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Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Love Cats

This post in an experiment, designed to assess how friendly felines affect the popularity of blog posts. You see, I have grown somewhat obsessed with my Google Analytics profile of late. I visit it religiously each morning to determine how successful my blog is becoming. As the page loads each day, I am like an investor checking the financial ticker, praying for my stock to go up, preparing for it to go down. I celebrate every spike in ratings as though it were the ultimate tipping point, the threshold that stands between me and total internet domination.

The largest spike I have received to date was my comical take on Oscar, the death-sniffing cat. Though I was elated to have the readership, I was a bit saddened that it was thanks to a pet. Even my deliberately controversial post submitted to the Carnival of Education did not warrant as much attention. My girlfriend overheard me grumbling about what I felt was a peculiar disparity, and she matter-of-factly provided me with the hypothesis of this little experiment. "People love cats," she said.

So in an effort to test just how much the web-surfing community prefers felines to mathematics, I am writing this warm, fuzzy post about my own pets.

Zoe is an exceptionally small gray female with little white socks. She wandered into Sarah's house and despite the best efforts, could not be persuaded to leave. Sarah had recently lost two cats that had been with her for nearly 15 years, and little Zoe helped to fill the void in her heart. She and I became fast friends, but there has been a bump in our relationship which she has not as of yet gotten past. I left her to hike the Appalachian Trail for five months and she has never forgiven me for it. She will tolerate my attention now, but it isn't like it once was.

Oz is our gentle giant. Sarah added him to the mix while I was hiking so that Zoe might have a friend. It was a risky venture, since we had already attempted to add a second cat the year before with disastrous results. Zoe had attempted to kill that cat. I'm not talking about your standard hissing, swatting, cat-fight. Usually they pin back their ears and box faces for a few seconds until the loser runs away. This was something else entirely, something I had not seen before nor hope to see again. This was a no holds barred cage match with blood and fur flying. Naturally, we expected a similar ordeal with Oz. Instead, she spit out only the slightest little hiss, and they quickly became pals.

Oz is an exercise in counter-intuitive psychology. When Sarah rescued him from the adoption agency, she told me he was the ugliest cat she had ever seen. He had been abused, and I mean seriously abused. He had been set on fire and still has a BB embedded in his left side. To add insult to injury, his size made him an ideal candidate for blood donor, so he was shaved in patches all over. Despite all this, he is the absolute sweetest cat I have ever known. I regularly wake in the night to find him bathing my head and he meets you at the door like a dog.

Now that I have completed the experiment, I thought I would toss in one more bio. This is Freckles. Freckles was meant to be a gift for Sarah, to keep her company while I was hiking. She is a Disney fanatic and had wanted a dalmatian since she was a girl. I had been apprehensive about owning a dog while living in an apartment, but one day while perusing the online edition of my local paper, a pop-up appeared for the county shelter. It was his face. I placed a call to the shelter and was told he was still available. I wanted to meet him first, in case it wasn't going to work out. He peed no fewer than twenty times between his run and the visiting area. I walked him through the cat room to test his demeanor and he seemed unusually calm for a dal. Finally, I gave Sarah the call. She hurried down to meet him, but after less than a minute with him, she declared, "I don't like him." I assured her it was just her nerves, that the idea of her not liking any dalmatian was ludicrous. We filled out the paperwork and took him home, and you know what, Sarah was right. Freckles immediately bonded to me and has not left my side since. He hiked the entire Appalachian Trail with me and is unquestionably the best friend I have ever had. Sarah has grown to love him, but he is definitely my dog.

So there you have it, the menagerie de Tony. I don't know what I would do without them.


Andy said...

For some reason I never heard about the acquisition of Oz. I hope he and Zoe are substantially less expensive than Freckles with his gourmet diet. :)

Jackie said...

What about those of us who like both cats and mathematics? You may have found a niche market!

Tony said...

Sorry for the lapse in communication.


You may be right, but the more important issue is when are you going to stop lurking around the blogosphere and start blessing us with a site of your own? ;)

Jackie said...

LOL - what's wrong with lurking?

Hopefully soon, trying to find out my district's policy on blogging, then to check out hosts...

Also quite honestly, feeling a bit nervous about starting up a blog during first year teaching (will I be able to post frequently enough...)

Elaine Vigneault said...

Cat lover here. Yes, blog about cats once a week. If you call them "pussy cats" and use some other double entendres, you'll see your traffic soar. ;)

Tony said...

In a bitter-sweet victory for mathematics, this cat related posting did not significantly affect my average daily traffic. Although, I may give Elaine's suggestion a try.


This is Roger B.

Just a word to let You know
that I Really enjoy Your Blog
and for that reason I Got Your
Link on my BlogSite in the

All the Best to You !

Roger Bailargeon

jackie said...


I'm done lurking.