Strong opinions, weakly held

For cat lovers

My friend Andrew Brown on cats (and fishing):

When you think about it, kittens make an extraordinary animal to choose as an example of ethics. We only think they are cuddly because we are so very much larger than they are. If mice or birds could talk, their word for “kitten” would describe a monster of wanton cruelty: an animal which plays with its victims in a way that not even humans do. Fish are cannibals who will eat their own children with as little compassion as any others. They will even eat their own body parts – as a boy, I caught a perch on its own eyeball. They will sometimes kill for the sheer lust of it, as when trout corner a shoal of fry and charge through them repeatedly, leaving the surface littered with dying, crippled victims.

But no fish, not even pike, are ever half as cruel as kittens are almost all the time.


  1. A mountain lion isn’t so cuddly, but it has the same mentality as its much smaller brethren. California residents occasionally find out what it’s like to be a bird or a mouse…

    California Dept. of Fish and Game keep a list: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/lion/attacks.html

  2. Perspective is everything.

  3. true, but they’re just so cute…

    also, nature’s cruelest animal is clearly the killer whale.

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