Wednesday, September 21, 2016

BAGS, PAWS AND CLAWS

Look carefully at this faded, damaged photo and you can
see one of the cats on the left holding me hostage.
I love my wife, but never felt the same toward her two cats. I use the past tense not because of a change of heart, but a change of life -- theirs. They clawed their way to the Eternal Litterbox within a few months of each other at least a decade ago. 

My negative feelings toward them wasn't personal. I just don't like cats. They're ungrateful, needy, and snobbish. And I don't want to hear anything about "projection", OK?

In fact, the federal government just backed me up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study on the rise of Cat Scratch Disease in the U.S. The takeaway:


My spellcheck went bananas when I pasted that paragraph. I can't even pronounce half those words. And even if you don't understand it, it just looks frightening. The staff of USA Today thoughtfully provides a handy translation:



To put this in perspective, an average of only 19 shark attacks happen every year in the U.S. That means you have only a 1 in 3,700,000 chance in becoming selachimorpha prandium (that's "shark lunch" for you non-scientists) in your lifetime. 

In comparison, it seems like there's an excellent chance of coming down with some kind of brain disease from the stray kitten you see today. If the odds for getting attacked by a shark were the same, every damn beach would be shut down in perpetuity.

Not that cats are entirely without use. Claire Hobbes of New Zealand kept a cat in her freezer for three months after finding it dead on a road. That in itself might seem strange, until you learn that Ms. Honnes is a taxidermist by trade. When a search for its owner proved fruitless, she went the fashionista route and turned it into a handbag. Or is it a pawbag?

The only accessory that wants to make you feel guilty.
Plenty of sensitive people find this thing repellent, even if Ms. Hobbes assures us, "I don't kill animals for my work, it's not as though I go around snuffing out animals thinking this'll make a nice handbag." She might change her mind if she gets enough money for it; the opening bid at the auction site Trade Me is $1400 NZD. 

Isn't your little lady worth the investment? Not only is it (for now) a unique item, you'll still be able to enter any "No Pets Allowed" establishment -- the late Mr. Mittens won't pass along any brain disease, or even piss in the corner of the room. 

As for the rest of you who shudder at the kitty clutch, remember: if it's good enough for the alligator, it's good enough for the feline. If nothing else, we now have a new slang to replace "the cat's pajamas." 

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