By Gareth Edwards

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Largely on Cats and Thumbs

I've had several important-sounding questions asked since the last blog and as there's only a potentially infinite quantity of words and time for these questions to be answered I feel I should crack on.

Many of your questions related to cats, and there was one question asking where would we be without thumbs. I think these two areas of inquiry illuminate each-other. After all, it can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that cats have not bothered to evolve opposable thumbs, and look at where that’s left them. They have to get another species to open all their tins. Also if a cat has owners who move house to Bristol and take it along and then the cat for reasons of its own wants to get back to the house it used to live in Chippenham it has to try and walk there as it is too thumb-less to hitch-hike. That is what happens when you skimp on thumbs.

I was also asked -

Why do cats have faces?
Cats have three faces, a surface, to keep cats' insides in, a fur-face for showing where the front is, and a north face for defying mountaineers.  A geometrician will tell you that with three faces and no corners cats must be cylindrical.  Geometricians are like that. They can’t be trusted. 

But can we prove cats even exist?
Having said all of the above, I'm afraid there is bad news for cat lovers and cats, because there is no evidence whatsoever for the existence of cats (other than physical evidence). A lot of people claim to derive a kind of reassurance from a belief in cats, but of course a desire for something to be true rarely makes it true. The “Cat Delusion” seems harmless enough until you consider the feelings of small birds, people with allergies, and the feelings of small birds with allergies. I know some people will point to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats as proof of the existence of cats, and there are people who feel moved to believe in cats by the beauty of the music, the sense of spectacle and the furry leg-warmers. But it is not so, for these ‘cats’ are simply costumes worn by ordinary people and actresses.

Do fish bump into each-other?
Fish never bump into each other because they are on rails which are in a dimension that we cannot see.  The visible part of the fish comprises only the nine tenths that are under the water. The mechanical aspects such as the pulleys and clockwork arms are elsewhere.

Why do people feel guilty?
Because they know what they’ve done, and the sooner they own up the sooner we can all enjoy our break time.

Why don't eggs taste of chicken?
Eggs do taste of chicken, but chickens don’t.

I hope that's cleared up some things once and for all, and if it hasn't then I think that in its own way is a valuable lesson on human fallibility, which is always handy. I may deal with the other questions, which were about luck, rain, hypothetical dogs, slow tortoises and questions in another post. But meanwhile let me know if there are other things you believe need some kind of explanation.


  1. Do I want pheasant or pigeon for tea? Are saute potatoes ever really justified? Why is Gemma Arterton?

  2. Why do people lie?
    Follow up: Why do people lie-in?

  3. I'm loving this blog! I feel enlightened already. I can't wait to see what further crucial issues you will address. And as an allergy sufferer I must agree that the Cat Delusion is extremely harmful. And don't even get me started on the Dog Delusion.

    Which is best: a trampoline or a rocket? Is honesty overrated? Do photos really steal your soul?

  4. I am currently reading "Bleak House" by Dickens and desire an explanation. If Dickens owned a cat, what do you suppose he called it? Or do you believe Dickens to have been a dog person?

  5. Why is 'God' so bad with his finances? He always seems to need more money according to Christian and Catholic fundamentalists.
    And if so, why didn't he just create some more, or put it in a high interest ISA for a few thousand years?