Feline Overindulgence Page

Ever since I was 8 (when I dragged my first kitten home to my dismayed mother) cats have figured prominently in my life. Often I've found it easier to relate to a cat than some people. Maybe I relate because of their uncanny sense of empathy, knowing when you need distraction from the stresses of the day.

Here are my feline friends...


Nolan (R.I.P., July 2006), kept cool with an ice-cube on his head (which he used to beg for in hot weather).


Gracie, sweet but not too bright (like her namesake Gracie Allen), spends lots of time on top of the 'fridge, begging to be brushed.



Nica, born early May 2002, has become Baroness of the Household.


As of January 2010, the Keepnews-Trudel cat family has expanded by three. When our catsitter Janet Waggener passed, we brought Pucinello, Fellini and Pixi-Gato into our home. Pictures to follow.




Rules for cats who have a house to run.

(submitted to me by WFMU DJ Irwin Chusid. If anyone knows the source, I'd like to give proper credit.)


Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get a door opened, stand on hind legs and scratch the frame. You may also reach under the door and pull clothing towards you; silks get the quickest reaction. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an "outside" door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, when it's raining or snowing, or during the height of the mosquito season. Swinging doors must be avoided at all costs.


If you have to urp, get to an overstuffed chair quickly. If you cannot manage this in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there are no Oriental rugs, shag is a good substitute. When urping on shag, be sure you project; it is a must that it stretch for as long as a human's bare foot.


Always accompany guests to the bathroom. (See Rule I.) It is not necessary to do anything -- just sit and stare.


If one of your humans is engaged in some semi-closed activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping"; humans are known to refer to it as hampering". The following are the rules for "helping":

a) When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.

b) For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.

c) For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work or at least the most important part. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work. Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks in spite of what the humans may tell you.

d) For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim-- to help! First, sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils, and erasers off the table, one at a time.

e) When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. They love to jump.



As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human. Especially effective places to strike are: 1) On stairs, when they have something in their arms; 2) In the dark; and 3) When they first get up in the morning. This exercise helps with improving their coordination skills.


Always sleep on the human at night. If there are two (or more) of you, book end the human putting off the greatest heat. They will try and squirm but your sheer numbers and inert bodies will effectively keep them pinned.

Naughty Nolan!


Most diets fail because we are still thinking and eating like people. For those us who have never had any success dieting. Well now there is the new Miracle Cat Diet!

Except for cats that eat like people-- such as getting lots of table scraps-- most cats are long and lean (or tiny and petite). The Cat Miracle Diet will help you achieve the same lean, svelte figure. Just follow this diet for one week and you'll find that you not only look and feel better, but you will have a whole new outlook on what constitutes food. Good Luck!



Breakfast: Open can of expensive gourmet cat food. Any flavor as long as it cost more the .75 per can-- and place 1/4 cup on your plate. Eat 1 bite of food; look around room disdainfully. Knock the rest on the floor. Stare at the wall for awhile before stalking off into the other room.

Lunch: Four blades of grass and one lizard tail. Throw it back up on the cleanest carpet in your house.

Dinner: Catch a moth and play with it until it is almost dead. Eat one wing. Leave the rest to die.

Bedtime snack: Steal one green bean from your spouse's or partner's plate. Bat it around the floor until it goes under the refrigerator. Steal one small piece of chicken and eat half of it. Leave the other half on the sofa. Throw out the remaining gourmet cat food from the can you opened this morning.

Gracie's favorite perch


Breakfast: Picking up the remaining chicken bite from the sofa. Knock it onto the carpet and bat it under the television set. Chew on the corner of the newspaper as your spouse/partner tries to read it.

Lunch: Break into the fresh French bread that you bought as your part of the dinner party on Saturday. Lick the top of it all over. Take one bite out of the middle of the loaf.

Afternoon snack: Catch a large beetle and bring it into the house. Play toss and catch with it until it is mushy and half dead. Allow it to escape under the bed.

Dinner: Open a fresh can of dark-colored gourmet cat food-- tuna or beef works well. Eat it voraciously. Walk from your kitchen to the edge of the living room rug. Promptly throw up on the rug. Step into it as you leave. Track footprints across the entire room.



Breakfast: Drink part of the milk from your spouse's or partner's cereal bowl when no one is looking. Splatter part of it on the closest polished aluminum appliance you can find.

Lunch: Catch a small bird and bring it into the house. Play with on top of your down filled comforter. Make sure the bird is seriously injured but not dead before you abandon it for someone else to have to deal with.

Dinner: Beg and cry until you are given some ice cream or milk in a bowl of your own. Take three licks/laps and then turn the bowl over on the floor.


Breakfast: Eat 6 bugs, any type, being sure to leave a collection of legs, wings, antennae on the bathroom floor. Drink lots of water. Throw the bugs and all of the water up on your spouse's or partner's pillow.

Lunch: Remove the chicken skin from last night's chicken-to-go leftovers your spouse or partner placed in the trash can. Drag the skin across the floor several times. Chew it in a corner and then abandon.

Dinner: Open another can of expensive gourmet cat food. Select a flavor that is especially runny, like Chicken and Giblets in Gravy. Lick off all the gravy and leave the actual meat to dry and get hard.



A good kitty always washes up after a meal.

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Gallery of Furfriends

If you have a picture of your own, I'd be happy to include it here. Just send me a note about it.

That Darn Cat

On Benfield Ave, There lived a cat,
A black and slinky thief,
This cat he stole, whatever that,
He could get between his teeth.

One day it was a small bonnet,
Right off a baby's head,
His owners were so astonished,
'Blast that darn cat!' they said.

Another time a disco skirt,
Was stolen off a line,
They hung it up, it wasn't hurt,
The owner saw it flyin'.

Most neighbours lost a tea towel,
A T-shirt or a hat,

He stole a wig from Mrs. Powell,

That black and thieving cat.

My cousin, Andy Broadwell, and his family (his wife Mary, and children Evan and Emily) live in New Zealand. This is Emily's poem about their cat Ozzie. In Andy's words, "The references in the poem about the stolen articles are all true except for the wig being Mrs. Powell's. That is in there for the rhyme. In fact we don't know who it belongs to. The baby's hat belonged to the next door neighbor's six month old. We're not sure if Ozzie found the hat on the ground or took it off the baby's head. Emily says that sometimes the baby was put down on the patio and Ozzie may have taken it right off! The disco skirt was returned to its owner after we hung it on a tree in front of our house and the owner walked by. She was a Chinese student who was totally mystified as to how we had found her precious skirt. It still had clothes pins on it. We didn't want to admit to our cat being a thief, so we told her that it must have blown into our back yard in a big wind. We live about 100 yards away over three or four fences. Ozzie came to the door while we were explaining the big wind to the girl and he looked at her innocently. We didn't tell her that the damn cat had dragged it into our house. Another time he went up on the neighbor's deck and tried to drag away a sopping wet beach towel that had been hung out to dry. The neighbors had to chase him before he let go. But he did get one of their cashmere sweaters another time. We never know what he'll find next but its usually wet and soggy! We don't want to hurt his feelings so we tell him that he is a good cat who does bad things."



These pictures are of Figgus, who is a part of WFMU listeners Susan and Tim's household.






Musician R. Stevie Moore and Beau. Check out what his many cats are doing at The Beau and Nico Show!





WFMU listener Marsha's kitties Jake (on top bunk) and Tabitha enjoying a favorite nap.








Erika ("Wildgirl") and Rich Dana's Jimmy. He's an Iowa cat - Erika's best boy (of 20 furfriends). They have a website called The Catnip Farm.





This is Kramer, who was my brother Jon Trudel's pal, adopted from Paws Animal Shelter in Montclair, NJ.









Max and Henry are two of friends Manoli Wetherell's and Lars Hoel's 3 beautiful Maine Coon Cats.





My friends Karen and Rick Neblung live in upstate New York with 5 cats, some of whom are pictured below.


Szabo, beautiful and craftily smug, and she knew it too. She passed in October of 2004.




Sophie had the temperament of a Gund toy, and the lifelong goal of finding the perfect lap. She left this world at age 21 in the autumn of 2004.




Gal-pals Speck and Belly, getting ready for their after-breakfast nap.




Dagmar was an outdoor kitty. When she didn't show up for a few of days, Karen went searching, eventually hearing her cries from a neighboring cow farm. She was rescued from the top of a silo by a friend (not the farmer, who he couldn't be bothered with some stupid cat). Dagmar has unbelievably soft fur.



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As for the Trudel/Keepnews cats... Nolan was an abandoned 4-week-old kitten when I found him on a softball field in 1991 (named after pitcher Nolan Ryan). Cleo was about 2 years old when I adopted her from PAWS Animal Shelter in Montclair, NJ in 1989. Gracie was rescued from the street and had to be given up due to her owner's asthma. Nica was born in the backyard of my friend Jim Price. He did the right thing and had the momcat spayed, and found homes for 2 of the 4 kittens. Nica is one lucky kitty, as was her sister Fumo, who lives with a friend in Brooklyn. Two kittens disappeared, with evidence that they had been killed. That, sadly is often the case. Many cats end up in the streets living unsafe, short lives. If you truly love cats, please have them spayed / neutered as soon as they're old enough. Far too many cats are euthanized each year, and fully grown cats are so grateful to be rescued or adopted from shelters that they make the most loyal, loving companions.



R.I.P Cleo (8/99)


Cleo and Nolan lounged for the camera long ago.

A few cat links:

  • ASPCA: I've been a member of this wonderful animal advocacy group for many years. Every single day of the year, they rescue animals from a lifetime of cruelty, violence and pain. For over 140 years the ASPCA has worked tirelessly to make the pain and suffering of animals a thing of the past.
  • North Shore Animal League:Founded in 1944, they're the world's largest no-kill shelter. The North Shore Animal League (NSAL) is a non-profit humane organization supported 100% by voluntary donations. The League is dedicated to finding the best possible home for each pet in its care -- even if the pet is blind, deaf or otherwise disabled.
  • The Fund for Animals: In 2005, The Fund for Animals and The Humane Society of the United States joined together to form an unprecedented partnership for animals. Since then The Fund has expanded its efforts to protect animals in the courts and provide for their veterinary, sanctuary, and rehabilitative needs at direct animal care facilities. They also offer great low-cost spay and neuter services in the NYC area. Shots included.
  • Tabby's Place Cat Sanctuary: Young or old, sick or healthy, a cage-free shelter for cats rescued from hopeless situations. Based in Ringoes (Central), NJ, Tabby's place is a safe haven for several older, chronically ill, or handicapped cats. They also offer adoptions for their special needs cats.
  • I Can Haz Cheezburger: An endless source of amusing cat pictures and the most enormous time-waster I've ever encountered. (Happily so!) They're a phenom-- an online community that's developed its own "language" for photo captions. Must be visited at least a few moments daily.
  • My Cat Hates You!: One of the funniest sites on cats I've ever seen. Plenty of pictures too!
  • Catfaeries: A thoughtful site with homeopathic products and advice on cat care.
  • The Kooky Kat Catnip Company: A primary grower of very high quality certified organic catnip herb, Nepeta cataria. The Kooky Kat Catnip Company harvests enormous quantities of catnip from several certified organic farms located within the sunny Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada. The farms also produce huge quantities of other certified organic herbs such as, echinacea, valerian root, feverfew, burdock, mullein, cat thyme and many others. sell pure catnip oil !
  • Black Food Dish Project: Blair Witch fans will especially enjoy this animated site.

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