On Cats


The Hoge household has had a dog from time to time, but we have rarely been without a cat. Last year, we had to put down Bob who had been the family mouser since the turn of the century, so we were catless for a few months. Our new kitten is sitting in my lap purring as I type this. She was adopted from the local Humane Society shelter. All of our cats have been rescues or hand-me-downs from friends who were moving.

The cat just hopped down and brought me one her toys. I think she wants to play fetch, something she seems to enjoy almost as much as chasing Spot, the elusive critter that lives in my laser pointer.

I gotta go.

39 thoughts on “On Cats

  1. I keep saying we should get a cat. My wife says but then her mom won’t visit.

    And yet she doesn’t seem to be agreeing with me. I don’t get it…

  2. For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
    For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
    For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
    For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
    For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
    For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
    For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
    For this he performs in ten degrees.
    For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
    For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
    For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
    For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
    For fifthly he washes himself.
    For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
    For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
    For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
    For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
    For tenthly he goes in quest of food.
    For having consider’d God and himself he will consider his neighbour.
    For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
    For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.
    For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
    For when his day’s work is done his business more properly begins.
    For he keeps the Lord’s watch in the night against the adversary.
    For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
    For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
    For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
    For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
    For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
    For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.
    For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.
    For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he’s a good Cat.
    For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
    For every house is incomplete without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.
    For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.
    For every family had one cat at least in the bag.
    For the English Cats are the best in Europe.
    For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
    For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.
    For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
    For he is tenacious of his point.
    For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
    For he knows that God is his Saviour.
    For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
    For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
    For he is of the Lord’s poor and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually—Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.
    For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.
    For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in complete cat.
    For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in music.
    For he is docile and can learn certain things.
    For he can set up with gravity which is patience upon approbation.
    For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.
    For he can jump over a stick which is patience upon proof positive.
    For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.
    For he can jump from an eminence into his master’s bosom.
    For he can catch the cork and toss it again.
    For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.
    For the former is afraid of detection.
    For the latter refuses the charge.
    For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.
    For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.
    For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.
    For he killed the Ichneumon-rat very pernicious by land.
    For his ears are so acute that they sting again.
    For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.
    For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.
    For I perceived God’s light about him both wax and fire.
    For the Electrical fire is the spiritual substance, which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.
    For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
    For, tho he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
    For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.
    For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.
    For he can swim for life.
    For he can creep.

    — Christopher Smart, 1763. From an Insane Asylum.

      • Good advice. We lucked in this afternoon; Mamma was away, two friendly kittens in the box. It turned out it was Moving Day that we had interrupted, the day after the eyes open fully when Mamma moves the kittens to a new den. The shy scaredy kitten was already moved to the old henhouse. The upshot is one black-tabby-calico that dislikes being held (“This is what I was telling you about some will never be good pets.”); one tabby-calico that likes being held and shows promise, and one calico that – “Look, Daddy, she’s walking back to me! She wants me to pick her up again!” – is probably a keeper.

        • Yes, yes, take the one that is most friendly. Hold it every day. Without fail. 7-8 weeks old take it in the house. I don’t recommend separating mama and babies so soon usually, but you want to domesticate it as much as possible as soon as possible. Plus if you are a surrogate mama, it’s always a good thing.

  3. 17 years, and you didn’t abandon it?

    Not even a little bit?

    Daisy Domergue is not as violent as her namesake, engaging more in the catch and release style, rather than going for a trophy or freezer fill.

  4. The last cat we got from a shelter. Great little guy. Not “show quality,” if that’s even a thing, but he was free (he’s black, and they apparently have a hard time placing black cats.) Didn’t know that he was a freebie until after we picked him!

    • The best cat is the cat that is YOURS. You can pay nothing, or you can pay the earth for them. Just like everything in life. But the funny thing about cats is that their true worth isn’t determined by their price tag.

      P.S. Black cats are AWESOME. I prefer them over all. Except tortie. Which is mostly black anyway. lol

      • Two of our three are black. Sweet, smart, loveable. Both rescues. We have to keep an eye on them at Halloween due to living in Hicksville, VA. Worth it though. Some of the best cats I know are black. Poor, misunderstood black cats.

  5. “A home without a cat — and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat — may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?”
    Mark Twain _Pudd’nhead Wilson_
    Well done, sir.

  6. “Cats here, cats there, cats and kittens everywhere. Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats.” By Wanda Gag (from my son’s favorite book when he was little)

  7. We don’t do cats, but we have a rotating cast of rescue guinea pigs and one pretty permanent rescue cockatiel.

  8. We had cats and dogs for years, and then got heavily into dog agility. We weren’t home much on weekends, and the cat we had at the time lets us know it. So she went to live with my S-I-L, who wanted a good indoor/outdoor cat. Several months later, we went to visit them (300+ miles – not the drop-in-anytime kind of distance), and we had a new dog. The cat came running out to see us – the people and the dogs she loved. She started rubbing up against the new dog, and I remember as clear as day the look the new dog gave me: “What kind of fresh hell is this????????” The dog was unaccustomed to cats, and had no freaking clue what to do. The interaction between the two made the next few days extra entertaining.

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