What exactly is a cat

It’s time once again for a lighthearted article, so I picked some humorous and often accurate opinions about cats made by public figures. As you can imagine, the Internet has a lot of sites featuring cats and everything said of them, but I thank Brainy Quote, Good Reads and Cat Quotes for listing just about everything that almost anybody ever said about cats (of whom I’m very fond).

American author and humorist Mark Twain appears to have admired cats and had a lot to say about them, so I chose only two, which rang true for me: “If you shamefully misuse a cat once, she will always maintain a dignified reserve toward you afterward. You will never get her full confidence again” and “If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.”

What do others have to say about cats? Well, they fill all walks of life and cultures, and I’ll include as many as I can until I run out of space.

“I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior” (Hippolyte Taine, French philosopher and historian).

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea” and “There is no such thing as ‘just a cat’” (Robert A. Heinlein, American novelist and science fiction writer).

“Some animals are secretive; some are shy. A cat is private” (Leonard Michaels, American author).

“There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats” (Unknown)

“I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days” (Bill Dana, American comedian).

“One small cat changes coming home to an empty house to coming home” and “Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience” (Pam Brown, Australian poet).

“Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many different ailments, but I have never heard of one who suffered from insomnia” and “Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want” (Joseph Wood Krutch, American author and naturalist).

“A cat doesn’t ‘roll’ well with a change of someone else’s making” (Carole Wilbourn, American cat therapist). (I‘ve also heard this stated as “a cat doesn’t like anything that’s never happened before,” but I couldn’t find who said it.)

“Essentially, you do not so much teach your cat as bribe him” (Lynn Hollyn, American author).

“Cats are the ultimate narcissists. You can tell this by all the time they spend on personal grooming. Dogs aren’t like this. A dog’s idea of personal grooming is to roll in a dead fish” (James Gorman, American CEO).

“Cats have it all — admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it” (Rod McKeun, American poet, composer and singer).

“You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals” (George Mikes, Hungarian-born British author).

“When a cat chooses to be friendly, it’s a big deal, because a cat is picky” (Mike Deupree, American author)

“With dogs and people, it’s love in big splashy colors. When you’re involved with a cat, you’re dealing in pastels” (Louis A. Camuti, DVM, cat specialist)

“A cat isn’t fussy — just so long as you remember he likes his milk in the shallow, rose-patterned saucer and his fish on the blue plate. From which he will take it, and eat it off the floor” (Arthur Bridges, Australian accountant and former politician).

Early next year, I’ll devote a column to quotes about our other furry friends, dogs. Until then, all of us at CAPS wish you good fortune in the New Year!

This week’s column was contributed by Betty Duncan, a member of the CAPS board of directors.


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