Caturda felid trifecta: Babies vs. cats, cat travels 60 miles under car hood, squirrel pwns dog

Today we have three items, the first being a comparison of babies versus cats (“Having a baby vs having a cat”) from The Oatmeal. Which should you have? It reminds me of Charles Darwin’s written notes comparing the virtues of marriage to those of owning a d*g, made when he was thinking of getting married. (Marriage won.) The Oatmeal cartoon is long, so here’s a snippet:




From the BBC we have the harrowing tail of “Sparky,” who made a 60-mile road journey to Reading, trapped under the bonnet (“hood” to Americans) of a car:

The unfortunate moggy was found by Darren Sumner when the vehicle broke down in Reading, Berkshire.

Mr Sumner said: “He was warm and scared so I sat and stroked him for about 30 minutes until I coaxed him out.”

The RSPCA wants to reunite the cat with his owner, thought to be in Tottenham where the van started its journey.


The cat, nicknamed Sparky, was unscathed by his ordeal on 28 August.

Mr Sumner, who took the cat home overnight, said: “He used a litter tray so I think he’s probably someone’s pet.

“He woke me up at about 3am in the morning for a play. I hope his owners can be found.”

Sparky, who is thought to be about a year old, was taken to the vet for a check up. He was also scanned to see if he was micro-chipped – which would have revealed details of his owner – but unfortunately no chip was found.

Helena Peace, from the RSPCA in Reading, said: “He was traumatised but physically unhurt. He’s certainly used up one of his nine lives.”


Be sure to chip your cat!



Finally, we have a squirrel (an Honorary Cat™) messing with a d*g in Austria. Nobody was hurt, and the squirrel could easily have climbed higher to get away. What’s going on—is it taunting the d*g?

h/t: jsp, Malcolm L.


  1. Posted October 1, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    It’s likely someone is in the top of the tree. I doubt a squirrel wants to flirt with death.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      That may well be. Squirrels do taunt canids, but this is really pushing it. Another possibility is that the two were raised together.

    • SA Gould
      Posted October 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      In the suburb where I live they flirt with death all the time in the streets. The old ‘I think I will run this way, No, wait! Back the other way!’ Sometimes they really push their luck.

      • Posted October 1, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        I would guess that squirrels have evolved to escape four-legged and feathered predators by fleeing up the nearest tree and have yet to evolve a more effective flight response to Fiats and Festivas.

        I work in squirrel occupied trees almost daily and I’m astonished to see a squirrel behave this way. It’s very easy to encourage one to hurry down a lone tree once you’ve climbed above them. I’m convinced this squirrel perceives a lethal threat both above and below him.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I picked the cat route, all the better for it.

    If you have cats around in the colder weather, better check under the hood/bonnet. That would be year round in England.

    I would say squirrels like to play games. The squirrels here sometimes sit in the tree and chatter at me. As if I’m getting chewed out.

  3. kevin7alexander
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    The squirrels here tag team the d*g. One will appear from behind a tree and chatter at the d*g and then hide when the fool rushes at him. Then the other tormentor will appear from behind another tree twenty yards away and chatter at the d*g who spins around to chase him. The idiot will do this a half dozen times, never getting that it’s not the same squirrel with super powers.

  4. Kevin
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen squirrels do this before…with kids.

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Our d*g also gets this torment from sqrlls, though not for so long as this. Percy is also much more serious about it.

  6. Ralph
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    The squirrel behavior is striking, given the stakes involved. If it’s adaptive, it could be a distraction display.

    Rare in mammals, but ref 12 in the Wiki article is a report on red squirrels.

  7. kevin7alexander
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I think that the squirrels are having FUN! Think about it. Why do people ride fast motorcycles or jump out of aeroplanes? Danger means adrenalin and that’s fun.

  8. Steve Pollard
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    My eldest daughter has just had her first child (a girl). She is adorable. My daughter also has two cats (originally, rescued street cats in Saigon, then accompanying her and her partner to Cambridge UK, then NYC, and now Putney, in SW London).

    I can tell you, authoritatively, that although the cats are very agreeable, although they are by now pretty fat and lazy, our granddaughter is much lovelier!

  9. Zado
    Posted October 1, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    That squirrel’s running rings around that dog! #TreeJoke

  10. Posted October 1, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    A dude had a basket of kitttens. He showed them to his friend and said “These are Christian kittens.”
    “How do you know?”
    “I just know.”
    A while later the friend asked the dude about the Christian kittens.
    “They are atheist kittens now.”
    “How do you know?”
    “I just know.”
    “But what changed?”
    “They opened their eyes.”

    • Posted October 1, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Oh, that was a good one! Definitely going to share it around.

  11. Posted October 1, 2016 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I wonder whether the squirrel had a nest of babies up in the tree. It wouldn’t want to lead a predator to the babies, and it wouldn’t want to climb down and risk itself being eaten. I don’t know whether squirrels appreciate that d*gs can’t climb, especially since some dogs do climb more than we humans expect.

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