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My cats might be tiny cheetahs

November 18, 2011

A leopard can't change its spots. But this is a cheetah. There are no idioms for cheetahs. Discrimination! Where are the Black Panthers when you need them?

I’ve long suspected Teva and Isabel are more than just my life partners house cats.

Just the other day, they got a phone call. It was The Wild.

I mean, I’m pretty sure it was a call of The Wild. I just let it go straight to voicemail, because I screen and prefer to use my phone only to access email and play Words with Friends (username: alonewithcats, bring it!). The number was blocked and no one left a message. If that’s not The Wild’s calling card, I don’t know what is.

Having recently been where the wild things are in South Africa, I had a chance to observe tame cheetahs up-close at a rehab center at Inverdoorn Game Reserve, and I couldn’t help but eye the similarities between my itty-bitty torties and the spotted speedsters. The resemblance is uncanny. The cheetahs and my girls share so many of the same movements and expressions, the same keen sense of pop culture, the same swears-laden, slightly hostile thoughts.

Gazing at the cheetahs was like staring into a mirror. A FURRY MIRROR MADE OF TEVA AND ISABEL. I might be misunderstanding how mirrors work.

Upon returning home from my Southern Hemisphere safari, I combed through photos of my possibly tiny cheetahs to make highly methodical side-by-side comparisons with actual big kitties at the reserve. One image in particular is aided by my bedspread that resembles a savanna, which I may or may not have bought to color-coordinate with my felines’ foxy green eyes. I should probably be an interior decorator.

Let’s have a looksie:

The physics or astronomy or some sort of science-y science seemed to be stacked in our favor. The evidence is powerful. I was nearly convinced that Teva and Isabel are actually tiny cheetahs.

Until I remembered this troubling scene:

A leash? No. Absolutely, no.

Isabel and Teva would never put up with that shit.

Sure, they let me wrap them in cellophane, but that’s where they draw the line.

Alas, my cats aren’t tiny cheetahs after all. But possibly little lions …


Alone with Cats is taking Manhattan again, muppets-style! In a family-themed show dubbed “Blood is Thicker than Blogologues,” Lively Productions will be staging another one of my essays, “Notes on a Scandal: How My Shameless Childhood Tattling Led Me to Pursue a Career in Journalism,” at Under St. Marks theater in the East Village on Monday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. It’ll be a post-Thanksgiving cornucopia of laughs. Come see!

23 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2011 5:42 AM

    Ooh, just had a disturbing thought. While I have previously been a huge fan and looked fondly on your preference for cats over the vastly superior dogs, and forgave you because, hell, you are just so funny and I see strange parallels in our lives. . . except that I bat for the other team (is that how the expression goes?) adn I like dogs, and I’m much older. . . anyhoo. . . where was I?
    Oh, yeah, my dog is a Ridgeback X. And you know what they used those for way back when? To track lions back in Rhodesia when it was Rhodesia not Zimbabwe or whatever it is now. . .and then the blokes would presumably come in and kill the lion.

    Does this mean you’ll ban me from following your blog – and cats – now?

    On the plus side it was lions they tracked not cheetahs. . .

  2. November 18, 2011 6:18 AM

    Congratulations on being reblogologued! I’m insanely jealous.

    I think it’s possible that Teva and Isabelle are tiny cheetahs. Because they’re so much smaller than regular-sized cheetahs, their awesomeness is concentrated, which makes them better at things like leash avoidance. It’s simple physics.

    Oh, and I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I was actually disappointed that there were no tigers in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

  3. November 18, 2011 7:10 AM

    Ha, awesome. Thanks for the laughs this morning. 🙂

  4. November 18, 2011 9:11 AM

    Whoa…the resemblance between your cats and cheetahs is amazing. Obviously, they’re a step ahead of the other cheetah in the animal hierarchy since they don’t need the leash.

    Congrats on another blog performance!

  5. November 18, 2011 10:00 AM

    Hooray for the blog performance!

    I definitely think they take after lions.

    Lastly, I have challenged you to Words with Friends, mostly to boost your confidence as I am quite terrible!

  6. November 18, 2011 10:34 AM

    For what it’s worth, I’m somewhat (that is say, not at all) fluent in Mandarin, so it only took me about 2/3 of the way through Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon before I realized that those are the names of the two lead characters, translated literally.

  7. Jessica permalink
    November 18, 2011 3:36 PM

    First order of priority~ OMG! I LOVE THAT BLOG POST! They can’t do you justice, though, you are imperfectly imitable.

    On a side note, can you email me and tell me where I can get those sheets please?

  8. November 18, 2011 3:45 PM

    Wooohoo for blog show/performance! Very cool.

    I truly believe that house cats are just pretending to be…just house cate.They are secretly ruling the feline world. Giving us silly humans the middleclaw for being so gullible.

  9. November 18, 2011 4:25 PM

    Awesome news about another performance! Also, I don’t know if you read Saturday Morning Breakfast Ceral, but when I saw this one I instantly thought of you… and all my other cat-obsessed friends (also knowns as ‘my cats’):

    My two cats are both part Maine Coon so they have the extra neck scruff. Pretty sure they think my photos of lions are actually them on a day out that they don’t remember.

  10. November 18, 2011 4:28 PM

    Cats are fun 🙂

  11. November 18, 2011 6:10 PM

    pussbook? i never get tired of your punniness.
    can’t wait to see you at another round of blogologues!

  12. November 18, 2011 9:51 PM

    Climb every mountain, motherfucker, indeed. That is my new go to phrase.

    I think they are lions – because that leash business is bullshit. I can’t wait until the cheetah realizes that the leash? Doesn’t stop the biting.

  13. November 18, 2011 10:32 PM

    this is a cat-oriented version of “Totally Looks Like…”. Love it!

    and congrats on the second blog reading! way cool stuff!

  14. November 18, 2011 11:55 PM

    I have never been even a tiny bit interested in visiting New York but today I have two reaons: your story on stage and books from Random House. I am now torn.

  15. November 20, 2011 5:14 AM

    My congrats too. The “shamelss” post has been one of my favourites.

    My Siamese bears no resemblance to a cheetah, instead he is the male version of Anna Pavlova. though to save embarrassment I don’t make him wear the tutu

  16. November 20, 2011 4:17 PM

    The likenesses are incredible. You could claim the costs of your safari trip on tax as “field research”. Now that you’re a famous playwright (material contributor) and all. Wish I could see the play, mazel tov!

  17. November 21, 2011 10:11 PM

    You are so good at Photoshop AND Words with Friends. And blogging. Those are my strengths and you’re surpassing me in all. And now performances in Manhattan! AND TRAVELING! I should just GIVE UP. Also, your cats are kinda cute. Someone loves you every day. Sigh. This is a depressing comment, but also: Good for you! YAY!

  18. November 21, 2011 10:59 PM

    Ahhh so cute! Personally, I NEVER forget that cats are the relatives of wild, dangerous animals. But that doesn’t stop me from trying to give them kisses, even if they are pointy.

  19. November 22, 2011 9:22 AM

    The resemblance is so uncanny, I kept having to re-figure out which picture was the cheetah and which was your cat.
    Oh, and you should definitely do interior design. I’m sure loads of people are looking for ways to coordinate their home decor with their felines… Or would you extend beyond just cats?
    Oh the options are endless…

  20. November 23, 2011 2:11 AM

    Self proclaimed (and other-proclaimed) crazy cat lady!! My cat was definitely the king of some cat tribe in his previous life…

    Found out yesterday that cat lovers are on average 12% more neurotic than dog lovers. It all makes sense now.

  21. November 24, 2011 3:29 PM

    Those are wonderful comparisons. And you said the fatal thing, “Words With Friends.” If you see a game from Cathy, it’s me. I tend to compare my cats to birds more often… I am not sure why…. I am sure Freud would have something to say about that… not that his opinion is of any account whatsoever!

  22. November 28, 2011 9:27 AM

    For whatever reason, I was expecting some kind of pun about your cats cheating. But on reflection, I’m not sure how that would work. For one thing, they’re all about monogamy and for another they probably don’t play board games.

    Anyway, that clears that up.

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