Sour Grapes
Lay Down Your Weary Tune

Kitten Astronauts as "The Other"

Cat in space

Kitten astronaut


My cats Georgia (top) and Henry (middle) enjoy their new toy, a small fishbowl. Georgia puts her head inside while also kicking and grabbing at other toys, while Henry's more apt to just sit placidly with his head in the bowl, looking around. They stay there for long periods of time, Henry often for up to 45 minutes, his breath steaming up the glass.

I don't know why.   And so, Houston, we have a problem:

Maybe they like the sonic environment it creates — a world where the only sound is their own breathing, like nursing with their mother. On the other hand, they don't purr or knead when they do this (for a change — they are avid nursers).

Maybe the glass distorts the room, making things look "weird" — and certainly, they like their world when it's defamiliarized. Georgia, who often seems a little bored, likes touring the apartment atop my shoulders. On the other hand, she uses the bowl for shorter periods than Henry and does less "looking" while she's there. Henry, who's less bored with his surroundings, enjoys the view more.

Therefore, my pet theory (sorry for the pun) is that they're pretending that they're astronauts (e.g., John Glenn, also shown above for easy comparison). I believe they imagine themselves to be in Outer Space. They must appreciate this, as I do, as a metaphor for their status as The Other, as representatives from outside of language and discourse, emissaries from a place beyond history and culture.




Cats are odd aren't they? I remember the simple pleasure of enticing any of my three cats into a bag (paper or plastic) or carry-all. Once the cat was "loaded in", we both had fun in the transporting from one room to another. The only slight disadvantage (from my point of view) is that the cat would usually enter that wide-eyed state of fun and games which led to the grabbing of anything that moved with both claw-extended paws, such as fingers or thumbs. It added zest to the game to see how far around the house I could transport-a-cat while only suffering minor blood loss.


Maybe they like to be enveloped in kitty breath.

Dr. Me

Maybe they like the oxygen deprivation. I've heard that cats like to nap in places with high CO2 levels like grow rooms.

The Celestial Monochord


Editor's Note: Speaking of oxygen deprivation, I should point out that Georgia and Henry are allowed to play astronaut only under adult human supervision. They are both inordinately fond of poisons and other hazardous materials (Georgia adores bleach, for example), so we do not quite trust their instincts. The other day, we went to The Simpson's movie and accidentally left the fishbowl within their reach ... we were on pins and needles until we got home to check on them.



Whee, thanks for the great idea - my kitties are in need for new toys and such. A fishbowl. Perfect.


Interesting that your female kitteh likes teh bleach...
I have a female qat who, until recently, was muy muy pregnant - in her last throes of bloated late stage impending kitten delivery, she went bananas for my hands after I'd used some bleach cleaning up around the place.
Even though the smell was much diluted (like, I'd really pour undiluted bleach on my skin?), she positively raped my fingers, biting and snuzzling away, all the while holding my wrists captive with extended claws and purring madly like a mad thing.
I can only surmise that the smell from the bleach reminds her of horny tomcat smell...

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