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January 1, 0001

HumourList Package #67 - Animal Crackers

Time for another Package full of animal humour. Okay, I admit, there are lots of cat jokes here.

Short header today. Hope everyone had a good Easter holiday (if you celebrate).

Opening header is Copyright 1998 by Ian W. Douglas; all rights are reserved, and no portion should be copied in any way or modified in any way without permission of the author. The remainder of this Package is absolutely free for distribution provided all of the subscription / back issue / help instructions remain intact at the end

“I’ve never understood why women love cats. Cats are independent, they don’t listen, they don’t come in when you call, they like to stay out all night, and when they’re home they like to be left alone and sleep. In other words, every quality that women hate in a man, they love in a cat.” –Jay Leno


“I have a turtle, a dog, a rabbit, a fish, a lizard, and a snake,” said a six-year-old boy with big, brown eyes.

“Which one is the most interesting?” I quizzed.

“Jordan, my snake. He’s the only one at my house who eats screaming mice.”


A boy from New York was being led through the swamps of Florida.

“Is it true,” he asked, “that an alligator won’t attack you if you carry a flashlight?”

“That depends,” replied the guide, “on how fast you carry the flashlight.”


It is reported that the following edition of the Book of Genesis was discovered in the Dead Seal Scrolls. If authentic, it would shed light on the question, “Where do pets come from?”

And Adam said, “Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked with me everyday. Now I do not see you anymore. I am lonesome here and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me.”

And God said, “No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will know I love you, even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish and childish and unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourself.”

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and he wagged his tail. And Adam said, “But Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and all the good names are taken and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.”

And God said, “No problem! Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.”

And Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that Adam’s guardian angel came to the Lord and said, “Lord, Adam has become filled with pride. He struts and preens like a peacock and he believes he is worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught him that he is loved, but no one has taught him humility.”

And the Lord said, “No problem! I will create for him a companion who will be with him forever and who will see him as he is. The companion will remind him of his limitations, so he will know that he is not worthy of adoration.”

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam. And Cat would not obey Adam.

And when Adam gazed into Cat’s eyes, he was reminded that he was not the supreme being. And Adam learned humility.

And God was pleased. And Adam was greatly improved.

And Cat did not care one way or the other.


If you own a dog, you know what it’s like to be groaked.

“Groak” is an old word meaning to stare at somebody longingly while he is eating.

Dogs are the champion groakers of all time, and the most obnoxious. But the season, rather than the dog, reminds me of the word. There is an element of groaking in keeping up with the Joneses, which is a lot of what decides Christmas shopping purchases in any given year.

The neighbor’s kid is going to get a little rubber troll with wild hair. And so if your kid doesn’t get one, she’ll be sitting outside the neighbor’s picture window for days on end groaking the kid who did get one. Similarly, you buy your wife a pair of those elegant slippers with the flashlights built into the toes because you don’t want her groaking all the other women in the neighborhood who will be getting them.

And more in keeping with the traditional meaning of the word, if I don’t get at least a couple of chocolate chip cookies for Christmas I’m going to come over to your house and groak you while you eat yours. Anybody who would sit and stuff chocolate chip cookies into her face without sharing deserves to be groaked.

That is classic groaking in the canine manner. But in sad truth, I suppose the word groak may have come originally from heartfelt scenes of hungry children staring through the windows of restaurants watching others eat. But that has nothing to do with the groaking of dogs in this fortunate society. The sort of dog who groaks is the sort of dog who doesn’t need the food. A truly hungry dog will go out and kill a garbage can. But a groaking dog doesn’t do it to eat. He does it to irritate.

I have had several dogs who understood full well how difficult it is to eat while some slobbering simpleton stares earnestly at you with the look of a waif losing a fight with malnutrition.

I have had dogs so consistently inconsiderate about that sort of thing that I made it a point to feed them first before sitting down to consume my own dinner. And of course, you know how much good that did.

It wasn’t the food they wanted; it was the exasperation. It is not easy to eat with two pathetic, unblinking eyes focused on your every move. It isn’t easy doing anything in that situation.

I have had dogs groak me while I was reading. And it wasn’t the book they wanted. Dogs can’t read. And they can’t learn to read though I have heard otherwise sensible people talk about how smart dogs are without reflecting on the unassailable fact a dog can’t read.

A dog groaks you while you are reading, not because it wants the words you are consuming, but because it wants the attention you are wasting on a book.

And it succeeds. Have you ever tried to read with two hot eyes a few inches from your face and a ripe breath in your face?

But the worst is food. A champion groaker will not only sit aimed straight at you in rapt attention as you eat, but it will follow the food with its eyes and the tilt of its head.

As you prepare to lift the food from the plate, the dog stares at the food on the plate.

As you lift a morsel toward your mouth, the tilt of the mutt’s head follows, its eyes in unison with your every move.

As the food reaches your mouth and you pop it in, the dog focuses on your chewing mouth. And it isn’t easy eating with a dog staring at your lips. As you swallow, the dog’s gaze meets your own with a how-could-you look, the dog’s eyes water, the dog’s mouth slobbers and the dog softly whines. And of course, any decent person will do something about that. You must take the dog by the collar and walk it to the closet, locking it in there until dinner is over so the poor thing won’t suffer so much.

The only other choice is to get up, give the dog your place at the table and go whine in the closet yourself.

And you might as well do that if you don’t remove the dog from the room because nobody can enjoy his dinner with dog eyes following his every move. The best sauce is hunger. The worst sauce is groaking.


A kangaroo kept getting out of his enclosure at the zoo. Knowing that he could hop high, the zoo officials put up a ten-foot fence. He was out the next morning, just roaming around the zoo. A twenty-foot fence was put up. Again he go out. When the fence was forty feet high, a camel in the next enclosure asked the kangaroo, “How high do you think they’ll go?”

The kangaroo said, “About a thousand feet, unless somebody locks the gate at night!”


Congratulations on your purchase of a CAT Unit! This model contains the following features:

  • User Friendly
  • Mouse Driven
  • Self Cleaning
  • Energy Saving Standby Mode When Not In Use
  • Self Portable Operation
  • Dual Video and Audio Input
  • Audio Output
  • Auto Search Routines for Input Data
  • Auto Search for Output Bin
  • Instant Transition (2 nanoseconds) Between Standby and Full Power Mode

Production Details: After basic KIT construction, the unit undergoes six weeks of onsite ROM programming and burn-in testing. Listed features are installed during this period. Since MOMCAT uses local suppliers, there may be variations between units.

Transportation: A suitable transportation case should be used for transportation to the operating site. Failure to properly ship a CAT unit may result in loss or damage to the unit and/or serious injury to the end user.

Installation Procedures: Upon receiving the CAT unit, the user should examine the unit to verify that all I/O channels are operational. Look for minor bugs in or on the system. Bugs are indicative of the MOMCAT production environment. The user may manually remove any bugs.

Bring the CAT to operation in an environment temperature at 20 deg. C (+/-3 deg tolerance). Use a quiet room with the primary user(s) present. Open the transportation case and let the CAT unit autoexit. Initialize the self-learning program Katfind™ by displaying the input bins. These should contain H2O (liquid state, room temperature, 99% purity) and dry energy pellets. Immediately afterwards, display the output bin.

If the user already has a CAT unit successfully installed, it may be possible to transfer BASIC routines to the new CAT. For the first day or two, the CAT will stay in self learning mode. When the learn buffer overflows, the CAT will autoswitch to sleep mode. This is normal. The MMU ystem will store the new information to permanent memory. After 72 hours, the CAT will be interacting with the operating environment.

The unit may be placed in direct sunlight. CAT units are operational in all axis: standing, sitting, or laying down. If all basic environment requirements are satisfied, the CAT system will produce a slight hum. This is normal.

A new CAT should not exit the primary site facility. Full portability comes after extensive burn in. Some users never let the CAT unit autoexit the site. The advantages are longer unit life and fewer bugs. Contact with pirate CAT units may lead to unplanned BATCH iteration. Contact with untested CATs may lead to virus infection. If allowed to exit, fatal errors may happen. If you decide to let your CAT out, it should have a READ_ME.TXT file with a system address and URL which identifies the host site.

Your CAT should have a system name. The name may need to be reinitialized repeatedly until the system can read it correctly. This lets you issue voice commands to bring the unit to an online state. Many owners give their CATs a secret password as well. You can also get the CAT’s attention by booting the system. While this is effective, it is discouraged.

Applications: At present, there are few productivity applications for CAT:

MOUSE is a killer app. This is pre-installed.

Most owners use their system for game playing. CATs play best when they are new. Older units suffer a system timing decay which leads to reduced response and flexibility. Some CAT games are:

CACHE The CAT will CACHE a data string. Similar to the K9 unit game, but the object must be smaller.

JUMP Move the data string through the air. The CAT unit will reach new heights of operation.

MIRROR Place the unit in front of a mirror and watch it attempt to parse itself. Some units may ESCape. Reboot the system by calling its name.

CHASE Played between two CAT units or a CAT and a K9 unit. Units take turns as one is the data and the other attempts to parse it.

DANCE and SING Offer fishy data code to elicit a range of audio output.

Maintenance: CATs will self-recharge. This takes 20 hours in a 24 hour cycle. CATs are self cleaning and require little user maintenance. Do not clean the unit with alcohol or benzine-based solvents. This may lead to a violent explosion.

A CAT unit should be taken once a year to a VET for a system checkup.

Do not attempt to open a CAT. There are no user serviceable parts inside. If a unit emits unusual smells or sounds, it should be serviced immediately by a VET.

You may examine the CAT system to determine if it has a male or female SCSI port. If the port is male, then the CAT unit may emit a non-toxic aerosol. The VET can remove this component.

CATs with female ports are plagued by periodic heating problems. The VET can fix this permanently by removing an internal part. Such systems should run unix.

Warning Notices: CAT systems are normally user friendly. However, in certain documented situations, a CAT may pose a danger to the user. Repeated jamming or obstruction of I/O ports may lead to deployment of auto-defense systems. Never attempt a first strike on a CAT system. Its CPU clock rate made to milspecs and thus classified, but JANE’S FIGHTING FELINES notes that a unit was seen by ham radio operators to be apparently moving at 500 mHz. Twin D-shaped five-pin connectors have an average seek rate of 3 nanoseconds. The manufacturer is not responsible for injuries to the user. Children should not poke anything into the CAT’s I/O ports. CAT may BYTE. In dry, cold weather, a surface electrostatic charge may build up. To avoid electric shock, stand on an insulated surface. Do not operate the CAT above water. This may lead to end-user damage. Carry the CAT firmly. Do not swing it by its “tail”.

If you properly care for your CAT, it will give you years of loyal service. Many users get a second unit, to enjoy the ability to run complex simulation games.

User Groups: CAT users can find other users and FAQ on the Usenet newsgroup rec.pets.cats.

Lifetime Warranty: The CAT unit is guaranteed against catastrophic failure. Nine coupons are included.

Documented Problems: The Ctrl key on most CAT units is defective. This may lead to serious performance problems. Do not install a BIRD unit at a site which has an operational CAT unit. These tend to disappear.

System Features:

  • Models = Main frame, desktop and laptop models (smallest footprint in the industry). Available in 15 inch, 17 inch, and 19 inch sizes.
  • Interface = Touch sensitive interface for maximum user friendliness.
  • Memory = Not much. Upgrades available real soon now.
  • Expected Lifetime = 15 years (although 20 years is common).
  • Weight = 3-6 kilograms without optional cables.
  • Speed = 3 nanoseconds search/find with self-uprighting supertwist technology.
  • Color Graphics = Either paper white, monochrome (black/white), 64 grey shades, or maximum of 16 million colors with 40 terrabits of high resolution floating point pixels.
  • Sound Chip = 16 octaves, digital MIDI output (MI/OU).
  • Power Consumption = 250 grams protein daily (2 micrograms per second.)
  • Operating Range = -30 to +45 C (-22 to +105 F)
  • Vibration = 5-500 Hz, one octave/min, dwell at all resonance points.

Contacting CAT Technical Support: Our highly trained technicians are ready to help you. As soon as they wake up from their nap.

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