Friday Cat-Blogging

Friday cat-blogging, as an Internet phenomenon, was invented by Kevin Drum, late of Calpundit and Washington Monthly, and currently of Mother Jones.

(As a pre-Internet phenomenon, cat blogging appears to have been invented by cave painters in Stone Age France


though the Romans have a certain claim to being the first cat-bloggers


and by the Middle Ages, the practice was firmly established.)


Anyway, Kevin Drum, a center/left blogger who has long been my favorite for his noninflammatory style and views just to the right of mine (which means I can digest them easily and still feel self-importantly superior to him), abandons his short-form commentary on politics every Friday to post . . . pictures of his cats. With commentary on their lovable peculiarities.

On Fridays, about 98% of the globe’s bandwidth is consumed by cat-bloggers posting photos of Missy, Dropsy, Fandango, Elspeth, and Crinkles. The uninitiated may find this a little off-putting, not to say actively nauseating. Although dogs have pride of place in the literary world (from Albert Payson Terhune and Jack London to J.R. Ackerley and Willie Morris), and there has been the occasional high-verbal dog with a blog, cats are by far the electronic animal of choice.

And I mean, really, what would be the point of a Loldog? They would all look the same. I SEZ WALK ME NOW. This would be even more tiresome than lolcats themselves.


Cats lend themselves to blogging because

  • they never do the same thing twice
  • they occasionally sit still enough while awake to be photographed
  • they are easily anthropomorphized
  • they can be ascribed human language in print, as well as given voice by their owners in falsetto broken English when we think there’s nobody else listening

So here goes. Now, I must admit to violating one of the cardinal rules of Friday cat-blogging: you are supposed to stop everything and take pictures of your cats on that very Friday. Well, this cannot be done. I have a job and a life – not much of a job, granted, but I can’t stay at home and snap the cats. I have baseball boxscores to check, Facebook news to ponder, and crossword puzzles to print, so I really have got to get into the office. So I present archival photos of the Cats, in typical poses:


Gemma has no memory, short- or long-term, and is continually surprised to find that people and other cats exist. She is one of the few world cats who will not eat any kind of canned food, even Fancy Feast Appetizers, which frankly look a lot better than most of the stuff I eat. If you have found pawprints on a manuscript I have returned to you in the past year, they belong to Gemma.


Brutie patrols the place from various vantage points, preferably flowerpots or the roofs of automobiles. He will not sit on your lap or come when called; instead he follows a vocation as guard cat.


And Gobsy bats the others out of the way so she can sit on my lap. She can eat anything without throwing up and is anywhere from 10 to 12 years old. I wish to apologize publicly for stepping on her tail last summer “on accident,” as unlike Gemma she has a memory and has never quite forgiven me.

And what does this have to do with the discipline of English? Clearly, if you’re wondering that, you have not internalized the principles of cat-blogging. It is a completely hermetic phenomenon that has nothing to do with anything but itself – not unlike a cat.


  1. I have to take the opportunity to give a big shout out here for Albion, who waited eight years for her arch-enemy Starla to die, only to find that two months later her best friend Dorian died, leaving her on her own to be mauled by an eleven month old. She is a very patient cat.

  2. I think Jackie may have just initiated a new blog category: Friday Cat Blogging in the Comments of Another Blogger’s Friday Cat Blog Post. I can play along too, having a couple of ridiculously spoiled cats who like nothing more than to be the center of attention. Here’s to you Cricket and Gershwin (with only a little nod to the dog).

  3. Meanwhile, there’s a piece in the April 16 Chronicle of Higher Ed that’s headlined something like this: “Herding Cats: The question isn’t whether faculty are like cats; it’s ‘What’s so bad about that?'”

  4. It’s Tuesday now, not Friday, but I’ll take any excuse I can to read about and talk about cats. And a lot of us in the department do seem to have cats. Is it an English department phenomenon?

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