Growing up, my Mexican neighbors used to talk about a weeping ghost called La Llorona. As the centuries-old Mexican legend goes, La Llorona’s children disappeared. Some people say she drowned them, while others say her rich rancher husband threw the children in a river. Regardless, what’s important here is that La Llorona now walks around with her arms out as she cries searching for her missing children—and she kidnaps any children she happens to find. Understandably, kids are terrified of La Llorona.
I was six years old the first time I heard a cat make mating calls outside my window. I was convinced it was La Llorona coming to get me. I remember thinking of the sentences I would recite when she appeared in my room. My defense was going to be, “But I’m not Mexican, my family is from El Salvador. I can’t be your son.”
La Llorona never appeared. It was cats who wanted to fuck. Who knows if they were domesticated cats or wild cats; it doesn’t matter. As an adult I no longer fear La Llorona. Cats, however, give me so much anxiety.
The more you read about cats, the more you actually realize they should not be pets.
Recently, I was listening to an interview on Fresh Air with Sarah Ellis, a feline behavior specialist. Ellis was telling Terry Gross about how often hungry cats bite their sleeping owners’ noses. The owners wake up and immediately feed the cats, leading the cat to believe this is behavior that leads to food. So, the cats continue biting their owners’ noses when they’re asleep.
And guess what happens when cat owners die? They’ll eat you. “Cats tend to go for the face, especially soft parts such as the nose and lips,” forensic anthropologist Carolyn Rando of University College London told National Geographic in an interview.
These selfish cats eating their owners isn’t surprising if you consider the history of domestic cats.
Goats, sheep, and even chickens were domesticated some 10,000 years ago, way before cats. Dogs were domesticated some 35,000 years ago, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Current Biology.
Historians believe no one intentionally domesticated cats, probably because they were terrified of them. Apparently, cats domesticated themselves around 4,000 years ago by lingering around farms eating rodents. Farmers were happy to have the cats around because they prayed on rodents. Eventually the cats grew closer and closer to the humans.
But cats are still wild as fuck. Wild cats and the semi-domesticated creatures some people call pets showed no major differences in their genetic makeup, according to a 2014 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A quick search on YouTube will lead to videos that will result in you never leaving a baby alone in the same room with a cat. There are multiple videos of entire families who lock themselves in a room because their cat is trying to attack them. The Animal Planet network has an entire show devoted to regular household cats called My Cat From Hell.
There’s also a surplus of 911 call audio recordings of cat owners calling the police for help. Also, public service announcement: Cats tripping babies is another common video on YouTube.
Basically cats just want to be fed. And if you don’t feed them they’ll feed themselves with your lips and nose.
And in case you thought that a solution to this was letting the cat go outdoors...you probably shouldn’t do that either.
Cats, especially feral cats, have caused the extinction of bird species in Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. The problem was so severe in New Zealand that the government launched a nationwide effort to “eradicate” all feral cats off the island by 2050.
Here in the U.S., the director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center has proposed similar measures.
“In high-priority areas there must be zero tolerance for free-ranging cats,” Pete Marra, the director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center wrote in his book Cat Wars. Marra went on to say, “no one likes the idea of killing cats. But sometimes it is necessary.”
Now, before you leave a comment telling me I’m just a hateful person, you should know I don’t hate cats. I’m just terrified of them, and you should be too.
So let’s ban them, before they eat us all.