Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 25, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

FRIDAY CATBLOGGING....These pictures were taken a couple of days ago during sunnier times. Today is duck weather, not cat weather. But I like these pictures. Inkblot looks very serene snoozing among the plants, and Domino looks very sleek and feline.

Today, though, we have a more serious lesson for you: don't pack your cat when you take a business trip. Seth Levy and his wife, Kelly, found this out the hard way after Kelly noticed that their cat was missing:

She tore the house apart looking for the cat, who had been spayed just days before. She and her dad took out bathroom tiles and part of a cabinet to check a crawl space and papered the neighborhood with "lost cat" signs.

Then she got a phone call.

"Hi, you're not going to believe this, but I am calling from Fort Worth, Texas, and I accidentally picked up your husband's luggage. And when I opened the luggage, a cat jumped out," Kelly Levy quoted the caller saying.

Cats love luggage. You have been warned.

Kevin Drum 2:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (54)

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Comments

Is it coincidental that after two weeks of being barraged with criticism for overfeeding your cats, we have only headshots this week?

I have a friend who was getting ready to move and accidentally packed her cat in a box. Poor kitty never even yowled; she might have gone onto the truck and not been found for days if she hadn't started with those paw shuffling noises they make.

Posted by: shortstop on January 25, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

One thing I like about the cats is that both seem to have the same ratio of black to white, only its the reverse in one and the other (90/10, 10/90). Is that accurate? And is that an accident?

Posted by: lampwick on January 25, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin -- both of your feline children are appropriately good looking (either beautiful or handsome).

They are marvelous little critters, aren't they? I have three.

Posted by: Helen Rainier on January 25, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

How in the HECK does a suitcase with a 10 month old cat in it go through x-ray at security with not one TSA person noticing it?! Oy!

Posted by: maryc on January 25, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

actually, whenever I get out the suitcase to pack, the cat immediately jumps into it and refuses to budge - I have to lock him out of the bedroom to be able to pack at all -

you're right, ALL cats love ALL suitcases - when I get to my Sisters house and unpack, HER cat then immediately jumps into my suitcase.

Posted by: mldostert on January 25, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

I like Domino's "serious cat" impression.

Posted by: F. Frederson on January 25, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop: No, it's not a coincidence. I was pretty annoyed by all the trash talking, actually.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on January 25, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

I was under the impression that checked bags do not all get x-rayed, but I could be wrong.

Poor kitty.

Posted by: fiat lux on January 25, 2008 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Consider this: Poor kitty went through checked baggage, and the screeners apparently missed her.

So what if cats decided to become terrorists? Yeah, I know, they'd have to do all their terrorist stuff between naps, but still ...

Posted by: K on January 25, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

My newest kitty, Ginger, was a rescue kitty. When I saw her and rescued her from a rescue organization, she was taking a nap inside an old piece of carry on luggage. Once home, not only did she terrorized the older cat, Sake, but found my carry on luggage in the bedroom closet and claimed it as her domain. I actually had to buy a new piece of luggage ... she would not give it up and cried non-stop when I tried to remove her from it for trip back west.

Posted by: kitty on January 25, 2008 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

For Kevin and Shortstop in particular: A vet once told me “Lean mean cats live longer.” That was 30 years ago. He was looking at my dearly loved Ajax, 13 pounds at that time. (Ajax went on to become a very big and healthy 19 pounds and lived 13 years until feline aids finally took him.) In 30 some years of living with cats, my experience is the smaller cats live a shorter time. Misty died young at 7 pounds; Miss Kitty also died young at 8 pounds and so did Fred and Pusser, neither of whom topped out over eight pounds. I’ve known more old, plump cats than I’ve known old and skinny cats.

Posted by: jkb on January 25, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

KEVIN!!!!!!!!!!!

What's with the picture of Inkblot sleeping on the job? Where is his muzzle? What you want him to lose the primary?

Regarding cats and luggage. I have one of those soft sided Sherpa cat carriers that looks just like a carry-on duffle bag. The empress of THE universe will not go near the thing when it is time to go to the vet. It always amazes me how her body can contort 740 degress when I try to stuff her into the thing. Course there is also the incredibly loud howling that occurs on the drive to the vet, you would think I was pulling her from limb to limb.

The when we get to the vet, it is a another battle to get her OUT of the Sherpa carrier. And then once out she immediately goes and sits in the sink!

Course once the checkup is over and shots, etc. give, she hops very quickly into her lovely gorgeous Sherpa carrier, and quietly sits through the drive home.

Posted by: optical weenie on January 25, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and etiquette hint: just as no one appreciates being told he or she is overweight to face to face (doctors are not excluded but are endured here), no one likes his or her pet being called overweight.

Kevin, your cats are beautiful.

Posted by: jkb on January 25, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Our cats hate luggage, actually. I'm pretty sure they associate it with us leaving them along for a period of time. Whenever my wife brings out the luggage, they get extremely agitated...

Well wait...now that I think of it, their agitation consists of sitting in the luggage and refusing to get out, and even hissing if they are forcibly moved.

So Kevin's right.

Posted by: Charles on January 25, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Our cats, like practically everyone else's, try to get in the suitcase when we pack.

Fortunately (in this respect, anyway), our cats are all in the 13-14 lb. range, so it would be all but impossible not to notice we were closing a suitcase with a cat inside.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on January 25, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

My goodness what a handsome devil the one on the right is!

Posted by: Juanita de Talmas on January 25, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Cats are infinitely curious, which is sometimes fatal. Hence the old saying.

Posted by: Speed on January 25, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Completely off topic, but having heard the old Three Dog Night song "Black and White" on my Ipod this morning, the following thought came to my mind upon seeing this weeks Catblogging pictures.

With the recent racial unrest between the two nominees of the Democrat party, perhaps they can learn a lesson from Kevin's cats.

After all, you have Inkblot, a mostly white cat with black spots, representing Hillary, who was married to our first "black" President. And you have Domino, a mostly black cat with some white, representing Obama, whose mother and upbringing was white.

If they can live in harmony in Kevin's liberal household, perhaps they can as well.

Still, as a conservative GOPer, I can only hope that the "catfight" between two of them will intensify and destroy themselves and the Democratic world like Bele and Loki and their planet Cheron did in the ST:TOS episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield." ;-)

Have a great weekend everyone. I'm off to Vegas for a couple of days.

Posted by: Chicounsel on January 25, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

ALL cats love ALL suitcases

Our cat loves to PEE in our suitcases whenever we come back from a trip. Revenge

Posted by: Wilbur on January 25, 2008 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

No, it's not a coincidence. I was pretty annoyed by all the trash talking, actually. Posted by: Kevin Drum on January 25, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Sorry, Kevin. Hope you don't stop sharing your kitties just 'cause some folks make unfortunate remarks. We love Catblogging.

Pets are just as beloved and adored as anyone's kids, and it is as hurtful to have a loved pet made fun of as it is a loved child.

There are far too many unwanted domestic animals, and kids for that matter, out there to heap criticizm on the heads of pet owners who truly love and care for their animals as much as Inkblot and Domino are loved and cared for.

:)

Posted by: Zit on January 25, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Normally we don't see what happens to checked bags. They just disappear into the bowels of the airport and hopefully get coughed up at the destination. But last time I travelled, I flew home out of a really tiny airport - total of six gates. And the TSA checkers were right there by the check-in counter.

Perhaps it was because the people in front of me were some kind of video production company with about a dozen weird looking hard cases full of AV equipment that took twenty minutes to process, (oh, great...) but they really went over my bag with a fine tooth comb. Opened it up and swabbed around the edges with one of those little patches that turns blue if you vote Democrat, even swabbed inside the obviously empty zip pockets on the sides. Hard to imagine a cat going through that undetected. (Though granted, they didn't x-ray it.)

Again, I don't know if that's how they handle things at bigger airports with 100 times the volume. Probably not.

Still, as a safety precaution, I've clipped a four ounce tube of hair mousse to our Bengal's collar. I know it's unlikely she'll manage to pull a stunt like Gracie Mae's, but I like the peace of mind that comes with being certain she'll be found at the airport and prevented from boarding a flight.

Posted by: john on January 25, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Inkblot may not be fat, but he is certainly a Washington fat cat. I demand that Inkblot admit that his campaign is being run by a blogger!

Posted by: tom veil on January 25, 2008 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

[Just so there's no misunderstanding, my reference to B. Kliban's "frequently mistaken for a meatloaf" joke wasn't a reference to your cats' size, but rather their pose. It's a shape perhaps unique in the animal kingdom.]

Posted by: idlemind on January 25, 2008 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel: the recent racial unrest between the two nominees of the Democrat party
Stuff it, willya?

Optical -- don't worry about Inkblot appearing to be asleep. It worked for Reagan.

Lovely cat pix, as always. Thanks!

Posted by: thersites on January 25, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Somewhere I have a picture of Bill Clinton with a moron I knew in college.

Posted by: B on January 25, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Wrong thread, wrong moron. I'll apologize for all of the different commenters' fat cat comments. Only a few percent were funny and none in the context of of piling on and on and on.

Posted by: B on January 25, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

So what if cats decided to become terrorists? Yeah, I know, they'd have to do all their terrorist stuff between naps, but still ... -K

Think Persian cats. Hmmm.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 25, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Re: trash talking the kitties. I figure, save the lectures for people who misfeed their cats (overfeed, give too many treats, give bad people food, etc.), and leave owners such as Mr. Drum, who are making efforts to rein in the weight, THE HELL ALONE.

I love your kitties, Kevin. I love my three kitties (two of whom are svelte) too!

Posted by: Angela on January 25, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

It had to be the husband's suitcase because us women don't leave any extra room for furry little creatures.

Posted by: w on January 25, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Our tuxedo cat spends his days napping inside his Sherpa carrier, but God forbid you should try to zip him into it and carry him away somewhere. Then the howling begins.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 25, 2008 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

uuhhmmmm, I forgot


INKBLOT FOR PRESIDENT '08

Posted by: optical weenie on January 25, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Doc at the Radar statin: Don't cast aspertions! My Persians, Bougie and Mioche, are both proud American Obama-supporting felines!

Posted by: beth on January 25, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Our Comrade would have never had a luggage episode like that. He was a grade-A howler. When we used to live in town and take him to the vet by bus, he would make such a racket that some people actually thought we were carrying a baby!

Posted by: thersites on January 25, 2008 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

My Persians ... Obama-supporting felines!

Well, there you go again, beth.

Posted by: thersites on January 25, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Both of your cats are more like Lincoln than W is.

Posted by: jen flowers on January 25, 2008 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Inkblot may not be fat, but he is certainly a Washington fat cat. I demand that Inkblot admit that his campaign is being run by a blogger!

Posted by: tom veil on January 25, 2008 at 5:02 PM

Inkblot's National Campaign Manager is not a blogger. She's a geeky nerd who is having difficulty trying to interpret how any possible thing Inkblot might say or do could be interpreted the wrong way. If only photons could vote! If it were just photons, things would be be so much easier. A few mirrors, turning prisms and focusing optics and BOOM all votes would be cast in the right direction.

Posted by: optical weenie on January 25, 2008 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

When I evacuated during the California fires last year, I stayed at my uncle's mobile home. One of my cats somehow got inside a CLOSED dresser drawer (second from the top). There was no way to get in from underneath or behind; somehow she had pulled the drawer open, got in and closed it again. And I spent hours looking for her. And of course she didn't make any noise to help me find her.

Posted by: Speed on January 25, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Let Kevin's cat photos dispell, once and for all, the malicious misperception that all portly felines are republicans.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O/F in 08! on January 25, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Cats like to slip into car backseats to catch a nap if the window's open. It's a rather alarming discovery to make when you're halfway from San Francisco to LA.

Posted by: Joshua Norton on January 25, 2008 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

OK, you can sneak a cat onto a plane in your luggage? Really?

Sheesh! I can't take a regular bottle of hair gel or tube of toothpaste in my carry-on for security reasons but you can apparently bring a cat in your checked luggage. This is an obviously dangerous security hole.

And Kevin! Shame on you! You're trying to destroy America! You've just let the terrorists know that though our airlines are now safe from a jar of gourmet mustard, they are entirely vulnerable to cats. Surely right now the terrorists are working on training ninja cats to assemble compound explosives out of Gatorade and shaving cream (and to roll onto their backs when they want a treat, but just 'cuz it's cute, not for any nefarious purpose).

Posted by: Mark Kawakami on January 25, 2008 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

they also are crime fighters.

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/01/26/0126cat.html

Posted by: lloydCarroll on January 25, 2008 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

they will also climb into clothes dryers

Posted by: Ya Know.... on January 25, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

I don't blame you for being annoyed, Kevin. Your cats are gorgeous, from head to toes.

Posted by: scruncher on January 25, 2008 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

they will also climb into clothes dryers

We had a cat when I was a kid who loved to get in the dryer. One time my sister was in a hurry and tossed her volleyball uniform in by itself to dry it quickly before a Saturday morning tournament. She didn't check for the cat first, and started the dryer. We only thought that Siamese was neurotic before...

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on January 25, 2008 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Cats like to slip into car backseats to catch a nap if the window's open. It's a rather alarming discovery to make when you're halfway from San Francisco to LA.

When that happened to me, I fortunately was only a few miles down the road from the cat's home, so I was able to turn around and return her to her barn.

I didn't leave my windows down in the summer any more after that.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 25, 2008 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Mark Kawakami >"...training ninja cats..."

Training cats ?

Not possible ever.

"Proof depends on who you are. We're looking for a preponderance of evidence, and some people need more of a preponderance than other people." - John Kantner

Posted by: daCascadian on January 25, 2008 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

I had a cat that rain into the broiler once when I was turning a steak over. She ran right out again, but the whole back of her was singed.

Posted by: denise on January 25, 2008 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

This is the first time I've seen one of your cats photographed with eyes closed (Inkblot) while not lying down. Anyhow, I remember reading a newspaper column by some cat psychologist back in the '80s and he mentioned that cats closing their eyes when you stare at them makes them *embarrassed*-that's their reaction. I wonder if it is possible for a cat to be embarrassed?

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 25, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Of course it's possible for a cat to be embarrased. Ever see one try to jump on something and fail to make it? That "oh, I meant to do that" pose they assume is the epitome of embarrassment.

Posted by: gemini on January 25, 2008 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Our cat loves to PEE in our suitcases whenever we come back from a trip. Revenge

I'm strangely comforted by knowing this has happened to someone else and you said it. People should be warned on this one, too - it's not so pleasant.

But those are some gorgeous, contented looking kitties.

Posted by: Lucky Ducky on January 25, 2008 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you take really good, interesting pictures. Of course, you are ahead of the game with great subjects. However, I really enjoy the pictures on Friday; and, I think it is because you take good pictures and have good subjects.

I had a nice Sherpa carrier for my last cat who was 22 pounds and not fat. After he died from hepatitis, it was vacant for a long time. Finally, I got two cats who shared the big Sherpa until each became too big to share. Then, during one trip to and from someone else's house while I went out of town, the cat that got the Sherpa chewed several big holes in it. I now have two hard carriers for both of them. Both of these cats are chewers. I keep wondering if there is something missing in their diet to cause them to chew everything, especially paper. I had thought they would outgrow this chewing thing; but, they are seven now and still chew.

Posted by: Mazurka on January 26, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Great picutures, especially of Domino....

Posted by: JWC on January 26, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Mazurka--chewing is often a sign that a cat was weaned too early.

Kevin--thanks for Friday catblogging. In some ways, it's the best time of the week, when we set our own cares aside for a short while and Inkblot, Domino & you remind us what's really important -- our furry loved ones. Your cats are beautiful, and they are lucky to live in such a loving home, where national exposure is the least of the benefits available. Thanks for sharing them with us every week, along with your own commentary about them. A little ray of sunshine shining through the bleakness of this wretched administration.

Posted by: disparue on January 26, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Ducks hate rain. Just sayin'

Posted by: Edo on January 28, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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