Tag Archives: Animals

Mark Twain On Cats

“When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.”


Mark Twain was a known lover of cats. This is a common trait of geniuses. Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Albert Schweitzer, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, … the list is long and distinguished.

There are fundamental differences between cats and dogs that explain why some of us love them so. A dog consists primarily of unconditional love and absurdity, in equal measure. His life is devoted to pleasing you and earning your company. He will often reward even the meanest person with loyalty and devotion. A cat consists of grace, cool self interest, and independence. A cat’s respect and love must be earned and maintained, which makes a cat very like an emotionally healthy human.

Ideally, a person will love both cats and dogs, but among those with a strong preference for one or the other species, there are definite tendencies. Those who desire control over others and want to feel superior tend toward dogs, while those who prefer to treat all as equals and prefer to earn the respect of all, even the non-humans among us, prefer cats. This is a generalization, and like all generalizations is not to be relied on too heavily, but I’ve found it quite accurate in practice.

Flea Control Without Poison

We’ve been fighting fleas for awhile this summer and tried the top rated flea killing sprays as well as the shoulder-blade-applied solutions such as Frontline that we get from our veterinarian.

We’ve never had this much trouble getting rid of fleas before. I think my daughter might have brought these fleas back from Florida where she stayed with my parents this summer, since she came back with lots of bites on her lower extremities. Maybe these are military-grade super-fleas. The Frontline type products we get from the vet always did the job, and it seems to be working well for our outdoor cats but is ineffective on our indoor only cats. I actually sprayed a flea with the flea control spray designed for carpet and it seemed to have no effect. I sprayed a flea with the version designed for application directly to cats and it worked, just not very quickly.

I grew tired of putting toxins in our home and on our cats (even if they’re primarily toxic to fleas and similar pests) and I finally tried the widely heralded diatomaceous earth (DE) solution to fleas. This is actually working well for us and since it works mechanically, with the tiny grains killing fleas and similar insects by damaging their external waxy coating, insects can not develop resistance to its action, and since it’s not actually poisonous, it won’t harm your pets. We started using some “Safer” brand DE we bought at Home Depot and that’s been working well. There’s also a form of DE called food grade (supposedly ground up extra fine) that some people feed dogs and other medium and large animals to clean out parasites, and I got some from Amazon and am going to put in our cats’ fur going forward (just in case) until we’re sure there are no more fleas. With DE, you just need to be careful not to get it in your pet’s eyes or your own and try not to breathe in the dust.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share my experience with a natural remedy that works well. Here are some links to good info on DE.