Good morning and welcome to Ask a Geek Anything, Issue 12
Welcome back to the corner of the interwebz where we will answer anything that isn’t going to get us Catapulted out of Cannes.
Today we’re going to do something that I warned you would happen periodically, Which is have the entire staff answer a question. This seems to be a recurring theme with authors, and as the staff consists entirely of SF&F authors, we thought we would take a swing at it. So…
one of our more frequent questioners, CMJwyrd asks- How many of you are willing to admit service to our feline overlords?
First up is the Lovely and Talented Amanda Fuesting, who answers: I confess that I serve the furry overlords. I have always been owned by cats, so they pretty much trained me from the cradle. My current master is named Brownie. She’s a genetic freak that looks and acts like a Siamese. Both of her parents were tuxedo cats, so no one really knows how she came about. Her favorite things are food, string, naps (preferably on my lap), the rings on milk jugs, and chasing the hard foam practice golf balls around after making her slaves throw them for her. Here is her most recent picture, sleeping on my lap.
And here is a picture of her adorable face.
Alright, now that Amanda has confessed her loyalties, lets go to that Rouge Declan Finn for a different take:
I am actually part of the great puppy resistance. The angry pussies have never liked me, I have never liked them, and our mutual disdain works well for both of us. Though my overlords are usually unhappy – you could say that they’re kind of sad. But my Sad Puppies Bite Back.
I do my best to go a few rounds with the felines every few days. They are easily offended, and easily intimidated. They have little to no spine, though they do seem to influence the weak minded, hence their ability to game the Hugo awards.
…Oh, did you furry mean four-legged animals? Sorry, my mistake. Yeah. Cats hate me.
Uh, wow. This hadn’t been intended to be a political screed, but I gotta admit that that works, so we’ll leave it right there and move on.
The darling of the Programming world: Digital Pythoness weighs in with:
I confess I have the bonds of felinedom circling my wrist. But it’s not my fault, I was raised in a household dominated by the iron paw. Therefore I am blameless for my fondness of proper discipline.
My first mistress was named Lady. Unlike most cats she loved to swim. Her ordinary looking gray on black tabby stripes meant she blended in and looked like an ordinary housecat.
She was nothing like.
She could leap one story buildings in a single bound, and snatch flying birds out of the air. considering our proximity to DARPA, I think she had bionic enhancement. For SCIENCE! That’s what we all thought at the time. Now I think something more sinister is going on.
I think the cats are all in communication with each other and are about to take over the world.
Even as an inside agent their motives and goals are obscure. But then, I’m just a human slave, unequiped with the mind reading ability our feline friends clearly have. One cat I knew even could walk through walls. His difficulty is that he could only leave the house, but needed the big dumb with thumbs to open the door to let him back in.
So he’d climb up to the second floor and scratch on the window to be let in. Just so you knew he was superior and had his OWN door. But he was listening in on the heads of state, and got shot in the line of duty. We never believed for a moment that he was killing chickens in that farmer’s yard. That was just a cover story for his suspicious espionage related death.
But his death was not in vain. After all, he came back in his eighth life long enough to post his after action report. Don’t tell me how I know. Then I’d have to know, and then I’d have to kill me. Mind control is so inconvenient sometimes.
There are other hints of this vast conspiracy, if you know where to look for them. My grandmother may have been paid by the secret feline masters, for she was paid in rabbits bigger than the mighty huntress who delivered them. “Her” cat was the next generation of the bionic enhancement that Lady of legend enjoyed. This domestic feline’s name was Bonnie Blanche Cooper. She could walk up walls as well as through them. Obviously the super soldier program is advancing apace. Also, the prevalence cute kitty photos on the internet is both a publicity campaign to foster support for the new regime, and a source of income (via advertising) to build the New Feline World Order. I’m slowly discovering that Q from Star Trek may be a shape changed Feline Overlord. The signs are clear for anyone to read. You just have to be paying attention.
But what will they do about the lizard men?
Joseph Capdepon II chimes in with:
The joy of Cats, or Living with Feline Assholes.
I’m a dog person. Dogs are loyal. They are faithful and true. Dogs are a gift from the gods, sent to us as companions and protectors. If humans are ever able to find a way to communicate, to lift other animals to our level of sentience, dogs will probably be one of the first that is given that gift. Cats probably somewhere down the line, except for the cat lady, who then goes crazy and is eaten by her cats because they don’t shut up.
Cats are just assholes. I know I hold an unpopular opinion among fans of science fiction, after all, Robert Heinlein loved cats! Doesn’t matter, cats are assholes. Kittens are nice, but kittens grow to be cats.
Cats don’t truly love you. They tolerate you. You are nothing but a slave who is there to feed them, and when they feel like it, pet them.
If I had a farm, I would probably keep one or two in the barn to kill rodents, but they would not be allowed in the house. I wouldn’t even feed them. They can eat rodents and birds.
I tolerate cats.
The reason the Egyptians fell was because of cats. An unhealthy worship of the felines led to weakness that was exploited by outside forces.
Remember, kittens are cute, but they grow up to be assholes.
I’ll weigh in here as well:
It seems like I’ve always had critters around, I grew up fairly rural and we always had cats, dogs or both. I think the only time I haven’t had either was during Boot camp and the year or so after before I moved off base. So yes, we have “total chaos, Cats and Dogs, living together…” (oh and by the way Joe, the primary reason cats were gods in Egypt, was that grain was life and rats were prevalent.)
I’ve only had one or two birds, they usually feel about me, the same way that cats feel about Declan, quite possibly because I view birds as little more than feathered larders… (except Raptors, I can relate to any carnivore) I did have one bird that loved me, but one of our cats bit him one day, and while we saved him from being eaten (which pissed off the cat mightily) we couldn’t save him from the infection. Sigh.
So, I don’t exactly view Felines as our Overlords, (and I may be naive in this, but if I am, it keeps me sane (ish) so leave me to my delusion) I see them more as independent contractors. We have an understanding with our contractors, they will keep bugs, rodents, and other independent contractors away from us, exercise the dog, occasional entertainment (I have some great stupid cat trick stories) and provide an opportunity to luxuriate our hands in soft pelts… We will provide scritches, water, and food, a clean place to poop, and offer some of our food for quality checks upon occasion. I’ve had some contractors that where better at this than others, Shadow (we didn’t name him, he adopted us when his owner moved away) was the great black hunter, provider of mice, voles, Norway wharf rats, and birds, from hummingbirds up to crows… Damn cat would get up on the roof and jump down on the hummingbirds from above, capture them, bring them in the house and set them free. Mousy tongue (part Siamese) wasn’t much of a birder, or ratter, but snakes rightly feared him. My Son’s cat on the other hand… OK memo to the management here, be careful how you label four legged critters, they will live up, or down to the name…
NEVER name a coal black cat Iskerka. She lives up to the name. (King’s dragon series, by Naiomi Novik) On a similar note, never name a Irish setter Guinevere. Flakiest bitch I ever owned. Porthos on the other hand, our current dog, also lives up to the name, and when a Rottie/Mastiff cross that looks like the pictures of the ancient Roman War Dogs, thinks he’s the Fat Musketeer, well, that’s a little bit of all-right then.
When they die, and sadly all things die, large breed dogs die young (compared to those little rat bastard ankle biters) and cats that INSIST that they are indoor outdoor cats but don’t speak car, do too, we place them under one of the fruit trees, which becomes forever more that critter’s tree. I have a small orchard, but I’m almost out of trees to name.
Well folks that’s all we have today, I’m not going to try to cram a TLA post on top of this. So have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week. Remember we only exist as long as you have questions…