Somnolence distortion field…engage!

We’re fostering this wicked little kitty, and one of the things we’re trying to do is get her adopted. To do that, we’re supposed to take a photo, but there’s a problem: she doesn’t hold still. She’s running around everywhere, mauling my squid toys, stuffing her snout in her food bowl, chasing her tail, whatever entertains the tiny brain of a small cat.

So I had to use one of my superpowers. True fact: I have a magical ability to put things to sleep, as my students can attest. But also when my kids were growing up, it almost never failed, put them in my arms and clonk, zzzzz, they were out. So I have tried it on the cat. And it still works. I managed to snap a quick one just as her eyes were closing.

Picture 4

Picture 3

So if you have your own somnolence distortion field, or if you don’t mind an energetic beast, contact the Stevens Community Humane Society, and tell them you want to rescue Ivy from that hellbound Myers household.


  1. says

    How much would it cost to have you package up a somnolence distortion field and send it next door to ND? I seem to have the opposite effect on other beings in the house.

  2. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Dammit! I wish I was in a position to adopt that cutie.

    (Shut up! I mean the cat.)

  3. Dick the Damned says

    It looks to me like she’s doing a number on you. In a few days, after she’s thoroughly inveigled her way into your affection, how are you going to be able to give her up for adoption?

    Is she also working on the trophy wife? (Rhetorical question, eh.)

  4. laurentweppe says

    If you want to save the Myers household from the black furred tyrant and stop people from pointing this blog as proof that atheism leads to enslavement to the perfidious felines, contact the humane society, and give the Myers family a dog before it is too late

  5. rdmcpeek43 says

    Did you hear that loud scream of disbelief? That was Jerry Coyne wailing something about Photoshop.
    And if you don’t cease this fakery, your household may, in fact, be hellbound, or something. I’m only reporting.

  6. latsot says

    She looks a lot like my cat Fortran, except that Fortran will quite happily rend your flesh from your bones even while she’s asleep in your arms and purring.

    I’m more scar than human, now.

  7. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    I think a picture against a lighter colored shirt would have shown off the kitty a bit better, she blends in against the one you are wearing.

  8. magistramarla says

    Admit it PZ. You’re perfectly comfortable with a kitty sleeping in your lap.

  9. otrame says

    She’s already Supervising, PZ. You may have trouble getting rid of her. Once they start that, you wonder how you get anything done without felid Supervision. Trust me on this.

  10. cgilder says

    I’ve resorted to taking videos of my fosters most of the time. Chances of a great kitten picture are slim unless my husband gets out his whole photography rig. Right now I have three 10 week-olds and one 10 year old. The babies are half of the v15 litter, so they are Velly Bean, Volly Rancher, and Vopper (after 14 sets of V-names, I think they’re starting to run out of ideas. I have also fostered and Eggroll this year!)

    Anyways, they are so cute my mind has trouble comprehending it. Velly is the runt and is just finally starting to grow fur back (bad ringworm) on her belly, sides, and face, so she has this downy yoda with a Mohawk look going. For one week I was also babysitting their 3 siblings Vizzler, Vittles, and Vobstopper. It was pure adorable chaos in my house. 10 cats total. My kids were beside themselves with kitten glee, and the kittens ate about $15 in food a day. Glad I’m back to just the 3!

    I’m actually most attached to the old lady crankypants foster I have. I never have a problem adopting out the kittens, but Tiger is a hospice/palliative care case, and while she’s up for adoption, chances are good she’ll be with us for the rest of her life. She loud, demanding, and somehow, completely sweet and lovable.

    I guess I should put in an official plug that they are adoptable through Austin Pets Alive!

  11. Alverant says

    She loves you. Cats don’t let themselves be vulnerable with people they don’t trust. She looks like a cat I tried fostering a few years ago. I adopted her because she refused to let anyone else take her home.

  12. mmLilje says


    Sorry. That cat looks a lot like a cat my family adopted when I was younger. He died of kidney failure two years ago at the age of seven. And I mean, looks almost identical. Even has the same white dot on the chest.

    I’d take her but I don’t think the Stevens Community ship trans-atlantic. Probably wouldn’t be pleasant to the cat either.

  13. Alverant says

    Halloween is coming so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check out any potential adopters for a (mostly) black cat. There’s a lot of sick fucks out there who would do horrible things to cats this time of year if they could. I would wait until November for her own safety. Of course that means more time to let her convince you to keep her, but I could think of worse things.

  14. says

    and one of the things we’re trying to do is get her adopted

    Too late for that. You have been assimililated. You’ll be cutting sleeves off next…

  15. anuran says

    She’s training you to sleep on command. It will make it so much easier to murder you in your sleep.

  16. twincats says

    She’s the spitting image of my cat so I think she’s beautiful, natch. Differences being mine is a 14 yo neutered male with just a frosting of white hairs where her white patch is. But that top pic is Bunny* all over!

    *No, I didn’t name him that; his previous people did and he answers to it. As in, comes when you call (!)

  17. Francisco Bacopa says

    I knew the kitteh would subvert PZ. Now cat domination of the internetz is complete.

  18. magistramarla says

    The kitty is beautiful. We had a male named Kool Cat (KC for short) who looked just like her. He moved into our house when the lady down the street who rescues cats adopted a dog that KC didn’t like.
    He passed away at the ripe old age of 18. He was a real sweetheart.
    Keep the Kitty, PZ. She obviously is right at home with you, and you could continue to upload pictures of her for all of us to admire the same way that Greta does with her sweet herd of kitties.

  19. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I have to agree with the Pharyngula Echo Chamber…the cat is adorable and clearly is comfy with you.
    To those who foster: it is so awesome that you do this. I have had several cats and a few dogs in my life. I get attached to them quickly and I do not think I could give them away.

  20. JohnnieCanuck says

    I used to volunteer at the local salmonid enhancement facility. They had been ‘adopted’ by a cat as well. She used to be fed the fingerlings that hadn’t made it. Then a vet mentioned that it wasn’t good for her to live exclusively on fish and we had to buy cat food and fish food.

    Is it possible the cat knows about the zebrafish colony and is plotting something nefarious?

  21. says

    @ PZ

    She’s running around everywhere, mauling my squid toys, stuffing her snout in her food bowl, chasing her tail, whatever entertains the tiny brain of a small cat.

    Yup, I know those symptoms. The only solution is to find another kitten for her to play with.

    Kittehmath is a little different. Two kittehz are definitely less trouble than one kitteh. By now you are beginning to realise that resistance is futile. Go easy on yourself and the plushies. Adopt another cat.

  22. says

    Any chance you can project the Somnolence Distortion Field remotely? I’m an insomniac.

    Also, are the popup ads really necessary? It’s not 1996.

  23. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    You may have a slow heartbeat, which tells infants and kitties that all is calm and they are safe.

    It’s amusing to count the seconds until she changes activities. The attention span of a kitten is approximately seven seconds.

  24. Who Cares says

    Markita Lynda—threadrupt said:

    The attention span of a kitten is approximately seven seconds.

    Unless they are looking for the laser pointer dot.

  25. MadHatter says

    Awww, if I weren’t on the other side of the pond I’d take her in a heartbeat. I love black and tuxedo kitties anyhow and I so miss having one in my arms. But I think everyone else is right. You’ve been adopted, you’re stuck now!

  26. madtom1999 says

    Is there one pointed at your governement at the moment?
    For a conspiracy theory the idea that a government default is what is really wanted would of course require the republicans and the tea party to be the ones to gain when interest rates on government loans rocket.

  27. says

    My field is so strong I once put a three year old, 2 kittens, and a chihuahua to sleep, and then I had to pee. To bad somnolence doesn’t include a catheter

  28. felidae says

    Take a cue from those experts in cat behavior– mother cats know if you grab them by the skin on the back between the neck and scapulae, they have a reflex that causes them to go limp Very useful for bathing or dealing with a panicked feline–saved me some blood in both cases