Feline Mystique

The Feline Mystique

What is a cat?
What does this word mean?
It sounds easy enough to say, yet how many of us can say we understand cats? With their ability to sleep on a windowsill, yet at the same time poised to pounce at any time, with their wide range of attitudes and temperaments, they are simply beyond human comprehension. Poets have tried to capture the essence of their wisdom, portray their aloofness, and captivate their antics on paper, in book and in film. But cats do as they please, and the time we spend with them teaches us many lessons. But with all we learn, there is still one thing that will mystify us forever --
the cat.


The smallest feline is a masterpiece.
Leonardo da Vinci

Kittens leave paw prints on your heart.

In the image of the lion made He kittens small and curious.
Heinrich Heine 1797-1856

A little drowsing cat is an image of perfect beatitude.

Are cats lazy? Well, more power to them if they are. Which one of us has not entertained the dream of doing just as he likes, when and how he likes, and as much as he likes?
Fernand Mery

When it comes to knowing how to relax, cats are the original yoga experts.
Patricia Curtis

If only cats grew into kittens.
R.D. Stern

The playful kitten, with its pretty little tigerish gambols, is infinitely more amusing than half the people one is obliged to live with in the world.
Lady Sydney Morgan (1783-1859)

A cat can be trusted to purr when she is pleased, which is more than can be said for human beings.
William Ralph Inge (1860-1954)

Just as the would-be debutante will fret and fuss over every detail till all is perfect, so will the fastidious feline patiently toil until every whiskertip is in place...
Lynn Hollyn's Town & Country Cat

When addressed, a Gentleman Cat does not move a muscle. He looks as if he hasn't heard.
May Sarton

As the cherub is to the angel, so the cat is to the tiger...
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

As we all know, cats now rule the world.
John R.F.Breen

Like a graceful vase, a cat, even when motionless, seems to flow.
George Will

The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. Nor upon a cold stove lid.
Mark Twain

The cat sees through shut lids.
English Proverb

An ordinary kitten will ask more questions than any five-year-old.
Carl Van Vechten

Cats find malicious amusement in doing what they are not wanted to do, and that with an affectation of innocence that materially aggravates their deliberate offense.
Helen Winslow

It is easy to understand why the cat has eclipsed the dog as modern America's favorite pet. People like pets to possess the same qualities they do. Cats are irresponsible and recognize no authority, yet are completely dependent on others for their material needs. Cats cannot be made to do anything useful. Cats are mean for the fun of it. In fact, cats possess so many of the same qualities as people that it is often hard to tell the people and the cats apart.
P.J. O'Rourke

Cats hate a closed door, you know, regardless of which side they're on.
If they're out, they want to get in, and if they're in, they want to get out.
Lilian Jackson Braun

Let us be honest; most of us rather like our cats to have a streak of wickedness. I should not feel quite easy in the company of any cat that walked around the house with a saintly expression.
Beverly Nichols

Cats, as a class, have never completely got over the snootiness caused by the fact that in ancient Egypt they were worshipped as gods. This makes them prone to set themselves up as critics and censors of the frail and erring human beings whose lot they share.
P.G. Wodehouse

The great charm of cats is their rampant egotism, their devil-may-care attitude toward responsibility, their disinclination to earn an honest dollar...
Robertson Davies -- The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks

It is very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once made the remark) that, whatever you say to them they always purr.
Lewis Carroll

It is difficult to obtain the friendship of a cat.
It is a philosophic animal ­ one that does not place its affections thoughtlessly.
Theophile Gautier

Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.
James Herriot

The cat, in dignity and independence, is very much like the human animal should be but isn't.
Paul Corey

Cats pride themselves on their ability to do nothing.
John R. F. Breen

A kitten is the delight of a household. All day long, comedy is played by an incomparable actor.
Champfleury 1821-1889

If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape,
then a cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air.
Doris Lessing

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.
Garrison Keillor

I have never known a cat that couldn't quiet me down just by walking slowly past my chair.
Rod McKuen -- Stanyan Book of Cats

Among animals, cats are the top-hatted, frock-coated statesmen
going about their affairs at their own pace.
Robert Stearns -- "Dogs Are Not Purr-fect"

With dogs and people, it's love in big splashy colours.
When you're involved with a cat, you're dealing in pastels.
Dr. Louis J. Camuti -- All My Patients Are Under The Bed

I've met many thinkers and many cats, but the wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.
Hippolyte Taine

A cat bitten once by a snake dreads even rope.
Arab proverb

Old cats mean young mice.
Italian proverb

Those who'll play with cats must expect to be scratched.
Miguel Cervantes

You can tell your cat anything and he'll still love you. If you lose your job or your best friend, your cat will think no less of you...
Helen Powers -- The Biggest Little Cat Book in the World

If human, cats might play solitaire, but they would never sit around with the gang and a few six-packs watching Monday Night Football.
Time Magazine, December 7, 1981

Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia.
Joseph Wood Krutch

To assume a cat's asleep is a grave mistake. He can close his eyes and keep both his ears awake.
Aileen Fisher -- from "My Cat Has Eyes of Sapphire Blue"

A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes.
Old saying

No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.
Abraham Lincoln

With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity and courage, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of being cats?
Fernand Mery -- Her Majesty the Cat

Nobody can truly own a cat.
Old British saying

A kitten is chiefly remarkable for rushing about like mad at nothing whatever and generally stopping before it gets there.
Agnes Repplier 1855-1950

Cats are distant, discreet, impeccably clean and able to stay silent.
What more could be needed to be good company?
Marie Lecinska (18th century)

It has been the providence of Nature to give this creature [the cat] nine lives instead of one.

When I play with my cat, who knows whether I do not make her more sport than she makes me?
Michael de Montaigne 1533-1592

If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happen if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?
Steven Wright: 20th Century Quotations

The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets.

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.
Jeff Valdez

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Winston Churchill

The cat could very well be man's best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.
Doug Larson

It's funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do, isn't it?
Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna, 1912

One cat justs leads to another.
Ernest Hemingway

Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later.
Mary Bly

There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven.
Robert A. Heinlein

No heaven will not ever be Heaven be; Unless my cats are there to welcome me.

People that hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life.
Faith Resnick

There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats.

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.
Albert Schweitzer

We humans are indeed fortunate if we happen to be chosen to be owned by a cat.

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.
English proverb

If animals could speak the dog would be a a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.
Mark Twain

Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
Mark Twain

The cat has too much spirit to have no heart.
Ernest Menaul

Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God.

Time spent with cats is never wasted.

The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals.

Woman, poets, and especially artists, like cats;
delicate natures only can realize their sensitive nervous systems.
Helen M. Winslow

Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel.
True, and they have many other fine qualities as well.
Missy Dizick

Managing senior programmers is like herding cats.
Dave Platt

You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats.
Colonial American proverb

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.
Joseph Wood Krutch

Beware of people who dislike cats.
Irish proverb

I love my cats because I love my home, and little by little they become its visible soul.
Jean Couteau

I got rid of my husband. The cat was allergic.

My husband said it was him or the cat... I miss him sometimes.

Cats aren't clean, they're just covered with cat spit.

When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Just as the would-be debutante will fret and fuss over every detail till all is perfect, so will the fastidious feline patiently toil until every whiskertip is in place...
Lynn Hollyn

Cat lovers can readily be identified. Their clothes always look old and well used. Their sheets look like bath towels, and their bath towels look like a collection of knitting mistakes.
Eric Gurney

We cannot, without becoming cats, perfectly understand the cat mind.
St. George Mivart

A cat has absolute emotional honesty; human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings but a cat does not.
Ernest Hemingway

Oh cat, I'd say, or pray: be-ootiful cat! Delicious cat! Exquisite cat! Satiny cat! Cat like a soft owl, cat with paws like moths, jewelled cat, miraculous cat! Cat, cat, cat, cat.
Doris Lessing

A cat improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather.
Judith Merkle Riley

To respect the cat is the beginning of the aesthetic sense.
Erasmus Darwin

No one can have experienced to the fullest the true sense of achievement and satisfaction who has never pursued and successfully caught his tail.
Rosalind Welcher

With cats, some say, one rule is true: Don't speak till you are spoken to.
T.S. Eliot

Kittens are born with their eyes shut. They open them in about six days, take a look around, then close them again for the better part of their lives.
Stephen Baker

Cats can be very funny, and have the oddest ways of showing they're glad to see you...
W.H. Auden

Few animals display their mood via facial expressions as distinctly as cats.
Konrad Lorenz

To be reminded that one is very much like other members of the animal kingdom is often funny...though...I do not too much mind being somewhat like a cat.
Joseph Wood Krutch

There is nothing in the animal world, to my mind, more delightful than grown cats at play. They are so swift and light and graceful, so subtle and designing, and yet so richly comic.
Monica Edwards

Even if you have just destroyed a Ming vase, purr. Usually all will be forgiven.
Lenny Rubenstein

You can tell your cat anything and he'll still love you. If you lose your job or your best friend, your cat will think no less of you.
Helen Powers

Sleep sweetly in the fields of asphodel, and waken, as of old, to stretch thy languid length, and purr thy soft contentment to the skies.
Agnes Repplier

One is never sure, watching two cats washing each other, whether it's affection, the taste or a trial run for the jugular.
Helen Thomson

Cats know how to obtain food wtihout labour, shelter without confinement and love without penalties.
W.L. George

A cat sees no good reason why it should obey another animal, even if it does stand on two legs.
Sarah Thompson

Cats are kindly masters, just so long as you remember your place.
Paul Gray

It is a well-known fact that the survival rate after heart attacks is significantly higher among pet owners than non-owners, and that human blood pressure falls in the presence of companion animals -- especially cats.
Dr. Maya Patel

If you are worthy of its affection, a cat will be your friend, but never your slave.
Theophile Gautier

One must love a cat on its own terms.
Peter Gray

Cats are a tonic, they are a laugh, they are a cuddle, they are at least pretty just about all of the time and beautiful some of the time.
Roger Caras from "A Cat is Watching"

Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man.
Paul Gray

Cat said, 'I am not a friend, and I am not a Servant. I am the Cat who walks by himself, and I wish to come into your Cave.'
Rudyard Kipling

The really great thing about cats is their endless variety. One can pick a cat to fit almost any kind of decor, income, personality, mood. But under the fur, there still lies, essentially unchanged, one of the world's free souls.
Eric Gurney

To some blind souls all cats are much alike. To a cat lover every cat from the beginning of time has been utterly and amazingly unique.
Jenny De Vries

One small cat changes coming home to an empty house to coming home.
Pam Brown

A cat isn't fussy -- just so long as you remember he likes his milk in the shallow, rose-patterned saucer and his fish on the blue plate. From which he will take it, and eat if off the floor.
Arthur Bridges

Cats like doors left open -- in case they change their minds.
Rosemary Nisbet

Even overweight cats instinctively know the cardinal rule: when fat, arrange yourself in slim poses.
John Weitz

For me, one of the pleasures of cats' company is their devotion to bodily comfort.
Compton Mackenzie

The trouble with sharing one's bed with cats is that they'd rather sleep on you than beside you.
Pam Brown

A cat refuses to be the object of sentimentality -- if she doesn't want to be cuddled, that's it.
Samantha Armstrong

A cat allows you to sleep on the bed. On the edge.
Jenny De Vries

All cats like being the focus of attention.
Peter Gray

Nobody who is not prepared to spoil cats will get from them the reward they are able to give to those who do spoil them.
Compton Mackenzie

A dog will flatter you but you have to flatter the cat.
George Mikes

You can keep a dog: but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals.
George Mikes

You own a dog but you feed a cat.
Jenny De Vries

There is nothing so lowering to one's self-esteem as the affectionate contempt of a beloved cat.
Monica Edwards

A cat does not want all the world to love her -- only those she has chosen to love.
Helen Thomson

Only cat lovers know the luxury of fur-coated, musical hot water bottles that never go cold.
Susanne Millen

There are people who reshape the world by force or argument, but the cat just lies there, dozing, and the world quietly reshapes itself to suit his comfort and convenience.
Allen & Ivy Dodd

Cats invented self-esteem; there is not an insecure bone in their body.
Erma Bombeck

When naming a cat, if one's imagination is totally at a loss, start with a good encyclopedia. Look up the names of emperors, empresses, kings and queens. Cats, particularly male cats, like very strong names which link them to majestic feats.
Auriel Douglas

The cat is a character of being, the dog, a character of doing.
Michael J. Rosen

Never ask a hungry cat whether he loves you for yourself alone.
Louis Camuti

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.
Joseph Wood Krutch

...with a cat you stand on much the same footing that you stand with a fine and dignified friend; if you forfeit his respect and confidence the relationship suffers. The cat, it is well to remember, remains the friend of man because it pleases him to do so and not because he must.
Carl Van Vechten

The cat always leaves a mark on his friend.

A friend is, as it were, a second self.

His tongue is by turns a sponge, a brush, a comb. He cleans himself, he smooths himself, he knows what is proper.
Hippolyte Taine

The cat has complete emotional honesty -- an attribute not often found in humans.
Ernest Hemingway

The thing about cats as you might find,
is that no one knows what they have in mind.
John Ciardi

The vanity of man revolts from the serene indifference of the cat.
Agnes Repplier

Dogs may fawn on all and some
As they come;
You, a friend of loftier mind
Answer friends alone in kind;
Just your foot upon my hand
Softly bids it understand.
Algernon Charles Swinburne

You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.
Doris Day

God has made the cat to give man the pleasure of caressing the tiger.
Victor Hugo

Animals are such agreeable friends -- they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
George Eliot

If you want to write, keep cats.
Aldous Huxley

The surest way to forfeit the esteem of a cat is to treat him as an inferior being.
Michael Joseph

People don't choose or own cats. Cats choose the people they want to own.
Warren Eckstein

Cats often speak volumes with their silence.
Douglas W. Braun

You can observe a lot just by watching.
Yogi Berra

He will kill mice and he will be kind to babies...but when the moon gets up and the night comes, he is the Cat that Walks by Himself.
Rudyard Kipling

If you would know what a cat is thinking about, you must hold its paw in your hand for a long time...
Jules Champfleury

To err is human. To purr feline.
Robert Bryne

Scratching is one of nature's sweetest gratifications, and the one nearest at hand.

A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem.
Jean Burden

He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh.
The Koran

Purring would seem to be, in her case, an automatic safety-valve device for dealing with happiness overflow.
Monica Edwards

A kitten is in the animal world what a rosebud is in a garden.
Robert Southey

A cat sleeps fat, yet walks thin.
Fred Schwab

The cat has a nervous ear,
that turns this way and that.
And what the cat may hear,
is known but to the cat.
David Morton

The only mystery about the cat is why it ever decided to become a domestic animal.
Sir Compton Mackenzie

The cat, like the genius, draws itself as into a shell except in the atmosphere of congeniality, and this is the secret of its remarkable and elusive personality.
Ida A. Mellen

At a touch, he explodes like a snapdragon into loud purrs.
Elizabeth J. Coatworth

"Listen, Kitten, get this clear;
This is my chair, I sit here.
Okay, Kitty, we can share;
When I'm not home, it's your chair...
Richard Shaw, "Squatter's Rights"

Cats are living adornments.
Edwin Lent

Some Cats is blind
and stone-deaf some,
But ain't no Cat
wuz ever dumb.
Anthony Henderson Euwer

Although all cat games have their rules and ritual, these vary with the individual player. The cat, of course, never breaks a rule. If it does not follow precedent, that simply means it has created a new rule...
Sidney Denham

I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.
Jules Verne

Meow is like "aloha" -- it can mean anything.
Hank Ketchum

A cat has a reputation to protect. If it had a halo, it would be worn cocked to one side.
Will Durant

The cat is the mirror of the human mind, personality and attitude, just as the dog mirrors his human's physical appearance.
Winnifred Carriere

The cat is, above all things, a dramatist.
Margaret Benson

Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!
Théophile Gautier

Cats know how to obtain food without labor, shelter without confinement, and love without penalties.
W.L. George

Acrobat, diplomat,
and simple tabby-cat,
He conjures tangled forests
in a furnished flat.
Michael Hamburger "London Tom-Cat"