Oh, boy! Another internet popularity contest! »« Good hair turns out to be a poor science educator

OH NOES. I IZ CONFLICTED.

A reader in Orono, Minnesota, has named their cat after me. Here’s Professor ZouZou Myers.

The red in her dark hair does resemble my coloring (before the gray took over the beard), and she is sitting on the edge of a bathtub, wishing there were squid in it, so maybe it’s OK.

Comments

  1. Irene Delse says

    Give this cat a few zebrafish, she’ll become a “marine biologist” in no time! And a most appreciative one, at that.

  2. thunderbird5 says

    I propose a couple of chew toys gifts for her: let’s call them Ken Ham and Kent Hovind.

  3. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    Cute! I love torties whether their named after PZ or not. :p

  4. Aquaria says

    A shiver of terror just ran through me.

    I had a kitty that looked like this. She was Basement Cat: Ill-tempered in the extreme from all the ‘ese’ in her, as the vet put it. Very outspoken about being displeased. At everything. And she didn’t just play with yarn. When she’d catch it, she’d eat it. I was constantly having to battle with her to keep the yarn out of her tummy.

    After she got spayed, they brought her back out to me wrapped in a large towel, and she was growling. When I started to take the towel off her, the guy held out his (scratched-up) arms, and said, “No. That’s okay. You can keep it.” The entire staff had claw marks from dealing with her.

    Sigh.

    And she was so cute when she was little, curling up in my hair. Sitting on AC adapters and giving us the cutest, sweetest looks. Just completely adorable. I don’t know what happened to her, but she was by far the meanest cat I’ve ever owned.

  5. thunderbird5 says

    Speaking of/chewing Ken Ham, I just found the following extract from an interview he gave to some arse-kissingly admiring cabbage. What freaks me out is that this is evidently an entirely normal manner of discourse and dissemination between Christian fundies – there’s no reason to believe the transcript is incorrect – they really do talk like this. Anyway, the particular sample of insanity here is Ken on the missus and the kids:

    http://www.arky.org/newsltr/intrview/ham1.htm

    I’d like to see Professor Zou Zou Myers rip Ken Ham chew toy’s head clean off.

  6. says

    Very cute! Now on Caturday you can keep up with her doings.

    Cat face pheromones work wonders on stressed-out cats–very good for introducing new ones into the household. The cats cease stalking each other and lie around looking blissed out. Pricey, but I wonder if they would have helped your Spawn of Basement Cat.

  7. thunderbird5 says

    #8 (Aquaria) – I have a (now fixed) tom who is the image of Basement Cat (18lb, farmhouse-cat-type cobby build, black, fluffy) and he’s just one great big amiable lollop. Follows you around like a dog, very sociable with other cats too.
    Yup, an absolute sweetheart – until you try to put him in the cat carrier. Even once inside he’ll just batter down the catch with his cobblestone-size paw. We’ve worked out it’s much safer and less traumatic to just let him lie along the parcel shelf at the back of the car.

    The last time the Jevovah’s Witnesses came round here to try their thing (9am one Saturday morning), as soon as I’d opened the door he lept off the stairs from behind me and launched himself straight at them . Of course, he just wanted to go outside and fancied taking off and out through the door in exhuberant style – but the Watchtower Wives reacted as though the Familiar of Satan was going for their nylons. They RAN.

  8. Sili says

    My cats still don’t get along very well.

    The new one refuses to stop trying to be the boss of everything he surveys. Fat fucker.

  9. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I object to the title “Professor” being used before this stupid animal has even navigated the tenure process. After years of dedication, our own esteemed Squidly OL is still saddled with the modifer “Associate”.

    Assistant Professor Zou Zou Meyers, please.

  10. otrame says

    That cat looks like it knows where its towel is.

    Of course. ALL cats know where their towel is.

    I don’t know what happened to her, but she was by far the meanest cat I’ve ever owned.

    I’ve had a couple of cats that were properly socialized, but who never became social. My Mom had one that was flatly psychotic. So did a friend–ended up attacking her kids, forcing them to hid in the bathroom until an adult got home. Most cats own their people and will treat them the way they are treated (if treated like a piece of furniture, they treat their people like pieces of furniture; if treated like a beloved pet, they will treat their people like beloved pets), but there are individuals who do not deal with being house cats well. They should not be allowed to breed.

    It’s a vicious adaptable, solitary predator.

    Actually the wild animal that became domestic cats were probably not solitary. Feral cats form prides very much like those of lions and their wild ancestors probably did too.

    Think of it as a land octopus.

    Well, anyone who has ever tried to put a cat somewhere the cat does not want to go (like a cat carrier) knows that they grow extra legs and tails when under such stress, so yeah, land octopus.

  11. Irene Delse says

    @ autumn:

    That cat looks like it knows where its towel is.

    In a manner of speaking ;-)

    @ Antiochus Epiphanes:

    No, no, you don’t get it: of course the cat is a Professor, she’s got one of those wondrous online degrees!

    @ otrame:

    Alternately, there’s the Pratchett method (from The Unadulterated Cat) to give a pill to kittehs:

    1) With one hand, hold the cat down;

    2) With the other, open its mouth;

    3) Grow a third hand and put the pill in the cat’s mouth…

  12. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Have to admit it, that’s a very cool cat land octopus.

  13. says

    Radpumpkin beat me to that link, dammit.

    Aquaria: Heh, when a friend of mine lived with me last year, the meanest-tempered of her three cats hid in the basement for the first few days and did nothing but hiss and growl when we opened the door. We called her “Basement Cat.”

    (Then she took over the living room couch for the remainder of her tenure here, and she became “Couch Cat.”)

  14. Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach says

    Nooo! Don’t cave PZ. I rely on you and this place for the solidarity of the Anti-Caturday posts. I need to know that there are others out there that haven’t fallen under the vile hypnotic control of those terrible felines.

    Yeah sure, it was cool that I was able to train my sister’s cat to lure in suckers, then attack on command. But that’s no reason to tolerate the nasty nose-plugging, eye-watering, sinus-clogging fuzzy bastards!

    Cephalopods forever!

  15. otrame says

    @27

    Clearly you have never tried to put a cat in a cat carrier. They hide quite a few of their limbs most of the time, but when they really need them…. (see #21, above)

  16. interrobang says

    Aw, she’s adorable. I have a tortoiseshell cat too.

    How much do you want to bet me that when Uncle PZed actually gets within range of a cat he’s all like “Aww, hi, sweetie,” and has that nonstop petting hand going? I recognise that patented “Harrumph.” My dad, who is completely owned by my parents’ black and white cat Zoey, is exactly the same way.

  17. Musca Domestica says

    I knew the black torties were the bestest kitties there is – they even broke PZ!

    (Lulu sez hai!)

  18. magistramarla says

    AWWWW-
    See PZ, cats are really incredible creatures. This one will surely live up to her name and be extremely intelligent, albeit a bit curmudgeonly.

  19. Gregory Greenwood says

    Even PZ is not immune to the hypnotic cute-itude of ‘teh kitteh’…

    Unless we can find some means to resist, we are all doomed to eternal servitude to our feline masters/mistresses.

    The search for the Chosen One who can approach a cat without starting to babble inanely continues.

  20. Lofty says

    I’ve got a female cat that colour scheme, when she lies in front of the slow combustion stove she exactly mimics the shades of the flames and ash. Woulda been a witches familiar in the bad old days and have been killed for her ebilness.

    Lucky she’s a total sweetie, not afraid of anyone and resolutely cheerful. I swear she’s giggling when she rushes up to our male cat and bops him on the nose, then prances off with her tail up.

  21. StevoR says

    Wow! That looks exactly like the cat that owns me – Zosma*! Must be her twin! Love it. :-D

    * Named for Delta Leonis :

    http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/zosma.html

    Our story in a nutshell : She was a stray found around Christmas time and dubbed “Noeline” by the Hahndorf animal shelter. Found her about three years ago there being bullied by the other cats and hiding in this one little shelter – she came over and licked my nose and that was it! Took her home, had her ever since. original scaredycat – very timid – but now very pampered and soppy too.

  22. Alverant says

    I have 3 cats. All rescues, rejected by others. All friendly and loving and loyal. One was abandoned by his old family but is the most laid back cat I’ve met. One was a stray who was adopted then returned but turned out to be very loyal and just wants me to hold her while she takes a nap. One was a stray who saw her mother be horribly attacked by people but she bonded with me quickly and loves to be petted by everyone.

  23. Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach says

    The search for the Chosen One who can approach a cat without starting to babble inanely continues.

    At last, my time has come. I knew I had a greater purpose, a destiny if you will. It is finally time to put my super power to use.

    Or, maybe I’m just stuck being “that weird guy who hates cats”. Seriously, why the hell is everyone so crazy about cats?

  24. Lofty says

    Seriously, why the hell is everyone so crazy about cats?

    It’s their comparatively large eyes, they hit the “care for me” button in susceptible humans.You are obviously conditioned differently.

  25. DLC says

    PZ Kitteh sez Ceiling Cat doezn exist.
    No Basement Cat Neither.
    Can haz cheezburger anyway ?
    kthxbai.

  26. chigau (同じ) says

    If Basement Cat doesn’t exist, where is all that poo coming from?
    Eh? Answer me that!

  27. Francisco Bacopa says

    Actually the wild animal that became domestic cats were probably not solitary. Feral cats form prides very much like those of lions and their wild ancestors probably did too.

    Feral and semi-feral cats form pride-like social groups only when there is plenty of food from direct human feeding or abundant prey due to human activity. Yes, related females will cross-nurse kittens just like lions do, and males will form ruling coalitions that drive out other males. But this never happens when populations are sparse. The cats of the Sahara live solitary lives a just like the lynx and cougar.

  28. F says

    Yep. Felis silvestris are pretty much solitary like most felids.

    I have a tortoiseshell with an awful given name (I call her My Lord Arioch if I feel the need for a formal name, and Psssst! is what gets her attention) who is pretty much an ass. Beautiful, sometimes snuggly with me, but a complete ass. I partly blame her former owner, but we’ve worked past a lot of her old bad habits, so most of it is on her, now. Her sheer stupidity and her cruelty to my SO cause plenty of trouble.

    I miss our old Tigger kitty.

  29. Trebuchet says

    Clearly you have never tried to put a cat in a cat carrier. They hide quite a few of their limbs most of the time, but when they really need them…. (see #21, above)

    There’s a procedure for getting the cat in the carrier in my house:
    1. Open carrier door.
    2. Say, “Bunny, get in your carrier.”
    3. Close door.

    She then proceeds to meow for the entirety of the drive to the other place, where, once released, she decides to sleep in the carrier.

  30. diotima says

    Torties are famous notorious for being bossy and argumentative so she’s well named. She’s also gorgeous…

  31. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc says

    Similar colour scheme to a friend’s cat, although that one (Mitzi) was a fairly ugly kitten. She grew into her colouring, though.

  32. brazenlucidity says

    I had to put down one of my two cats a week ago. Thirteen years is a long time to be with an animal. Hurt like a motherfucker. I cried like a baby. Life continues though. I hope this cat brings as much enjoyment to its owner as mine did to me.

  33. David Marjanović says

    Of course. ALL cats know where their towel is.

    Well, duh. That’s because it’s so easy: all your towel are belong to them.

    The search for the Chosen One who can approach a cat without starting to babble inanely continues.

    …erm… that would be me. I don’t talk to cats. After all, they don’t talk to me either!

    (I might talk to a dog, except I’m not a dog person in the first place.)

    Instead, I just stand or sit there and let my hand hang. Most cats simply come sooner or later and scratch themselves against it. When that goes on, I can start petting… then I may end up with a purring kitteh on my lap…

    Alright, I am the Messiah!

    Or, maybe I’m just stuck being “that weird guy who hates cats”. Seriously, why the hell is everyone so crazy about cats?

    Let me guess… are you an extrovert? :-)

    1) Unlike most dogs of similar or lesser size, cats know they’re too small to kill me, so they don’t bother trying.
    2) Cats either ignore me, or they simply come up to me and quietly like me. That’s uncommon for dogs and humans.

    PZ Kitteh sez Ceiling Cat doezn exist.
    No Basement Cat Neither.
    Can haz cheezburger anyway ?
    kthxbai.

    Thread won. =^_^=

  34. redwood says

    Actually, squid is bad for cats. Dried squid is a popular snack where I live and I gave some to one of my cats once, only to catch hell from my wife when she got home because she knew it would mess up their motor coordination. Sure enough, a bit later, the cat lost control of its rear legs and was crawling around using only its front ones, which scared the crap out of me. It was okay by the next morning, though, and hasn’t suffered any ill effects since, to my great relief.

  35. Trebuchet says

    Long ears, short tail vs short ears, long tail? What’s the difference? I guess if we ever get a rabbit (unlikely) we’ll have to call it “Kitty”.

  36. Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach says

    Let me guess… are you an extrovert? :-)

    Not sure I understand the relevance of the question. But no, I am definitely not an extrovert.

  37. Cosmas says

    Thank for all the nice comments for PZ Myers Super Kitty. She’s 7-8 months old now, very sweet and a good hunter, but, unlike her brother Gary, she’s rather shy when new ppl visit. We’ve never had a female cat before, however since they were inseperable on the farm we took them both. She gets along with our elderly Corgi and likes to attack the TV screen when animals appear on nature shows.
    Thank you PZ for posting PZ’s pic. Even my theist Husbear has your site bookmarked now.

    PS. (@ # 9) I’d be honored if my name (real or nom du plume)were used to name any oceanic dweller be it fish, cephalopod, or even plankton