No. 13.—The Cat.


THERE IS ONLY one species of cat, but it is given different names according to its size. Thus the largest cats are called “lions”; the smallest “housecats”; and intermediate sizes have various names like “lynx” or “panther.” The size range is similar to the range in sizes of the domestic dog; but in other respects the cat is much less variable, and the housecat is simply a tiger in miniature.

Cats are solitary and proud to the point of haughtiness, but they are capable of combining their efforts when elaborate conspiracies are necessary. In the wild, cats subsist entirely on caviar and cream, which they hunt nocturnally, thus filling an important ecological niche by thinning the vast caviar herds of the steppes. So-called “domestic” cats thrive best on this diet, but they will also accept other forms of food, provided that they are similarly expensive. The apparent “domestication” of cats is actually one of those elaborate conspiracies we mentioned earlier.

Allegorically, the cat represents Liberty, in that cats allow us a certain measure of liberty until their long-term plans come to fruition.