I had planned to celebrate “National Cat Day” last Friday the way I do every year—by not knowing National Cat Day existed.
Then I saw a list.
First, let me say, I have nothing against cats (although my immune system does). Strangely, I do not remember any friends or relatives even having a cat when I was a kid. I am not entirely sure I encountered any cat on a regular basis until I was an adult. (Friends and relatives have tried to convince me otherwise but I must speak my truth.)
Cats live their (reportedly nine) lives. I live mine. We’re all comfortable with this mutual indifference.
So, I never expected a list of cats to ruin my weekend like this. But it did. And when I vented my frustration, I got outraged responses similar to mine, ranging from “what the fuck?” to alternate cat suggestions to “I didn’t even know I had opinions on this until I read this horrible list.”
So what is this list that has caused so much anguish? It comes courtesy of Cory Hepola on WCCO Radio, who offers up a “Friday Five” each week and, last week, ranked “pop culture cats.”
(You can see hear his justifications, such as they are, including a diatribe against the Cat in the Hat, here.)
The middle of the pack is harmless enough, if unimaginative. Jinx from Meet the Parents? Sure, whatever fine. Mr. Bigglesworth from the Austin Powers movies? A little dated but sure, whatever, fine. Ulysses from Inside Llewyn Davis? Kind of a mundane cat to be honest, but sure, whatever, fine.
At number one Hepola put Mufasa from The Lion King, who is, of course, a lion, which, yes, is technically a cat. But lions have their own day: August 10, as we all know, is World Lion Day. And what did Mufasa do? He died. Big deal—all lions die. Circle of life, motherfuckers. At least Scar had a vision.
But what put me over the edge is number five: Nermal. Garfield’s cloyingly cute nephew. Let’s set aside the question of why any adult would pay attention to Garfield in 2021 while Heathcliff is out there pushing the boundaries of absurdist cartooning. Even so. Nermal? This is the choice of someone who asks the teacher for more homework. The choice of someone who doesn’t zipper merge correctly because it feels like cutting in line. The choice of someone who thinks the Cat in the Hat is a troublemaker.
In short, the choice of someone who loves Mondays.
That’s enough about the list. I’m done with the list. I can’t talk about the list anymore. I hope you are as unhappy about this list as I am.