Visiting the cathouse

Here I am at the cathouse. They at supper right now. Sichuan fare will be my repast. Cats don’t block the tunnel but that doesn’t mean they are wonderful.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Volpius says:

    Do I take it you haven’t been blessing animals with it been St. Francis’ day then Father?

  2. Geoffrey says:

    That looks like an Abysinian on the far right.

  3. BobP says:

    They look like they’re waiting for Mass to start.

  4. Melody says:

    Lovely. Mind, another way of saying Catholic is “cat-holic.”

    Every morning, my cat Angel greets the rising sun by climbing onto the sill of the east-facing window, and I think “ad orientem.”

  5. David Andrew says:

    From Christopher Smart:

    For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
    For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
    For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
    For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.

  6. Melody says:

    Thanks for posting that David. I’ve just went looking for that poem and bookmarked it.

  7. Tina in Ashburn says:

    harumph. Doesn’t look like those cats are getting home-prepared food. Dry cat food of grain? Cats are carnivores. No wonder they are looking about.

    “This is it? What’s with the chef around here?”

  8. David Andrew says:

    (Black cat in middle:) “Cook says we’re all down to kibble. Says it’s the economy.”

    (Grey at far right:) “It’s a scandal! The Lord of the Manor should be flogged!”

  9. “that doesn’t mean they are wonderful”–a comment like that will ensure that one of those cats will be lying on your face overnight, the other will be cutting off the blood flow to your feet, the third will lie on your stomach. Trust me, they are plotting.

    Cathy: Hostess of a two cat household-three if you count me! LOL! *meow*

  10. No one will ever accuse you of starving your feline compatriots!

    Its a cat’s life, I suppose.

  11. Tim Ferguson says:

    O felis culpa!

  12. Jane says:

    They are much bettter than dogs.

  13. Geoffrey says:

    “They are much bettter than dogs.”



  14. pelerin says:

    They look as if they are waiting patiently for Grace to be said before diving in!

  15. Loren says:

    Cat is an unappreciated white meat in the English speaking world. Sad

  16. Cats are amazing. We’ve had some of the sweetest cats God created. I had a Hemingway, or Mitten Cat. His name was Thumbs. I also had a wonderful female named Kebo. We called her Kibus Kitticus, Roaming Catiator. All the cats we have ever had the pleasure of waiting on got along wonderfully with our Chow/Dingo. I miss owning a cat. You can send me the one in the middle Fr. Z.

  17. Melody says:

    I think the real problem with cats is saying “no” to those eyes.
    My “Angel”

  18. Jacques says:

    They are much better than dogs = heresy. Here is why:
    1/ DOG is the anagram of GOD
    2/ A dog always ties itself to a person while a cat ties itself to a home first and then to the person who feeds it.
    3/ The cat species was unknow (to man) 5000 years ago. The canis domesticus is man’s buddy since 150000 years. Such a long period allowed the man to select dog’s best qualities: For example dog’s scent is 20 times more efficient that that of the wolf its ancestor.

  19. C. Caldwell says:

    Speak for yourself Loren!

    Ever since the early days of the Rush Limbaugh Show when
    “Nick from the High Mountains of New Mexico” would call
    in to share his favorite recipes for Kitty Soup or Doggie
    Stew, we’ve been enjoying this cuisine at least once a

    Seemed folks would abandon their “pets” when passing through
    and Nick wasn’t about to let them go to waste.

  20. Geoffrey says:

    I have dogs and a cat. Yay for ecumenism!

  21. Irish says:

    I and Pangur Ban my cat,
    ‘Tis a like task we are at:
    Hunting mice is his delight,
    Hunting words I sit all night.

    Better far than praise of men
    ‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
    Pangur bears me no ill-will,
    He too plies his simple skill.

    ‘Tis a merry task to see
    At our tasks how glad are we,
    When at home we sit and find
    Entertainment to our mind.

    Oftentimes a mouse will stray
    In the hero Pangur’s way;
    Oftentimes my keen thought set
    Takes a meaning in its net.

    ‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
    Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
    ‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
    All my little wisdom try.

    When a mouse darts from its den,
    O how glad is Pangur then!
    O what gladness do I prove
    When I solve the doubts I love!

    So in peace our task we ply,
    Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
    In our arts we find our bliss,
    I have mine and he has his.

    Practice every day has made
    Pangur perfect in his trade;
    I get wisdom day and night
    Turning darkness into light.

    — Anon., (Irish, 8th century)

  22. Cats don’t block the tunnel but that doesn’t mean they are wonderful.

    What in the world does that mean? It makes no sense at all to me. Could someone explain?

  23. Romulus says:

    Cats most certainly are wonderful, and for a great deal more than the simple fact that they don’t block tunnels like lost dogs.

    In at least one way, dogs are like men: in their attachment to their masters they teach us the loyalty and trust we must have in God; lost in underground tunnels or running wild in packs, they warn us of the fate of disordered souls severed from the One who gives sustenance, order, and purpose to all living things.

    As for cats? Well, cats are not dogs. They too are teachers for us – about us – but in a different way. So while dogs teach us that belonging to God makes all the difference in human life, cats teach us that we are capable of this belonging and even desire it – that there’s admiration and delight and deep peace to be had from keeping close company with Mystery, even when mystery is troublesome or costly or painful. And that the inability to understand or control Mystery in no way inhibits our desire to have it part of our lives.

  24. Charivari Rob says:

    Light dawns over Marblehead!

    Now I understand – that buzzing noise I’ve been hearing was a recent thread going right over my head!

    Joseph Mansfield – the tunnel reference had me puzzled, too. I had forgotten Father Z.’s recent trip to London. On one sight-seeing outing, he was frustrated by train delays of half an hour due to a lost dog running loose in the tunnels. He wrote about it (and his deep and abiding love of dogs) at the time, some point in the last half of September, I believe.

    In all honesty, I couldn’t figure out what he meant by that photo. I was trying to figure out if there was some sort of tunnel or cellar entrance under the cats’ dishes, and figured it was something only his long-time readers knew about. All I could think of was that he was making some sort of analogy to Hogan’s Heroes!

  25. Charivari Rob: Thank you. After much reflection I had thought maybe he was referring to a dog blocking a tunnel. I am not much in touch with popular culture — for example, I have no idea what Hogan’s Heroes is about — so many associations go over my head. And, like you, I am still lost on what the text had to do with the picture. Cheers!

  26. Charivari Rob says:


    I guess all the photo had to do with it was Father Z. saying –

    1. “Here is a photo of the cats eating dinner.”
    2. “Cats don’t vex me like that dog in the tunnel did.”
    3. “There are still things that I do not like about cats.”

    Hogan’s Heroes was an American television show about 40 years ago. It was a comedy, set during World War II. Allied prisoners held in a German camp secretly used it as their base of operations for surveillance, sabotage, helping other prisoners escape, etc… They maintained secret tunnels and communication facilities under the noses of the comically exaggerated characters of the base commandant and senior sergeant of the guard.

    As it relates to what I said in my other post… One of their escape tunnels led from their barracks, under the fence and came to the surface under the kennel of german shepherd guard dogs. One of the allies established a good relationship with the dogs and could come and go at will. There was a stock piece of footage, perhaps in the title sequence, of the doghouse tilting up from the ground as if on a hinge and the character emerging from the tunnel, shushing the dogs (and ducking the spotlights). For some reason I thought Father was making a reference to a tunnel exit being concealed under the cats’ domain.

  27. Charivari:

    The text and picture together made me imagine a tunnel entrance under the counter, to the left where we could not see it.

    Hogan’s Heroes must have been fascinating. I got out of the TV habit when I went to a rigorous prep school, early 60s, where it was not allowed — and never got back into it. A good thing, I think, for the most part. But it leaves me occasionally lost in a conversation, and I am perhaps poorer for not knowing about HH and a few other exceptional shows.

    Thank you for the kindness of your responses.

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