Andrew Birden Credit: Andrew Birden

One of the first selfless acts that I ever did in my life was to rescue a starving flea-bitten cat from the clutches of another kid who thought it would be fun to throw rocks at the hapless feline.

I took the animal home, talked my mom into allowing me to keep him, and proceeded to closely observe the cat in order to give it an appropriate name, one based upon his most defining characteristic.

His total lack of personality, black fur and the fact that he was a cat inspired me to name him Black Cat.

He never did anything interesting, ever, in his long boring life.

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My wife, on the other hand, worships cats. She treats these four-legged sand scratchers as if they were pharaohs, Egyptian god kings that stroll around the house as if the entire history of the human species occurred just so we would have a civilization smart enough to invent the litter box.

Her favorite cat becomes her confessor, her keeper of intimate secrets. She caters to its every whim, allows it to lounge all day doing nothing but eating and sleeping.

Apparently, the cat and I are competing for her love. Once she accused me of being prejudiced against her cat. I denied it at the time, because what she saw as prejudice was actually jealousy.

The truth is I am the only thing that stands between her affection for cats and the town gaining another crazy cat lady.

Luckily, that means our household currently supports only three of the annoying critters.

I can hear the collective outcry from cat lovers across the country, “Cats are not annoying!”


They don’t come when you call them, unless you have food. They boast about killing a baby bird by leaving the eviscerated carcass in your house shoes. When you point to an open can of tuna fish, they look at your finger. They eat bugs. They’re the only animals in the house that think the bathtub is a good place to hide. They’re so stupid they get lost behind the dryer. A cat thinks the way to intimidate another animal is to sit down. For cats, the method of opening a door is to stare at it for hours. And, I swear, they blame their owners for the weather.

These are not the behaviors of pleasant animals with lots of character and intelligence.

However, cats are absolute geniuses when it comes to convincing a cat person to feed, house, medicate and provide unconditional love for them in return for utter disdain and shredded furniture.