Cats run profoundly deep for such tiny creatures. When I look at my brown tabby Thomas during quiet, unguarded moments, his eyes reveal the mysteries of the universe. The experience is huge, his little black pupils a gaping maw. Thomas and I draw each other into The Big Black Silent Abyss. The mystery beckons us to fall further, to surrender, to drown in this metaphysical soup we’ll never figure out — kind of like the final minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, when you know dude is diving deep into the heart of existence but you’ve no idea what the hell is going on. (My advice on that? Read the book by Arthur C. Clarke. WAAAAAY more clear than film director Kubrick on that ending.)
Cats also carry a payload of love, energy, and cuteness that, if it were ever calculated, would far outweigh their tiny form factors in power and intensity. I’ve known humans who are 10 times the size of little Thomas yet they hardly register on any emotional or noticeability scale. Just the same, I’ve known many cats who, on their own, carry the love, lust, laughs, and good feeling of a James Brown concert.
Intellect, however, is where a cat’s size matches ability. Even a “smart” cat would stand no chance on a standardized test against, say, a lazy third-grader. Years ago I started calling cats Red-Hot brains — not because their brains are afire, but rather, because a cat brain is only as big as a Red Hot (or so I theorize — and if I’m wrong, which I probably am, just let me go on believing, because it’s a lot funnier my way). Luckily for cats (and us), all the mystery and love and cuteness counterbalances this deficiency. As I often said to my cat Tiger Lily, “It’s a good thing you’re cuter than you are stupid.” Cuteness and love always win.
So. Having established that cats have tons of emotion and psychic mojo but mere milligrams of academic ability, here’s my question. If cats own the Internet (and they do — my role as senior editor at Catster.com is a well-dressed, full-time job’s worth of proof), why don’t cats get spammed? Spammers would have it soooo easy unloading whatever they’re selling or nefariously filching personal data, because cats would fall for the same schtick every time — the same way cats always just know that the thing moving around under the blanket is a mouse, lizard, bird, or rat, even if two seconds ago it was your hand — the same hand they watched you put under the covers just now.
Next question: What would cat-spam look like? Well, I’ll show you. But first, let’s consider the categories of spam. Looking through my own spam folders, I see that most messages involve one of the following:
Here’s what those spam messages might look like, translated into cat:
Hello there, Mr. Housecat! Are you bored, at home alone ALL DAY when your owners are at work? We’re two ferals, Bella and Stella, who live outside your apartment complex. We’re just the gals for you — hot days spent without wet food or shelter make us do CRAZY things! We’re bi-petual, and we LOVE to switch up other cats’ feeding and play schedules! We’re looking to come inside for a while with a non-creepy tomcat like you who can host us for daytime adventures over bowls of Temptations cat treats and MULTIPLE cat toys! Send us a message — and leave your cat door open for us!
Good day to you, fine sir. I am Barrister Pumpkin Tigger Socks Rascal, a domestic shorthair living in UK and representative to Sir Alfie Boots Flufferton, beloved exotic Ragdoll and adjunct to the Fancy Feast cat-food empire. On 20th July this year Sir Flufferton and his wife were involved in a cat-condo collapse that claimed all 18 of their combined lives. Since then I have yowled loudly trying to locate Sir Alfie’s extended relatives but to ends only futile so I contact you. I need your assistance claiming and retrieving 20 cases of Fancy Feast canned food including Chicken and Liver Feast, Savory Salmon Buffet, and Seafood Medley before it is confiscated by human authorities or fed to the dog. If you agree to pose as next of kin to my deceased client within the next 10 working days, I will halve with you 50/50 the contents of this nourishing cache. Please at your earliest convenience provide me the location of and access to your own food supply, so that I can have my minions insert this aforementioned generous amount into yours.
Do you suffer from feline playtime dysfunction (FPD)? Laser pointer not lighting your fire? Paper bags and cardboard boxes leaving you flimsy and soft? Ukrainian pharmacy offers NEW fourth-generation formulation NOW of naturally occurring Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) Executive Feline Powerpak+. This advanced clinically proven compound of world-known medication provides powerful blood circulation to the claws, increased agitation, loss of equilibrium, and undeniable sensitivity to physical, visual, and aural stimulation. Formulated scientifically to provide satisfaction of instinctual needs and lasting pleasure at playtime. Make that fake bird seem REAL again.
There. Wasn’t that fun? OK. Wholly unrelated to cats and spam is this:
About a decade ago, I resolved to learn how to tie a bow tie so I could upgrade my spiff factor. I’d obtained a fancy little set of instructions when I bought a cut-rate tuxedo jacket. I tried and I tried, but I just couldn’t make sense of the instructions — especially considering the words underneath the diagrams resembled the confusing directions that come with IKEA furniture.
Insert overland Orkney tab C uprightly via boundary tab J forthwith to end of infinity slot simultaneous Grundtag roundabout Knutstorp measure.
This time I consulted YouTube, where I found instructional videos long and short, pro and amateur, flat and fluffy, dull and spritely. I watched several, taking elements from each, and in two days I had it mastered (which is another way of saying: “You’d never know just by looking at the knot that it took me 10 minutes and oh God I hope it doesn’t come undone during the workday”).
The bow tie’s maiden voyage last week is depicted in the selfie below. With the bow tie I wear a black Van Heusen shirt, a black suede-ish vest (that you can’t see in the photo), a black suede-ish three-button sport jacket, a Mercer shortbrim Fedora by Stetson, my trusty Ray-Ban Wayfarer specs, and no trousers. (Kidding about that last part.) My lapel pin is from PyroPets, a maker of cat-shaped candles that have metal skeletons inside, which we’ve featured here on Catster. The pin is a black cartoonish cat head with a chrome skull in the center. (Thanks, Vicky Walker.)
And yes, as a matter of fact, from a distance I bet I do sort of look like Elvis Costello.
Do your cats get spam? What would it look like if they did? Do your cats send spam? Does it work? Do you like Red Hots? Has your cat bested a third grader on a test? Can you tie a bow tie? Tell me in the comments!
Cat Dandy knows better than to dangle a silk bow tie in front of Thomas:
About Keith Bowers: This broad-shouldered, bald-headed, leather-clad motorcyclist also has passions for sharp clothing, silver accessories, great writing, the arts, and cats. This career journalist loves painting, sculpting, photographing, and getting on stage. He once was called “a high-powered mutant,” which also describes his cat, Thomas. He is senior editor at Catster and Dogster.