Dear Cats

I have two cats. They are (adorably) named after jazz musicians (Satchmo and Coltrane), and they basically dominate my life. There was an article in The New York Times this weekend about how cats should not be allowed to go outside, because they are murdering birds, and spreading disease, and for lots of other reasons. This article successfully made me feel like a terrible person, but I am never going to make my cats live indoors. That would be like inviting your boyfriend to move in: the relationship would deteriorate almost instantaneously. 

In fact, we already have lots of problems. I thought today I'd compose a few open letters to my cats. They do not read my blog, because they are selfish assholes. So this is a pointless exercise. But so is everything that cats do.


Dear Satchmo,

It's super cool that you are getting good at catching the rats that live in our ceiling. We've been trying to get you to do that for years, and for some reason, you have suddenly come into your own around that particular skill. Kudos. However, there are LOTS of places you could choose to put the still-warm corpses of the rats you kill that are not DIRECTLY ON TOP OF MY FEET. You put them on my feet while I am at my desk, you put them on my feet while I am at the kitchen table, and -- this is the worst one -- you put them on my feet when I am in my bed. WHY DO YOU DO THIS. MY FEET DO NOT NEED DEAD RATS ON THEM. Here are appropriate places you could put dead rats: In the garbage; in the compost; in a hole in the back yard; really anywhere outside is fine; on the feet of my enemies. 

Thanks so much,


Dear Coltrane,

Good morning! What?! It's NOT a good morning for you? Why not? I've just fed you and given you fresh water. I am not playing loud or annoying music. So why, when I am making my coffee (read: I HAVE NOT YET HAD COFFEE IN THIS SCENARIO) do you choose to look at me like you are Atilla the Hun before squealing loudly (a noise a cat should not make) and lunging at my calves? Then you hold onto whichever calf you managed to grab and continue to meow-squeal until I physically pry you off and you draw a bunch of blood. This is not an effective battle tactic. Every morning you try it, and you have never, not ever, killed me. (Which is what I assume your intention is.) Here are tips and pointers for morning murder, if you want to try again in the future.

1. Battle cries were well and good during times of war in the sixth century, but today, we try to be stealthy. Squealing at me like a deranged baby pig instantly gives you away. 

2. Go for a more vulnerable body part than a leg. Try eyes, or scrotum.

3. If you want to murder, pick something smaller than an adult human to attempt murder on. I am way bigger than you. Every single morning, after you try this, I will continue to hit you in the face with a newspaper. I will ALWAYS hit you in the face with a newspaper. It is beyond me why this move always surprises you into retreat and resignation. I never don't hit you in the face with a newspaper. One would think you would develop some historical memory or something. But no. You don't.




Dear Coltrane and Satchmo, 

It's four in the morning. I'm going to feed you. I promise. There is not famine. There is not drought. There is still food, and it is going to go in your bowl at some point. But I am not like you in that you get to spend 80 percent of YOUR ENTIRE DAY sleeping. I get to spend a much lower percentage of my day doing that, and it is incidentally the happiest time of my day. When you see me sleeping, I need you to just have faith that I am going to at some point wake up and feed you. You don't have to moan a woefully out-of-tune rendition Madame Butterfly , which is what I assume you are doing at four in the morning until I get up and feed you. Just let me sleep in the warm bed for thirty more minutes. In the grand scheme of things, is that so much to ask? No. No it is not.