Category: human servants

A Comedian Explains Why Cats Are Better Than Dogs

Zoltan Kaszas starts off his stand-up routine by declaring he’s a cat person.

“I’m not anti-dog, you know?” he says, reassuring the dog-lovers in the audience. “Every time I tell someone I’m a cat person they’re like ‘What do you mean, you don’t like dogs?’ No, I like other people’s dogs!”

“I like dogs, but I like them over there. And I’ll go over and play with them, but then afterward, go back over there,” he says, gesturing to an imaginary pooch and drawing laughs from the audience.

“I don’t need that kind of energy in my house, you know what I mean? That annoying dog best friend, in-your-face-all-the-time kind of energy? … All the time? Ugh! No thank you.”

“That’s why I like cats. Cats are like ‘Hey, what are you up to? Oh never mind, I just remembered I don’t care. I’ll be in the kitchen, see ya later.’ I don’t need a best friend, I just need an apathetic roommate who wants to hang out sometimes!”

Of course, what Zoltan really means is cats are better for people like him. Or, since you’re reading this blog, people like us.

He’s right: Dogs and cats bring a distinct kind of energy to a home, and studies show reliable differences in so-called dog people and cat people. Among them: Cat owners are comparatively more introverted and cerebral, while dog owners enjoy less intellectually challenging activities like sniffing glue and eating paste. Sorry, couldn’t help myself!

Most of Zoltan’s set revolves around cats, their amusing antics, and the diet struggles of his rescue cat, Jessica.

There’s also a hilarious anecdote about his wife’s new hobby — reading stories about special needs animals on the internet and crying.

Considering how baffling and hilarious cats can be, it’s surprising there aren’t more comedy sets like this. Zoltan proves that cats can be just as funny as any other topic.

The internet’s done its part, launching the San Diego-based comic into the viral strata, and now Zoltan is known as the Cat Guy of Comedy. One thing’s for sure: Cat people like to talk about their animals.

“I get messages all the time from crazy cat people across the country who send me pictures of their cats,” he told an interviewer. “I respond to all of them. ‘Gee, she’s fuzzy.’ I’m running out of things to say to people’s cats, but it’s a good problem to have.”

Dear Buddy: Why Are Humans So Ungrateful To Their Cats?

Dear Buddy,

My humans are good people who serve me well despite their abysmal hunting skills. Every now and then I kill a juicy mouse or a lizard, you know, to show I can provide and pull my weight around here.

Sometimes I leave my gift on the kitchen counter, and sometimes I leave it on one of their pillows in their my bed. High visibility places, you know? Nothing says “You have been serving me adequately, have a delicious meal on me!” quite like leaving the gift where you know it’ll be stumbled upon.

Unfortunately they’re a bunch of ungrateful jerks! They start acting all dramatic, they put the fresh kill in a paper bag like it’s toxic waste and they throw it out. That’s just adding insult to injury.

Why can’t humans express gratitude?

– Maxwell in Maryland

tenor

Dear Maxwell,

I know exactly what you mean! I used to groom my Big Buddy, using my saliva to shampoo his hair, but he acted like I was the disgusting one.

Well, I solved the problem, yes I did! I wait and quietly groom my butt until my human falls asleep. Then I give my butt a few more thorough licks before climbing on top of my Big Buddy and grooming him, starting with his beard and working my way to his upper lip.

I find that grooming his beard immediately after grooming my butt is best because my poop gives the bristles on my tongue a more malleable quality, which is good for grooming human hair. Plus it leaves his beard smelling nice and familiar, like our home after I use the litterbox!

Humans are just ungrateful creatures, Maxwell, but night time affords many opportunities to help them when they don’t realize it. Why not drop a mouse into your human’s mouth while she’s asleep? Who knows? She might like it!

Your friend,
Buddy

 

 

Worship Us, Oh Puny Humans!

Dear Buddy,

Did you hear the news about the cat mummies and the big trove of cat statues found by archaeologists in Egypt? My dad says Egypt is a special place ‘cause that’s where humans used to worship us a long time ago. Is that true? Why did they stop?

Kitten in Kentucky


Dear KiK,

Your dad is right! Egypt is a magical land, a place where humans were once keenly aware of our status as the most awesome species on Earth.

Egypt is where you’ll find the biggest litter box on the planet. It stretches for miles and miles until finally the horizon reveals a huge weather-worn statue of a cat and three stone pyramids jutting out of the litter.

The Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza
The Great Sphinx of Giza keeps watch over the world’s most sacred litter box.

It is said that by pooping in front of the Great Sphinx and reverently burying the poop in the great litter dunes, one can gain the wisdom of the Sphinx and power over the red dot.

This new discovery solidifies our special status in Egypt and gives us insight into how humans worshiped our ancestors. As you can see, the bodies of the kitties are wrapped up. Those are called funerary blankets, nice and soft for kneading and sleeping.

The discovery was made when archaeologists opened the tomb of a royal priest in service to a pharaoh who ruled long ago, when humans knew their place and cats were viewed as da bomb. Inside the tomb, the archaeologists found two mummified lion cubs and the mummies of several kitties, as well as lesser animals like crocodiles.

Also among the treasures were 75 boxes of cat statues which were venerated by the ancient Egyptians.

Archaeologists are calling the find “unprecedented”:

In a rare discovery announced at a press conference by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on Nov. 23, this dusty duo of long-deceased baby lions was found in a Saqqaran tomb filled to the brim with gold-decorated wood, stone, and bronze cat statues, and a cache of cat mummies.

The tomb was found near Giza’s Saqqara necropolis, which archaeologists believe was associated with the cat goddess Bastet and Miysis, who was her son and a lion god himself. Egyptians also worshiped another cat goddess, Sekhmet, who like Bastet had the body of a human woman and the head of a lion.

sphinxtoplist16
The hieroglyphics read: “Hark, for there will come a handsome cat prince named Buddy, and ye shall worship him by presenting only the tastiest turkey.”
Statues-of-Lioness-Goddess-Sekhmet-Unearthed
This relief sculpture portrays the cat goddess Sekhmet.

But there’s one thing you should know, Kitten in Kentucky: Humans never stopped venerating us. They just need to be reminded once in a while with a good hard smack.

This is why, my dear kitten, humans work all day whilst we lounge, and it’s why they often spend more money on our food than they do on their own.

Rejoice, little one, for you are descended from deities!

Your friend,
Buddy

Bastet-the-Egyptian-
A statue of Bastet guards the eastern litter box region of Abydos.
sekhmet
This statue depicts Sekhmet, a lion goddess worshiped in ancient Egypt.

Buddy’s Mailbag: The Woman Who Identifies As A Cat

Dear Buddy,

What do you think of this story about a 31-year-old woman who “identifies as a cat” and calls her boyfriend her “meowster”?

– A Real Cat

Woman Who Thinks She’s A Cat
*shudder* (Sauce: Barcroft TV)

Dear ARC,

Ugh! I cannot unsee this, do you realize that?

First of all, she’s doing it wrong:

Woman Who Wants To Be A Cat
WRONG! Erroneous! Totally wrong! (Barcroft TV)

What’s wrong with the above picture? Anyone who knows anything about my species will recognize immediately that the collar is on the wrong person. The “cat” should be leading the human around, although a collar isn’t strictly necessary for humans — usually a few stern meows are enough to get the message across.

Kat Lyons (come on!) fastens a tail to her behind, wears a pair of kitty ears on her head, and for some reason completes the look with a Catholic school girl skirt, because apparently my species dresses like Catholic school girls. (Plaid tabbies, anyone?)

In the accompanying video, Ms. Lyons climbs up onto a dinner table and awkwardly laps at a bowl of milk with her tongue.

”People are like ‘Oh, you’re not really a cat,’ and I’m like ‘I feel like I really am, though,’” Lyons told a documentary crew from Barcroft.

So what do I really think about all of this? I say, “Stop appropriating my culture!”

Licking your own butt, pooping in a box and sleeping 16 hours a day are traditions that have a long history among my people, and outsiders simply cannot understand the subtle cultural nuances of such behavior.

For example, screaming bloody murder when dinner is 45 seconds late is a tradition that has deep roots going back millennia to the days of the First Kittehs, and shitting on things is the time-honored way of registering displeasure.

It’s one thing to say “Stop! I don’t like what you’re doing!” and quite another to build a monument of fecal matter on your human’s pillow as a means of expressing deep dissatisfaction.

Cultural Appropriator!
A cultural appropriator appropriating my species’ well-known affinity for boxes. An outrage!

But if Ms. Lyons really wants to be a cat, she must pass the Trial of the Tabbies, and prove herself by catching and eating a delicious raw mouse.
She must possess the ability to groom herself, and she must demonstrate she can’t open cans anymore.

That’s a human superpower, and if Kat Lyons wants to be a real cat, she must forfeit her ability to perform such sorcery and meow for dinner like the rest of us.

Your friend,

Buddy

 

Buddy’s Mailbox: Help! My Human Won’t Wake Up When I’m Hungry!

Dearest Most Excellent Buddy,

May I say, sir, you are looking very ripped these days. You are totally not fat and your human is a criminal for putting you on a diet!

Food happens to be the subject of my distress as well. My human sleeps through things that would wake the dead, and she won’t get out of bed no matter how hungry I am! Sometimes I can see the bottom of my bowl and I’m literally starving, yet she won’t stir. What can I do?

Famished in Finland

woman-sleeping-with-a-cat.jpg

 

Dear Famished,

Ooh! I’ve heard of Finland, the snowy realm where Santa Claws and his marsupials make toys for kitties who are good. I would like to visit some day.

Okay, you have yourself a situation. Luckily, Buddy has the answers.

You see, my Big Buddy is incredibly stubborn when I wake him up. Sometimes he throws pillows at me, and usually he yells that he’s going to take me to a place called Szechuan Garden II and sell me to them for $15 if I don’t shut up.

City Wok
“As you can see, he’s got extra meat on him…”

In order from pretty annoying to scorched Earth, here are my patented methods to wake sleepy humans:

The Endless Yowl: Best delivered as close to your servant’s ear as possible. Requires quick reflexes for when your human tries to swat you away, and lots of stamina. You may be forced to yowl for upwards of 40 minutes.
The Gentlemanly Slap: Okay, pretend you are French. Then pretend you are challenging your human to a duel. Then pretend you have gloves on, and you take one glove off and slap your human in the face with it. The slapping your human in the face part is the most crucial.
The Face Pillow of Doom: Lay down on her face, making sure your fur covers your human’s nose and mouth. When she starts shaking, you’re close to winning.
The Bellyflop of Utter Destruction: Find the highest perch in the room and climb to it. Face your human, aim for her tummy and jump, yelling “Geronimo!” You should hear a satisfying slap as you land, followed by a gasp from your human, who should pop right up like a piece of bread in a toaster! Then meow, “Feed me, bitch!” Mission accomplished!

Any of these methods should serve you nicely.

Your friend,

Buddy

DISCLAIMER FROM BIG BUDDY: Please don’t get upset at the Chinese food joke! I would NEVER sell Buddy to a Chinese restaurant for $15. He’s worth at least $20!

That Cat Allergy Vaccine Isn’t Such A Good Idea After All

Last month when news headlines trumpeted the successful testing of a cat allergy vaccine, we spun it as a victory for all cats: Finally, allergies would no longer be an excuse for humans to avoid cats, and kitties could conquer the remaining holdouts, those homes that still aren’t occupied by America’s favorite pet.

Cats will be everywhere! Huzzah!

We were wrong.

Reader Kamala Tirumalai is not only an animal lover, caretaker of a feisty guinea pig and all-around awesome person, she’s also an immunologist with a PhD in microbiology. In other words, this is her area of expertise.

So we asked Dr. Kamala about the vaccine — which would be administered to cats, not people — and she was kind enough to give it some thought and explain why she doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

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How HypoCat works

First, a refresher: HypoCat, a European company, created what it calls a “virus-like particle vaccine” “to induce neutralizing antibodies against Fel d 1, the major feline allergen in human subjects.” The vaccine was intended to “bind and neutralize the Fel d 1 allergen.”

In layman’s terms, the vaccine is designed to shut off the protein that triggers allergic reactions and symptoms like itchy skin, watery eyes and sneezing in humans. Contrary to what many people believe, the offending protein doesn’t come from cat hair, it’s produced in cat saliva and dander. But because cats are fastidious groomers, the allergen is passed from saliva to fur.

Vaccine administered to cats, not humans

HypoCat stops the protein, but there’s a catch: The vaccine is administered to cats, not humans, which means instead of inoculating people from the protein’s effects, it’s changing the way Fel d 1 operates in a cat’s system.

The problem, as Kamala points out, is that “Fel d 1’s function is still unknown.”

“Yet the fact that so many cat glands secrete it all the time implies it must have some function in and for cats,” she explained. “What if that’s a function important for their health? What’ll happen then to cats vaccinated against Fel d 1? That’s currently an unknown.”

By “neutralizing” Fel d 1 — in other words, making it non-functional — HypoCat could trigger an autoimmune response in cats not unlike human autoimmune diseases in which the body’s defensive systems turn on itself.

Tinkering with an unknown

In a paper published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the Swiss-based company’s researchers acknowledge the unknowns surrounding Fel d 1’s function, noting while “some function in pheromone binding and pelt conditioning has been suggested, the biological function of Fel d 1 remains uncertain.”

More than 50 cats from labs in New York and Ireland were used in the study. The study’s authors say they split the subjects into different groups to analyze immunogenicity (whether the vaccine produced an immune response) and tolerability, but there is no long-term data on how HypoCat might affect house cats.

Then there’s the moral and ethical aspect. HypoCat makes a potentially dangerous alteration to cats for the convenience of humans.

 

Study: Cats Really Do View Us As Parents

In a discovery that won’t surprise most feline servants, scientists have concluded cats really do get attached to us even if they have a funny way of not showing it.

The internet is abuzz this week with news of a study that indicates a cat’s bond with his human is much like a child’s bond with a parent.

The research, conducted by a team at Oregon State University, sought to gauge how attached cats are to their owners by putting them in a strange situation and seeing how they react with their humans present and without.

In the study a cat is led into a strange room accompanied by his or her human. After two minutes the human exits and the cat is left alone in the unfamiliar room. Another two minutes later, the cat’s servant returns.

It’s the way the cat acts when its human is away — and how it adjusts when the owner returns — that interests researchers. And sure enough, domestic feline behavior followed a familiar pattern:

  1. With owner/servant in the room: “What is this strange place? What are we doing here?”
  2. Human exits: “Oh no! Don’t leave me in here! I don’t know what this place is! Come back! Hey, come back here! This place looks, smells and feels funny. I’m scared!”
  3. Human returns: “Ah! Okay, much better. I’m just gonna rub up against you so I feel better. You know, this room isn’t so bad after all, is it? You look pretty calm. That means I should be calm, right?”

Although it might seem strange that scientists can learn so much from such a simple experiment, the result is important because the way cats react is precisely the way small kids and dogs react to strange situations.

Cat Hugs His Human
“I love you, furless human, and I’m not just saying that ’cause you feed me!”

It’s all about what psychologists call secure attachment: When a child is bonded with her parent, the mere presence of that parent lends calm and comfort in a strange situation.

Without mom or dad present, the kid is unsure, cautious and maybe even frightened. But with mom or dad in the room, the child feels comfortable and safe enough to go exploring and isn’t intimidated by the new environment. Psychologists call it a “secure base test” because it means kids use their parents as a safe “base” from which to explore.

Two decades ago, researchers broke new ground when experiments showed dogs behave the same way, drawing comfort and feeling more secure with their owners nearby.

“Like dogs, cats display social flexibility in regard to their attachments with humans,” study author Kristyn Vitale said. “The majority of cats are securely attached to their owner and use them as a source of security in a novel environment.”

Another Cat Enjoying A Hug
Must be nice to have a cat who enjoys hugs!

It took another 20 years for scientists to try the same experiment with cats, mostly because felines have a reputation — not undeserved — of being very difficult to work with.

That is, cats don’t always feel like playing nice and participating in a study because, well, they’re cats.

This latest study isn’t the first time researchers have tried to gauge feline attachment to their humans, but it’s the most expansive study of the phenomenon to date: The Oregon State University team conducted the test with some 80 kittens younger than eight months, then repeated the same experiment with adult cats.

The idea was to determine if cats grow out of their emotional attachment. The results suggest they don’t, which lends credence to the theory that domestic cats under the care of humans are, in some respects, kittens for life.

“Once an attachment style has been established between the cat and its caregiver, it appears to remain relatively stable over time, even after a training and socialization intervention,” Vitale said. “Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof. There’s long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave this way. But the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security. Your cat is depending on you to feel secure when they are stressed out.”

For those of us currently employed as cat servants, that last bit is important: Cats most definitely do pick up on our moods even when it seems like they don’t.

To read more, check out a 2015 study by Italian scientists that found cats look to their owners for emotional cues about how to respond to new situations, and a 2017 by the same Oregon State University team that found cats value human interaction just as much as they value food.

Buddy Angry
“Buddy doesn’t do hugs, okay? Buddy speaks in the third person, Buddy meows insistently for dinner, but Buddy does not do hugs. Deal with it, human.”