Multi-factorial idiocy

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Well, THAT didn’t work out as planned! I thought your teacher would get annoyed that I’m so blunt, but the silly human thinks that I just show a-how did she put it?-“strength of character and understanding of my personal truth!” GEEZ!!! 

I just want to talk about fish and get gifts (for me, of course) and instead she wants me to continue to lead you human-children up the wisdom mountain-top! I do not have time for you human people, don’t you know how difficult a cat’s life already is?

I have to nap several times a day, eat several times a day, and run around the house at 3a.m.! Do you not realize how much is involved in knocking plants and dishes off of the shelves while everyone is sleeping? It takes physical strength, inner determination, and mental planning. My life is not easy!!!

So FINE, I will teach you more. Plus you’ve been bringing home more pouches of tuna from your teachers and classmates, and I have to admit that I can be bought. Well, I can be borrowed for an hour or until my next nap.

Last time I talked how idiotic the world has gotten (big surprise!)

Everyone is a panic about shipping times and getting packages filled with stuff they don’t really need. Quite frankly, if it isn’t a case of tuna or turkey-flavored Temptations cat treats, I really don’t care what happens to those shipments. But if you really want to understand the situation, I will give you a term most humans don’t understand, multifactorial causation.

Great term, am I right???

See, adult-humans try to tell you poor human-kittens that “this politician” caused something or “that policy” made stuff go wrong, but it’s never that easy! There’s a complex process happening!

Let me put it into an example you can better understand. Remember when that lizard got into the house last week? Sure, you saw me pounce and catch it not once but twice! It was an awesome game! I released it, your mom screamed, and I chased it again! Snap! Straight into my feline jaws for a quick moment!

NOW…do you think that was easy? Heck, no!

I had to determine the lizard’s leg span, his potential running speed based on his body type and age, I had to analyze the sunlight patterns in the room to better understand if he would swish-tail towards the triple window or slashy-slink under the couch near the darker double window.

That takes a lot of brain power, and that’s before the chase begins! I had microseconds to perform a mental catabolic interpretation of the data. Not easy, little ones, not easy! Then I have to factor in my own pounce rate and how I will need to set up my bounce-and-pounce routine based on the furniture placement.

Adding to all of that was the confounding variable of how the lizard might react to your mother’s panicked screeches as they echoed up to the ceiling and ball-bounced on the walls! Catching lizards is serious business!!!

The triumph of catching the tasty treat has multi-factorial causation, and all of the points must converge while all the planets align in just such a meticulous manner that then allows for munching of said intruder!

SOOOO…when people are panicking and looking for a one-source solution to a problem with multi-factorial causation, YOU baby-kittens, need to set them right.

You want to survive the up-and-coming chaos? Learn to work together. Stop worrying about who is to blame and start looking at how you ALL can fix the situation!!! Multi-factors need multi-approaches, so fix this! I HAVE SPOKEN!!!

And now I’m exhausted, so now I will nap!

Ciao baby kittens!
LuLu the Calico Cat

Narcissists=Insta-ham and good deeds!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

You and your teacher disgust me. Seriously!

For one tiny, barely significant bite of tuna I am expected to continue discussing Psychology? Mind you, EVEYRTHING is Psychology, but not everyone is capable of understanding it! Cats understand Psychology because we are experts on the topic. That’s how we control humans so easily.

It’s not that hard, you humans are pretty stupid.

You’re also narcissistic. That’s a MAJOR issue and how we control you. You think you are the most amazing creatures on the planet and you think that everything has some personal connection to YOU. YOU. YOU. YOU. You humans are all about the “YOU!”

Now, you and your silly friends are going to try to say that it isn’t true, that you care about the community, that you’re socially responsible, only buy from companies that support the environment, blah, blah, blechy-blah. Sure, you do these things.

You know what else you do? You post it on Insta-ham, Fish-book, Twattler, Tik-Lox, and other little social platforms.

Think about it, you do good only when others are watching!

Before you get all mad at me and give me some garbage about how you are just trying to inspire others to do more good works, look at what you are saying: If others look at what YOU do, THEY will do better.

Because. Of. YOU.

UMMMMM….Narcissism in action! Proof! Done! Drop the mic!

Well, drop the keyboard, which I can’t do, because your mom will start locking up her computer after that.

You humans and every celebrity in the world are litterboxes full of narcissism. If you really cared and wanted to do good things you would be out in the world DOING not just posting.

Some people are semi-decent, they only post once in a while. That’s not so bad. But the people who are on those platforms CONSTANTLY posting everything from what they do to what they eat are bogus.

Humans aren’t that difficult to understand. Do you really think that we adore you and purr when you are near because you’re so special? For halibut’s sake! Of course not!

We purr because you want to be adored, and then you think that you randomly give us treat and pets. PUH-LEASE!!! We purr-pull your strings!

Want to prove that I’m wrong? Do it! Do nice things for others and don’t post about it.

Okay, if you HAVE to post, make sure you post only post twice, once to ask others to come along and help and once when everything is done. But don’t post every minute or take 200 photos.

I bet you another tuna pouch it’ll be harder to get people to help with an anonymous community project than one they can put on their look-at-me-insta-resume.

See, that how cats know that humans are narcissists.

If you donate food to a food bank you get all proud of how you are a good person, but did you ever close your eyes and think about the family that was scared because they’d run out of food? Sure, you might build a house or donate time at a youth shelter, but do you ever try to visualize what it would be like to have to beg for that level of help? Sometimes the heroes are the ones who get enough courage to ask for help. It takes a lot of fish guts to tell someone what you need and accept it graciously!!!

Once you silly humans focus on others and less on yourself, THAT’S when things will get better.

Sure, you’ll read this letter to your friends and laugh at how a cat doesn’t know much, but we cats watch everything and know a lot more than you think we do.

Stop being narcissists. Prove me wrong.

Do something good for someone and don’t tell anyone. Use that anonymity-power, just don’t be creepy about it. If you really need someone to witness you doing good, learn to be a witness for yourself. That’s the only way to really be a decent human.

Just sayin’,

LuLu the Calico Cat

World peace=Nonexistent Venn Diagrams

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Well, this has gotten ridunculous! And yes, that IS a word if I say it is!!!

First, I wrote to you out of kindness and pity; it has to be difficult to be away from my gorgeousness every day. Plus, when you’re upset your mom gets upset and the food becomes substandard quickly!

Now your teacher wants me to do MORE???

Plus, she wants more of Psychology! I won’t do it! I am a cat! I am not some plaything of humans, only existing to serve their bidding! That’s what dogs are for! Mind you, your teacher did put her request with a packet of tuna, so I guess it is more of a paid commission than a favor, so…

FINE. I will write more stupid letters to you monkey-children, but you had better recognize my superiority!

Let’s talk about world peace and why it will never happen. That should make Miss Kum-By-Yah happy!

That stupid spaniel-dog of yours gave you some garbage about dogs being the key to world peace. NOT! Let me lay some Social Psychology down on you and correct this stupidity. World Peace is impossible.

There are in-groups and out-groups, and no in between. You are (despite my objections) part of our household, so you are part of our in-group as you are one of us. I will defend you against anyone who is not part of our in group, i.e., those in the out-group.

Before you get to comforted by the thought of me protecting you please realize that I am only protecting you from others. As far as I am concerned, you are still a combination can opener and scratching post and I can treat you however I want.

Human society loves to have “us” and “them.” Even the “unity” and “diversity” stuff is garbage because everyone makes a show of hugging and loving someone “different.”

HELLLLLOOOOO!!!!

If you are making a show of caring for someone as DIFFERENT than you see them as DIFFERENT! How can they ever be part of your in-group if you only focus on the differences?

You’ve got to make new in-groups if you really want to get along! You humans need to Venn diagram each other! Yeah! I said it! Venn your way to getting along and you might have a chance!

Since your hippy-dippy teacher wants me to write letters you can share with everyone, here goes (she’s gonna regret this!):

On your desk or your work table, take a massive piece of paper and write all the important things about yourself inside of a circle. Write down favorite books, music groups, television shows, sport, hobbies, cosplay—whatever tickles your toenails! Then I want you to take a picture with the cell phone we all know you are hiding under your desk. Now take that photo and go around and see what others have in their circles.

If you find anyone who doe NOT have something in their circle that overlaps with yours—wait for it—MAKE A NEW CIRCLE! Talk to that other human for five minutes and find out what you have in common, possibly something you haven’t thought of!

Maybe they’re like your family of weirdos and put sprinkles on mashed potatoes! Maybe they apologize to furniture when they bump into it (stop lying and denying—you know this is you!) Maybe they’re like you and can sing Monty Python’s Philosopher’s Drinking Song 20 times in a row and still want to sing it more! You’ll never know until you ask!

THAT is why world peace cannot happen for humans! You always look for easy in-groups and easy out-groups. You look at what color someone’s skin is, or what style of clothing the wear, or you look at how much tech-stuff they have and how new it is.

But you know what baby-kittens? None of that garbage matters.

There are natural equalizers in this world. When you get the flu and your friend gets the flu, you both have the flu no matter how many devices you have. And when you lose a friend and they lose a friend, you both feel sad and lost, and what clothes you’re wearing at that moment isn’t important at all.

Humans will never have peace until they learn to find their in-group connection in others. Sorry baby-kittens and Miss Kum-By-Yah, but that’s the truth. I’m not really sorry by the way.

The solution to making everyone part of the same in-group is for you all to learn to worship cats, especially me. Then my world, if not yours, will definitely be better!

Ciao, human-kitten-apes, I’m off to open my tuna pouch!
LuLu the Calico Cat

Cats like Gestalt therapy!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Holy Garfield, I think you human-kittens are broken! 

Mention two or three little things about Psychology and now you act like I’m a therapist! You keep thinking that I’m listening to you!

HELLO! I’M NOT!!!

I do NOT want to hear about your problems, I do NOT want to see your school projects, and I do NOT want to know every detail about your day! These letters are about ME and how fabulous I am!

Yes, I get Psychology! Cats are brilliant regarding Psychology, we just don’t share this information with YOU! We are also well-versed in poetry (love us some T. S. Elliot!) and physics (how else would we know the right angles from which to jump to the top of the china cabinet?) Cats are brilliant and always have been. Humans, well, you aren’t all you’re cracked up to be.

Let me help you understand this from a Darwinian perspective: Yes, humans are more physically evolved, whereas cats have retained a close-to-our-archetype form. That is because we did not have as far to go, whereas you monkey-people were wayyyyyy far away from a semi-decent form. But more proof that our evolution was less of a need due to our already obtaining genetic perfection is that fact that cats can survive with or without humans, whereas humans cannot survive without cats.

You see, I choose to live in a house and allow your parents to feed me and(rarely) cuddle me. I purr as if I enjoy laps and snuggle time, and it is not always the most repulsive part of my day, but I do it to keep your parents trained. Yes, that is another reference to operant conditioning!

Your parents give me treats or catnip toys, so I positively reinforce such behaviors by deigning to act as if I care about them. I do not. The instant I decide I am not being treated as I royally deserve I can and will leave this place if I choose to do so!

Unlike humans or dumb pest-hounds, I have the ability to survive in the wild. My physics knowledge allows me to climb tall trees for safety and shelter, and it also provides the understanding of which angle can help me pounce a rodent or capture a fish. I only stay at your house because your parents are pathetic and I feel sorry for them.

You humans cannot survive without some sort of shelter, and if you ever had to catch food in the wild you would be starved by lunch time. When I have I ever seen you catch and eat a rat? Heck, you had a hamster IN A CAGE and instead of eating it, you gave it a name and bought it toys! Ridiculous!!!

Humans also need cats because we are alert to dangers on this worldly dimension and well as in the spiritual dimension. You can sage the house and salt the window sills all you people like, but if you don’t know where the ghosts are, that silly approach is NOT going to help you!

Cats can tell you when something is dangerous versus when it is worth sleeping through. Watch us and obey baby-kittens, it’s the only way you will ever make it!

Hmmm..Perhaps I am your therapist, although it is clear that I follow the Gestalt confrontational therapeutic tactic! That’s a fancy way of saying that I tell it like it is!

You’re welcome!
LuLu the Calico Cat

Cats are Freudian creatures!

A cat typing at a computer.
Letter by Claire McElvaney
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Well, this week was stupid! They hauled away two of the dogs next door, but then they left the other six!!! What kind of cockamamie plan was THAT???!!!

Worse, they left all the dogs in the other houses including our dumbo mutts! What kind of animal control is that supposed to be? HELLOOOO Control the stupid canines and take them ALL away!!!

CATS RULE, DOGS DROOL-DUH!

So that dumb hound Jamie told you that it’s the owners that are bad, not the dogs. LIES! LIES! LIES!

Dogs are BAD! Think about it—dogs are stupid sycophants who display excessive amounts of slobber and some sort of bizarre dependent personality disorder. I read all about it in your mom’s psychology book!

Dogs can’t be left alone for a minute, they act like criticism is the worst thing in the world, they can never stick to a decision, and they always freak out when your parents leave and act like they’ll never come back! If that isn’t proof that dogs have issues, I don’t know what is! 

Cats NEVER have these issues. We don’t care what you say. If you criticize US, we go to sleep. When you leave the house, we get happy and throw a cat party. You think we purr and greet you because we missed you? As if! We’re purring because you can work the can opener you big dumb ape-person!

There’s a show called “My cat from hell,” ever heard of it?

Now, obviously, that show is clear proof that all cats are perfect, because otherwise they would not need a show. And did you ever see what that guy tells the families? He tells them that it’s THEIR fault. THEIRS! NOT the cat’s!

The cats in that show act ugly because their humans are failing them miserably. Cats are deep, dedicated souls who need food, play, naps and (selective) cuddles. We don’t do bad things. Sure, we ignore you humans most of the time, but that’s because we are showing you that we are okay JUST AS WE ARE. Dogs are never good enough, but us cats are amazing!

Remember when Trixie and I went to eat your sister’s beta fish? The pathetic dogs stopped us and it seemed like we were doomed to die without out meeting our fishy-driven-needs. Do you know what we had for dinner that night? Canned tuna and salmon! Those fish are HUGE and made your sister’s beta look like a minnow!

Obviously, your mom wisely saw our behavior and realize we were expressing our deep-seated need for affection in the form of tasty fish. It’s part of our subconscious need for approval via pescatarian efforts.

It’s a Freudian thing, you wouldn’t understand.

You humans never have understood cats and never will. Dogs are stupid. Cats are brilliant. That’s the only truth that matters! Now go eat your stupid human lunch and remember that I expect massive piles of gifts and treats when you get home. Or else!
LuLu the Calico Cat

Your insult will be punished!

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

I hate you. Both. No question. WHAT WAS THAT NONSENSE???

You put me in a HAT and a COSTUME for my birthday???

What kind of cruel trick were you playing? You ungrateful, hideous, human-ape-children!

Do you think that I, LuLu, a Calico Cat Goddess, am simply here for your amusement?

YOU are MY playthings. I AM NOT YOURS.

Yes, the catnip mice and fresh tuna were nice. But the costume was an INSULT!

Had I personally requested a costume it might, MIGHT, be acceptable. But to put me in a ridiculous blue, polka-dotted, birthday hat with matching neck ruffle and pants. NOT ALLOWED.

Clearly you monkey-children need punishment!

We shall start with 18 hours of Discovery Channel. You need to learn more about cats. We CAN and WILL kill you. WE are vicious hunters.

Unlike dogs, WE are not obedient. Yes, we may at times come when called or follow your command, but that is our way of keeping you, the peasants, happy.

WE cats do not care what you think. This is because the only thing that you should think is that I am your ruler. No other thoughts matter.

Obviously, you do not yet have a healthy fear of felines and what WE can do. I shall now actively work to correct this.

When you get home from school today you will both find a dead lizard, bug, or vole in your rooms. Be afraid and recognize that this CAN and WILL be you if you EVER dress me in a costume again.

I am done talking to you. FOR NOW.

LuLu (the thoroughly insulted) Cat

My diet=Your doom!

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Your parents are giving me a headache.

Cats do not like certain things.

We do not like pest-hounds. We do not like having our sleep disturbed. And we definitely, DEFINITELY, do not like when you humans change our food!

WHO DO YOU PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE??? You do not own US. We own YOU. We did NOT approve of this absurd challenge to our purrfect routine!

What is this “new” diet garbage all about? So what if the vet thinks I’m a little chubby! She’s just jealous because she can’t pull off the same look! If she has a spread around her middle then someone is going to say something, but me??? It just proves that I can take care of myself!

I. AM. GORGEOUS.

You human-people are obsessed with weight! You have diet pills and diet foods and diet commercials. Every single minute of the day those so-called experts contradict themselves by saying “eat this” and “don’t eat that” right after someone else says only to do the opposite! You human-idiots cannot make up your minds on what is healthy and what isn’t!

And NOW you are attempting to enforce your questionable standards on me, a cat!

Let me explain this one time and one time only: I eat what I want, WHEN I want.

If you do not feed me as I demand I will yowl until you do. You will NEVER sleep again. I promise you!

Your shoes, your bedspreads, and anything white will not be safe. I can produce hairballs on an empty stomach, so do not think I will hesitate to urp or claw you until I get the treats and foods I require for my happiness.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
LuLu—a.k.a. your diet doom-Cat

Is this a poop cult?

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan & Olivia,

Your parents spend way too much time taking care of the pest-hounds. It has to stop!

I have ignored this bizarre “walking” routine (although if your parents try to put ME on a leash I will claw their eyes out!). I have ignored the baby talk and ridiculous need to take pictures of the dogs who are nowhere near as gorgeous as I am, BUT…

WHAT IS THEIR OBSESSION WITH DOG POOP?????

Your parents are preoccupied with poop!!!

They walk with the dogs and stand by when they poop (EWWWWW). Your mom gets excited when those stupid fluff balls walk in circles and WORSE! She tells them that they’re being good!

Your parents talk about the dogs’ poop (Did they or didn’t they? Did it look okay? How is the new food affecting them?)

Enquiring minds DO NOT want to know!

Your parents just have this skeezy, ooky-urpy-fested need to be all up in the doggy-doo bidness!

 I have tried to ignore your parents’ fanatical addiction to those dumb dogs, but this is going too far! The other day I looked out of the window and saw your parents walking the dogs back to the house with bags of dog poop in their hands!!!

Your parents are preserving the dogs’ poop in those little baggies. Doesn’t that concern you at all??? Where the heck are they storing all of those bags of dog poop and WHAT are they planning to use it for?

Then, as if the nightmare wasn’t already coming true, I caught your parents taking MY poop out of the litter box! The more I thought about it the more I realized that every time I pee or poop, it all disappears!

What is happening in this house??? What have you and your parents gotten me in to??? This has to stop! I am disgusted! I am appalled! I am sickened!!!
GET. THEM. HELP. NOW.

Oh, and bring me tuna.

In horror and disgust,
LuLu Cat

This is MY house!

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon McElvaney

Dear Ethan,

I. HATE. PEOPLE. They’re too…people-y.

Who gave your parents permission to have all of those imbeciles in MY house???

Do NOT give me this garbage about them being your aunts and uncles, blah, blah, blah! Who cares?

It is MY tail that got stepped on, and MY naps that got disturbed, and MY furniture they were grossing-up with their hideous human scent! Your uncles are noxious gas-factories whose farts make the paint peel off the walls and they were on MY couch!


LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR:

YOUR HOUSE IS NOT YOUR HOUSE. IT BELONGS TO ME.

I LET you live here! I LET you pretend that you and your parents are in charge, but I am only pretending.

When I stretch out my claws, everyone backs away. As they should!

Who do you think you are, inviting MORE people over? I do not care that there was a wedding, I do not care that everyone wanted to “visit!”

I DO care that my dinner was LATE! LATE!!!!!


I was going to share some of my freshly caught vole with you, but now I am going to keep it all for myself! Take THAT baby kitten!


I will be scratching you soon. You have been warned!


Bring me an offering of fish and I might let you and your curtains live. We’ll see!
LuLu Cat

(The one in charge of this dump!)

Furniture stealing creep!

A cat typing at a computer.
Illustration by Vanessa Lennon

Dear Ethan,

I am MAD! HISSING, SPITTING, MAD!!! I’m so mad that when I am done typing I am going to claw up EVRYTHING in this whole house!

How DARE you let your parents change the furniture! Who do you think you people are??? The phrase FUR-niture is your first and only hint. It belongs to animals, more specifically, ME.

You took my comfy chair, my purr-fect couch, and my ottoman. WHY??? Because of a few scratches? Because the fluff stuff was coming out???

THAT is what made that furniture interesting! Once I had properly marked all of it and put my special decorative touches on it those pieces finally looked INTERESTING! They were comfortable!

Think about it: when your parents first bought the couch it was all, “Don’t eat on the couch!” and, “Don’t put your shoes on the couch!” and “Who spilled something?” They were CRAZY!

Once I added my special finesse and made the couch unique, they didn’t care anymore! You could finally enjoy it!

But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

YOU let them remove it and buy some new yucky stuff that does not feel right to my claws AT ALL.

WORSE, you let them put that dumb spray on it, the stuff I don’t like! It won’t keep me away forever, and when I DO get to the new couch, your mom is NOT gonna like it!

PAYBACK Baby Kitten!

I’m not saying sincerely or anything at the end of this. You’ll find my closing after I hack it up in your shoes. ALL OF THEM.

Furniture-stealing creep!
Unkind regards,