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 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Cats

A cat is an example of sophistication minus civilization. ~Author unknown

It doesn't matter if you are six feet four and broad of shoulder, if a kitten is looking for a mother-figure you're it. ~Pam Brown, Utterly Gorgeous Cats, 2006,

I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat. ~Author unknown

You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats. ~Proverb

I wish I loved anything as much as cats love walking on keyboards while you’re answering emails. ~Keith Wynn, @ravens_rhapsody, tweet, 2020

If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. ~Lemony Snicket

Never try to outstubborn a cat. ~Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long, 1973

To see her sitting by the fireside, purring herself blind with pleased satisfaction and congratulation at her own virtue... There is not merely a suggestion but an actual assertion of strict and reproving propriety in the way she curls the tip of her tail about her. No model of maidenly or matronly virtue could seat herself more demurely, or dispose her drapery more decorously, than she. ~Coulson Kernahan, "My Cat," Begging the Moon's Pardon, 1930

It is in the nature of cats to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming. ~Adlai Stevenson

CATS are called domestic animals, but I never yet could understand why. All there is domestic about a cat is you can't lose one. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague

Do cats actually get lost or are they just not at home yet?  #catnav  ~Andy Lee, @andrewdotlee, tweet, 2012

A cat bitten once by a snake dreads even rope. ~Arab proverb

Like a graceful vase, a cat, even when motionless, seems to flow. ~George F. Will

One is permitted to assume an attitude of placid indifference in the matter of elephants, cockatoos, H. G. Wells, Sweden, roast beef, Puccini, and even Mormonism, but in the matter of cats it seems necessary to take a firm stand. The cat himself insists upon this; he invariably inspires strong feelings. He is, indeed, the only animal who does. From his admirers he evokes an intense adoration which usually finds an outlet in exaggerated expression. It is practically impossible for a cat-lover to meet a stray feline on the street without stopping to pass the time of day with him. I can say for myself that it takes me considerably longer to traverse a street in which cats occur than it does a catless thoroughfare. But so magnetic an animal is bound to repel when he does not fascinate, and those who hate the cat hate him with a malignity which, I think, only snakes in the animal kingdom provoke to an equal degree. ~Carl Van Vechten, The Tiger in the House, 1920

No heaven will not ever Heaven be
Unless my cats are there to welcome me.
~Author unknown

Round, misty-blue eyes stare desperately. Love me, they say, let me into your life — so that I can begin to take over your entire existence. ~Pam Brown, Utterly Gorgeous Cats, 2006,

Sometimes he seems to seek psychic guidance in his grooming operation. You may think that after 15 minutes of dedicated licking, he is perfectly groomed. But then he pauses, gazes off into space with an other-worldly look and waits for a message. From somewhere, he gets the word, "Left shoulderblade," and he twists around to give that spot a second treatment. Again the pause, and the far-away look; again the message, "Fourth rib on the right side," and like a flash he is at work. ~Gerald Raftery (1905–1986), "Brawl in the bedroom," If I May Say So, The Bennington Banner, 1975 January 27th [a little altered –tg]

[T]he person that had took a bull by the tail once had learnt sixty or seventy times as much as a person that hadn't, and said a person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was gitting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and warn't ever going to grow dim or doubtful. ~Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Abroad

Keep an eye on the cat and another on the frying pan. ~Proverb

Psychologists now recognize that the need in some people to have a dozen cats is really a sublimated desire to have two dozen cats. ~Robert Brault,

It always gives me a shiver when I see a cat seeing what I can't see. ~Eleanor Farjeon

To err is human
To purr feline.
~Robert Byrne, 1983

Cat lovers can readily be identified without any assistance from us. No matter what they wear, their clothes always look old and well used. Their sheets look like bath towels, and their bath towels look like a collection of knitting mistakes. ~Eric Gurney, How to Live with a Calculating Cat, 1962

The cat loves fish, but she's loath to wet her feet. ~Proverb

Do you see that kitten chasing so prettily her own tail? If you could look with her eyes, you might see her surrounded with hundreds of figures performing complex dramas, with tragic and comic issues, long conversations, many characters, many ups and downs of fate... ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

...But the Kitten, how she starts,
Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts!...
~William Wordsworth (1770–1850), "The Kitten and the Falling Leaves"

And I will have my careless season
Spite of melancholy reason,
Will walk through life in such a way
That, when time brings on decay,
Now and then I may possess
Hours of perfect gladsomeness.
— Pleased by any random toy;
By a Kitten's busy joy,
Or an Infant's laughing eye
Sharing in the ecstasy;
I would fare like that or this,
Find my wisdom in my bliss...
~William Wordsworth (1770–1850), "The Kitten and the Falling Leaves"

Cats are adorable violations of the laws of physics. ~Terri Guillemets

Those who play with cats must expect to be scratched. ~Proverb

      He could not take his eyes off her. What a delightful creature! What exquisite coloring! The cat looked straight at him, walked over, jumped into his lap, and put her paws on his chest. He noticed that she was slightly cross-eyed, but that only added to her charm...
      The homeless cat came to live with him. He would watch her enchanting tricks and listen to her vast collection of songs. At night in bed she hugged his feet. "Now I am a completely happy man!" ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), The Mushroom Man, 1993  [A little altered. Quoted in memory of my neighborhood's Cross-Eyed Kitty, 2015. Rest in peace, dearheart. —tg]

As for intelligence, anyone who has ever known a cat really well feels that this cat is superior to most Harvard professors in brain power. ~Gladys Taber, Conversations with Amber, 1978

Cats, as a class, have never completely got over the snootiness caused by the fact that in Ancient Egypt they were worshiped as gods. This makes them too prone to set themselves up as critics and censors of the frail and erring human beings whose lot they share. They stare rebukingly. They view with concern. And on a sensitive man this often has the worst effects, including an inferiority complex of the gravest kind. ~P.G. Wodehouse

[C]ats have a habit of staring at one by the hour; it is one of their most disconcerting tricks. ~Carl Van Vechten, The Tiger in the House, 1920

[A] cat purrs while one dozes. I can recommend the experience without reservation. ~May Sarton

After all, cats are the only untamed pets that we have. You cannot tame a cat. ~May Sarton

A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes. ~Indian proverb

I like cats.... When I meet a cat, I say, "Poor Pussy!" and stoop down and tickle the side of its head; and the cat sticks up its tail in a rigid, cast-iron manner, arches its back, and wipes its nose up against my trousers; and all is gentleness and peace. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889

Dogs have owners, cats have staff. ~Author unknown

The Dog is black or white or brown
      And sometimes spotted like a clown.
      He loves to make a foolish noise
      And Human Company enjoys.
The Human People pat his head
      And teach him to pretend he's dead,
      And beg, and fetch and carry too;
      Things that no well-bred Cat will do.
~Oliver Herford, "The Dog," The Kitten's Garden of Verses, 1911

Purrs-day, Feline Friday, Caturday... Dog-Tired Monday  ~Terri Guillemets

One has a quite exceptionally clever and conversational cat — and one tells one's friends. They come to call — and are confronted by an animal who appears to be not entirely right in the head. It stares at them blankly. "Me? I'm just a poor stupid pussy-cat." And goes away to laugh in some quiet corner. ~Pam Brown, Utterly Gorgeous Cats, 2006,

I enjoy many silent moments with my cat, a conversation always resumed exactly where left off. ~Robert Brault,

The dog may be wonderful prose, but only the cat is poetry. ~French proverb

Every dog has his day, but the nights belong to the cat. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Kitten is in the animal world what the rosebud is in the garden; the one the most beautiful of all young creatures, the other the loveliest of all opening flowers. The rose loses only something in delicacy by its development, — enough to make it a serious emblem to a pensive mind; but if a cat could remember kittenhood, as we remember our youth, it were enough to break a cat's heart, even if it had nine times nine heart strings. ~Robert Southey, The Doctor, &c., 1837

Cats are sleeping art. ~Terri Guillemets

Charley likes to get up early, and he likes me to get up early too. And why shouldn't he? Right after his breakfast he goes back to sleep. Over the years he has developed a number of innocent-appearing ways to get me up. He can shake himself and his collar loud enough to wake the dead. If that doesn't work he gets a sneezing fit. But perhaps his most irritating method is to sit quietly beside the bed and stare into my face with a sweet and forgiving look on his face; I come out of deep sleep with the feeling of being looked at. But I have learned to keep my eyes tight shut. If I even blink he sneezes and stretches, and that night's sleep is over for me. Often the war of wills goes on for quite a time, I squinching my eyes shut and he forgiving me, but he nearly always wins. ~John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America, 1962  [Actually, this is about a dog. But it applies quite well to cats, too. —tg]

A  CAT is a mighty modest looking varmint — as meek as Moses around the house in the day time, but when a gentleman cat gets his fighting clothes on — I mean in full evening dress — and goes out into the highways and hedges and backyards and barns, there is something doing. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague

No matter how much the cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens. ~Author unknown

You may say a cat uses good grammar. Well, a cat does — but you let a cat get excited once; you let a cat get to pulling fur with another cat on a shed, nights, and you'll hear grammar that will give you the lockjaw. Ignorant people think it's the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it's the sickening grammar they use. ~Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad

When the cats are away the city man sleeps. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor

I enjoy watching Little Monster — a retired tomcat who shares my bed and board — roll over on his back and groom his bib and chest. For a human being to exhibit such dexterity, he would have to lie flat on his back and bite his belt-buckle. ~Gerald Raftery (1905–1986), "Brawl in the bedroom," If I May Say So, The Bennington Banner, 1975 January 27th [a little altered –tg]

The only system to photograph a cat is to use infinite patience. ~Charles E. Bullard, 1915  [a little altered —tg]

There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast. ~Author unknown

In the morning light,
You sleep despite my meow.
I stand on your face.
~Kate Miller-Wilson, "Good Morning Haiku From the Cat," 20 Funny Haiku Poems,, 2020

He liked companionship, but he would n't be petted, or fussed over, or sit in any one's lap a moment; he always extricated himself from such familiarity with dignity and with no show of temper. If there was any petting to be done, however, he chose to do it. Often he would sit looking at me, and then, moved by a delicate affection, come and pull at my coat and sleeve until he could touch my face with his nose, and then go away contented... He always held himself in a kind of reserve with his friend, as if he had said, "Let us respect our personality, and not make a 'mess' of friendship." ~Charles Dudley Warner, "Calvin: A Study of Character"

      "Well then," the Cat went on, "you see a dog growls when it's angry and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I  growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry..."
      "I  call it purring, not growling," said Alice.
      "Call it what you like," said the Cat. ~Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1865

Cats readily conform to the habits of society, but never acquire its manners. ~Georges-Louis Leclerc, count de Buffon  [a little altered —tg]

      "You are fond of cats?" said Mrs. Gardner...
      "I love them," said Dorothy. "They are so nice and selfish. Dogs are too good and unselfish. They make me feel uncomfortable. But cats are gloriously human." ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

The best alarm clock is the purring kind. ~Terri Guillemets

One cat just leads to another. ~Ernest Hemingway

A cat is a tiger that is fed by hand. ~Proverb

"Ah!" said he, "these cats are a very mysterious kind of folk. There is always more passing in their minds than we are aware of." ~Walter Scott, as quoted by Washington Irving sometimes seems as if in her work a cat came at us speaking English... ~R. P. Blackmur, 1956  [of Emily Dickinson —tg]

A catless writer is almost inconceivable; even Ernest Hemingway, manly follower of the hunting trophy and the bullfight, lived waist-deep in cats. It's a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys. ~Barbara Holland, The Name of the Cat, 1988

Every cat is at heart a critic and a pessimist. From the time they open kitten-eyes of mild and pained surprise at finding themselves in a world in which there is so much of which they disapprove, our cats are constantly sitting in judgment upon us. ~Coulson Kernahan, "My Cat," Begging the Moon's Pardon, 1930

If purring could be encapsulated, it would be the most powerful antidepressant on the market. ~Terri Guillemets

CATS are as meek as Moses around the house in the day time, but after dark they attend orchestral conventions, which generally meet at least every other night, all the way from 1 to 4 A.M. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague & T. Guillemets

Every dog has his day — but the nights are reserved for the cats. ~Author unknown

Kittens large and Kittens small,
Prowling on the Back Yard Wall,
Though your fur be rough and few,
I should like to play with you.
Though you roam the dangerous street,
And have curious things to eat,
Though you sleep in barn or loft,
With no cushions warm and soft,
Though you have to stay out-doors
When it's cold or when it pours,
Though your fur is all askew —
How I'd like to play with you!
~Oliver Herford, "Foreign Kittens," The Kitten's Garden of Verses, 1911

I pet her and she pays me back in purrs. ~Terri Guillemets

Are we really sure the purring is coming from the kitty and not from our very own hearts? ~Terri Guillemets

A kitten is so flexible that she is almost double; the hind parts are equivalent to another kitten with which the fore part plays. She does not discover that her tail belongs to her till you tread upon it. How eloquent she can be with her tail!... [S]he loves to look out a window as much as any gossip. Ever and anon she bends back her ears to hear what is going on within the room, and all the while her eloquent tail is reporting the progress and success of her survey by speaking gestures which betray her interest in what she sees. ~Henry David Thoreau

Kittens are wide-eyed, soft and sweet.
With needles in their jaws and feet.
~Pam Brown (b.1928)

One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives. ~Mark Twain

Puss on the hearth, with velvet paws,
Sits wiping o'er her whiskered jaws...
~Erasmus Darwin, "Signs of Foul Weather: Forty Reasons for Not Accepting an Invitation of a Friend to Make an Excursion with Him"

She lived to be twenty years old, and when she died I felt as if I had lost a child. ~Charles E. Bullard, 1915

When you're used to hearing purring and suddenly it's gone, it's hard to silence the blaring sound of sadness. ~Terri Guillemets

Occasionally, at 2 a.m., Little Monster looks over at me and decides that I could do with a little grooming. I might welcome this if I had as much hair as he does. But when he walks across the pillow and begins to groom my thinning locks, I get the same feeling as I would from someone massaging my scalp with a bit of warm, wet sandpaper. ~Gerald Raftery (1905–1986), "Brawl in the bedroom," If I May Say So, The Bennington Banner, 1975 January 27th

If a dog jumps up into your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer. ~Alfred North Whitehead, quoted by Lucien Price

Cats look at us with eyes in which we see either approval or disapproval — generally the latter. ~Coulson Kernahan, "My Cat," Begging the Moon's Pardon, 1930

When I was just a Kitten small,
They gave to me a Rubber Ball
      To roll upon the floor.
One day I tapped it with my paw
And pierced the rubber with my claw;
      Now it will roll no more.
~Oliver Herford, "The Puncture," The Kitten's Garden of Verses, 1911

She clawed her way into my heart and wouldn't let go. ~Terri Guillemets

It's really the cat's house — we just pay the mortgage. ~Author unknown

She named the kitten Rose — fur soft as a petal, claws sharper than thorns. ~Terri Guillemets, "Cuddly heart," 1987

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it — and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again — and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore. ~Mark Twain warm & fuzzy as purring love... ~Terri Guillemets

Tut, never fear me: I am as vigilant as a cat to steal cream. ~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, c.1597  [IV, 2, Falstaff]

...that kitten was a holy terror. ~Charles E. Bullard, 1915

A Birdie cocked his little head,
Winked his eye at me and said,
"Say, are you a Pussy Willer,
Or just a Kitty-Catty pillar?"
~Oliver Herford, "An Inquiry," The Kitten's Garden of Verses, 1911

Cat lovers' hearts are meow-shaped and covered in stray fur. ~Terri Guillemets

The cat was created when the lion sneezed. ~Arabian proverb

This lovable little beast who normally bats his eyes at me and purrs affectionately, turned on a growl like an aggrieved panther. He backed away, still growling. He was saying, "Go get your own squirrel; I saw this one first." ~Gerald Raftery (1905–1986), "Brawl in the bedroom," If I May Say So, The Bennington Banner, 1975 January 27th

Paws carry heart and fur,
Whiskers and vibrato purr.
~Terri Guillemets

There seems to be a popular impression that cats are thoroughly selfish and incapable of any natural feeling or affection. I do not believe that. My experience has shown me that cats are very affectionate, especially to persons whom they like. They are not quick, like dogs, to strike up friendships; but when a friendship is once formed with a human, they manifest their feelings in ways that are unmistakable. And they are remarkably intelligent. ~Charles E. Bullard, 1915

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow. ~Jeff Valdez, as quoted in Cosmopolitan, 1986

We come like Kittens and like Cats we go. ~Oliver Herford, The Rubáiyát of a Persian Kitten, 1904

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