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Our Cat Overlords

By Hunter Wade | February 9, 2023

“Cats rule the world.” – Jim Davis.

The Egyptian sphinx has the body of a lion, and the head of a human. A wonderful creation, showing that the earliest humans found the cat, god-like. When looking at any ecosystem, cats through evolution remain on top from the lion of the safari, tigers in the jungle, jaguars, and saber tooth tigers of the past. Do house cats dominate the household? 

 I share a house with 8 people, we call it the ranch, don’t tell my landlord, one couple at the house have two cats: Peaches, and Chester. Chester is a young orange and white cat, still a kitten with a loud and energetic personality. He stretches among the couch by the main door, waiting for human passers to give him attention. Peaches on the other hand, a few years older, prefer quiet rooms and unlike chaster a smaller audience. She doesn’t shy away from pets, she will trench her body on the ground and roll around. Most cats I have come across with, are either loud and playful like Chester, or individual and quiet like Peaches. 

Cats are known to hypnotize their prey, including birds, mice, and … humans through a microscopic parasite, called toxoplasmosis. Think of the endless tropes of the crazy cat lady. Is this why the Egyptians worshiped them as god, and the pilgrims associated them with witches and the devil?

This brings me to “the Great Cat Massacre” by Robert Darton. A story of early modern France, that symbolizes inequality between masters and servants. If you ain’t familiar with the story, here’s a quick run down:

Workers of a printing press grew to hate their master and wifes cats. While they worked relentless hours in the cold, and served scarps. The cats enjoyed comfort from their masters, fresh food, and protection from their masters. In a funny episode, a few workers climbed the roofs of the press owners, and howled like cats. This upset the master’s wife, and influenced the owner into ordering the workers to round up all the cats. In a form of early workers’ protest, the workers held a trial where they beat, and killed the cats.

This Christmas, another couple got two more cats: Blicky, and Jaba (both star wars nerds). These brothers were kept in their master’s room, and weren’t allowed to communicate with Peaches and Chester until they were house broken. They were both reluctant to have the two cat pairs meet, they wanted all the cat love to themselves. Finally the cats met, and some drama played out. Peaches paid little attention to them, giving off a few hisses. On the other hand, Chester chose violence. Choosing to “play” and dominate Blicky and Jabas cat tower. Chester was removed from the room, and a certain ceasefire lasted a few days, until yesterday. Last night, the cats were found chasing each other, and Jaba who shares characteristics of Chester was asleep peacefully on Chester and Peaches cat tower. The bullying of Chester, and avoidance of Peaches ended. 

Horny cat, is a white, black, and brown stray cat that has been seen around the ranch for years. Usually coming over in heat, looking for the other cats to play with. My girlfriend and I are now in the process of adopting the cat. She brought tuna today, and we read the wikihow on how to deal with stray cats. It feels like real-life pokemon, in which we must earn trust then trap and de-animalise the cat for home life. We must cat-proof the house, provide food, water, and a litter box, and rip up my college bank account. I guess it’s time to cut back on ramen.

I remember the early internet boom of the 2000s, and its obsession with cat memes. Viewing cat media is supposed to bring positive emotions, (Why Cats Rule the Internet (treehugger.com). It seems that throughout human history, cats have left their paw-mark.

Lastly, I want to end on a high school history teacher antidote: would we have bombed Hiroshima if they were only cats? No, not the innocent and loving cats. Do we project human traits on these little pestors? Why do we love cats, but choose to neglect people?

Anyway my clothes smell like cat piss, I blame my roommates.

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