A house without a cat is not a home*

"One cat just leads to another."
-- Ernest Hemingway

With the exception of when I lived in a dorm room at college, I've always had one or more cats. When I was in high school, about 40 of the beasts called Blinn house home -- a few were inside cats, some were "porch cats", and the rest hung around the house because they knew my mother would feed them.

Today's cats are Cheese (Jeremiah Cheeseburger), Tangerine (formerly Jax), and Scampi. Cheese belonged to the girlfriend of a guy who lived with another guy that elder daughter Elizabeth knows. The guys were keeping the cat for the girl, but she decided that she'd never be able to take him back and the guys didn't really want a cat. Elizabeth adopted him -- a 14-pound fraidy cat.

When our older cat, Minus, died in December 1999, Cheese needed a new friend (and so did we). We picked Jax (quickly renamed "Tangerine") at Citizens for Humane Action. And several months later, I saw a cute little gray fuzzball at CHA. Then Phyllis saw him and Scampi the boat cat (he was found on a boat) moved in.

Tangerine died on April 26, 2010, after giving us 10 wonderful years. I still miss him terribly.

Assorted Cat Stuff

Tangerine (best cat ever)



Cats must ...

Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy

Data, "An Ode to Spot" from Star Trek: The Next Generation

A new way to frighten your cat

How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?

The differences between cats and dogs

How to bake cookies with your cat

PC (Personal Cat) Specifications (PDF)

Tangerine & Cheese & Scampi

"Dogs come when they're called;
cats take a message and get back to you later."
-- Mary Bly

  • I am in total control, but don't tell my cat.
  • I bathed the cat this morning. It took hours to get the fur off my tongue.
  • I fed some lemon to my cat and now I have a sour puss.
  • I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. -- Hippolyte Taine
  • I interfaced my cat to my radio. I just got hiss.
  • I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. -- Winston Churchill
  • If you underestimate protocol, you've never had a cat.
  • If you want the best seat in the house, move the cat.
  • In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats. -- English proverb
  • It works better if you plug it in -- unless it's the cat.

As long as Minus was alive, he got the top spot -- closest to Elizabeth (that's Elizabeth in the far back of the picture).

"Dogs have owners, cats have staff"

No matter how cozy the cage at Citizens for Humane Action, Tangerine still prefers beds.

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."

The ideal dog

Harley Hahn is a smart guy who like to learn things and then explain them. He's discovered the essence of the perfect dog and is willing to share that knowledge. Yes, this is a CATS page, but do yourself a favor and learn what constitutes the ideal dog ... HERE.

He'd never seen a computer before and found ours quite interesting -- particularly that "mouse" thing.

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."

And Cheese is so large that when he sits around the computer, he sits around the computer.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer."
-- Bruce Graham

Cats are not always graceful

Here's a Windows movie format (wmv) file. You may need to download and updated player to view it. These cats are probably embarrassed. Left-click and you may be able to play the file on-line; right-click and you'll be able to save it on your computer. The file is slightly less than 3MB.

Minus always sat with Katie when she did her homework. Tangerine has decided that's a good thing to do, too. He also sits with Katie when she zones out after a long day at school, followed by a long evening at dance and a session with the books.

Minus would approve of his successor.

See more about Minus.

At first, Tangerine and Cheese weren't quite sure about each other, but eventually they agreed to sit on the same bed -- Tangerine in back, of course.

"Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia."
-- Joseph Wood Krutch

A cat ...

  • ...could be man's best friend, but never stoops to it.
  • ...has to have a name, or else it wouldn't be a cat.
  • ...is a four-footed allergen.
  • ...is all love and energy!
  • ...is always on the wrong side of the door.
  • ...is an extension of God.
  • ...is domestic only as far as it suits its own ends.
  • ...is easier to train than a man.
  • ...is just a bundle of purr.
  • ...is nobody's fool.
  • ...is the universe's way of showing us purrfection.
  • ...knows your every thought. It doesn't care, but it knows.
  • ...never cries over spilled milk.
  • ...sleeps fat, yet walks thin.
  • ...stretches from one end of my childhood to the other.
  • ...will always sit on whatever you're trying to read.
  • ...will assume the shape of its container.

They got a little closer.

"There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats."

Then they started leaning on each other.

"People that hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life."
-- Faith Resnick

And holding paws. HOLDING PAWS!!! Wait a minute. These are both kitty guys!

"I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior."
-- Hippolyte Taine

Dictionary definition

Cat (n): 1. Furry keyboard cover 2. Alarm clock. 3. A walking ego with fur. 4. A small animal, frequently mistaken for a meatloaf. 5. A small furry beast resembling a meatloaf. 6. An attitude in fur. 7. Animal that proves eating and sleeping is not all bad. 8. Companion in grace, beauty, mystery, and curiousity. 9. Dog with an attitude problem. 10. Ethereal music wreathed in mystery. 11. Lapwarmer with built-in buzzer. 12. Small four-legged fur-bearing extortionist. 13. Small mammal with an attitude problem.

"You did put this box here just for me, didn't you?"


Our cats love the stuff, although Cheese seemed never to have experienced catnip before he arrived at our house. Teaching him what catnip was for was just one of Minus's contributions to Cheese.

We use the catnip that comes in a plastic tub. I keep it in the garage. When I bring it in and shake the tub (a sound I might be able to hear on the other side of the room), the cats can hear it even if they're in the basement or on the second floor.

Protocol requires that I dole it out in three distinct piles, each at least half the distance of an outstretched cat from the other. Two full cat-lengths would be even better.

The cats each lick up a little of the stuff and then they lie down -- no, they fall over -- and roll in it. Then, whoever has absorbed all of his catnip first, looks around for more, notices one of the other cats -- and the result is a large ball of wrestling cats.

Then they sleep.

Three little kittens (June 06)

The elder daughter has been feeding a couple of feral cats since last winter. A week or so ago, one of the cats presented her with a litter of 3 kittens. By the time she saw them, they were 4 to 6 weeks old. I'm guessing 5 weeks: Eyes open, ears fully up, eyes still blue, able to eat and groom themselves.

She found a home for 2 of the 3, but wasn't been able to find a home for #3. It will join their growing menagerie (2 orange cats -- one given to her and one adopted from a shelter, a calico they found abandoned in a box at a park in Dayton, a dog that used to belong to a guy who's now in Iraq, and now another little kitten.)

The next step will be to trap mama cat and have her spayed.

Mama cat was hanging on a window screen last night. Not really wanting to come in, but probably wondering where her family was. The night before, Liz had been out in the rain, reaching under soggy bushes to get the kittens.

Between the kittens and their razor claws and teeth and the prickly bushes, she got a lot of scrapes. But the kittens now have homes.

Fortunately, her husband likes animals, too.

Tangerine helps Cheese clean his ears.

I gotta learn how this new Mac OS X works. It's called Jaguar and it looks sorta like me, except it has spots and I have stripes.

Cats don't...

  • ...brag about whom they have slept with.
  • ...correct your stories.
  • ...criticize your friends.
  • ...feel threatened by your intelligence.
  • ...make a practice of killing their own species.
  • ...mind if you do all the driving.
  • ...need any excuses.
  • ...weigh down your purse with their stuff.

A little catnap with the teddy bear.

"The cat has too much spirit to have no heart."
-- Ernest Menaul

Tangerine: What do you think of my singing?
Cheese: It's fine. Now shut up.

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats."
-- English proverb

  • Dogs think they're human. Cats know they are.
  • Dogs have owners; cats have staff.
  • Dogs see God in their owner. Cats see God in a mirror.
  • Every dog has his day, but the nights belong to cats.
  • Everybody wants to be a cat.
  • Help! I've got a cat in my lap and I can't get up.
  • How come our cat runs the house but pays no bills?
  • Human (n): Useful domestic animal popular with cats.
  • Humans exist so cats will have someone to pet them.
  • Humans: Creatures subservient to cats.
  • I am Cat of Borg. We will assimilate your shiny things.

"Cats aren't clean, they're just covered with cat spit."

"Sleep and eat, sleep and eat, sleep and eat. Is there no end to this overwork?"

Yes, I do cross word puzzles in my spare time. You have a problem with that?

"Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Cats know...

  • ...all the sunny places.
  • ...black suede gloves are giant tarantulas that need to be killed.
  • ...curtains are for climbing.
  • ...how we feel. They don't care, but they know.
  • ...leaping into the box helps their human pack.
  • ...licking or batting the empty food dish around will make food appear.
  • ...looking adorable after misbehaving negates their crime.
  • ...the bed is a WWF wrestling ring.
  • ...the box of aquarium supplies in the basement is a litter box.
  • ...their rights.
  • ...there are Martians hiding in the new drapes.
  • ...they will get some human food if patient.

Around here, we're all geeks. Tangerine grabbed my copy of the PHP Cookbook from O'Reilly and is trying to learn it by osmosis.

This may work for him, but I've found the method to be less than fully successful.

OK. I sleep in the sink. It's my shape. It's my size. What's the problem?

Cats need to...

  • ...climb into every box in the household.
  • ...hiss at every visitor to make them feel at home.
  • ...kill the kibble by batting it around the kitchen.
  • ...sample the contents of every pot on the stove.
  • ...wake up the human at 3 a.m. by chewing on her head.
Who said you could put another cat on the computer!?

Yikes! Another cat!

At Citizens for Humane Action, one day I saw a very handsome gray kitty. Knowing that Phyllis had always wanted a gray kitty, I showed her his picture. We adopted him a day or two later.

If you want to know why we brought him home, just look into his eyes. (Sorry it's a 150K file.)

CHA named him Shawshank, but we changed it to Chowder because chowder is gray and because he was found on a boat. Then we changed it to Scampi.

The toy is NOT an African pygmy hedgehog.

Does it seem that we name cats for foods? Cheese, Tangerine, and now Scampi. Cheese is cheesed off and Tangerine is terrified. Scampi scampers.


Scampi also likes Katie.

He was born on March 15, which is yet another reason to beware the Ides of March.


It appears that Scampi and Tangerine will have to fight over the chair ...

... and the sink. Do striped cats always have this kind of fascination with sinks?

Now that he's grown up to be SUMMO CAT, Scampi no longer fits properly in the sink. He's taken over the tub.

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
-- Albert Schweitzer

A cat's purr is...

  • ...sound of it generating mystery and enigma.
  • ...the most effective stress medicine known.
  • ...the rumble of peace in the animal kingdom.
Tangerine still sleeps on books on computers ...

... and laundry.

"Of course it's clean laundry! I'm sleeping on it, aren't I???"

"As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat."
-- Ellen Perry Berkeley

The two stripey cats seem to be yin and yang. Scampi loves to go for rides in the car.Tangee is afraid of his own shadow. But they like each other.
  • A cat's way of keeping law & order is claw enforcement.
  • A cat's worst enemy is a closed door.
  • A cats purr is the sound of it generating cute.
  • A closed door is an attack on a cat's personal freedom.
  • A purring cat and a glowing fireplace makes winter bearable.
  • A radioactive cat has eighteen half-lives.
  • After a hard day, it's nice to come home to a warm cat.
  • And on the 8th day, God created cats.
  • Anything not nailed down is a cat toy.
  • Anything on the ground is a cat toy. Anything not there yet, will be.
  • As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. -- Ellen Perry Berkeley
  • C:\pet C:\pet\cat C:\pet\cat\ignore\human
  • Call my cat? No, I just run the can opener.
  • Can you imagine conning eight cats into pulling a sled?
  • Cat + unattended keyboard = garbage all over screen.
  • Cat aplomb: Whatever happens, look as if it were intended.
  • Cat asleep on my shoulders -- the only way to wear fur.
  • Cat ate cheese and waited by mousehole with baited breath.
  • Cat bathing is a martial art.
  • Cat bumper sticker: Life is hard, then you nap.
  • Cat fur expands to fill all available drives.

Was that a cat I heard on WTVN's Tecnology Corner this morning?

"Is there some good reason WHY cats can't have talk shows on the radio? It's easy. When the little light comes on, you talk. I can do that!"
-- The Shrimp, Scampi

I can imagine him telling Cheese and Tangerine, "Make sure you listen and I'll talk to you over the magic box."
Note: "Magic box" is cattish for "radio". Sadly, cats have no word for this in their vocabulary.

Scampi the Snow Cat

Tangerine likes to pose as a cat statue. He's sitting beside the Linksys wireless access point that keeps the home network humming (as long as the cat doesn't chew too hard on the cables).
  • Cat Toy (n): Any object on the ground.
  • Cat's motto: No matter what you've done wrong, always try to make it look like the dog did it.
  • Cat's teach us tolerance and how to see through walls.
  • CAT.COM started. Computer will hack furball in 5 minutes.
  • Cat: Living poetry.
  • Catacomb (n.): Used for brushing the cat.
  • Catalan: Local area network for cats.
  • Catalog: Firewood for the cat's fireplace.
  • Catalyst (n): an alphabetical list of cats.
  • Catalyze: To lie while looking cute.
  • Catastrophe: An award for the cat with the nicest buns.
  • Catatonic (n.): Italian beverage most preferred by cats.
  • Catchup: A hair ball.
  • Caterpillar: Scratching post.
  • Cats allow man the pleasure of caressing the tiger.
  • Cats always have to be the center of attention.
  • Cats are alarm clocks and are obligated to wake the humans.
  • Cats are always more sarcastic than dogs.
  • Cats are companions. Dogs are slaves.
  • Cats are easier to train than kids.
  • Cats are easy to buy for.
  • Cats are excellent at domesticating people.
  • Cats are independent, by which I mean smart. -- D. Barry
  • Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.
  • Cats are just little bundles of purr.
  • Cats are natural paper shreaders.
  • Cats are nature's way of helping you detect the people you don't want to know.
  • Cats are nature's way of telling you that you don't really matter.
  • Cats are not clean; they are just covered in cat spit.
  • Cats are required to shred the newspaper to save people from it.
  • Cats are room-mates. Dogs are kids.
  • Cats are smarter than dogs. You can not get eight cats to pull a sled through snow. -- Jeff Valdez
  • Cats are the higher purpose of the universe.

Tangerine knows what my Apple iBook is for. You pile Windows programming books on top of it and then you use it as a pillow.

Other cats have different ideas about Macintosh computers, though. Spike, who has adopted Jeannette Cezanne, believes that the iBook is more than a pillow.

Operating instructions for cats

Need a kitty instruction manual? I have a 34KB Adobe Acrobat PDF called
Personal Cat (PC) Specifications and Operating Instructions
You can read it on the screen or, if you'd prefer to have an 11x17 print, take the PDF to your local Kinko's and have them output it. All fonts are included in the file. I don't know who wrote the text; I made a few changes, additions, and deletions and formatted it in Corel Draw. You're welcome to use it as you see fit so long as you distribute it without charge.

"Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God."

*Dog-owner's response to "A house without a cat is not a home":

"A house without a cat is like a fish without a bicycle."

Sleepy Sunday

More kitty stuff

More silly kitty stuff will follow. Whether you choose to read that as "silly-kitty stuff" or "silly kitty-stuff" is up to you.

Minus came to live with us in 1985 and quickly let us know that he was smarter than other cats. He lived a solitary life until 1998 when Cheese came to stay with us.

When Cheese arrived, Minus decided that he wanted a friend, but Cheese hissed and ran off. So Minus hissed. Before they became friends, Cheese spent a lot of time sneaking up on Minus and trying to hit him. He almost always missed because he was too nervous to get close enough.

Oh, by the way, that's Elizabeth in the background -- sleeping through a battle.

"Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well."
-- Missy Dizick

During Minus's final days, Cheese knew something was terribly wrong and he came to sit with his friend.

"No heaven will not ever Heaven be, unless my cats are there to welcome me."

  • Cat game #1: Hide and go puke.
  • Cat game #2: Hah! made you look.
  • Cat game #3: Take up the most room on bed.
  • Cat game #4: Fit into the smallest space available.
  • Cat game #5: You just think this is your chair.
  • Cat philosophy: I am, therefore give me tuna.
  • Cat philosophy: It doesn't hurt to ask for what you want.
  • Cat philosophy: When in doubt, cop an attitude.
  • Cat rule #1: Get plenty of sleep so you can play at 4 am.
  • Cat rule #2: When fat, arrange self in slim pose.
  • Cat rule #3: Reserve hairballs for shag carpets.
  • Cat rule #4: Add roughage to human's food by shedding on it.
  • Cat rule #5: It doesn't take much to entertain a human.
The genetically modified Scampi with 4 eyes, 2 tails, and no ears.

Never trust a cat that drinks.

"You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats."
-- Colonial American proverb

  • Cats are the soul of honesty -- they hide not their dislikes.
  • Cats are transparent. Cats should sit in front of the TV screen.
  • Cats aren't the only species -- they just act like it.
  • Cats aren't threatened if you earn more than they do.
  • Cats can catch snowflakes through a closed window if they try hard enough.
  • Cats can wait until after 6:00 a.m. to be fed on the weekends.
  • Cats come in many varieties ... and every one is divine.
  • Cats do not care whether you shave your legs.
  • Cats do not have problems expressing affection in public.
  • Cats do not like beer. Really.
  • Cats do not read at the table.
  • Cats have not forgotten they were once worshipped.
  • Cats have the simplest of taste: the best is satisfactory.
  • Cats have their own lives; get on with yours.
  • Cats have to beg for an ice cube everytime someone opens the freezer door.
  • Cats leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.
  • Cats look at moths and ax-murderers the same.
  • Cats may have nine lives but they sleep through eight of them.
  • Cats mean it when they kiss you.
  • Cats miss you when you're gone.
  • Cats obsess about you as much as you obsess about them.
  • Cats often chase things that their person can't see.
  • Cats remind us why we need opposable thumbs.
  • Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want. -- Joseph Wood Krutch.
"You lookin' at me?"
Apparently cats are sufficiently well padded that sleeping surfaces need not be padded.
  • Cats should not drink Martinis.
  • Cats took many thousands of years to domesticate humans.
  • Cats understand if some of their friends cannot come inside.
  • Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man. -- Paul Gray
  • Cats will watch the human change the litter box and then go poop in the corner.
  • Cats would rule the world if they had longer attention spans.
  • Cats, like butterflies, need no excuse. -- Heinlein
  • Cats: God's way of telling you your furniture is too nice.
  • Cats: Good for dusting high places; great as earmuffs, tiny throw rugs, and slippers.
  • Catscan: a hi-tech device for examining cats.
  • Catscan: searching for kitty.
  • Cheshire cats drink evaporated milk.
  • Civilization is defined by the presence of cats.
  • Computer and TV screens exist to backlight a cat's lovely tail.
  • Computers, like cats, can operate crossdimensionally; the trick is in getting them to do what you want.
  • Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer. -- Bruce Graham
  • Dogs answer when called. Cats let the machine get it.
  • Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God.
  • Dogs have owners; cats have staff.
  • Dogs see God in their owner. Cats see God in a mirror.

This is an African pygmy hedgehog, not a cat toy, compliments of Hilary Fried.

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