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Nov 14 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cute Kittens: Compare and Contrast

I’m currently working on a piece comparing the child rape scandal at Penn State with the child rape scandal in the Catholic Church. It’s making me sick and sad. Over on Facebook, I pleaded, “Can’t I write a piece comparing chocolate chip cookies with cute kittens?”

And it was pointed out, by more than one person, that there’s no reason I can’t do both.

So. Chocolate chip cookies and cute kittens. How are they similar? How are they different? Is one superior to the other; are they equal/ are they simply not comparable with one another? Let’s discuss!

Similarities: Chocolate chip cookies and cute kittens are both wonderful. They make you smile. You can curl up with both of them on a rainy day, and it’s comforting and homey. They both have a tendency to leave detritus on the sofa — either in the form of cat hair or crumbs. They’re both soft and warm (not always the case with chocolate chip cookies, but often).

Differences: Chocolate chip cookies are delicious. They’re extra-delicious with coffee. They smell good. They have chocolate in them. You can bring them to work and leave them in your kitchen for your co-workers to enjoy. (I suppose you could do that with cute kittens, but it’s probably inadvisable.) You can make them yourself at home, which makes your house smell wonderful, or you can buy them at your favorite cafe or bakery.

Cute kittens, on the other hand, are fluffy. They’re alive and conscious, and you can interact with them and have a relationship with them. They love you (sort of, in their self-absorbed cat way). They scamper. You can dangle toys in front of them, and they’ll bat them around in an entertaining way. The bounce around the house going “boing, boing, boing,” and then suddenly fall asleep. They have big adorable eyes.

Conclusion: I am in favor of both chocolate chip cookies and cute kittens. They have some important similarities — mostly in the area of wonderfulness. They do, however, have some important differences, and are difficult to compare, since they serve such different functions in our lives.

Thoughts? How have these important issues played out in your own life?

71 comments

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  1. 1
    SteveInMI

    There are significant practical differences between the two. As Douglas Adams once mentioned, if you take a cat apart to see how it’s works, the first thing you’ll have on your hands is a non-working cat. If you take a chocolate chip cookie apart to see what’s inside, the first thing you’ll have is two yummy halves of a chocolate chip cookie.

    Ergo, cookies for the win! :)

  2. 2
    Kate from Iowa

    Technically you can also make cute kittens at home, though it takes a lot more time, noise, money and cleanup.

  3. 3
    Mara

    Hmm, more people are allergic to the kittens than to the cookies, so that’s a point in favor of the cookies ;)

    However, cookies don’t last much longer than a day or two and kittens become cats, so they stick around for years longer. So that’s a point in favor of the kittens.

    This is a difficult and complex issue that I think we need to spend more time contemplating.

  4. 4
    Amanda

    It should also be noted that cats don’t take well to being reheated in the microwave, but chocolate chip cookies absolutely do.

    Oh, and just TRY dunking a cat in milk. Not pretty.

  5. 5
    Pteryxx

    Cookies generate way fewer Youtube hits.

  6. 6
    Pteryxx

    Oh, and just TRY dunking a cat in milk. Not pretty.

    But, but cats are self-dunking! At least the tongues are.

  7. 7
    StarStorm

    Also, while one could argue that the pleasure of a kitten is far longer lasting than the pleasure of a chocolate chip cookie, you can easily have multiple cookies, while multiple kittens make you look like a crazy cat lady and is a pain to clean up after besides.

  8. 8
    Celeste

    Since I have a daughter who is gluten, dairy and soy intolerant, I find kitties are a much friendlier addition to our household than most cookies. They require far fewer specialized ingredients at least.

  9. 9
    Rocky Raccoon

    It’s hard for me to decide; cute kittens are savory while cookies are sweet. It’s like trying to decide whether or not I’m more cute or more evil.

  10. 10
    DSimon

    Other similarities:

    Both are suitable for captioning.

    Both of them are highly suitable for temporarily distracting all children and most adults.

    Both of them can wedge themselves behind the couch, thereupon requiring your assistance for their retrieval.

    Despite the fact that both begin with “sea”, they both react poorly when exposed to water.

    However, both exhibit positive reactions when milk is introduced. (Surgeon General’s Warning: Most cats are lactose-intolerant, be careful.)

    Both are totally super awesome for serious reals.

    (BTW, thanks for the autograph at the CFI thing in DC! Your talk was awesome.)

  11. 11
    Michael D.

    mmmm today I could really go for chocolate chip cookies and cute kittens…. runs off to bake cookies.

  12. 12
    Andy

    Chocolate chip cookies may be delicious, but cute kittens (in primary method of interaction, at least) are completely fat free! That may not be a fair comparison, however.

  13. 13
    unbound

    Chocolate chip cookies are important for comfort in that you can get them on-demand, and they don’t complain when you grab them at a whim.

    Cats are important in that they provide random entertainment for you. Lots of fun at the most unexpected times.

    However, in the case of one of my cats at least, they are bitter enemies with the cat happily grabbing a cookie (or a portion at least) out of my hands and devouring it. I haven’t seen any of the cookies fight back…yet…

  14. 14
    Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy

    Kittens turn into slightly less cute grown-up cats who will sit in my lap or curl around my head at night.

    Chocolate chip cookies either get used up, or turn into stale cookies.

    On the other hand, in seven years we haven’t entirely taught this cat not to nip at people’s shins, and curling around my head is less endearing when he decides to wash me, because that’s hard to sleep through.

    But I can enjoy the cat without needing to brush my teeth afterwards.

    It’s a hard choice.

    Can I have both?

  15. 15
    JT Eberhard

    “Differences: Chocolate chip cookies are delicious.”

    So are kittens.

  16. 16
    Susan

    Chocholate chip cookies make your house smell good, but kittens have the potential make your house stink. So that is one strike against kittens. On the other hand, you can still enjoy kittens when you are trying to lose weight–snuggling kittens has no calories. All things considered, I have to say I would much rather live without cookies than to live without kittens. But that’s just me.

  17. 17
    [email protected]

    I thought my cat was the only one that stole cookies – but his favourite is shortbread, not chocolate chip.

    If I had to pick one to give up for the rest of my life, it would definitely be the cookies, not the kittens.

  18. 18
    Flewellyn

    I for one welcome our cute kitten overlords.

  19. 19
    J Lantern

    I’m with you Greta! I love them both! We should try breeding chocolate-chip kittens!

  20. 20
    FeministWhore

    Chocolate chip cookies don’t have claws.

  21. 21
    ischemgeek

    Chocolate chip cookies are tasty but I have to be careful due to a genetic predisposition to diabetes (which I Do Not Want in part due to not wanting a third chronic condition to worry about and in part due to my fear of needles).

    Kittens are cute and adorable but I have to be careful not to touch or spend too much time around them, lest I break out in hives and have an asthma attack.

    In both cases, I generally try avoidance as my willpower is nonexistent when faced directly with the Power of Cute or the Power of Chocolate.

    Decisions, decisions…

  22. 22
    Laura-Ray

    I think kittens can be better contrasted with chocolate chip cookie dough, because both are in their premature state, and everyone has that guilty pleasure of wanting dough/kittens WAY TOO MUCH MORE than cookies/cats (maybe that’s just me? I don’t eat cookies anymore… just dough).
    In conclusion, I just ate some cookie dough and then looked at kittens on the internet.

  23. 23
    Kate from Iowa

    There’s also the issue of it being easier to get the nuts off a kitten than out of a cookie, should you be potentially exposing a houseguest with that particular allergy.

  24. 24
    Elaine

    Kittens are very much like chocolate chip cookies.

    There was a character in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” who observed that “Kittens are DELICIOUS!” (After seeing Buffy’s look of horror, he did decide to kick the habit.) So, at least according to Joss Whedon, kittens are, in fact, delicious.

    They can also be made at home. I personally had an experience where I opened my kitchen door and a cat ran in and ate my dinner. She decided to stay, I named her Mehitabel, and she birthed a passel of kittens in my closet. Free kittens! In essence, I did wind up with a bunch of kittens due to something that happened in my kitchen.

    Kittens can be a pleasure that, like cookies, is short lived. They are only kitteny for about 6 months and then suddenly, they turn into cats. The ears are no longer too big for their heads and their heads are no longer too big for their bodies. As a person who worked in a shelter, I was dismayed at all the 1 year old cats who were dropped off.

    Kittens and chocolate chip cookies can, it seems, permanently attach themselves to your thighs. There you are, minding your own business, and Bootsy suddenly charges up your leg, hanging by needle-like claws. Fortunately, when they’re about four months old, that stops.

    It is, in both cases, more fun when you have more than one, although for different reasons.

  25. 25
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    …how does one spay a cookie?

  26. 26
    andrea

    kittens are not delicious, at least not the hairs that get into everythign I cook :)

    however, chocolate chip cookies are. Adn they are even better with half the chocolate chips (using the toll house recipe) replaced with toffee chips.

    my one cat stole a whole stack of Girl Scout tagalongs and licked all of the chocolate from one side.

  27. 27
    Parse

    There’s no Kittie Monster on Sesame Street.
    Also, there are far fewer conditions where cookies will become fuzzy, whereas kittens will become fuzzy under most circumstances.

  28. 28
    jolo5309

    But I prefer peanut butter cookies and puppies!

  29. 29
    Cthandhs

    Cookies, Kittehs and Coffee… My evening plans are now Complete!

  30. 30
    plutosdad

    My dog, Pluto, disagrees, and thinks both are equally tasty!

    There is an “outdoor cat” down the block I have to be careful of when we walk near, he is always out and about. I don’t know how that thing stays alive, well I feel the same way about the rabbits that live near me (in East Lakeview, Chicago).

  31. 31
    Daniel

    This is the greatest thing ever.

  32. 32
    Blue Duck

    I very much doubt kittens are delicious. Or at least, their larger cousins, cougars, are not delicious. Yech. Worst. Meat. Everrrrr.

    (no, no, I was not out slaughtering cougars. It just happens, I was at a gathering for flint knappers, and one participant had killed a cougar and made stew. I thought, how often does one get a chance to try cougar stew? So I tried a little. Sometimes, trying to be adventuresome is NOT a good idea. Stick with the cookies. Unless they are Cougar Cookies…..)

  33. 33
    Didaktylos

    There are times when you need a cute kitten. There are time when you need a chocolate chip cookie (or plateful). To be truly happy you need to be able to obtain either when you need them.

  34. 34
    Ally

    Best post.

    Unfortunately, while I totally agree with everything you said about cookies, I have been unfortunately neglected in the area of kittens! However, I DO have a pet dog instead, and while there are some differences, they’re also pretty awesome – they’re warm and kind and always look excited when you come back after a trip and you can take them on walks!

    In conclusion, I agree with your argument, but would like to add that dogs also have great wonderfulness attributes!

  35. 35
    Unbeliever

    Chocolate chip cookies are there for you when YOU want them.

    Kittens demand conformance to THEIR schedules.

    Chocolate Always Wins.

  36. 36
    Maria

    Since I haven’t had any cookies, or any kind of sweets at all in eight months… I am now going to go cry in a corner :-( ;-)

    (I have lost 40 pounds though!)

  37. 37
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    I’ll take the feline overlords — teh cookies are yummy, but they just don’t last long enough and tend to have some unpleasant side effects (for me).

  38. 38
    geocatherder

    Kittens don’t add pounds to my backside. OTOH, as chief servant to two cats, both of which I acquired as kittens, I must admit that cookies don’t wake you up at some ungodly hour of the morning by kneading your tits, wanting scritches. I love my kitties, but I wish they’d be as active as cookies overnight…

  39. 39
    GaryU (@LabSpecimen)

    Buying chocolate supports slavery. Kittens are guilt-free.

  40. 40
    Rebecca H

    I have yet to be offered a lease which forbids chocolate chip cookies.

  41. 41
    Robert B.

    You can put pumpkin in your chocolate chip cookies, or you can put your kitten in a pumpkin. Both combinations will make you smile, though in the latter case the kitten might become upset and moist.

  42. 42
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    You can also put your chocolate chip cookies in a pumpkin. The other reverse relationship doesn’t…really…hold… O.O

  43. 43
    hoverfrog

    Kittens and chocolate chips both make me wrinkle my nose in disgust. I simply cannot understand what the appeal is for either. Replace the chocolate with raisins and you’re on to a clear winner though.

    Also if you feed a kitten enough chocolate, it will die. You’d have to force feed the bugger though because they have no taste for sweet food (preferring to eat the souls of children apparently). I find it curious that a cat is considered sweet and adorable when cats are completely unable to perceive sweetness at all.

    I also dislike Christmas.

    Humbug!

  44. 44
    LadyBlack

    I’m not allowed to eat cookies, but then I can’t have a kitten either.

    D is allowed to eat cookies, so we have more cookies in the flat than kittens, but I would always prefer to see a kitten.

    Kittens last longer.

    You can wrap cookies.

    Cookies don’t fight back when you’re trying to get pills inside them.

    Cookies on the lap tend to melt and it takes longer to get them to move on their own. Mind you, when you stand up suddenly, they don’t latch on with lots of needles.

    I have yet to have a cookie leap up my bare leg when trying to feed it (always exciting for the neighbours, that one).

    Look, how about a compromise? A kitten named Cookie (have we done that?). Or a cookie named Kitten. I’m not cookieist.

  45. 45
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Chocolate chip cookies do not attempt to pounce you when you’re coming out of the bathroom after a shower (although I still have not been pounced because my kitten fails to notice the mirror that I can see him in.)

    On the other hand, chocolate chip cookies do not sit on your face and make you unable to breathe the next morning because of mild allergies. I suppose you could put chocolate chip cookies on your face if you wanted… but that’s just silly.

    Also, both of them fit perfectly in boxes – except kittens are cuter in boxes than chocolate chip cookies.

  46. 46
    lordshipmayhem

    Chocolate chip cookies do not have a lot of meat on them. Neither do kittens.

    ALF assures me, though, that kittens are quite tasty and fill him up fairly quickly.

  47. 47
    FreebornJayne

    An absence of cookies can quite easily be made up for with an abundance of cakes, chocolates, candies, and other such things, which, while different, do satisfy a craving for something sweet and fatty. These things tend to appeal quite well to the cookie crowd. What, then, to substitute for an absence of kittens? Puppies have some similarities, but they require a lot more time and effort, and often appeal less to people of a feline persuasion due to their enthusiastic, submissive behavior. Kittens will also grow into cats, which, though not quite as precious, are still pretty awesome, whereas cookies, if eaten, will grow into excrement. Ergo, given the choice between the two, I would take kittens over cookies any day.

    (I have a feeling that I’m going to like this a lot more than a comparison of child-rape scandals, somehow…)

  48. 48
    Lauren Ipsum

    You can also put your chocolate chip cookies in a pumpkin. The other reverse relationship doesn’t…really…hold…

    Try googling “Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies” and see how many recipes you get. mmmmmmmm

    Kittens need to be fixed and get various shots for their health. Chocolate chip cookies need no fixing, even if they are broken, and you can have several at a shot (which is good for your mental health).

    Kittens purr, love to play with you, and do silly things you can record and upload to YouTube. Chocolate chip cookies have very little initiative and do not appreciate social media.

    Draw.

  49. 49
    Dave

    You know, even though you are a gifted writer, you don’t have to write about everything.

    And even though you’re an opinionated person, you don’t have to have an opinion about everything.

    Give yourself permission to let some things go.

    We certainly do.

  50. 50
    MarkNS

    Chocolate chip cookies don’t piss on the floor. Chocolate chip cookies FTW.

  51. 51
    Roeland

    Reaction to garyusleaman:
    “Buying chocolate supports slavery. Kittens are guilt-free.”

    Here is some slave-free chocolate for you: http://www.tonyschocolonely.com/

  52. 52
    Dave

    BTW: I didn’t mean my last comment to be snarky or anything. (Perhaps it reads that way.)

    But when I read that you were working on a piece comparing Penn State and the Catholic Church… I mean, I just thought, oh, you poor thing! You don’t have to do that to yourself for us!

  53. 53
    PZ Myers

    Kittens: more protein.

    Cookies: more carbohydrates.

    It all depends on what you’re trying to get in your diet.

  54. 54
    Sheila Crosby

    Hmm. You never have to make horrible decisions about one-way trips to the vet with your cookies. But then they don’t purr either.

  55. 55
    David in NYC

    I am second to none in my appreciation of all things chocolate, including chocolate chip cookies.

    But I have never, ever gone “Squee!” at the sight of a chocolate chip cookie (and I would bet nobody else has, either).

    So, I cast my vote for kitties.

    P.S. Greta, this is an awesome post! Just what I needed on a really crappy day at work — my smile has returned. ;-)

  56. 56
    carolw

    The joys of chocolate chip cookies are fleeting.
    Cookies don’t tuck me in bed and purr on my chest until I’m asleep. They don’t make happy feet on my lap when I get home from work and sit down. They don’t have soft fuzzy bellies. They don’t play in paper bags. They don’t sit in the doorway and guard whatever room I’m in. They don’t have conversations with me.
    Kitties win.

  57. 57
    mingfrommongo

    The recipes for each have been improved through a nonrandom process by which favorable traits are passed down to the next batch. Reproduction of successful traits varies however. Cookie populations tend to dwindle until favorable environmental factors arise (Do I have chips? Can I get my fat ass of the couch to bake again?), while kitten populations will rise until curtailed by negative environmental concerns (“You haven’t poured any fresh kibble in the last hour, We’re off to the neighbor’s”)

    Also, cookies make lousy slippers.

  58. 58
    Elaine

    While you can get chocolate that is slavery-free, being around a kitten supports slavery…yours.

    I, for one, welcome my feline overlords.

  59. 59
    northbronx

    Kittens prefer laps; cookies prefer hips.

  60. 60
    Nick Gotts

    I much prefer the cookies myself – too much fur on a cat – but either would make a nice treat for my dog.

  61. 61
    Nick Gotts

    Kittens are guilt-free. – garyuseleman

    Domestic cats are reckoned to kill around 50,000,000 songbirds a year in the UK. How sweet.

  62. 62
    Dorothy

    KG
    I question your data.

  63. 63
    becca

    I’d say they both serve very similar functions in our lives- stress relief, mainly. Nonetheless, both can backfire and be associated with more stress. On that count, I’ve gotta go with cookies. Because as stressful as weight consciousness/guilt over excessive consumption of sweet things is, it still beats pee on the carpet.

  64. 64
    Alyson Miers

    When you need something transitory and passive, it’s hard to beat a chocolate chip cookie. When you need something long-term, and mutual, the kitten is the way to go. Cookies are delicious, but a kitten loves you back.

    Also, you can give names to kittens. If you carry a cookie around the house and call it Iggy, people tend not to hang out with you so much anymore.

  65. 65
    threecathome

    While both cookies and kittens can go into boxes, kittens frequently will enter the box on their own, saving you much trouble. And, unlike chocolate chip cookies, kittens can be enjoyed all day long for an indefinite amount of time without giving you a stomach ache. Kittens for the win.

  66. 66
    Diatryma

    Cookies do not pee on your carpet repeatedly! But then again, trying to cuddle a cookie will leave you in crumbs and feeling silly. :D

  67. 67
    NathanDST

    Chocolate chip cookies and cute kittens are both wonderful.

    Chocolate chip cookies are delicious.

    I must say, since everything positive you say about chocolate chip cookies follows from these two glaringly false premises, that there really is very little true comparison between them and cute kittens. Yes, cute kittens are wonderful. But, chocolate chip cookies are neither wonderful, nor delicious. Therefore, kittens win.

    (however, chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips are tasty — but kittens still win)

  68. 68
    KG

    dorothy@62

    The figure is a rounding down of the 55 million estimate of C. J. MEAD (1982) “Ringed birds killed by cats”, Mammal Review, Volume 12, Issue 4, pages 183–186. I find a more recent estimate is somewhat lower – 25-29 million: M. Woods, R.A. Mcdonald and S. Harris (2003) “Predation of wildlife by domestic cats Felis catus in Great Britain”, Mammal Review, Volume 33, Issue 2, pages 174–188. How much difference this makes to songbird populations is unclear, but quite a number of songbird species in the UK are in decline, and this has coincided (yes, I know correlation does not imply causation), with a rise in the number of domestic cats.

  69. 69
    tracybradley

    Kittens are naturally gluten-free, and so I am forced to select kittens FTW. Though, I miss the cookies – cookies never horked up on my rug, or ‘forced’ me via subtle emotional manipulation to keep various battered cardboard boxes around the house as play forts.

    Of course, cookies never re-wrote the bible in cookie-speak, so cookies suck.

  70. 70
    Geroncjusz2786

    I just like the valuable information you supply for your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check once more right here regularly. I am quite certain I’ll be informed a lot of new stuff right right here! Good luck for the following!

  71. 71
    Stephen Foster

    Chocolate cookies used to warm ones toes are not likely to be desirable for other uses, except compost. Cats, however, can still provide further entertainment and still be available for more thermal delight.

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