Is… Is That All There Is?

For years it mocked me. Trailing behind like a doppelganger, close enough to coax my anger, far enough to evade my grasp. There was no stratagem it could not anticipate, no attack it could not escape. It was as if it could read my very thoughts.

And my nights were filled with savage dreams of vengeance; brutal, surreal retribution for the crimes of this interloper. As grand inquisitor, I imagined I heard its pleas for mercy, but none I offered, and its cries of torment perfumed my soul.

And now, at last at the end, I am empty, disenchanted. The thing is done, yet the horizon ahead lies barren and joyless. What a fool I’d been. What a damnable fool.

If that’s all there is, Chris G., then let’s keep daaaaan-cing…



  1. tail-nom! Go!

  2. AWWWWW! that is just the cutest!

  3. 1) Erm, that’s “Doppelgänger.” :mrgreen:

    2) WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. NTMTOM, I ❤ you so much. 😀

  5. Jeez louise what’s with all ther moderation? You people have something against umlauts? 😥

  6. enjoyyourbunny says:

    Mike, I hope you get paid for being a good writer.

  7. yummy tail

  8. the floof
    in his tooth
    made him whoof
    and look like a doof!

  9. Ahhhh …. so cute!

    Does anybody know what animal this is? I always get confused when it comes to big cats with spots …

  10. Oh NTMTOM, my crush only deepens. Sigh.

  11. O NO He/She/IT DI-unt!!!! says:

    all that eloquence, and THEN “also my tail really hurts”????

    BWA HA and also HA HA!!!

  12. O NO He/She/IT DI-unt!!!! says:

    also I am inspired by a CO commenter
    (whose screenname I presently do not recall *sigh*)
    to offer the following (not that anyone could replace the breelliance that is NTM)

    as an alternative capshon:

    “The yummy tail is yummy.”

  13. SNOW LEOPARD!!! Nobody else has such a magnificent tail.
    And NTMTOM, I bow to your erudition. Were it not for the long line of female admirers in line ahead of me (and my beloved husband of 27 years), I would petition for your affections.

  14. Snow Leopard!

    Also, huge paws! Good for mountain climbing?

  15. Straight out of Edgar Allen Poe’s Lost Works.

    The leopard’s pretty awesome too.

  16. This post made me laugh until I cried, and then I read the hover text and nearly fell out of my chair. NTMTOM is my hero!

    Cute big kitty, too.

  17. Not that Mike, you simply must run away with me.


  19. domanato says:

    hahaha he does look vengeful with the tail-biting pose, maybe he’d like a friend like this colt that tries to fight a medicine ball:

  20. 260Oakley says:

    Oh NTMTOM, I am moved by your Tail of Woe. You sure can spot ’em.

  21. Alsho, I hash fuzh in my teef.

  22. MamaLana says:

    Oh Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!! What a beauty!

  23. Bottle Green says:

    Best post evar? Best post evar!

  24. “Is very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.” – Inigo Montoya

  25. That was the best damn thing since the “sniper kitty”. Well played sir, WELL PLAYED.

  26. Classic, classic NTMTOM. Eloquent, evocative narrative and detailed set-up. Hovertext punchline. Develops a simple picture into more than a thousand words, a story.

    Maybe he can teach this mensa candidate.

  27. and then one day I rode on a tortoise…

  28. the “its cries of torment perfumed my soul” keeled me! lolol

    beautiful snow leopard. i’d like to put the tail in my mouf too.

  29. Oakley, I am speechless. I could see a pun here, a pun there; a little cleverness here, a little cleverness cleverly strewn there, but you, my friend, are consistently on target with your puns. With laser precision, no less. No mean punster myself, I stand in awe before the master. Oh, yeah, the kitty biting its tail is prosh, too.

  30. *nominates Ntmtom for a Pulitzer prize in literature* Bwahahaha!!! I about fell off my couch!

  31. That is some damn fine writing, Ntmtom. Hilarious.

  32. “,,,and he had a moustache, like this…”

  33. “…its cries of torment perfumed my soul…” – NTMTOM, you have outdone yourself. [Bows in respect]

  34. This post totally sums up my kitty’s never ending war on her own tail. It was like reading her diary. If she could keep a diary that is.

  35. SoCalSis says:

    This definitely belongs in the CO Hall of Fame. Perfection, indeed.

  36. cambridge_rat_mom says:

    Oh, NTMTOM, I love you so!

  37. Mary (the first) says:

    This was made even funnier for me by the fact that when I opened up CO, the bottom of the screen cut off JUST above the tail.. so I saw the top of big kitty’s head and the tormented eyes, but not exactly what he/she was lamenting about. I read all the text and then scrolled down.. bwaaaahhaaaaaaaa!!!

  38. I wish I knew where it came from or who took the photo. 😦

  39. I am so glad I read the story before looking at the picture. ROTFLMAO!

    NTMTOM, you are truly brilliant.

    Now where can I get one of these kitty babies for myself?

  40. Alas, I have nothing left to do with this forlorn existance one calls life, I despair at the thought of each day passing with *tail slips from mouth and swishes* What was that????? *pounce!* *miss* AHA! The game! She is afoot!

  41. Yes, calls for CO Hall of Fame! Also, what is sniper kitty?

  42. Not That Mike The Other Mike says:

    @Susanova: Sniper Kitty is here:

    @everybody: Thank you so much for your encouragement, not only in this post, but all the time. Half the fun for me is writing these things, and the other half comes from you.

  43. NTMTOM definitely pulled out the stops on this one, priceless! Now, the real question–is there a high res source out there? I need this for my wallpaper! Pretty pleazers?

  44. The big cat’s tail is surprisingly floofy.

  45. kibblenibble says:

    *takes her place in line of NOMTOM admirers*
    *imagines an opportunity to cut in the front of the line* 😈

  46. Giant paws? Fuzzy muzzlepouche? FLOOF TAIL?


  47. 260Oakley says:

    Edgar Allan Poe? Maybe from the “Purrloined Letter”?

    Girls just wanna have pun. But you are too kind (doffs cap in Angel’s direction).

  48. I think this must be the single greatest post in CO history! 🙂

  49. I . . . am . . . deeLISHus!!!

  50. NTMTOM, how GREAT would it be if you assembled all of your masterpieces into a book?! A literary compilation, a greatest hits, a boxed set, a NTMTOM retrospective! Think of the possibilities — “Chapter One. ‘Hewwo’…”

    Oooh, it would be such a masterpiece. And it would FLY off the shelves. In addition to the CO calendar, I would DEFINITELY buy it! Seriously.

  51. Pavlov's Pig says:

    I concur on the whole NTMTOM is the greatest ever… and sniper kitty does rock… but my favorite (and I couldn’t find it), is the puppy that fell in love with the raccoon statue… i thought interspecies snorgling, yes? but no. sigh. best love story. ever.

  52. OM NOM NOM

  53. Queen of Dork says:

    NTMTOM: This post is hilarious! How do you come up with these? Your writing is so good and so perfect for the pictures! So funny.

  54. fish eye no miko says:

    @Mary: Same here! I think it works better that way; you wonder what this odd, mysterious “it” could be… and then you scroll down, and just laugh and laugh. (-:

    Wonderful work, NTMTOM!

  55. One more admirer in line….

    Also, one more request for a collection of the Best of NTMTOM. It would sweep the best seller list and ALL the awards for literature.

  56. That was some good writing…and a beautiful leopard! 🙂

  57. NTMTOM, have you ever seen TV Funhouse with the Anipals? “Don’t look at me, tail, you wagging scum!”

  58. perfect, Mike.

  59. Trisha M. says:

    Kudos, NTMTOM, Kudos….

    And look at the kitteh’s top lip/cheeks (???) pooched out! So adorables!! My what big feets you have, kitteh dear….the better to chase that floofy tail with!

  60. Noelle (the first) says:

    I’m catching this really late, but even as tired as I am I laughed so hard my Dog came in to see what was up. Thanks NTMTOM!

  61. Without question, this is The Best Post Ever. Not just on CO, but the entire net.

    As this post can never be topped, the internet will now be closed.. Thanks for participating, everyone, and please drive home safely. Will the last one to leave please turn out the lights.

  62. Hey, Mike… don’t let all this admiration go to your head. (hehe)

  63. OM NOM NOM.

  64. Nah, my fave NTMTOM hovertext would still be the cat and his bff the bunny.


  65. Wow, wow, wow, never thought “Is That All There Is” was Cute Overload material.

    ❤ ❤ ❤

  66. The hover text (in connection with the poetry above, of course) is pure and epic win. ❤ Great job!
    (Also, really cute picture. Duh.)

  67. NOMTOM, I add my name to the list of marriage proposals you’ve received by now. I promise my husband won’t mind 😀

    And I agree a book would be marvelous. Make a nice coffee table specimen.

  68. That’s one crazy tail. Look at that thang! Also, those PAWSIES. Omg what a beautiful animal.

    I wish we had a closeup of that muzzle powshe.

  69. Cuuuuute! God, I love this! I’m so glad someone was there to capture this most sweet and perfect shot! If I had such a fluffy, nomable tail I would do the very same thing. Probably helps him/her think. 😉


  71. I love that he’s just sitting there with his tail-stache and utter nonchalance.

  72. I love snow leopards, they are the most beautiful animals ever!

  73. Genius, CO! Sheer kronsheoulous genius!

  74. Hello ladies,
    Your chance to win a date with NOMTOM, just make your cheques out to ‘cash’
    (caress and see him) receive a personally signed copy of your favourite post.
    A tortoise will pick you up from your home and take you to a romaniac, sorry, romantic restaurant, where you can dine a deux while NOMTOM’s erudition embraces you in
    his silky semantics.
    Send cheque to me c/o cuteoverload

  75. oooh NOMTOM…. *golf clap* i second Nikki (post # 60something). i would totally pay good money for a book of NOMTOM’s greatest hits. something to take out when i need a good laugh, or to read some quality writing, and the pics! the pics!!! my faves are the hedgie detective (i forget his name, a story of which a sequel was promised methinks), the legend of the prickly kid, and now this one! you rock, dude!

  76. Teehee! I want to see the pic from 2 seconds later where it goes from “I hate you tail!” *om nom nom* to “I looooooove you tail!” *lick lick lick*

    The look of victory on this little guy’s face is just purrrrrfect.

  77. Mary (the first) says:

    @cali, I was just thinking the same, the tales of Benson Hedges, Private Eye, have been my overall fav NTMTOM’s posts so far. And yes.. I do believe another chapter in his adventures has been promised. (ahem) How about it, NTMTOM? (p.s. do not let this request fool you into thinking I’m not in the admirer line, toward the front. I sure am. Just asking about Benson, that’s all.)

  78. yes yes plz Best of NOMTOM book

    This post made me so happy.

  79. Mom look what I caught! can I keep it!

  80. NOMTOM: Great!
    And: the feetz, those huge feetz!

  81. bookmonstercats says:

    Magnificent, magnificent, magnificent. Seriously, I am humbled by the beauty of the Snow Leopard. There is a *Supreme Being* (insert *SB* of your choice here).

    Hon Glad, the deeds to my house are on their way to you. Just reassure NOMTOM that I always turn up for a first date wearing a long white dress, a tiara and veil and with a priest in tow. I’m sure Mr Bookmonstercats won’t mind, neither will Mrs/Ms (or indeed Mr?) NOMTOM. We’ll work on his “Best Of…” coffee table tome on our honeymoon… sorry, second date…..

  82. Emmberrann says:

    Them big feets is to make like snowshoes in the snows. That’s no leopard, it’s snow leopard! And NTMTOM, we are not worthy. We bow in aw-w-w-w, erm, that’s “awe.” And of course, the 260Oakley, you got me again, yessirree, and that’s another shirt going back in the laundry. You shouldn’t make a person snarfle their coffee like that!

  83. Really nice text you wrote NTMTOM 😀 *clap clap* Sounds like a poem to me.
    Perhaps there could be a post of the best texts from CuteOverload?

    “Floof, I haz it. Now what…?” 😀

  84. 260Oakley says:

    @Hon Glad
    I won’t send you a check, but I will take you out for a pint so you can listen to me cry about my girlie e-crush on NTMTOM, who is surely the love of my life even though he’s never met me and doesn’t even know that I exist.

    P.S. Bring the picture of you in short pants. I’m going to need a laugh.

  85. Anne Boleyn says:

    Sort of Life of Pi, only much better.

  86. Add me to the line waiting for the Best of NOMTOM coffee table book!

  87. Edgar Allan NTMTOM!

  88. Aww, leopard noir. The next big film buzz?

  89. I think I’m experiencing what’s called “NTMTOMoverload.” I’m clapping my hands and rocking. I need to read it again. And again.

  90. Ooh, how I want that tail. But only if it remains safely attached to Melancholy Cat. *swoon*

  91. zomg huge paws.

  92. Ich finde diese Leopards immer wieder toll!

    [this is even funnier when google translates for us: “I find those leopards always great!”

    – Sharpy (Ed, Jr.)]

  93. As grand inquisitor, I imagined I heard its pleas for mercy, but none I offered, and its cries of torment perfumed my soul.

    The above is just…aces. Downright awesome aces.

  94. loves2sneeze says:

    NTMTOM, you have outdone yourself. *applause*

  95. Hilarious.

  96. 260 Oakley – My legs are my best feature 🙂

  97. Reminds me of the cartoon with the dog who’s writing in his/her diary. He/She has tail in mouth and says, “Dear diary, You’ll never guess what I caught today!” So cute.

    This is one beautiful snow leopard.

    NTMTOM, amazing, as always.

  98. LovesDogs says:

    Love the kittie.

  99. This beats the legend of the prickly kid. Best NOMTOM post EVAR!!!!

  100. iwannamakeoutwithit says:

    Still love Peggy Lee’s version the best:

  101. Bravo! that’s all……..*ded*

  102. O NO He/She/It DI-unt!!!! says:

    @ bookmonstercats:
    wow — you are SO SUBTLE & refined,
    in your choice of dress on your first date!!!! 😉

  103. O NO He/She/It DI-unt!!!! says:

    @ HonGlad:

    will $2000.00 be enough?


  104. NOMTOM, I believe that may be one of your BEST EVER.

  105. O NO – If you change the dollar signs to pounds.

    despicably Greedy

  106. Add my voice to the chorus of praise.

  107. Most websites would say, “I HAS FLAVA!” We get an existential angst piece distilled from a b&w Euro film. Truffaut? Fellini? Bergman? Can anyone really express the longing of a wounded heart?

    I’m craving a clove-cigarette.

  108. Hilarious, Kar. As for film treatments, I can’t help but hear Herzog’s voice as I read it.

  109. TrixandSam says:

    @ HonGlad:

    Considering the endless line for NTMTOM and a snowball’s chance in you-know-where of winning his hand….

    what’s your availability?

  110. @Zuzzle – like you, the Snow Leopard is one of my favs and one of the most beautiful creatures on earth! I think ALL Big Cats are beautiful…

    Quick story – one of my Bucket List items is to hold a Tiger cub… But I loathe zoos and circuses… (Yes, I know they serve a purpose of some form, but I can’t see large Cats in there… It makes me very sad…) So as a going away gift for a leadership position I did this past year, they got me an all expense paid trip to a Tiger Preserve we have here in South Carolina… I am so excited, I can’t begin to tell you… It’s been a dream of mine since I was very little to actually touch one of these gorgeous creatures and now I just can’t wait!! I just wanted to share that with you all…

    Ok, back to the floof!!! NOM NOM!!!

  111. See you at the Dorchester Park Lane, London, your treat. :}

  112. I laughed so hard I almost fell off the chair. GREAT POST!!!

    [Agreed. Well done, Nomtom. 😀 – Ed.]

  113. ScoutsMom says:

    Noelle, when I read your post about ‘sniper kitty’, I immediately thought of the photo bomb of the sinister looking kitty hiding behind a tree while the goofy looking, oblivious dog was cheesy it up for the camera.

    NOMTOM, thanks for adding the link of sniper kitty, but the photo bomb of evil kitty was also a classic. Can you repost?

  114. That is one gorgeous creature and even this moment of existential angst (or goofiness, depending on your pov) cannot diminish its gorgeosity.

  115. i haz a flavr.

  116. O NO He/She/IT DI-unt!!!! says:

    @ Hon Glad: er…well….see, oh, my, will ya look at THAT!!
    My wallet must be in MY OTHER PANTS!! The ones I left behind in JAPAN
    in 1969 !!! Gee, I don’t know HOW that happened. Can you ever forgive me?

    Sad, Innocent Look on Face

  117. You must have a yen for them.

  118. Looks like someone’s found his missing piece.

  119. My favorite thing about the picture – besides OMG THE PICTURE – is how calm the big dude looks. Not like a feline who just chased and pounced and captured his tail, but like a dude just hanging around, dangling his dinner-plate paws, thoughtfully chewing on a hank of tail from time to time (in lieu of an after-dinner pipe-smoke, perhaps?), pondering the universe. nom nom ang ang ang. Will he nom himself to sleep?

  120. O NO He/She/IT DI-unt!!!! says:

    @ Hon Glad: VERY nice volley, there, suh!

    (Japan~~”yen”….money…) 😉


  121. Anna von Beav says:

    This might be my favorite story ever in the history of stories.


  122. I concur with those that vote this the best CO post EVAH! I bow to NTMTOM.

    Also, yea! snow leopards! Montana has snow, can I have one?

    purty pleeeeeeease

  123. bookmonstercats says:

    O NO @ #103. I haz classiness, how could NOMTOM resist?

  124. I am reminded of this YouTube video:

    Henri is disenchanted too! Perhaps he and the leopard could be friends…

  125. Espilonarge says:

    KITTYNOMS! n.n

  126. Beautiful! What huge paws!

  127. i just can’t stop re-reading this incredible post. i chuckle. i guffaw. i chortle. i, dare i say it, even snigger and titter.

    The theme I’ve been waiting for all my life. Poetry, NTMTOM, sheer poetry. A+!

  128. Beeyoootiful cat!

  129. Add another female admirer to your presumably mile-long list, NTMTOM. Brilliant work. Just brilliant.

  130. it’s true ntmtom, that post was truly inspired!


  131. Colonel Jenna says:

    The literature accompanying the photograph was indeed worthy of the finest of authors. Then, I remembered to check the hovertext, and I made an embearassing *SNERK!* noise right here at work and thank heavens the girl in the next cubicle is out to lunch. *SNERK!*

    Oh, NTMTOM, if you are married or unavailable — please don’t tell us.

  132. @Jen you misspelled Pulitzpurrrrrrrr Prize! 😉

  133. Shygrrl74 says:

    @ Jen: Thank YOU for the Miss Sheilds/Christmas story ref. Completes a perfect post!

  134. LOL what a silly kitty!! He has a mischevous look on his face. So cute ❤

  135. that is one realy cool cat i love its colors. nom nom nom nom nom…… hair ball !!

  136. I wish I could do that!

  137. Fleurdamour says:

    It’s an existential tail.

  138. Oh, NOMTOM, I love love love your posts. Since the very first day you posted, I think it was a barn dance story, Midwestern anyway. You make me laugh out loud, and I mean that all spelled out. Frikkin’ brilliant. I read the story before I looked at the photo–I couldn’t wait for the reveal. And then I keeled over. You are the BEST!!!

  139. I love you, as always, NOMTOM.

  140. “Wait… does this mean I win… or I lose?”

  141. I have found my soulmate and his name is NTMTOM!! Would that we were not separated by time and circumstance, my prince. Also, whoever quoted Inigo Montoya earlier–you are a close second!!

  142. wonder where this picture was taken; at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, MI there’s a snow leopard that pretty much always has its tail in its mouf when i see it


  143. fatgrammafinn says:

    we need to introduce this guy to emo bun

  144. O NO He/She/IT DI-unt!!!! says:

    YAY Fleurdamour!!! GOOD one!!

  145. @Laurel, it must be a snow leopard trait. Check out this existentialist in the Bronx!

  146. NTMTOM, I hope you are secretly a novelist by night, or something. I mean really. You have, my friend, a wondrous skill.

    P.S. I’d like the coffee table book as well. Thank you kindly.

  147. Now if we can just get Alan Rickman to narrate the collected works of NTMTOM, I’d buy that audio book in a heartbeat….

  148. Wow… someone’s going to be awfully busy, what with all the marriage proposals and all.

    Ok, girls… let’s not get all crazy and everything. I mean, after all, we’ve never really seen NTMTOM. Does he really exist? Is he really an 80-yr-old grandmother sitting in her rocking chair sipping on a mai-tai? Or perhaps he is just a new version of HAL, who is programmed to mess with our minds? Hmmm???? No, we really don’t know.

    (Psst, hey Mike… can I cut to the front of the line?)

  149. pwetty kitteh!! omg the paws! the gorgeous face!

  150. This picture.

    This [i]picture[/i]!

    It completely sums up my life right now. Poor snow leopard, I know precisely how you feel.

    Seriously though, I think this just beat that “scratch, scratch, surprise!” video as my favourite post on CO so far.

  151. 😆 That is one BIG kitty noming on one BIG tail 😆 Nice to see a snow leopard having fun 😆

  152. I laughed so hard it hurt. Showed it to my existentialism-loving husband; same thing. To read all the purple prose first, and then see this grand tail-toting creature with such a blend of dignity and resignation in his eyes and giant tail in his mouth wearily contemplating his foe-less future – just wonderful and an absolute “Best of” nominee.

  153. Did you know that snow leopards meow like little kitty cats? I just found out! And now I see that they nom on their own tails like little kitty cats, too! Squee!!!

  154. O NO He/She/IT DI-unt!!!! says:

    @ Renee:

    hmmm…I’m musing over the combination of the words
    “existentialism” and “loving” ….can an existentialist love anything?? Eeez it posseeeble???

    Took a class, TAUGHT IN FRENCH,
    about French Existentialist Lit
    in College

    (NOT the easiest “A” class …)

  155. Gotta be “The Beast in the Jungle”

  156. Oh, NTMTOM, your mad skills with wordplay are giving me a hot flash. You know, the good kind.

  157. fatgrammafinn says:

    is this kitty’s name keith hamilton cobb?

  158. squarepeg says:

    Tabbage – omigosh Alan Rickman would be PERFECT to do the audio of NTMTOM’s collected works, brilliant idea! I’d totally buy it. Twice.

  159. the post was remarkable so wunderful still nom nom noming my tail

  160. I didn’t bother to read all 160 comments… so apologies if this was already mentioned…

    but it’s kind of like when people put their finger across their upper lip, pretending to have a mustache. except the snow leopard is using his tail! haha

  161. Just coming along behind to sing the praises of NTMTOM, who almost always makes me laff and always justifies my sometimes flailing faith in human intelligence in today’s woefully lowest common denominator world. Praises sung indeed to NTMTOM!!!!

  162. My I had never seen such an accurate representation of myself anywhere!

    My respects to NTMTOM for a brilliant piece of wit and humor. Such a beautiful animal…

  163. Aww, I love snow leopards! They have the best tails!

  164. Naturalady says:

    Good golly animal lovers! Wild animals develop un-natural behaviors, like these magnificent leopards biting their tails, because they are in prison and going stir crazy.

  165. @162, I second your remark!
    I’m a fan of the elusive snow leopard. National Geographic has a nice photo essay on their site – beautiful photography (of course) but go check them out. Personally, with a tail like that I’d stick it in my mouth too. But as a human I think that tail would make great ear muffs. But working out the logistics might be a bit tough – I think snow leopards like their tails.

  166. kittiwoman says:

    Aaaawwwww-I just LOVE this picture! Wonder what he is really thinking???

  167. Brilliant post. Brilliant.

    What a beautiful animal, breathtaking. And such enomous feets!

  168. swimmer love says:

    OMG!!!! thats so funny! LOL!

  169. Is there any hwwway to find out where/when this was taken? I have a frightfully similar picture from a zoo up in Duluth or Superior only it came out totally blurry. If this is the same lil’ dude doin’ the same thing, I will die happy.