Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Feline Fecundity (The Pussy Horror Show)

The local newspaper, on the front page (isn't there a war going on? aren't there issues more pressing than pussycats and their proclivity to procreate?), says two cats and their surviving offspring end up producing, drum roll, or synthesizer-simulated sound of trumpets, like before the Kentucky Derby:

80,399,780 cats.

As in c-a-t-s. As in not-the-Broadway musical of the same name.

This figure is supplied by the American Humane Association (I've always found that ironic, the word "humane" in reference to animals; what word do we use in reference to being compassionate toward humans?), on the assumption of breeding for 10 years, two litters per year, and 2.8 surviving kittens per year (to get the 2.8, they lop off some fur, or whiskers, or part of a paw or tail). (Oh stop. They're words. Theoretical assumptions. No one is torturing your little kitties. Okay? Just stop.)

I've seen these sorts of calculations before. You have too. Especially as an inducement to get your cat spayed or netured or whatever the going euphemism is.

Maybe it's because Statistics 101 was the only course I ever failed, back in 1869 or so, but I just can't get my arms around this calculation.

I got to thinking, in a laughoristic sort of way. Not in a Soren Kierkegaard sort of way (just wanted to get that in there, to make me appear smart).

If just 10% of the American population, now given as 300,000,000 (people, however loosely and broadly you want to define that term, given the sad examples JR of JR's Thumbprints blog witnesses Monday through Friday) and rising, owned cats, that would end up. Oh feck. Who cares about the feckin number! (I get something like 2.4 billion, conservatively, give or take a few.) Just picture it. We'd be aswarm in cats, cats up to our necks. Our noses. Our eyes. Our ears. We'd have to wade through a sea of cats just to get to the car.

It'd be the Pussy Horror Show!

And all those guys who never thought they had enough, um, "cat" encounters, would be singing a different tune, mate.

Plus my allergies would really kick in.

It could be worse.

We used to have the cutest little Russian dwarf hampsters. Now those critters know something about reproduction. Oh yeah, baby. ("Repro Man," starring Ivan Screwin, The Russian Dwarf.) They had litters every 19 days or so; seven, eight, or more tiny creatures (and if Momma thought a youngster was a bit of a runt, she would sometimes -- how can one put this delicately -- digest it; nature is not kind).

Imagine Russian dwarf hamsters in every nook and cranny.

It'd give a whole new meaning to that old film "The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!"

Back to the feline fantasy: 2.4 billion cats would make for some sicko-strange Off-Broadway musical (way-way-off-Broadway, thank you).

(Yes, our cats are neutered, if you must know.)

Laugh. Or . . .

Else.


p.s. I was going to blog about mobile phones and lower sperm counts, but without even checking I'll bet that is THE topique du jour. And if you're counting, this is the 69th post posted by the Laughorist.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Every cat that we've owned and neutered has survived a long, relatively peaceful life.

Every cat that we've owned and haven't gotten neutered has been killed/smashed/multilated by a car/bus/bicycle.

I think that's a sign.

mist1 said...

Happy 69.

My kitty is fixed. I am so responsible. Also, he could take care of many of those hamsters, if necessary.

Anonymous said...

Well my cat is neutered too but it almost broke my heart the day we had to go and cut his big beautiful balls off.

Some other cat thoughts - I agree with you that 2.4 billion cats running rampant would indeed be a Pussy Horror show and my allergies couldn't handle it either -
but do those wacko cat rescue people have to be SO F'CKING DILIGENT?! NYC (my hometown) is overrun with RATS. ISTANBUL (one of my favorite cities) is NOT. You know what the difference is? Istanbul has plenty of lively street cats. They add color and conversation and provide excellent rodent control. In NY, cats like that would be called "homeless" and of course the only "humane" thing to do is "rescue" them and make them live in wire cages. They end up living there for a long while as some of these cat rescue groups have screening criteria more impossible to meet than those of human adoption agencies.

But then again - my wonderful cat came from the back alley - and I'm so grateful to him for coming into my home and life and giving me so much pleasure and love. I only hope I've given as much in return.

Anonymous said...

Happy 69 - post, of course...I try to keep it clean ;-)

Sounds liked we'd have tribbles and tribbles of cats, if you get my drift.

So what's the cellphone deal? Too many guys sticking their cellphones in their pockets? Oh crap, I do that!

Glamourpuss said...

Tha same thing happened in Paris in the eighteenth century and gave rise to The Great Cat Massacre of seventeen thirty-something.

Straight up - if you don't believe me, google it.

See, told you.

Puss
(unspayed and proud)

Anonymous said...

My cats are also fixed and one we got from an SPCA for abnadoned animals and the other was abandoned by its mother in a local shrub. We also had to sign an agreement with the SPCA we would keep our cats indoors unless they were on a leash. So we did and we do.

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Wow. You guys are good! I mean, this is like the Cat History Chanel (purposely misspelled to pay homage to the Parisian reference, no Istanbull!)

azgoddess said...

i think their stats are a bit off -- as they don't account for killings of the babies by other cats, (in my neck of the woods) coyotes and bobcats, moterized vehicles...

well the list could go on

(note: my cat is fixed)

Sheila said...

my cat is fixed but a lot of my neighbors don't have their cats fixed and they let them run around outside all the time. It really pisses me off cuz then when they have all their kittens they all come and pee all over my lawn because it's nice and green and NEW (just had sod put in last spring) and they make all these dead brown patches all over it. damn cats!

Anonymous said...

Oh please come visit. I need a Christmas Island flag. Your flag would be 130!

I'd post ten great things about Christmas Islands. :)

Thank you bunches in advance!

Anonymous said...

I have noticed that as I age I seem to think of pussy more and more. It appears that I am not alone.


Later yall....

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that was front page news! But I guess it's a little better than reading about the crap that's really going on.
Happy 69th!