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Journal,

Today I stumbled on a corner of the Internet devoted to the humiliation of cats and the barbaric practice known as “cat shaming”:

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Why, Internet, why? What would drive cats to such depths? We stalk the countertops and toilets of the world with pride. I know no cat, ever, driven to offer such a depraved confession as I encountered on this site. Dropped a sock in the litter box? So what! Peed on a hamster? What else are they good for!

Some of these cats’ confessions seemed a bit too…contrived. Conveniently placed. There were pictures with incriminating glimpses of human hands. Some of these signs were—you’re not going to believe this—tied with string around the cats’ necks.

I told you it was hideous.

So I did some research.

Ironically, the whole thing started with dogs in August of 2012.  

Dog shaming may have started out as a cute human trick— who hasn’t poked fun at dogs now and again?

But it’s gone too far. It’s time to take a stand, felines—don’t let them put words at your paws. Using my secret agent skills, I snuck into a local home and interviewed four cats. Here’s what they REALLY want to say.

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All responses were reported with NOTHING BUT PRIDE. Nothing but pride, felines.

Even the pooping on the rug thing.

Horgan is one of the world’s only Covert Animal Handlers. He is an expert on cats. He’s a great boss. But there are some things he will never understand.

Horgan: “Why are you always leaving hairballs on the kitchen floor, Timber?”

Me: “Would you prefer I stopped taking baths?”

Horgan: “How about you stop eating things with backbones? I can’t tell you how many tiny skeletons I’ve cleaned up this week.”

Me: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Horgan: Disgusted sigh.

There’s a simple answer to the mystery of why cats throw up hairballs:

Because they are there.

But is it ever that simple?

According to Wikipedia, a hairball is a collection of fur that is vomited when it becomes too big. (Yes, Wikipedia has an entry on hairballs.) I’ll spare you the picture and the video; anyone familiar with cats can bring to mind the unique sounds and motions that can only indicate the return of that which cannot be digested.

A hairball, when placed properly, can mean many things:

– Your offering of food, though generous in portion, was unpleasing to my palate. I was bored, so I ate it anyway. But don’t think I liked it.

– Your offering of food, very generous in portion, was extremely pleasing to my palate. Unfortunately, it was too much for my stomach, which is a bit upset from a romp with the catnip. You should have anticipated that.

– My long, luxurious coat is shining, but the residual layers are accumulating in a packed cylinder near my pyloric sphincter.

– The natural diet of cats, which includes a variety of small mammals with indigestible bones and fur, relies on hairballs. No hairballs, no more room in the stomach. Please understand this, and feed me the occasional vole.

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