Happy Herding Cats Day

Whoopee ti yi yo! At the end of this 2006 video is an ad for a company that is long gone, but the gitting along of little kitties lingers on.

As any feeder for a feral cat colony can testify, herding cats is easy under the right circumstances. “Harder than herding cats” is just a negative stereotype. If you consider herdability to be a good thing, that is, which I suspect many feliphiles do not.

(If the proximity of giant hooves to little furry heads makes you squirm, rest assured that cats and horses in this video were filmed separately.)


A World Without Cats?!

Inconceivable, right? If you think it wouldn’t BE a world without cats, check out this article. Once you get past the disturbing title, you will discover that bird populations can actually drop when cats are removed from the equation, since cats control other bird predators. So if you justify cat-hating on the basis that you love birds, that won’t really float, will it?

A cat surrounded by tall storks in a field peeks out over the top of the grass
Not that I’m denying cats chase and kill birds. But for any human to blame the demise of bird species primarily on cats is supremely ironic. You want to see the cause of most bird extinctions for the last several thousand years? Look in the mirror.

But I don’t want to fight with bird lovers. I like birds too. Just don’t advocate taking guns to kittens, and we can be friends. Of course, I realize hardly any cat-haters would be reading this blog. Which is OK by me!

Getting back to our world with cats, cats and humans have evolved together for quite awhile, and that has probably had more impact on cats than humans because their shorter lifespan equals more generations.

Those who doubt have only to observe a colony of feral cats. The species from which domestic cats descended did NOT live in colonies. But they are now a more social species in the urban environment. Could this be due to a few thousand years of genetic advantage in the form of extra food and protection for cats who are more friendly and less territorial, because humans prefer them?

A cat with a tilted head and a mischievous expression sits next a to a sign that says "mouse welcome" (in German)
It is rarely considered that the impact of interspecies relationships cuts both ways. What has the evolutionary effect of living with cats been on us? Were purr-indifferent humans weeded out of the gene pool by rodent-borne illnesses that their purr-loving cousins were protected from by the presence of a mousing companion?

These days, the popularity of cats has edged out dogs. Too bad we don’t have statistics going back a few thousand years. It would be interesting to see whether this has always been so, or has increased over time. Perhaps one day we will be so influenced by cats that they will take over the world, and we will all be better groomed and better rested. I can live with that!

5 Amazing Things About Cats

I confess I share Mayim Bialik’s distaste for certain doggy characteristics, which probably contributes to me being a cat person (although I have a theory that I could’ve gone either way as a child, if I’d grown up with both dogs and cats).

Alert: there is a sad note at the end of this video. If you want to skip that, stop it at 4:36.

User Review: Morning Joy Alarm Cat

A gray cat very close to the camera, looking up


PROS: Compact, with sleek styling that is compatible with any decor. Comes in a wide variety of colors. Some of the alarm tones are pleasant. The unit is self-cleaning.

CONS: By some unfathomable oversight, this model has no settings! There is no time setting, no tone selector, and worst of all, no way to turn off the alarm.

Snooze. Sometimes you can get snooze to work, but the length is completely random, could be 1/2 an hour or two seconds.

Alarm Sounds. The alarm tone is also random. Although the tone options include a soothing hum tone, and a cute low-volume chirp, it seems like the shuffle usually gets stuck on the most obnoxious setting, which is loud, shrill, and grossly inconsistent with the name of this product.

Additional Comments.  The lack of a time setting is obviously a deal-breaking flaw, and we cannot recommend the Morning Joy Alarm Cat as a wake-up device. Since it is a multi-function unit with superior performance in some of its other functions (reviewed separately), we have tried to extend its dormant period by refueling it at bedtime. However, we have been unable to suppress the alarm function for longer than 6.5 hours. Best for users who supplement a short night’s sleep with an afternoon nap (see separate reviews for lap warmer and heart warmer features), or can sleep through anything.