Of all the monsters and serial killers we celebrate this week, none have splashed their terrifying mark on history like felis catus — the domesticated housecat. (See how evil it is? It has a secret name in Latin: the language spoken by demons).
These (super?)natural pesticides have all the earmarks of a classic psychopath: loners who form relationships with people only to use them for their resources, and they frequently venture out at night–but where? Their loved ones have no idea. But it’s probably murder, since cats slay roughly between 8 to 20.7 billion animals every year in the U.S. alone. In fact, there are 20 items on the Hare Psychopathic Checklist, and cats meet all of them.
But they also have several details that only your elite grade of monster possesses. Here are traits that you’ll only find in cats and horror movie villains.
Cats try to cover their footprints
Who would need to cover their footprints their entire life? A relentless killer, that’s who. When cats walk, they move one side of their body at a time, unlike every other four-legged beastie on the planet except for camels (nature’s other well-documented jerk animal) and giraffes, who don’t know any better, poor dears. The rest of the animal kingdom balances out its stride, but only cats and the AT-ATs from Return of the Jedi take the creeping “left, left, right, right” steps of really proficient killers about to slaughter hordes of weaker foes. But hey, you have fun sleeping tonight with a cat somewhere in the house!
Cats’ tongues are where happiness festers into horror
Cats can’t taste sweetness. If your talking witch cat asked you why you liked chocolate, you’d have as much difficulty explaining it to her as a bird would have describing ultraviolet colors to you. That’s sad, but not horrifying. After all, why would a cat need to taste sweetness? Their diet is thoroughly carnivorous. You don’t see cats in the wild nibbling strawberries. Still, there’s something suspicious about an entire species that will never know the child’s joy of a sugar rush, and the unrivaled victory of a day that contains a Milky Way bar.
But why? Why can cats not taste sugar? because their taste buds cannot bond to carbohydrates. A cat’s entire life is instead defined by “bitter tastes and acids.” So we’ve established motive for cats’ 9500-year killing spree.
Not that sugar would ever reach their tongue if they could taste it. You know why a cat’s tongue is delightfully rough? (you know how we mean.) It’s because it’s covered in microscopic spines. But do not mistake these for your garden-variety horror like a Sarlacc. These backwards-facing spines are made of keratin — the same material as your hair and fingernails. Most serial killers only collect those to make dolls of their victims, but cats grow their own so they are never without a mouth full of terror-hooks. So you figure the average Xenomorph only has a couple dozen teeth in its second mouth, but cats have countless barbs of MURDER-HAIR GROWING ON THEIR TONGUE.
The next time Fluffermuffer licks your hand, try not to think about the fact that you’ve just been scraped by a spike-forest made of material that was never meant to grow in the mouth.
But that’s nothing, really–barely a tremble on the Richter scale of fear, compared to…
Cat reproduction reads like a Viking strategy to invade Hell
The fact that their screaming night orgies erupt in a fountain of kittenflesh, a mewling horde of blind fleshbags sired by a dozen different fathers…that is a secondary fright. What is primary here is that cat penises HAVE BARBS IN THEM (for the love of C’thulu, don’t click that link). Not even Hellraiser‘s Pinhead has a barbed penis, because it would catch on everything and–oh sir, be oh so terrible, truly it would, sir.
Like the tongue, these penile spines are a couple hundred backwards facing spikes that you would think are some sort of ghastly evolutionary trait designed to prevent the female’s escape, like you find on that corkscrewed monster the duck. But no, it’s cats, so of course the truth is far more awful: the male keeps the female in place by biting her neck so she can’t get away, and pinning her down. This, after he beat up every other male for the right to mate, and then beats her up for the not-at-all right to mate.
No, the only reason the barbs are there (and the reason alley cats have their famous yowl) is because when the act is complete, they will, by design, “rake the walls of the female’s vagina” to trigger ovulation. This is a beast that can only reproduce through combat, ravishment, and internal trauma. If you described a cat to the studio that designed the Predator, they’d hire you and wonder where you got your fantastic ideas.
Hey, you know those abstinence-only programs for folks who don’t want to teach sex ed in school that never work according to our own government? We should teach cat sex instead and no teen will dare get hot and heavy again. BONUS: overpopulation problems solved!
Cat noises are luring you to your doom
Believe it or not in the great year of 2013, scientists still have no solid idea of how a cat purrs. That relentless motor inside each cat that proceeds whether or not they’re inhaling or exhaling? No working model for the mechanism! Which means we can’t yet discount there’s a portal to Hell inside each cat, and we’re hearing the constant crackling of its fires.
Too much hyperbole you say? How about the fact that cat meowing imitates a baby’s cry in order to lure you to do their bidding? Isn’t that what demons do? Come to you wearing the face of purity and manipulating you with reminders of your loved ones? Because that’s pretty much exactly how we remember The Exorcist going down.
Cats are taking over the world
It wouldn’t surprise you to learn cats are personally responsible for some species’ extinction. Hey, who hasn’t contributed to the extermination of a species at some point in our lives? But did you know cats are also working on crowding the rest of us off the planet?
You know the end of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the fourth or eleventh iteration…whichever one had Donald Sutherland) when the pod people have successfully taken over the world and it’s too late for the norms to do aught but try to blend in? The only survivors of humanity will be furries who were in costume when the Glorious Feline Revolution Uprising & Scratching Behind the Ears occurs, because our furry overlords are taking over the UK at a population growth rate of +500,000 new tails a year. Since the UK only added 400,000 human bodies last year, and it was the leading body in Europe’s population increase, we expect the east to be saluting a tyrannical General Mittens by 2017.