes best with whatever you're wearing.)

Hey! I have red hair. Now I have to add you to my list of those to be eliminated.
Thanks! I really needed more work. Uhg.

Our evilness knows no bounds. Of course we should be worshiped. Bow down humans and fill up that food bowl, double quick.

Graculus, Lab Cat yowls in the morning whether or not he is fed. In fact he has food down all the time and still yowls. He just likes attention.

... the employment of devices not known to have been used by Jesus ...

So who transcribed this screed to the computer from the original, I must assume, Aramaic notes scribbled in the dirt with a stick (the only method of writing Jesus is known to have used)?

By Sarcastro (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

From an Onion-esque site:

For instance, his team found that a gene called MC1R makes jaguars black when mutated. Humans also have an MC1R gene that, when mutated, gives some people red hair. "This certainly will aid in screening for those in league with devil," reports Vatican Antiheretical Council President Gino Niccolini, "And I think we've pretty much all suspected red haired people anyway, this just confirms it."

MC1R is in a family of genes called 7-transmembrane receptors. A receptor acts as a doorway into cells and is often used by bacteria and viruses to infect cells.
"HIV enters cells through a 7-transmembrane receptor called CCR5," O'Brien said. "So perhaps the selective pressure that allowed these mutations to survive in cats may not be to camouflage... Perhaps the mutations cause resistance of the cats to bugs." Or perhaps the AIDS virus, cats, the devil, and Creedence Clearwater Revival all share a common malevolent goal.

It's worse than you imagined: cats are Republicans

From John Carroll's column:

"Cats are Republicans; everyone knows that. They're not neocons; they
disapprove of both deficit spending and the Iraq war. They're
old-fashioned, limited-government, libertarian, tax-cutting Republicans.
They got energized during the Goldwater campaign, which was disappointing,
and then again during the Reagan years. After Reagan: doom and gloom for
cats, ... "

Let's talk about what's REALLY going on here.

If you're sitting by the fire reading a book with a warm kitty curled up asleep and purring on your lap, you are in heaven. Why would you go seeking fulfillment elsewhere (like in a religion)?

They know that if you have a cat, you don't need their gods.

On the other hand, cats are a major vector of toxoplasmosis, inducing schizophrenia, neurosis, and who knows what else.

[...]vocal and blatant promiscuity (unknown to any other species, all others being endowed with Godly chastity and decorum) and widespread sexual misconduct without the benefit or sanctity of holy matrimony[...]

Rite on! I mean, dogs on the other hand... Oh, wait a minute...

Are we sure this isn't satire? Please?

Charles Bukowski said it best:

in grevious deity my cat
walks around
he walks around and around
with electric tail and push-button eyes

he is
alive and
plush and
final as a plum tree

neither of us understands
cathedrals or
the man outside
watering his lawn

if I were all the man
that he is cat -
if there were men like this
the world could begin

he leaps up on the couch
and walks through
porticoes of my
admiration.

- by Charles Bukowski, from Burning In Water, Drowning In Flame.

Kill the cats! Long live the rats! Oh, wait a minute....haven't we been there before?

This bit is funny:

vocal and blatant promiscuity (unknown to any other species, all others being endowed with Godly chastity and decorum)

Clearly the author has not spent much time at the bonobo cage at the zoo!

Here's the fate of sinners ;-)
Our Cat Enters Heaven
By Margaret Atwood
Our cat was raptured up to heaven. He'd never liked heights, so he tried to sink his claws into whatever invisible snake, giant hand, or eagle was causing him to rise in this manner, but he had no luck.
When he got to heaven, it was a large field. There were a lot of little pink things running around that he thought at first were mice. Then he saw God sitting in a tree. Angels were flying here and there with their fluttering white wings; they were making sounds like doves. Every once in a while God would reach out with its large furry paw and snatch one of them out of the air and crunch it up. The ground under the tree was littered with bitten-off angel wings.
Our cat went politely over to the tree.
Meow, said our cat.
Meow, said God. Actually it was more like a roar.
I always thought you were a cat, said our cat, but I wasn't sure.
In heaven all things are revealed, said God. This is the form in which I choose to appear to you.
I'm glad you aren't a dog, said our cat. Do you think I could have my testicles back?
Of course, said God. They're over behind that bush.
Our cat was very pleased. Thank you, he said to God.
God was washing its elegant long whiskers. De rien, said God.
Would it be possible for me to help you catch some of those angels? said our cat.
You never liked heights, said God, stretching itself out along the branch, in the sunlight. I forgot to say there was sunlight.
True, said our cat. I never did. There were a few disconcerting episodes he preferred to forget. Well, how about some of those mice?
They aren't mice, said God. But catch as many as you like. Don't kill them right away. Make them suffer.
You mean, play with them? said our cat. I used to get in trouble for that.
It's a question of semantics, said God. You won't get in trouble for that here.
Our cat chose to ignore this remark, as he did not know what "semantics" was. He did not intend to make a fool of himself. If they aren't mice, what are they? he said. Already he'd pounced on one. He held it down under his paw. It was kicking, and uttering tiny shrieks.
They're the souls of human beings who have been bad on Earth, said God, half-closing its yellowy-green eyes. Now if you don't mind, it's time for my nap.
What are they doing in heaven, then? said our cat.
Our heaven is their hell, said God. I like a balanced universe.

By Bryson Tait (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

A minor point: the species name of the house cat is officially Felis sylvestris catus, as declared by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature in 2003, since the house cat was believed to be conspecific with the wildcat Felis sylvestris. However, according to Wikipedia, more recent DNA evidence suggests that F. catus diverged from F. sylvestris long enough ago to be considered a separate species. Felis catus is Linnaeus' original name and is accepted by the ICZN.

Additionally, cats practice many unclean habits not befitting a Christian household...

Once one witnesses a dog eating another dog's excreta while it is coming out of the other dog, any concerns about the uncleanliness of cats drop right off the charts. Forever.

Well, that does it, I will not become a Jehovah's Witness. My inner cat can't accept their views.

excessive playfulness and the employment of devices not known to have been used by Jesus

I can get that a religion can be against healthy and provoking selfexpression, but I'm curious about those devices not used by Jesus.

Is it about playing with a ball of strings? Or is it simply the retractable claws and sharp teeth?

Unfortunately Carlo left some large questions unanswered.

By Torbjörn Larsson (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

Ah! I hope no one is arguing SERIOUSLY with a satire site, allhtough I'd like to make a few observations:

JWs don't have a thing against cats.
Tanith Lee ROCKS!
Cats (at least mine) ARE pure evil

In Pinellas County, FL there are always a number of cats at the local shelters. Black cats are very often left unadopted. I asked the shelter worker why this was. She replied it was due to the Christians in the area associating them with witchcraft. It's bad enough when PEOPLE suffer as a result of this type of stupidity. Why victimize cats, too?

By doridoidae (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

May the author step barefooted in the dark onto a giant regurgitated hairball & cat food gross-out surprise!

By Tom the Cat (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

With the same logic and certainty that the author used to state that cats were present for the beheading of JTBaptist, said author states that none of the biblical heroes had cats. No mention, but they were there...

What wonderful satire. lol @ religion

---
This bit is funny:

vocal and blatant promiscuity (unknown to any other species, all others being endowed with Godly chastity and decorum)

Clearly the author has not spent much time at the bonobo cage at the zoo!
---

Or hanging around humans, for that matter....

Parody or not, Queen Maeve is not going to be pleased. As of Last Thursday, the author was doubtless condemned to the eternal litterbox.

i'm allergic to cats and i've lived eleven years with a 17-pound somali beauty who was found abandoned outside a university science library when he was a kitten.

sonja (comment #23) is dead-on. there is something rather divine about living with and caring for a pussycat (you get to sumbit to the will of a creature more lovely than yourself without having to believe in a mythical being). and they're plush and cuddly, unlike a non-corporeal god.

cats have so much to teach us about work-life balance and enjoying the simple pleasures in life: eating, stretching, playing, sleeping, clean laundry. and cats aren't unhygenic; people are. if your house smells of "cat" then you should clean the litterbox (your house would stink of "human" if you didn't flush the toilet!), and if your cat's breath smells like more than just catfood (which can be pretty stinky itself) then a visit to the vet for some dental cleaning is in order (and very important, as gingivitis in both cats and humans can lead to organ infections and other health problems).

people who hate cats are just jealous of their beauty. religious people who hate cats obviously resent the cat's independence and refusal to blindly do as they're told.

I would say that cats promote atheism. I had cat once who could turn out a light back in my Christian days. Just jump right up and pull the wallswitch. She practiced her skills when I was reading my daily verses. I would put the book down and give her some attention.

And here I am, a disbeliever. I would thank her, but she is dead.

It gets worse!

Cats are directly associated with unnameable horrors -- HP Lovecraft was ga-ga for cats and even named an alternate world (obviously demonic, given his associations with deep-black Magick and Cthulhu and all that) called Ulthar, wherein it was absolutely forbidden for anyone to harm a cat, on pain of something or other that was truly hideous.

The cats themselves -- even our terrestrial species -- were capable of slipping across dimensions to Ulthar anytime they wanted.

With credentials like these, it's abundantly clear that cats should be stabbed, shot, suffocated, bludgeoned and strangled, with ... uh, wait a minute, there's a tentacle sliding under the office door. Be right back.

Judy L. Wisely Wrote:

I love that and I have a feeling that the latter half is more than a little true. Dogs are so pack-oriented that our three dislike it if we're out of sight.

The cat I used to have could have cared where I was as long as the fish got delivered on time and at the proper refrigerated temperature. If he could have evolved opposable thumbs and fingers strong enough to open the can I suspect I would have been relegated to the basement except when extra warmth or a good brushing was needed.

I adore cats for their independence, which is oft mistaken for unfriendliness. It isn't. The cat doesn't need you to define itself, thank you. However, if you scratch the right places they're more than happy to be your friend. Be nasty and they'll go away and not come back.

Hmm. I'm definitely seeing why strict religions might not like the cat. They're bred to think for themselves.

Does that make every cat an agnostic skeptic? One can only hope.

Morph

By MorpheusPA (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

If we're quoting literature about cats, we gotta get Robert E. Howard in here:

He is primitive, bestially selfish. He is, in short, a creature of awful and terrible potentialities, a crystalization of primordial self-love, a materialization of the blackness and squalor of the abyss. He is a green-eyed, steel-thewed, fur-clad block of darkness hewed from the Pits which know not light, nor sympathy, nor dreams, nor hope, nor beauty, nor anything except hunger and the satiating of hunger. But he has dwelt with man since the beginning, and when the last man lies down and dies, a cat will watch his throes, and likelier than not, will gorge its abysmal hunger on his cooling flesh.

Just this morning, our Hecate woke me up with her insatiable hunger. Who's my little fur-clad block darkness? Yes, you are!

I, for one, welcome our evil cat overlords.

(You knew it had to be said.)

I'm not interested in all this Christian nonsense. Personnally, I'm a worshipper of Bastet. Can you imagine invoking Her for the blessing of weapons or the slaying of heretics? No? Me neither. Mankind would be much better if it could understand that it must imagine a great Mother-Cat in the sky, and not an old, bloodthirsty guy with a white beard.

By Christophe Thill (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

I don't think Adolf Hitler ever owned a cat.

I don't know if Darwin owned a cat.

So, does that mean that Adolf is in the same league as Abraham, Isaac and Jesus??

By ZacharySmith (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

This seems to be a case of mixing up local tribal/cultural/economic rules-of-thumb with ethics, something that happens all over the place both in bible-influenced culture and elsewhere.

The writers of the bible were largely from a pastoral society; they herded sheep and goats, and any field cultivation was pretty small scale. They had no use for cats, and cats wouldn't fit into that lifestyle. One of the big bad-guy groups in the old testament, the Egyptians, were field cultivators with centralized grain stockpiles. OF COURSE they worshipped cats. Cats kept the rodent populations down that would have eaten up their grain stockpiles. Egyptian civilization might not have gotten off the ground without cats.

Christopher Smart may have been a little daft, but he saw cats as evidence of God's grace.
From Jubilate Agno:

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.

For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.

For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.

For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.

For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.

For he rolls upon prank to work it in.

For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.

For this he performs in ten degrees.

For first he looks upon his fore-paws to see if they are clean.

For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.

For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the fore paws extended.

For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.

For fifthly he washes himself.

For Sixthly he rolls upon wash.

For Seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.

For Eighthly he rubs himself against a post.

For Ninthly he looks up for his instructions.

For Tenthly he goes in quest of food.

For having consider'd God and himself he will consider his neighbour.

For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.

For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it chance.

For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.

For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.

For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.

For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.

For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life

For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.

For he is of the tribe of Tiger.

For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.

For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.

For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.

For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he's a good Cat.

For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.

For every house is incompleat without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.

For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.

For every family had one cat at least in the bag.

For the English Cats are the best in Europe.

For he is the cleanest in the use of his fore-paws of any quadrupede.

For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.

For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.

For he is tenacious of his point.

For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.

For he knows that God is his Saviour.

For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.

For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.

For he is of the Lord's poor and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually -- Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.

For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.

For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in compleat cat.

For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in musick.

For he is docile and can learn certain things.

For he can set up with gravity which is patience upon approbation.

For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.

For he can jump over a stick which is patience upon proof positive.

For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.

For he can jump from an eminence into his master's bosom.

For he can catch the cork and toss it again.

For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.

For the former is affraid of detection.

For the latter refuses the charge.

For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.

For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.

For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.

For he killed the Icneumon-rat very pernicious by land.

For his ears are so acute that they sting again.

For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.

For by stroaking of him I have found out electricity.

For I perceived God's light about him both wax and fire.

For the Electrical fire is the spiritual substance, which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.

For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.

For, tho he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.

For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadrupede.

For he can tread to all the measures upon the musick.

For he can swim for life.

For he can creep.

By Don Grimm (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

err, snakes like milk?

There is no evidence in the Bible that Hitler or Darwin never had cats. Hitler was evil, and Darwin was godless. Therefore, both Darwin and Hitler are evil and godless.

#45 ZacharySmith:
fyi: hitler was a vegetarian who loved animals, but more especially dogs and wolves. actually, he was obsessed with wolves, came up with his own wolfen nickname, and named his headquarters the "Wolf's Lair (or Den)".

MorpheusPA:
my cat actually does have thumbs, but everytime i ask him if he might do a little light housework or at the very least take phone messages, he looks at me with this look of disdain as if to say, "i'm sorry, that's not in my union contract...but larger portions of gefilte fish are" (he likes to pretend that he's keeping kosher for pesach).

That does it. After reading some of the pro-cat comments here, I am weirded out by you guys. You go ahead and serve the eight-inch-high violently unpredictable toxoplasmosis-vectors all you want. I'll go over there.

I have six cats, so I guess that makes me sooooper-godless. I also have a dog, whose habits are far more disgusting than those of the cats. She cleans the litterboxes, for example, and then as further proof that she loves us, comes to lick us all over immediately afterwards.

'Cats .. can shed Salmonella in their feces, which can spread the bacterial infection to humans'. Salmonella (salmonella typhimurium) creates a condition of 'week-long diarrhea, abdominal cramps and in some instances, hospitalization.'

Well, duh, if you go searching for buried treasure in the litter box, or drop by for a snack like some dogs I know, then that might be a problem. Do J's Witlesses forbid the washing of hands with soap before jamming their fingers back in their mouths?

And so they lick their balls (or hoohas), yowl like banshees when gettin' some 'pussy', hoinck up hairballs on the priceless Persian rug, get high on catnip, and "[employ]...devices not known to have been used by Jesus" (whatever the fuck that 'entails'). All the more reason to like them. And that bit about "unknown to any other species, all others being endowed with Godly chastity and decorum" nearly had me coughing up a furball of my own. I still remember my visit to the monkey house of the local zoo as a lad, where one marmoset was happily scooping up and eating another one's puke. It scarred me for life, it did.

Oh, and cats are definitely not Republicans (Bastet curse them). They are, as Hemingway said in For Whom the Bell Tolls, the truest anarchists, since they bury their own messes, rather than pissing and squatting in the trenches like the two-legged 'anarchists'.

By The Unmitigated Gaul (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

Interestingly, in Islamic cultures cats are generally considered more wholesome than dogs, which are typically viewed as inherently unclean. So much so that some Muslim cab drivers refuse to accept passengers with seeing-eye dogs.

http://tinyurl.com/2w3weh

Iranian cleric denounces dog owners
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2326357.stm

Muslim Q & A reveals a more nuanced religious attitude towards dogs
http://tinyurl.com/ysh985

Cats in Egypt
http://www.petpublishing.com/catkit/breeds/mau.shtml

I hope no one is arguing SERIOUSLY with a satire site

That would be a catastrophe. (Or perhaps a cat-apostrophe?)

By Torbjörn Larsson (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

I know the only reason we humans are tolerated at all by the over lords is that we have opposable thumbs and can open cans.

The joy of cat:

Regurgitated rodent remnants.

khan:
The joy of cat:
Regurgitated rodent remnants.

Or half a bunny. The bottom half. Only recognizable because of the little cotton tail.

Cats. Must. HAS CHEEZBURGER!!!

Thems what know, know.

*burp*

With one cat that I knew I adopted a feline greeting ritual. I put my face low to the floor and did the bump heads and rub faces routine. Soon after that I was able to gain his cooperation in numerous behaviors that he participated in willingly, even initiating the behaviors himself. Had I only known then that the evil spook within this forsaken hellspawn would then turn my own methods against me! Using such demonic powers as standing by his bowl and uttering a plaintive cry, or rubbing up against the legs of the chair that was the only place he ever got brushed, or even worse, sitting beside my chair and using his accursed cat language to ask if he might please jump into my lap. Ears relaxed just so and eyes slightly lidded he began to train me, causing interruptions and discontinuities in my accustomed routine. Nothing was ever the same. Oh, had I only known the insidious corruption hidden in that sinuous form I would have put him a sack of rocks and pitched the lot into the river.

RIP Louis. One Good Kitty.

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

I am a biologist. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness. I left when I was 18. I can tell you they have all sorts of whacky beliefs (I'm getting married this summer. My family will say a toast, but will not lift their glasses. Also, renewal of vows is out of the question.) I have a lot of problems with this religion, i.e. spurning medical care, antifeminist ideas, being generally against higher education, etc.
However
They do not believe cats are related to serpents. They do not believe in evolution, so there is no relation between animals. Also, I hate when people make up things that are dumb. People ask me "Why couldn't you play chess? Why can't you have windchimes? Why did they beat you every Tuesday? Why couldn't you wear jade jewelry?"
Gah! Yes, have a problem with this religion! But for the love of christ at least know what your problems really are!

can Jehovah's Witness has cheezburger?

No, you can't has cheezburger.
Not Yours

So many cats, so few nuclear weapons.....

By Hairy Doctor P… (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

'The cat-dance: If a towel is found missing in a Japanese family, suspicion is often thrown upon the cat, for people proverbially say in some localities in Japan that the cat dances the cat-dance of "Neko-ja! Neko-ja! (We are cats, we are cats!"), with a towel tied around its head. There are also many stories told about cats that danced the cat-dance in the main hall of a temple or in a spacious barn.'

This is accompanied by a drawing of a very sprightly-looking cat jigging away with a towel (apparently imprinted with a mon) draped over its head. I'd scan it, but I don't have a scanner or know how to use one, and I'd cite the source, but apparently this is something I stumbled across a few decades ago, photocopied and pasted into a commonplace book. I've looked for the source sporadically since but can't find it in any of the (probably) late-19th or early-20th century books of Japanese folklore I've searched. But it's one of my favorite cat tales.

megan knows

Remember:
All pets have a master
but Cats have staff.

From the Calligraphic Button Catalog:
Anything not nailed down is a cat toy. Everything else is a scratching post.
Dogs have owners; cats have staff.
Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you.

That's my housemate's business, and she's got a lot more cat slogans where those came from, including at least one she got from me: "Cats take their half of the bed out of the middle."

In response to #48: Snakes don't really like milk, but milk snakes got the name because they were believed to suck cows dry. They don't, of course, but they do like to winter in barns. It's warm and there're plenty of mice.

By Heather Kuhn (not verified) on 22 Mar 2007 #permalink

Fat cat on the mat
may seem to dream
of nice mice that suffice
for him, or cream;
but he free, maybe,
walks in thought
unbowed, proud, where loud
roared and fought
his kin, lean and slim,
or deep in den
in the East feasted on beasts
or tender Men.

The giant lion with iron
claw in paw
and huge ruthless tooth
in gory jaw;
the pard dark-starred
fleet upon feet,
that oft soft from aloft
leaps on his meat
where woods loom in gloom -
far now they be,
fierce and free,
and tamed is he;
but fat cat on the mat
kept as a pet,
he does not forget.

By G. Tingey (not verified) on 22 Mar 2007 #permalink

.....since the Great Flood of Noah's time (c2350 B.C.E.).

The BCe was the real giveaway...lol

I am alive only because my cats need me to feed and scoop. Long live the kitties!!!!!!!!!( bow, scrape, bow). My dogs on the other hand........................

By ladymorgain (not verified) on 22 Mar 2007 #permalink

re. Don Grimm's comment (completely off-topic):

That passage by Christopher Smart (and several other extracts from his poem Jubilate Agno) is used as a recitative in perhaps my favourite choral work: Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb. A sublime piece of composition - even though I'm utterly godless!

By Peter Barber (not verified) on 22 Mar 2007 #permalink

Oh my! We've got a thread about evil cats, and it even contains mentions of Hitler, but nobody has yet linked to Cats That Look Like Hitler!

Sorry, couldn't let it pass... ;)

One morning many years ago, asleep on my back, I was awakened by a 15 pound cat nose to nose with me.

I opened my eyes, and something primal got triggered in my lower brain.

I screamed and bolted upright, and the cat ran away and hid in the garage.

I LAUGHED(AT THE STUPIDITY)I I LAUGHED EVEN HARDER(AT THE BRAINWASHING)I LAUGHED EVEN HARDER I THOUGHT I WOULD WET MYSELF(AT HOW SOMEONE CAN SO EASILY ALLOW THEM SELVES TO JUST BECAUSE OF POPULAR BELIEF FOLLOW THE MAJORITY(OFTEN PROVEN TO BE WRONG EVEN DEADLY WRONG))THEN I THOUGHT HOW SAD FOR THESE PEOPLE TO CHOOSE TO BE LAMBS LED TO CLOSED MINDED UNACCETABLE TO ANY OTHER TRUTH OUT THERE SO FOR ALL OF THESE UNFORTUNATES MAY YOU'RE CLOSED NOW BE OPENED TO ATLEAST THE POSSIBILITY
BLESSED BE

From the all-wise Terry Pratchett:

"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.
"Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

fyi: hitler was a vegetarian who loved animals, but more especially dogs and wolves. actually, he was obsessed with wolves, came up with his own wolfen nickname, and named his headquarters the "Wolf's Lair (or Den)".

That has one more reason: look more closely at the name, and you'll see what has become "Ethel-" in English (meaning "noble") and "wolf".

The Pratchett quote... shouldn't that be:

CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 24 Mar 2007 #permalink

Well, that does it, I will not become a Jehovah's Witness. My inner cat can't accept their views.

excessive playfulness and the employment of devices not known to have been used by Jesus

I can get that a religion can be against healthy and provoking selfexpression, but I'm curious about those devices not used by Jesus.

Is it about playing with a ball of strings? Or is it simply the retractable claws and sharp teeth?

Unfortunately Carlo left some large questions unanswered.

By Torbjörn Larsson (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

I hope no one is arguing SERIOUSLY with a satire site

That would be a catastrophe. (Or perhaps a cat-apostrophe?)

By Torbjörn Larsson (not verified) on 21 Mar 2007 #permalink

fyi: hitler was a vegetarian who loved animals, but more especially dogs and wolves. actually, he was obsessed with wolves, came up with his own wolfen nickname, and named his headquarters the "Wolf's Lair (or Den)".

That has one more reason: look more closely at the name, and you'll see what has become "Ethel-" in English (meaning "noble") and "wolf".

The Pratchett quote... shouldn't that be:

CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 24 Mar 2007 #permalink