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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Caturday XIII

One of my favorite books when I was little was "Millions of Cats" by Wanda Gag. I always wanted to get a kitten of my own, but was never allowed to have one. My family are staunch dog people, and my dad was very much against owning any animal that pooped in the house. I also think my dad had developed anti-cat sentiment in his childhood due to "Timmy", an elderly cat who liked to relieve himself in people's shoes.

So, in lieu of having a my kitty, I satisfied my feline fascination by reading lots of picture books about them. "Millions of Cats" was written in 1928, and is currently the oldest American picture book still in print. I love the illustrations and the unique, hand written typography.
The story is about an elderly couple who decide to get a cat to combat the loneliness of their twilight years. The old man heads off to this magical hillside where "hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats" live, just waiting for somebody to come take them home. Once he gets there, the old man has a really really hard time choosing between all these cats. Each one is cuter than the next. So he figures, "What the hey, I'll just bring them all home with me!"
This obviously becomes problematic when he gets back to his little cottage and his wife is all "WTF, I just wanted one cat! Not billions and trillions!" The dawning realization that they could never afford to house and feed all these animals forces the couple to make a choice. To narrow down the field, they ask the cats "Which one of you is the prettiest?" This causes an epic cat fight that forces the man and woman to flee into their house. When the dust settles and yowling ceases, they go outside to discover that all the cats had destroyed each other in the heated battle. The only one to survive is a skinny cat with low self esteem, who did not consider herself pretty and was thus ignored. The couple take her in, and under their care, she blossoms into the ideal pet.

The moral of the story? If you're modest, you won't get destroyed by your ravenous peers. Also, don't let cat's know you're judging them on appearance because they will destroy each other. Also Also, the importance of being decisive!

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