Quantcast

«

»

Feb 23 2012

OMG LOOK, CATS!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve disliked cats. I probably got the attitude from my father, who was allergic and disliked animal hair on his black slacks (he wore black slacks a lot – my dad’s got style). It’s not usually a big deal – I don’t hate cats or anything, I’m just not a fan. If you can split the world into ‘cat people’ and ‘dog people’ I am totally a ‘dog person’. I love dogs. They’re awesome. Cats are some special combination of insane, needy and dickish; dogs just want to play. Plus you can train dogs to do stuff – cats train you.

I don’t like cats, is what I’m saying.

But you know who does like cats? The fucking internet. I can’t go three links on Reddit without someone posting a picture of their goddamn cat doing something completely uninteresting. “Look, he’s sitting in a shoebox!” Hi-fucking-larious, bro! A million upvotes for you! “Look, she’s chasing a laser pointer because of an instinctual attraction to movement and a lack of comprehension of human technology!” Wowee! I’ve never seen that a million times before! That certainly didn’t stop being amusing to me by the time I turned 8!

I don’t like people who go nuts about cats, is what I’m saying.

But now I think I have a bit more sympathy for them:

The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or Toxofor short) and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis—the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes. Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death.

(snip)

But if Flegr is right, the “latent” parasite may be quietly tweaking the connections between our neurons, changing our response to frightening situations, our trust in others, how outgoing we are, and even our preference for certain scents.

It’s not ‘cat people’s fault that they’re nuts – their brains are crawling with parasites! People who post videos of their cats doing things that are really cute and interesting entirely typical of cats? It’s parasites. People who enter cat fashion shows? Parasites. People whose otherwise perfectly wonderful blogs are festooned with pictures of cat after cat after cat? Parasites explain it all! Somehow, these devious parasites are able to crawl through the internet tubes and infect the readers too, so that instead of a perfectly reasonable response like “yo, what’s with all the cat pictures?”, they instead respond with “OMG that’s so cute! He didn’t quite make that jump onto the bed and fell a little bit! ADORABLE!”

So Jen, Greta, I totally understand that you can’t control yourselves and… oh wait, hold on…

Compared with uninfected men, males who had the parasite were more introverted, suspicious, oblivious to other people’s opinions of them, and inclined to disregard rules. Infected women, on the other hand, presented in exactly the opposite way: they were more outgoing, trusting, image-conscious, and rule-abiding than uninfected women.

Rule-abiding? Trusting of authority? Yeah… that’s not you two at all. You’re on your own – parasites can’t explain you.

By the way, there is a follow-up study that says that an affinity for otters is a sign of virility, intelligence, and is associated with behaviours that the authors describe as “totally badass”.

A picture of an otter

I can’t help being this way – it’s science.

Like this article? Follow me on Twitter!

151 comments

4 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
  2. 2
    Momo Elektra

    I love cats. I like dogs too, but I’m definitely a cat person. Cats are atheists, dogs worship humans. Aristocat is an adequate term. But they are so cuddly!!!11twelve

  3. 3
    Hank Fox

    I have fed marshmallows by hand to a live grizzly. Yeah, I gotcher otters RIGHT HERE.

    But seriously, good call on the cats. Somebody should do something.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Crommunist

    Hey look! It’s a cat with something on its head that isn’t ordinarily found there! HOW AMAZING!

  6. 6
    michaeld

    I KNOW! Isn’t he so cuuuute ^.^ You just want to pet and snuggle them! http://xkcd.com/231/

  7. 7
    Anthony K

    Cats are needy? Cats? Cats are all like, “Whatevs, man. I’ll come get you if I get hungry, okay? Now get the fuck out of my sunbeam.” And I’m all like, “I get that.”

    It’s dogs who are all like, “Hey! HEY! I don’t know you, but let’s be friends! Hey! HEY! Friends! Hey!” And I’m all like, “WAY too strong man; you’re making me nervous” as I instinctively feel to make sure my wallet’s still there.

    Compared with uninfected men, males who had the parasite were more introverted, suspicious, oblivious to other people’s opinions of them, and inclined to disregard rules.

    Ah, shit.

  8. 8
    Jodi

    For the record, I’m totally a dog person.

  9. 9
    Crommunist

    Dogs just want a belly rub, and will wait more or less quietly if you’re ignoring them. Cats will literally sit on your head if they want attention and you don’t give it to them (and then they’ll revenge-piss on your stuff). My friend’s cat almost suffocated me in my sleep once because it wanted attention and I was sleeping.

  10. 10
    Crommunist

    *Removes Jodi from the ‘Enemies List’*

  11. 11
    Greta Christina

    Oh, you are so doomed. An insult of this magnitude will not go unaddressed. It makes not a whit of difference that “insane, needy and dickish” is possibly the best description of cat personality that I’ve ever read, nor that it made me spit coffee out of my nose.

    This will not stand. Prepare to be boarded, infidel!

  12. 12
    Crommunist

    CASE IN MOTHERFUCKIN’ POINT!

  13. 13
    Crommunist

    Bring it, Christina! Prepare to be de-clawed!

  14. 14
    Desert Son, OM

    Hank Fox at #3:

    I have fed marshmallows by hand to a live grizzly.

    My heart rate accelerated just reading that, I think in equal measures awe, envy, and profound terror (perhaps a bit more contribution from profound terror).

    Still learning,

    Robert

  15. 15
    jenniferphillips

    Is anyone else getting the ‘Litter Robot’ Ad at the top of this page? “OMG, LOOK they’re talking about CATS! Fire up the Feline Product Database!!”

    Unapologetic Dog Person here. I’m severely allergic to cats, but that’s not the only reason I shun them. My Golden Retriever is affectionate, spunky and smart–and I’m pretty sure she’d look at my like I was crazy if I suggested she poop inside a robot’s head.*

    *this will make WAY more sense if you can actually see the ad in question :)

  16. 16
    unbound

    Er…no.

    As a long time owner of dogs, and more recent owner of cats, dogs are definitely the needier of the two.

    I have a dog currently that drops the toys she wants thrown on you and will even bark if you don’t participate. So much for quiet…

    But, most importantly, dogs are looking to take over the entire universe by having humans (and eventually aliens) do everything for them. I need to find that sci-fi short story again…

  17. 17
    Melody

    AMEN!

  18. 18
    Crommunist

    Does she never stop barking and then climb up on your head until you HAVE to pay attention to her because you are incapable of breathing otherwise? Because if not, then cats. CAAAAATS.

  19. 19
    Melody

    I have two dogs and a cat. By far, my dogs are much more needy. If I don’t pay attention to Sonny (my golden retriever) he will jump on me, sit on me or run off with something that belongs to me because he knows I’m going to try to get it back. And I have been a victim of agressive snuggling!

    My other dog (Cockerspaniel) will howl ceaselessly if I don’t at least pet her.
    If my cat sits on my computer, at least I can just push her off. :P

  20. 20
    unbound

    She barks enough to give you a headache which doesn’t happen with cats meowing. And I’d rather have the 8 lb (3.6 kg) cat on my head than the 95 lb (43 kg) dog trying to get in my lap (which she tries every now and then).

    Conversely with your experience, the dog doesn’t want to let up with what she wants, whereas the cats don’t even try waking me up early anymore to feed them.

    Then again, I haven’t had a cat try to suffocate me. Which makes me wonder what you do to the cats…

  21. 21
    Stacy

    People like to imagine that cats think they’re our superiors. The truth is, they think they’re our equals–and some humans can’t stand that, ’cause they think “pets” should be obsequious. Like dogs.

    Cats don’t eat shit.

  22. 22
    WilloNyx

    Laughing myself to tears over this and the comments section.

    I generally like most species of animal that you can remotely cuddle with and plenty you can’t. Cats and dogs are just two of them. I only run into trouble when I simultaneously want to cuddle with the animal and turn it into a nice stew for supper.

    Primarily that happens with bunnies and babies.

  23. 23
    Crommunist

    The truth is, they think they’re our equals

    If I had a roommate that acted like a cat, I’d quickly be minus a roommate.

  24. 24
    JT Eberhard

    This is made of win.

    But seriously, Greta and Jen are going to end you.

  25. 25
    Crommunist

    I know :(

  26. 26
    Thomas Lawson

    Here’s the difference between cats and dogs from a coroner’s perspective (not mine)…

    WARNING! GRAPHIC!

    People have been found dead in their homes with their faces eaten away by their pet cat (starting at the lips). And dog owners have been found dead with their fingers licked to the bone. Your choice: open casket (dog) or closed casket (cat)?

  27. 27
    Crommunist

    Or… live forever, immortalized in your awesomeness (otter)?

  28. 28
    Anthony K

    My friend’s cat almost suffocated me in my sleep once because it wanted attention and I was sleeping.

    Tsk. That’s not ‘wanting attention’. That’s ‘trying to kill you’.

    I don’t think you understand animals at all.

  29. 29
    geocatherder

    I like both cats and dogs, but Husband is most definitely a Cat Person. I take allergy shots to deal with cat allergies (and plant allergies — I’m allergic to the whole damn planet) but not dog allergies, since we’re a cat household. One night I came home from work and was mugged by a golden retriever who’d escaped from his backyard. He was clearly in the mode of OMG!!! A human! A nice human! I’m so lonely!

    I petted on him for several minutes to calm him down, and he took off (hopefully for home). I itched and sneezed fiercely the entire evening. It was worth it.

    But cats… cats are interesting. They can be adorable, cuddly, cranky, and annoying, often all within a five-minute window; they’re seldom boring.

  30. 30
    Crommunist

    The Oatmeal does, though

  31. 31
    otrame

    In my experience cats treat you the way you treat them. If you treat them like a sometimes annoying but beloved pet, they treat you like a sometimes annoying but beloved pet.

    If you treat them like a piece of furniture, they treat you like a piece of furniture. If you treat them like an enemy, they treat you like an enemy.

  32. 32
    Nurse Ingrid

    Dogs:

    “I get to live in this wonderful house where the people feed me and cater to my every need. They must be gods!”

    Cats:

    “I get to live in this wonderful house where the people feed me and cater to my every need. I must be a god!”

  33. 33
    Christianne

    The main difference between cats and dogs: If a dog is as big as you, or bigger, it still probably won’t want to eat you. If a CAT is as bit as you or bigger, or even smaller–even down to the size of a common housecat, it probably wants to eat you some of the time.

    Dog person here. We have a cat. It’s needier than the dogs and filthier. She likes to puke. She’s bulimic, then bitches at you when she doesn’t have any food in her dish two minutes after puking it all up. Meh. Also: Cat piss is your best buy in pet odors, because once you’ve bought it, it’s yours to keep.

  34. 34
    Desert Son, OM

    Thomas Lawson at 15:

    Your choice: open casket (dog) or closed casket (cat)?

    Option 3: cremation, it’s not an issue.

    Option 4: donate body to science, gross anatomy class get’s one “slightly used.”

    Still learning,

    Robert

  35. 35
    Crommunist

    Otters: Let’s get high and play Mario Kart!

  36. 36
    WilloNyx

    Yep…cuddly and yummy.

  37. 37
    ladyd224

    Can someone please explain to me why “dog people” often feel the need to express a dislike of cats? I’ve never seen a “cat person” go into a thread or start a post expressing a dislike for dogs, yet I always see it in regards to cats. One time, the shelter where I volunteer took some cats to an adoption event and a person walked over to the reps to tell them how much they hated cats. What’s up with that? You might notice the internet’s fascination with cats, Communist, and I agree it exists, but I’ve noticed a distinct hatred of them both online and in real life.

    For the record, I adore all animals, including cats and dogs.

  38. 38
    Anthony K

    Among atheists, how is this not a point for cats?

  39. 39
    ladyd224

    Ive had dogs and cats over my life and dogs are INFINITELY filthier. My cats have always gone in their box.

  40. 40
    Anthony K

    I think my aversion to dogs has more to do with their owners more than them. In general, there are two types of dog owners: those who tell you—as their dog barrels down about to leap—”Don’t worry! Ha-ha! S/he’s friendly!” and those who sell you pot (and lock their crazy, angry drug dealer dog up beforehand). I’d rather a proud parent force me to look at their elementary aged kids’ art than someone force me to interact with their dog irrespective of whether I want to.

    Also, dogs are kind of greasy. I mean, so am I, but I like my hands to stay relatively clean.

    Of course, cat owners who let their cats out to eat songbirds and shit in your garden are assholes, but generally cat owners won’t force you to nuzzle their pet if you don’t want to.

  41. 41
    Thomas Lawson

    Yes, this one. BCSPCA carry otters? (Have to stock up on shellfish…have to put in a pool. I thought kids were expensive.)

  42. 42
    Stacy

    Hmm, I don’t think you want to go there. Dogs as small as a dachshound have killed babies.

  43. 43
    Crommunist

    My dislike of cats is the same as my dislike of Justin Bieber.

  44. 44
    Thomas Lawson

    I’ve got the best of both worlds. My pug is a cat/dog hybrid. They might all be like this, but mine likes to lie on the back of the sofa. He plays with toys using his “hands” and attacks fast-moving objects. He meows, occasionally. He’s never brought me a dead rodent, but I don’t let him outside alone.

  45. 45
    Thomas Lawson

    I should have mentioned he is terrible at fetch and hates, hates, hates being on a leash.

  46. 46
    J. J. Ramsey

    People who post videos of their cats doing things that are really cute and interesting entirely typical of cats?

    This presumes that “cute and interesting” and “typical of cats” are somehow contradictory. :-)

  47. 47
    Dana Hunter

    I just want to mention it’s not only Jen and Greta who will end you. I’ve got a hard drive full of cat pictures, and one homicidal feline. WE WILL PWN YOU. Which should be fun for the entire FTB family. ;-)

  48. 48
    Crommunist

    Bring it on, Hunter! You don’t scare me… much

  49. 49
    Stacy

    Thank you for pointing that out. It bugs the shit out of me.

    Not implicating Crommunist here, his post is in good fun and he doesn’t hate cats. But the virulence of cat-haters is disturbing. I suspect they just can’t stand that a small animal exists that doesn’t behave as though humans are the center of the universe.

    Oh dear, I’m getting too serious about this. Sorry. CATS RULE!

  50. 50
    Beauzeaux

    What the fuck will I care? I’ll be dead either way.

  51. 51
    tariqata

    In my experience as an avowed cat person and long-time dog co-habitant, the difference is that some cats are super-extra needy with regard to some people, while dogs are always needy, but to a lesser degree than needy cats.

    E.g., my family dog had some weird quirks (frantically herding us all together during nighttime thunderstorms) but aside from that was pretty subtle about letting us know when it was time for a walk, or time to go outside, or time for us to share some of our delicious people food.

    All of my childhood cats were independent sorts who treated us as providers of kibble (but lousy hunters, judging from the number of birds and mice offered over the years), a warm place to sleep, and occasional laps.

    My current cat, on the other hand, seems to really, really love me, but ignores other humans – to the point that he didn’t eat for a week when I went away and left my husband to look after him. When I got home, the cat sat next to my head and meowed at me for an entire night and generally behaved as though he’d been starved and neglected forever. This plays out on a lesser scale whenever I go out for more than a couple of hours. When I’m at home, kitty follows me everywhere and actively attempts to ensure that I’m in his line of sight at all times. I like my cat. But it is sort of weird.

  52. 52
    theScreeble

    I spent two summers in high school laying carpet… I will never own a cat.

  53. 53
    Greta Christina

    “Plus you can train dogs to do stuff”

    Translation: Dogs are doormats. Dogs will do what you tell them. Dogs will hang out with you no matter how big a jerk you are. Who the hell wants that?

    That’s one of the things I like about cats. They will not put up with you for one second longer than they want to. If they’re hanging out with you, you know it’s because they want to be there.

  54. 54
    Crommunist

    They will not put up with you for one second longer than they want to

    But CANNOT take a hint when you don’t want them around. Which, in my case, is always. I’ve had social acquaintances who also couldn’t figure out that I wanted them to leave me alone – not a big fan of those guys either.

  55. 55
    unbound

    So….how strong were these “hints” that the cats are wanting to suffocate you. I have a feeling we aren’t getting the whole story here…

  56. 56
    Anthony K

    You keep missing the point. Not getting the hint and not giving a shit are not the same thing.

  57. 57
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Briefly seriously, cats tend to be attracted to people who don’t like them because those people are unwittingly acting polite in cat terms. Not looking them in the eye, for one. Stare them down and they’re less likely to bother you.

    But cats rule and dogs drool!
    Literally.
    Drool.
    Ew.

  58. 58
    Crommunist

    That is useful information. I am going to try that next time.

    And yes, dogs are pretty gross.

  59. 59
    Ian

    Someone’s sure upset about the photo I posted of my cat today. ;-)

  60. 60
    Crommunist

    *Fist shake* You’re asking for it, Bushfield!

  61. 61
    leni

    I had a cat that drooled. And liked to knead my mohawk when I was sleeping. Cat drool + Aquanet + kneading = bad. (This was the 80′s. I don’t use Aquahelmet these days XD)

    But I love cats and dogs. They’re both pretty awesome. I just don’t own a dog cause I’m fucking lazy.

    One bonus point for cat owners: I don’t have to clean their pet’s horse-sized crap piles off my lawn.

    Some days I just want to stake out my yard from the roof with the pellet gun. Of course, I’d aim for the human >:D

  62. 62
    Rinz

    Can someone please explain to me why “dog people” often feel the need to express a dislike of cats? I’ve never seen a “cat person” go into a thread or start a post expressing a dislike for dogs, yet I always see it in regards to cats.

    I actually always see comments like this from both cat and dog people, each wondering why the other side is so hateful. I think cat people just tend to notice cat-hate more than dog-hate, and vice versa. (Not that I’m unbiased. I’ve always owned dogs and never had a cat.)

    I think the weirdest “anti-dog person” argument I’ve seen was that people like dogs for their obedience and unconditional affection, so dog people must be the kind of people who would own slaves. What.

  63. 63
    Aliasalpha

    Cats can’t be atheists, they think they ARE god

  64. 64
    Aliasalpha

    Cats are selfish, evil, vain, manipulative, destructive, arrogant, dismissive dicks who only get away with it because they’re cute

    Whats not to like?

  65. 65
    Grace

    Jenna (Mourey) Marbles often speaks of the cat apocalypse. “They already rule the Internet.”

  66. 66
    Ysanne

    Maybe it’s got to do with the frequency of ooooh-my-cat-is-doing-something-completely-ordinary-LOOK-EVERYBODY! pics vs the ones with dogs on them.
    In my favourite coffee forum, there’s a guy who has tons of dogs and posts photos of them (really good ones, with great complosition and stuff) all the time. And suddenly the whole thread is full of hateful cat people dissing dogs and complaining. :-)

  67. 67
    Utakata

    “I don’t like cats, is what I’m saying.”

    I somehow can almost hear rumblings of angry thunder over at Why Evolution Is True. The Ceiling Cat may not be pleased.

  68. 68
    BT Murtagh

    You know, you are going to be buried in pine scented sand. You just are.

  69. 69
    dianne

    donate body to science, gross anatomy class get’s one “slightly used.”

    This gives me the most awful idea for a D-grade horror film about cats, zombies, and a medical school class that’s going to have a high attrition rate. “Gross anatomy just got a little grosser!”

  70. 70
    abeille

    http://youtu.be/w0ffwDYo00Q

    Good thing you woke up then, because the baseball bat was next.

  71. 71
    Natalie Reed

    Trainspotting got it all wrong, the bit where Tommy dies from toxoplasmosis. They have him contracting it from the cat. But the thing is that somewhere as high as 1 in 5 human beings already have the damn things. It’s just that in a healthy person, it doesn’t cause any real problems, just perhaps some mild personality changes. But when you’re immunocompromised it can lead to dementia and brain damage and eventual death. AIDS sufferers who die from toxoplasmosis almost always already had it, but the AIDS ended up making their bodies unable to keep the parasite in check.

  72. 72
    Natalie Reed

    Also, it’s worth noting that I am not a cat person AT ALL, and have made a solemn vow that I will never, EVER post a picture of a cat on my blog, or do Caturday.

  73. 73
    Mclean

    Toxoplasmosis is everywhere, even in the ocean.

    So not only are cats making people crazy, they are making dolphins, whales, and porpoises crazy as well.

    It is also killing the cute sea otter, and is a major cause of death in California otters.

    Not only do they infect mammals, but anchovies have a higher infection rate than humans, and may be the main vector in ocean systems. The original source though is likely runoff water from cat-owning humans.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15270114

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-06/asfm-utm052908.php

  74. 74
    Daniel Schealler

    I propose that tomorrow you commence with project Otterday.

    That is all.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    SallyStrange

    It kinda reminds me of what Utah Phillips said about children: “Kids are assholes. But they’re their own assholes. You won’t see kids being an asshole on anyone’s behalf except their own.”

    I actually think this applies to kids and animals in general. They’re just honestly, non-maliciously self-centered. That’s why I like them.

  77. 77
    Daniel Schealler

    Curses!

    There shall be a reckoning!

    Revenge shall be mine!

    *twirls moustache*

    *swirls cape*

    *vanish*

  78. 78
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Excuse me, no, we KNOW we are gods.

  79. 79
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Absolutely correct!

    Although the furry little shits do have a knack for finding the most allergic people in the room, too.

    I’m a cat person, myself, though I’ll happily take doggie-snuggles from dogs that I personally know, because, hey, snuggles, can’t turn that down.

    Heh, as I type this, Gracie is snoozing away by my feet. She’s also been known to take over my “legs”.

  80. 80
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    I’m a cat person.

    I love the fuzzy little bastards. They’re wonderfully independent, don’t require daily walks, they’re reasonably intelligent, honest, cute, sometimes cuddly, and they’re, like, the one thing that has been an absolute constant in my life. Seriously, my first memory isn’t, like, coherent or anything, and it’s purely sensory, but I distinctly remember warmth and purring and a feeling of complete comfort and safety.

    Dogs… I take ‘em on a dog-by-dog basis, and if the human is an asshole, chances are, the dog is an asshole, too. But, hey, I love friendly (but not too friendly) dogs, and doggie-snuggles are just as awesome as kitty-snuggles, because, dude, SNUGGLES.

  81. 81
    Pen

    I’m allergic enough to cats that a couple of hours in a house with one usually equals a couple of days for my lung capacity to recover. I regard them accordingly. The funny thing is, the little b******s seem to know it and just won’t leave me alone. That standoffish attitude they’re so famous for? Not with me!

  82. 82
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I didn’t think that you could say anything that would make me love you even more, but I’m a dog person, too
    Pretty little chance of ever getting one, though, unless I get a divorce or turn blind and neither would be worth it.
    I like dogs.
    I passionately hate certain kinds of dog owners.
    I would like to have all dogs registered in a DNA data bank with their according owners.
    If a turd is found where it doesn’t belong, it’s going to be tested.
    Respective owner pays for the test and then has to eat the turd. They can use knife and fork.
    Also the “oh they just want to play” kind.
    I don’t give a fuck if your Bernese mountain dog just wants to play. It can kill my kid’s bones by bouncing on her.

    It’s also not true that dogs will just be friends with everybody. Their senses tell them more things about a certain human than our senses get. So, if a perfectly normal and well-adjusted dog acts strange around a person, I take care with that person.
    Actually, one of the tests my husband had to pass was the “meet the neighbour’s dog”. Sure, the dog was a bit jealous (yeah, I was his bitch), but he was friendly and liked him.

    Regarding toxoplasmosis: the thing is that cats are the only permanent hosts AFAIK. Humans, dogs, cows, they all can get it, but the parasite usually passes through our systems and once you had it, you won’t get it again (usually). Not so cats, they’ll have it forever.
    I am, btw, clean. Or at least was it 5 years ago.

    Also:
    Cute picture of otters
    Since then, my kids regularly will come and play otters, which means we’re in for a lot of snuggling

  83. 83
    Dana Hunter

    Quail, dog-loving mortal!

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/entequilaesverdad/2012/02/24/this-of-course-means-war/

    (My cat hates everyone in the universe, but I’m willing to bet if you ever come to visit, she will love all over you simply because she knows it will torment you. Also, you made me LOL…cat. Ha!)

  84. 84
    michaeld

    Daily otters anyone? http://dailyotter.org/

  85. 85
    Alex

    If I had a roommate who sat on my face when she wanted attention, I’d be interested in keeping her around.

    Seriously though why wouldn’t you want a cat-like person as a roommate? They keep to themselves, are quiet most of the time, but are around when you want them to be. At least that’s how all the cats I’ve had have been.

  86. 86
    Sarah

    Actually, it’s funny though: Cats (and their feces) are not the primary source of infection by toxoplasmosis; eating raw or undercooked meat is. What’s also funny is that not having a cat or eating undercooked meat doesn’t protect you from it either since it’s possible to pick it up while gardening.

    So basically, the best way to avoid this is to avoid raw/undercooked meat and wash your hands after handling raw/undercooked meat, cat litter or spending some time in the garden. Wearing gardening gloves and gloves while scooping out the cat litter is probably also a good plan. So is thoroughly cleaning countertops and cutting boards where you have handled raw meat.

    Anyway, I’ve had cats my whole life and I don’t think I’m infected with this parasite.

  87. 87
    Ed Brayton

    The classic line is: Dogs have owners; cats have staff. That about sums it up. I’m neither a dog nor a cat person, though I generally prefer dogs to cats.

  88. 88
    Wrath Panda

    I, for one, welcome our new feline overlords.

  89. 89
    Wayne

    As Heinlein said, dogs are slaves, cats are citizens.

  90. 90
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    AFAIK, by age 80, 80% of the general population has had toxoplasmosis, so don’t be too sure.

  91. 91
    RW Ahrens

    I don’t know, dogs are capable of the self-centered thing too. I’ve got an Australian Shepard (Facebook – Orion Tiberius Long, if you want to look him up) and he’s a sly little son-of-a-bitch.

    Yeah, if you’ve got treats, he’ll do anything you ask – sit, stay, down, kill-the-cat or just float – just to get the treat. But if you DON’T have a treat, he’ll look at you with this look in his eye that says, “Dude, what’s in it for ME?” Then maybe he’ll do what you ask or maybe not. He’s getting better now, as he gets older, but he’s always got that calculating look about him.

    He’s also getting the idea that he’s not supposed to jump on people, but it has been a hard battle to learn.

    Fortunately, he’s a cute little bastard, so he gets a lot of compliments, especially if he’s being good.

  92. 92
    Dunc

    Dogs are fascist, man. Think about it: you ever seen a police cat?

  93. 93
    Crommunist

    I give you, Special Agent Jack Bauer.

  94. 94
    Sheila

    I have two cats and want a dog but my husband hates them because of the poop piles they make in the yard, so he won’t let me have one.

    He isn’t fond of the cats either…

    But, OTTERS! I’ve always loved them! Being from a land locked state, I had never seen a sea otter until I visited the Vancouver aquarium in the 1990′s, for the first time. They were so cute! I loved the way they float on their backs, holding a stone so they can smash their prey on it before eating it.

    Wait, that really doesn’t sound too adorable.

    And, river otters are awesome too! Our zoo has some, and they are housed next to a pair of black bears, with only a glass wall between them (I think the display is about ‘animals in Oklahoma’). Anyway, the river otter plays with the black bear through the glass and it is the cutest thing.

    Otters always look like they are having fun.

  95. 95
    Crommunist

    I am not sure why, but I’ve always had a soft spot for marine mammals. I remember walking through Stanley Park and seeing a pair of seals just hanging out in the water and I LOST IT. My friend (who was visiting from Toronto) was like “yeah, cool. Okay let’s go” and I was all “THERE ARE PINNIPEDS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! I’m not going anywhere!”.

  96. 96
    P Smith

    It’s not just people who like cats or dogs, but who the dogs and cats like. A person may like the animal, but the feeling isn’t necessarily mutual, and vice versa – people hate the animals, but they keep coming anyway (think H2G2′s Rob McKenna).

    I’m one of the rare few that both loves cats, and they love me. I can go into almost anyone’s home where there’s a domestic cat and it will come to me on its own. They just know, sometimes I can even do it with strays. I like dogs and they come to me too, but I wouldn’t want to own one.

    .

  97. 97
    P Smith

    This needs no comment:

    http://www.meh.ro/original/2010_05/meh.ro4206.jpg

    .

  98. 98
    P Smith

    The cat wasn’t trying to suffocate you, it liked the warmth of your breath and wanted to sleep against it.

  99. 99
    P Smith

    I just remembered: cute overload ahead….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzzjgBAaWZw

    If it wasn’t a house cat, it would almost be scary.

    .

  100. 100
    senritsu

    What about ferrets? Same family as otters, although my three really hate water. And judging from videos like the one Natalie posted, otter and ferret play is a lot alike…

  101. 101
    dianne

    “I like both,” she said, rather inanely, causing both sides to look at her funny.

  102. 102
    dianne

    Nah. Dogs are communists, all group cooperation for the greater good, cats are laissez-faire, “I’ve got mine, screw you” capitalists.

  103. 103
    jolo5309

    So both you and Crommunist are Canadians, atheists and are not cat people?

    FTB is a better place.

    John, the guy that told his, then girlfriend, “When we start living together, there will be no cats, I cannot stand the filthy animals”.

    We have two dogs…

  104. 104
    Crommunist

    We both live in Vancouver too. And we’re both awesome. The cup of similarities overfloweth!

  105. 105
    jolo5309

    Yeah but I don’t, I am a Westerner, but not a Vancouverite, so that is not as exciting (to me).

  106. 106
    Crommunist

    Ah, well we can bond over our mutual detestation of Toronto then.

  107. 107
    Worldtraveller

    What is a Cat?

    1. Cats do what they want.
    2. They rarely listen to you.
    3. They’re totally unpredictable.
    4. They whine when they are not happy.
    5. When you want to play, they want to be alone.
    6. When you want to be alone, they want to play.
    7. They expect you to cater to their every whim.
    8. They’re moody.
    9. They leave hair everywhere.
    10. They drive you nuts and cost an arm and a leg.

    Conclusion: Cats are tiny women in little fur coats.

    What is a Dog?

    1. Dogs lie around all day, sprawled on the most comfortable piece of furniture in the house.
    2. They can hear a package of food opening half a block away, but don’t hear you when you’re in the same room.
    3. They can look dumb and lovable all at the same time.
    4. They growl when they are not happy.
    5. When you want to play, they want to play.
    6. When you want to be alone, they want to play.
    7. They are great at begging.
    8. They will love you forever if you rub their tummies.
    9. They leave their toys everywhere.
    10. They do disgusting things with their mouths and then try to give you a kiss.

    Conclusion: Dogs are men in little fur coats.

    I’m going to have to agree with WMDKitty@38 too. I love both, but currently only have time (and space) to take care of a cat.

    I passionately hate certain kinds of dog owners.
    I would like to have all dogs registered in a DNA data bank with their according owners.
    If a turd is found where it doesn’t belong, it’s going to be tested.
    Respective owner pays for the test and then has to eat the turd. They can use knife and fork.

    Preach it brotha! I am so with you. I have felt inclined to personally take a dump in my neighbor’s yard a few times, since I don’t have a dog with which to return the favor.

    I am totally with you on the otter thing too. They’ve always been one of my favorites. Marine mammals in general. On some mornings, I can hear the sea lions barking when I go out in the morning. (My apt is about 1/2 click from the beach.)

  108. 108
    Phledge

    Word, Brownian; at least the cat put the dead meat to good use. I’m pretty sure the deceased didn’t feel a thing. Meanwhile, the dog is thinking please wake up, please wake up, pleaseplease OH HUMAN I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU

  109. 109
    Phledge

    Ah, Sarah, THANK YOU. I was going to go on a tirade but I always read the comments before I post so I’m glad you saved me the trouble. I had a friend (note the past tense) who threw her cats outside, in a fairly busy residential area, when she found out she was pregnant because she didn’t want to get toxo. Didn’t consider having someone (ie baby daddy) clean the boxes; didn’t take the cats to the Humane Society; and so on. Natch, both cats were hit by cars before the tot was born. From that point I made a commitment to learn what I could about toxo so I could debunk the stories that my patients brought me about why they couldn’t keep their pets.

    I have a nine-year old Bengal cross who plays fetch, follows me around the house, comes when called, and generally acts like a cat who picked up the best dog behaviors without getting any of the bad dog behaviors. I don’t dislike dogs, but I’ve never met a cat I didn’t like.

  110. 110
    Cunning Pam

    I have to admit, given the choice between a dog, a cat and an otter, the otter would win. Every time. My husband insists that someone needs to start up The Otter Channel on broadcast television…slogan: “All otters, all the time!” Could be a goldmine!

    Since a little Asian Small Clawed buddy isn’t in my future, I’ll stick with my cats, since (haughty) cats are for people secure enough to not require unconditional adoration. (/haughty)

  111. 111
    leni

    Oh also dog owners, your friends all have secret tallies for how much your dogs have cost us when they chewed up our stuff and you didn’t replace it! Oh don’t even think we don’t!

    My secret tally is up to about $200. Apparently dogs have expesinve “taste” lol.

  112. 112
    Ace of Sevens

    If I catch you a a con, I will corner you in an elevator and make you listen to stories about cute things my cat did.

  113. 113
    Crommunist

    The following isn’t meant so much a threat as it is a statement of fact: I’m much bigger than you.

  114. 114
    Ace of Sevens

    My experience is that dog people complain about cats. Cat people complain about dog people.

  115. 115
    Ace of Sevens

    My girlfriend is about your size. I will bring her. She has two cats.

  116. 116
    Crommunist

    As long as you don’t bring the cats.

  117. 117
    Aoife

    Don’t. Blink.

  118. 118
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    No, cats aren’t needy, they’re just demanding.

  119. 119
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Data is needed to back up this assertion.

  120. 120
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Oh, lol! That’s the kitty’s chair, right? Hey, where the hell are you going with my furniture!?

  121. 121
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    You’d have thought it would be Renton died of some nasty microbes, wouldn’t you?

  122. 122
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    @F — Yeah, that’s about what she thinks. Then again, her whole MO is “if I sleep on it, it’s mine.”

  123. 123
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    And may the gods help you if the lights go out.

  124. 124
    Sarah

    Well, I can’t find the stats for infection rates in Canada, but in the US it’s nowhere near 80% and from poking around, there seem to be some people suggesting that the parasite doesn’t do as well in colder climates, so the rate in Canada might be lower. The CDC had a study indicating that white non-hispanic women of childbearing age (a demographic I fit in, but on the other side of the border) have an infection rate near 10%. So I’m not too likely to be infected. I haven’t seen anything like 80% of people are infected by the age of 80 though.

    I also don’t really have the personality traits that go along with the infection. And if I wanted to be sure, I could always spring for the test.

  125. 125
    Sarah

    Oh, and at any rate that doesn’t change the fact that most infections have nothing at all to do with cats.

  126. 126
    Sarah

    I hate how people can be such jerks about their pets. I picked up one of my cats as a stray around the time of year when a lot of undergraduate students would be finishing up. It’s likely that they adopted him when he was a kitten and then tossed him out upon graduation when he became inconvenient.

    The other cat I picked up off some online classifieds full of people giving away their cats for really horrible reasons. :( At least the family who had my cat had a good reason (a newborn with extreme allergies).

  127. 127
    Stacy

    Translated into human personality terms, dogs tend to be extroverts, and cats tend to be introverts.

    To be friends with a cat, you need to get to know hir. For best results, approach a cat as you would a shy, somewhat hypervigilant person. They can become great friends, but it takes a bit more initiative on the human’s part than a relationship with a dog typically does (though thankfully there’s less training to do.)

    The “self-centered and unfriendly” meme about cats is a libel (doubtless propagated by evil dogpeople:). When I was a kid, my cat Kiki would meet me every day after school, halfway between the bus stop and home, then sit on my bed while I changed into my play clothes.

    One more thing–cats are fuckin’ beautiful. All that fluid grace. Artists have known this for centuries. If you don’t see it, I’m sorry, but you’re blind.

    “The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” –Leonardo da Vinci

    P.S. Forgive me for going all serious on everyone’s ass. I’m one of those semi-obsessed-with-cats people the Crommunist rightly views with a wary eye. When the revolution comes, Crom, you WILL be required to spend a certain amount of time each day tossing small balls with bells inside.

  128. 128
    antialiasis

    I love animals generally, but having both had a cat and more or less lived with my boyfriend who has a dog for the past several years, I prefer cats by miles.

    It’s largely because cats are just… more subtle. Dogs have this loud, offputting overenthusiasm about everything and it gets really annoying. They’ll both want your attention, but the dog does it by barking loudly or whining loudly or pulling your hand back when you stop petting them, whereas the cat just lies down on top of the book you’re trying to read and makes himself comfortable there. Out of the two, the dog is just shamelessly demanding you attend to him, whereas the cat expresses what he wants in that indirect, innocent-seeming form where he pretends he just happened to pick this as the most comfortable place to lie. If you don’t then pay attention to the cat, he’ll just go on pretending he just thought you were a good pillow and not bother you about it.

    Similarly, if you disregard what the cat wants, like by moving when he’s trying to use you as a bed, he’ll get offended and leave and go do something else. The dog just gets sad and confused and looks for another way to use you as a bed in your new position.

    Also, just the loudness in general. God, the sound of barking drives me nuts. Meowing is infinitely preferable to it, and I say this as someone whose cat has a pretty loud meow.

  129. 129
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Well, I live neither in the US or Canada.
    The infections are indirectly linked to cats since, as I mentioned, they are the only permanent hosts.
    Most people who catch toxoplasmosis don’t even notice because the symptoms are ore or less the same as a cold.
    I remember the 80% from pregnancy classes, but a quick google search seems to indicate that North America has much lower rates than Europe.

  130. 130
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Funny, last night we went to a friend who has cats.
    After about 30 min one cat and my rather loud “Come over here cat I want to snuggle you!” daughter were BFFs.
    The cat even allowed her to take food out of his bowl and feed him by hand. They also shared food (thankfuly not the kitty food, to my surprise).

  131. 131
    'Tis Himself

    I’m much bigger than you.

    Sizist!

  132. 132
    Christianne

    You’ve been lucky, then. Our dogs have all been very clean. Our cats? Not so much. Our dogs don’t puke up hairballs or eat too much and then puke up their food. They don’t piss on the bed when they’re mad about something. They don’t sleep in their litter or play with their own feces. Our cats have done all of these things with no pattern to their behavior. Nasty creatures.

  133. 133
    Jodi

    It sounds like a lot of the problems people have with dogs are actually lack of training and bad ownership. Whereas if you’re a bad cat owner … well your cat is pretty much going to be the same as it always would have been. So cats are easier, point to them.

    I know of some amazingly well trained dogs who aren’t demanding, don’t smell, and don’t bark unless there is a real reason and then it’s only one warning bark. Their owners know how to keep them happy and healthy and introduce them properly to strangers. The result? They are friendly if you want to pet them, and leave you alone after a quick sniff if you don’t.

    If only all dog owners could be like that.

    Now if we want to talk about a pet that totally has it’s human ‘owner’ as a slave? Snakes.

  134. 134
    Sarah

    North America has a much lower rate of raw meat consumption than Europe does. I think even within Europe the rates vary a lot though, the UK has something like a 7% infection rate.

    Also just because the original source of the meat contamination comes from cats (mostly wild and feral cats) doesn’t mean that most infections come directly from cats. This means that cat owners are not more likely to have toxoplasmosis, but people who eat meat that may not be prepared correctly are at a greater risk (which makes the bit where doctors advise pregnant women against cleaning litter boxes, but not against eating meat kinda funny).

  135. 135
    Sarah

    If your cat is throwing up from eating, you should feed him/her smaller portions. Just drop some more food in the bowl every couple of minutes instead of dumping it all in at once. The cat will eventually get used to eating slower and won’t throw up.

    I don’t know what’s wrong with your cats that they piss on the bed. One of my cats did that once because he was locked in my room for a day and for some reason thought the bed was a better place to go than the floor. You might want to try scooping the litter box every day though so the cat will be happy with the box. You can also try re-house training the cat. There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to dealing with inappropriate elimination and this is something that’s totally fixable.

  136. 136
    Sarah

    Another suggestion for the vomiting: Take your cat to the vet to get him/her checked out. There could be a medical condition causing the vomiting. It could also be that your cat’s throat is irritated from vomiting, which makes him/her more likely to vomit in the future (yeah, awful system). There’s medication that can take care of this though.

  137. 137
    Stacy

    Whereas if you’re a bad cat owner … well your cat is pretty much going to be the same as it always would have been.

    No. With love and care, a cat will be more sociable, and it will be a much happier, healthier animal.

    Can we please lose the “it doesn’t matter how you treat cats” meme?

  138. 138
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    Data is needed to back up this assertion.

    Okay, here he is… Ode to Spot.

  139. 139
    Medivh

    Errrgh, gender essentialism. No thanks.

  140. 140
    Numenaster

    Regrettably, some cats drool also. My big guy, f’rinstance. It’s how I know he’s enjoying me petting him (like the purring wasn’t enough to tip me off). I’ve learned to watch carefully and get my hand out of the way if he starts scrubbing his face against me. Now he mostly drips on the bedspread. Eww indeed. His breath is nasty too. Probably means expensive dental work in his future–bad cat breath is usually tooth decay in process, where bad dog breath seems to be a sign that your dog is alive.

  141. 141
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Nice gender essentialism you got there. Totally not at all disgusting and sexist. Damn those high-maintenance bitches for not wanting to play when you want to, eh?

  142. 142
    SallyStrange

    Can you believe this thread is among the most active on FTB, even now, several days after it was posted?

    Yes. Yes, you can.

  143. 143
    Luna_the_cat

    What WMDkitty says. Thankyewverymuch.

  144. 144
    Luna_the_cat

    Dogs smell bad. Maybe not to you, but they sure do to me. Even if they’ve just been bathed, they still smell like dogs, and dogs just don’t smell good.

    Other than dog-smell, some dogs are quite tolerable. I am prepared to go that far. But to assert that they are better than cats…you are so, so wrong.

  145. 145
    Luna_the_cat

    That’s frankly about as surprising as water being wet. ;-D

  146. 146
    Cara

    Thank you for this post. I don’t dislike cats, but I’m allergic to them and get tired of the endless cat pictures and cat memes and cat discussion on the Internet. Besides, rats are way cuter and more social.

  147. 147
    Cosmic Snark

    Mah kitteh Gumby is displeased with the Crommunist. This does not bode well.

  148. 148
    Daniel Schealler

    Years later, future anthropologists will trace back the roots of the thousand year’s otter-cat wars to a few snippets of texts located on the poorly-understood, primitive and apocryphal relic known only as ‘the internets’.

  149. 149
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    That’s fine until you run out of marshmallows!

    There’s something primitively delightful in the way otters play. As Lewis Thomas wrote, “I am wired for otters.”

  150. 150
    Clytia

    I love Greta’s blog very much, and Jen’s, but I have got to agree, I don’t get the cat thing. I’ve never liked cats (plus I’m allergic), but I’m not much of an animal person in general. But cats especially. Ick.

  151. 151
    Donny Tamburo

    cats are cute PERIOD.

  1. 152
    Kitty filler | Blag Hag

    [...] I made this post before I realized Crommunist had thrown down the gauntlet and claimed my cat fascination is due to mind control parasi…. OH IT’S ONNNNN. Share this:EmailFacebookStumbleUponReddit Posted in cats « Onward [...]

  2. 153
    What I’ve Been Reading Feb. 23 | amandatheatheist

    [...] I hate cats, too. [...]

  3. 154
    Caturday: The Full-On Assault | Greta Christina's Blog

    [...] a few weeks ago, Crommunist threw down the gauntlet. He dared — DARED, I tell you — to bring the hate to cats, cat owners, and people who post about cats on the [...]

  4. 155
    Kitty guest post! | Blag Hag

    [...] Greta’s full out kitten cuteness assault and this, Crommunist is surely weeping somewhere. Share this:EmailFacebookStumbleUponReddit Posted in cats « [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>