Category: cat stories

Does Your Cat Have A Doppleganger?

I may be late to the party on this one, but I’m fascinated by this story about a guy who lost his cat and recovered what he thought was his little guy three weeks later, only for his actual cat to come home the following week.

94e5e16b6f87dd2d2089ee202767fe6b

Some people commenting on the photo claim there are obvious differences, but in my opinion the differences are very small and probably indistinguishable unless the moggies are side by side. The markings are virtually identical on both cats, and the deviations look mostly like they’re attributable to angle, position and shadows.

People who aren’t familiar with cats might wonder how someone can “reunite” with a cat who doesn’t know them, but that can also be explained away by feline quirks: It’s not unusual for cats to behave differently, even to people and other kitties they know well, after a period of separation.

If the cat was acting a bit off, it would be easy to chalk it up to readjustment and re-acclimating to the sights, sounds and smells of home.

The most unbelievable aspect, for me at least, is how both cats in the photo seem to be cool with having a doppleganger and sharing territory.

Maybe the photo’s not representative of their interactions, but if somehow I found Bud’s doppleganger on the street and brought him home, the consequences would include an epic shitstorm of proportions I probably cannot even imagine.

“WTF is THIS?!?” I can imagine Bud thinking, expressing his incredulity with annoyed chirps and meows. “This is a joke, right? Right? Speak before I murder you!”

“I’m Little Buddy, yes I’m the real Buddy, all you other Little Buddies are acting all funny, so will the real Little Buddy please stand up? Please stand up, please stand up!”

The truth is I’ve never seen a Bud doppleganger, or a Buddyganger, if you will. Over the years I’ve done more than a few image searches for gray tabbies while looking for funny photos of cats who look like Bud, and none of them bear more than a superficial resemblance to His Grace.

Bud has three major characteristics setting him apart from other cats with the same coat pattern and coloring:

main-qimg-71545019fd341552e20753a1743f261f

  • His bright green eyes complemented by “guyliner,” which itself is ringed by neat white lines.
  • The unique white patch on his chest. It’s just a tuft of white fur, but I’ve never seen a gray tabby with a marking that matches its size, shape and position.
  • Most of all, his pronounced mouth and nose area, alternately called a muzzle, snout or rostrum on various species, terms which are sometimes used for cats as well.

The latter was one of the first things I really noticed after meeting him for the first time and taking him home. Even as a baby it was pronounced in a way that very few cat mouths are.

Finally, while it doesn’t have any bearing on the strictly visual comparison with similar-looking kitties, I can’t imagine another cat acting like Buddy. He’s such a weirdo, so unique in his voice, vocalizations and habits, so opinionated and willing to express those opinions as loudly and often as possible, that I just can’t picture another cat fooling me.

Does your cat have a doppleganger?

‘Time To Re-Home The Wife’: Redditors Furious At Wife Who Made Husband Surrender 18 YO Cat

How could you force your husband to dump his beloved 18-year-old cat?

That’s the question many incredulous Redditors are asking after a woman told her story on a popular sub-Reddit called “Am I The Asshole?” for people second-guessing their decisions.

The woman who wrote the post said she and her husband got married about a year ago and they took the usual steps when introducing her pit bull to her husband’s cat. They started, she wrote, “by initially separating them, then by introducing them to each other’s smells, followed by letting them see each other whilst at a safe distance.”

“They appeared to get along, but after a day, the cat began making [its] dislike for the dog VERY clear,” she wrote.

The couple hasn’t been successful keeping the peace, she added, and a veterinarian who examined the cat said he was in perfect health, apparently eliminating health reasons for the cat’s alleged hostility toward the dog.

Finally, the wife “brought up the idea” of surrendering the cat. “Brought up” may mean “demanded” in this instance, but the nature of stories like this means both parties would be unreliable narrators. We just don’t know. She said she’s pregnant, which was another factor in her decision.

“We argued virtually nonstop about this for days, until my husband finally agreed to take his cat to said cat sanctuary,” she wrote. “However, he is still pretty upset with me.”

cute cat lying on pillow
Credit: cottonbro/Pexels

Most users weren’t too happy with the wife, others waved the post off as the work of a troll — albeit one who forgot the cardinal rule of trolling, that it should be funny — and some blamed the husband for caving.

“Anyone that rehomes an animal for someone they are screwing deserves the shit they will have to put up with being with that person,” one ticked-off user wrote.

Most of the condemnatory posts came from people who were incredulous not only that the wife made her husband give up his cat, but that the poor cat is 18 years old and has known nothing but a life with his human.

“Dear God, I hope this isn’t real,” one user wrote, while another summed it up succinctly: “Everything about this sucks.”

The feedback wasn’t split along gender lines either. Most users who identified themselves as female expressed concern for the cat.

“My husband’s cat passed 3 years ago at 18 years. And he would absolutely have rehomed me before he rehomed his cat,” one woman wrote. “Not that I would ever have suggested it, of course – I loved that little fart machine.”

I don’t have much to add to this, as the people who responded pretty much covered the bases. I’d like to believe this was someone’s misguided idea of humor, but in one sense it doesn’t matter because scenarios like this one play out all the time. If it is authentic, then the subtext says a lot: While the author says she “brought up the idea” of rehoming, she also says she and her husband “argued virtually nonstop” about the situation for days, and acknowledges that “he’s still pretty upset with me.”

It’s probably safe to say that’s an understatement, especially if she’s soliciting judgment from strangers on the internet as she second-guesses herself. (Side note: The idea of a sub-Reddit specifically for “catharsis for the frustrated moral philosopher in all of us, and a place to finally find out if you were wrong in an argument that’s been bothering you,” is pretty cool. All of us could use some outside perspective at times.)

As cat-lovers (and animal-lovers in general) know, rehoming is brutal on the pet, leads to depression and can cause serious physical ailments. For an 18-year-old cat, it’s even worse.

I hope the wife has a change of heart and they take the cat back, then get to work on figuring out how to keep the peace for real this time.

Why Do Some Shelters Refuse To Adopt Out Black Cats In October?

Life isn’t easy for strays and shelter cats, and black cats have it rougher than most. They’re less likely to find forever homes and more likely to be euthanized than cats with other fur colors and coat patterns.

As if that wasn’t enough of a disadvantage, black cats are particularly vulnerable at this time of year due to their association with Halloween and lore surrounding Satanic rituals.

On the somewhat less tragic end of the spectrum, some people “adopt” black cats as temporary Halloween decorations, using them as accessories for parties or decorative dioramas. When Halloween is over, the “owners” bring the cats back to the shelter.

But rescue groups and advocates say the most unfortunate black kitties end up in the hands of cultists or people reenacting cult rituals. Those rituals never end well for the poor felines.

As a result, some shelters and rescues put black cat adoptions on hold during October.

black cat holding persons arm
Credit: Ruca Souza/Pexels

The origin of the “evil black cat” trope is usually traced back to the 13th century papal decree called Vox in Rama. (“A voice in Ramah.”) Despite sounding like an Arthur C. Clarke short story, the decree was not entertaining — it called for a renewed push to find and punish heretics, and condemned a Satanic ritual that was allegedly performed among hidden cultists:

Afterwards, they sit down to a meal and when they have arisen from it, the certain statue, which is usual in a set of this kind, a black cat descends backwards, with its tail erect. First the novice, then the master, then each one of the order who are worthy and perfect, kiss the cat on its buttocks. Then each [returns] to his place and, speaking certain responses, they incline their heads toward to cat. “Forgive us!” says the master, and the one next to him repeats this, a third responding, “We know, master!” A fourth says “And we must obey.”

Stripped of context, it’s almost comical: A cat walks around and people line up to kiss its ass? Well, they’re just expressing their fealty as servants and vowing not to be tardy with kitty’s meals!

Alas we’re talking about the dark ages, a time when skepticism wasn’t really a thing and zealots were eager to prove their loyalty and value to powerful leaders. One of them, a German nobleman named Konrad von Marburg, had the pope’s ear, and Marburg was the one responsible for whispering to the pontiff about the supposed back cat ass-kissing rituals.

While the papal decree was real and Marburg really was an overzealous jerk who turned public opinion against the church for his brutal inquisition against heretics real and imagined, there’s debate about how much impact the decree ultimately had, and whether a resulting purge of felines from Europe during the Black Plague resulted from superstition or panic as more people got sick. (Serious academic opinion tends strongly toward the latter, particularly because people mistakenly believed cats were carriers of the disease.)

close up shot of a black cat
Credit: Magda Ehlers/Pexels

Clickbait sites have run wild with the Vox in Rama story, which has grown more outrageous with each retelling, resulting in headlines that make it sound like the Vatican dispatched shock troops to purge cats from the European continent and urged Catholics to slaughter them on sight. In reality, the papal bull dealt with a small area in Germany and was little-known even at the time it was issued.

The dozens of clickbait articles that surface at the top of search results for “Vox in Rama” omit the actual text of the papal bull, and many make the unfounded claim that the pope called for cats to be killed.

Was the decree real? Yes. Did it result in the slaughter of cats? Highly unlikely, and there’s no evidence to support that claim.

Likewise, the “evidence” that black cats are abused on Halloween is purely anecdotal as this Snopes story from 20 years ago notes. The fact-checking site called the claims about black cats used in Satanic rituals “inconclusive.”

But individual shelter managers trust their gut — and the many stories about black cats disappearing this time of year — in deciding it’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why many shelters won’t adopt out in October and others are more rigorous with their adoption screening.

There’s nothing wrong with that. As anyone who’s searched for cat news knows, there are disturbing stories about cat abuse every day, and people are sadly capable of incredible cruelty toward animals.

Better for black cats to be taken off the adoptable list for a few weeks than end up in the hands of people who want to do them harm. As cat lovers, there is something we can do: Consider black cats the next time we’re looking to adopt. Plenty of PITB readers have black cats, and they’ll be the first to tell you the little house panthers are just as sweet and amusing as cats of any other fur color.

close up photo of black cat
Credit: Marcelo Chagas/Pexels

Cats and Stand-Up: George Carlin Talks Felines

Our previous posts on cat-related stand-up featured Zoltan Kaszas and Corey Rodrigues from Dry Bar Comedy, which is a comedy channel that specializes in “clean” sets without vulgarities or obscenities.

This time around we’re checking in with George Carlin, so fair warning: There will be bad language, and Carlin pokes fun at cuteness aggression in a way that probably won’t go over well by people who take it literally.

It’s 100 percent Carlin. After all, we’re talking about the man who was pretty much single-handedly responsible for a 1978 Supreme Court decision on the government’s authority to censor public broadcasts after his now-legendary “Seven Words You Can’t Say On Television” bit.

George Carlin
George Carlin in the 1960s.

It’s obvious Carlin’s spent a lot of time around cats, as he’s got their behavior down and he finds humor in the feline tendency to be relentlessly one-minded. He laughs at the way cats make biscuits — “looks like they’re into some bad drug!” he says as he imitates a cat’s ecstatic kneading — and how quickly they become whirling tornadoes of claws and teeth as kittens.

“You take a baby baby — that is, a human — a baby dog and a baby cat, and you attack all three of them, which I try never to do if I can help it,” he says, drawing laughs. “You’ll get three different results. You attack a baby, he cries. You attack a puppy, he cowers. You attack a kitty cat, he fights!”

Carlin makes a meowing sound, swiping one hand like an annoyed cat.

“One day old and they’re looking for some sh–! They don’t even got their eyes open, they’ll get right in. Nasty cute little thing. Cute little nasty guy! Oh, they’re wonderful, God love ’em.”

While dogs love pets and never want you to stop, Carlin points out that with a cat “you just put your hand out and he’ll do all the work.”

Cats love rubbing against people so much that they’ll start to rub against your leg “even if you’re not there yet,” Carlin observes, imitating the way the little ones change their body language the instant they decide it’s rubbing time.

“They love to rub on you. If you’ve got a leg and a cat, whew, you’ve got a party! ‘Oh boy, oh boy, I’m rubbing on his leg!’ If you’ve got two legs, sh–, jubilee celebration time! ‘Oh boy, two legs! Hot sh–, I can do the figure eight! Oh boy!’” Carlin says, stalking across the stage.

“There’s one other quality cats have that I admire. Cats don’t accept blame and they don’t embarrass, at all. A cat does something dumb, you’ll never know it by lookin’ at him. Dog knocks over a lamp, you can tell who did it just by looking at the dog. Not the cat. Cat doesn’t accept any blame, cat moves along to the next activity. ‘What’s that? Not me, f— that, I’m a cat! Something break? Ask the dog.’

Bohemian Catsody: Cats Sing Queen

Queen frontman Freddie Mercury loved his cats so much that when he found himself missing them on tour, he’d ask his girlfriend to put them on the phone.

“He’d get to a hotel, we’d dial through, and he really would talk to his cats,” Peter Freestone, Mercury’s personal assistant of 12 years, wrote in his memoir.

Mercury’s feline infatuation began years earlier when Mary Austin, his girlfriend and eventual fiance, adopted a pair of kittens named Tom and Jerry when she and Mercury moved in together. Austin would stay home to take care of the duo — and a subsequently growing pride — when Freddie did gigs.

“Mary would hold Tom and Jerry in turn up to the receiver to listen to Freddie talking,” Freestone wrote. “This continued throughout the years with succeeding feline occupants of his houses.”

Mercury was a servant to 10 cats throughout his life, and loved them so much he dedicated an album to them, devoted a song to his cat Delilah, and took great joy in picking out presents for them at Christmas.

Thus, Bohemian Catsody seems both inevitable and so natural, it’s a wonder someone hasn’t done it before. New Zealander Shirley Șerban uploaded the video on Oct. 1 and it’s already got 89,000-plus views.

The lyrics couldn’t be more appropriate:

“I choose to employ you, now attend to me
Open the door, then I’ll come, then I’ll go
Feed me now, don’t be slow!
Stalk you in the bathroom
Privacy don’t matter to me…to me!
Mama, just killed a mouse
Ate it all except the head
That’s your present on the bed
Mama, a sign of my love
Why did you scream and throw it all away?
Mama, ooooh, oooh!
Didn’t mean to make you cry
I’ll try to find a bird for you tomorrow!”