People who know me know this – don’t put a cat in my lap. Never. Ever.
And not a rat, either, but especially not a cat. In or out of a hat, it doesn’t matter.
I am allergic to ’em, you see, and simply think cats are too arrogant for their – and our – own good.
I once wrote that “catapult” had been property named. (Get it? catapult. Cat-a-pult. CATapult. Why does no one get that joke?)
Cats have a maniacal sixth sense that allows them to know when someone is allergic to them so they rub on legs when you are standing and climb upon beer bellies and sagging chests to be assured their dander will carry to the sinuses and lungs of their intended victims.
I am reading Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us,” an interesting, intelligent, and occasionally witty work that looks at the harm we humans have caused to this planet and what would happen if we were no longer here. I’m not sure if the science is 100 percent pure, because I’m not all that sciencey. (And, yes, I’m attempting to establish “sciencey” as a real word, so get over it.)
Weisman takes what I find a witty gab at felines:
“Wisconsin wildlife biologists Stanley Temple and John Coleman never needed to leave their home state to draw global conclusions from their field research during the early 1990s. Their subject was an open secret – a topic hushed because few will admit that about one-third of all households, nearly everywhere, harbor one or more serial killers. The villain is the purring mascot that lolled regally in Egyptian temples and does the same on our furniture, accepting our affection only when it please, exuding inscrutable calm whether awake or asleep (as it spends more than half its life), beguiling us to see to its care and feeding.”
Weisman continues that cats, despite all the comforts that man forces upon them, have maintained their hunting instincts.
“Various studies credit alley cats with up to 28 kills per year. [“… 28 kills per year …”] Farm cats, Temple and Coleman observed, get many more than that. Comparing their findings with all the available data, they estimated that in rural Wisconsin, around 2 million free-ranging cats killed at minimum 7.8 million, but probably upwards of 219 million, birds per year.
“That’s in rural Wisconsin alone.”
Weisman estimated that nationwide, feline serial killers’ victims number in the billions.
And, on top of that, cats will do just fine without humans on the planet.
“Long after we’re gone,” writes Weisman, “songbirds must deal with the progeny of those opportunists that trained us to feed and harbor them, disdaining our hapless appeals to come when we call, bestowing just enough attention so we feed them again.”
See, cats are bad, bad, bad! It’s not just me saying this. Alan Weisman said it, too!