The Book of Cat
I wrote a two-part article on genealogy for the Alton Telegraph a couple of years ago tracing my Jones family roots to Wales in the 1600s and the Baldwins to Scotland. Of course, the only specie on Earth concerned with such matters is humans. Until now.
Dr. Shirlee Godsend Pink-Tuchus, of Tufts University has traced the genealogy of cats, following the domestic cat line all the way back to biblical times. I recently submitted a cheek swab of Scout the cat, losing a finger in the process, and sent it to the Tufts laboratory.
A few days ago, a chart arrived in the mail, tracing Scout’s ancestors to a dark alley in Egypt circa AD 1142. Because cats do not name themselves and all they do do is eat, drink, sleep and fornicate, all we can surmise is that Scout’s great-great-great-great grandfather was Egyptian, and her great-great-great-great grandmother was a mix of Asian, Greek, and Belarussian, and that the two met and “did the nasty,” “plumbed the nether regions” or as the Egyptians call it, “got it on.” And presumably walked away and smoked cigarettes.
As a kitten, Scout was found in a vacant lot in the Chicago suburbs, and she showed signs of abuse, which may explain her reluctance to be around people. I adopted her from a shelter, and the rest is history. Sort of. No cat has ever written a history.
I contacted Dr. Pink-Tuchus, and to my surprise, discovered that she is writing a sort of cat bible, “The Book of Cat.” For the ease of the reader, she names the felines so we can follow along. In the beginning, male cat (Binky-poo) mates with female cat (Calamity Jane), and it progresses from there. They were furry-naked, so no original sin there. Binky-poo and Calamity Jane had two sons, Triptych and Sockeye, and Sockeye murdered Triptych over a rat carcass, and so it went.
There is a documented Great Flood, but a cats-only ark. Just as with the human bible, the question is where did all the other females come from? We read about the cat Moises, who was discovered fornicating on a riverboat, and Salmonetta and her cat dance of ecstasy driving alley cats wild with desire.
Dr. Pink-Tuchus’ book is rather short, as it only contains a few hundred sentences which repeat and repeat, owing to the eat-drink-sleep-fornicate conundrum. Sample: “And Shorty fornicated with Jazzy, and they begat Conchita and Pretty Boy, and Pretty Boy hooked up with Delilah, and they begat Chauncy, Hickey and Rotorooter, and Conchita fornicated with Fancy Dancy and they begat La’Chaparral and Flypaper and three malformed dead kittens which they ate, and so on and so on and so on and so on, all the way to Scout the cat.
Scout is uh, fixed—no fornication. But she has the eat-drink-sleep thing down to perfection, a model of evolution, the theory of which was discovered 100 years before Charles Darwin by the historic Bookworm Attic Pussy Cat, in AD 1645.
I highly recommend Dr. Pink-Tuchus’ book. Her next book, “Antsy,” (according to publishing rumor this project will contain double the fornication!) the genome and genealogy of Formicidae Hymenoptera, a moving saga of an ant diarist (scrawled in her own poop) searching for her uncle, will be published this fall.
“Pink-Tuchus is a pioneer of animal genealogy research. I didn’t have to put it down; I read it in 15 minutes.” Malcom Gladwell, The New Yorker. “Groundbreaking, postprandial, peacockish, punctilious, palindromic, and chock full of sex!” Marjorie Taylor Jandowkowitz, “New York Review of Books.” “I read the dirty parts.” Bobby Sandusky, Elephant’s Breath, North Dakota