Retribution of the Kittehwah

The theft of the squeaky toys by the Blackpaws sent a ripple of anger throughout the tribe. At the council, the decision was made. “We must make war upon these canine devils,” said Swats Many Mousies, the elder. “That is our way.”

That night, Chases Own Tail and his brother, Climbs The Drapes, slept an uneasy sleep. Tomorrow, they would leave camp as children… and return as braves.

This is Dante Rosetti, taken by Flickr user Helena Jacoba, whose cats are all named after famous poets.



  1. While it is certainly adorable, I am taken aback by how racist this post is.

  2. They were helped by tribal elders Chief Barfs-a-lot and Sheds-Many-Furs.

  3. upon orders from Chief Sleeps-in-Sun

  4. Well, this is certainly the point that this First Nations chick stops following your site.

  5. good point. for the sake of keeping the peace, the post is cute first, offensive second. can you forgive our irreverence in the spirit it was intended?

  6. It’s at least marginally offensive.

  7. I say this as someone who’s grandmother was a Seneca. I don’t see the big deal, it’s a silly post and I personally don’t see any offence implied. And I really don’t think Nomtom meant any offense in any way. But of course we all see things our own way so I won’t speak to those who did feel offended.

  8. I am confused. Why is the post racist? I’m not being facetiuos or sarcastic – I do try to avoid offending others since, as a minority myself, I know about condescension and veiled hostility.

  9. SlaveToCat says:

    Didn’t read the text and the first thing I thought was that was a picture from the roaring 20’s where the ladies dress in slinky sparkly dresses and put feathers in a head band and had long necklaces draped around their necks and spent the night dancing the Charleston. I say its too youngens who drank too much champagne and danced the night away. cha cha cha….

  10. I’m not seeing the harm here.

  11. pugletsrule says:

    Wow – really sorry I read the comments. Nomtom – love the post!

  12. It seems to me that the (extremely gentle) ridicule is not directed at Native American people. It seems directed (again, extremely gently) at a certain type of outdated literature. And it is funny.

  13. Mischief Girl says:

    My thought when seeing this is that CO is going to have a very hard time improving upon last Caturday’s posts. Caturday can be slow around here, and on the 11th we had Scootin’ Baby Trunkster, Momma Rescutes Pups From Fire, Unger & Schoep (immediate Hall of Fame entry), and Shoulda Sprung for the Bigger Jacuzzi, among others.

    Best one day posting in a long time. Can CO improve upon it this weekend???

  14. Fird Birfle says:


  15. Fird Birfle says:

    Climbs the Drapes is so descriptive of los kittayes.

  16. Hey, this kitteh is named Dante Rossetti! Rossetti was also an artist. Here is a painting by him:

    Here is a poem by him, “Silent Noon”:

    Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, —
    The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
    Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
    ‘Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
    All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
    Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge
    Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.
    ‘Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.

    Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly
    Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky: —
    So this wing’d hour is dropt to us from above.
    Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
    This close-companioned inarticulate hour
    When twofold silence was the song of love.

  17. Oh no, I’ve been put in Mods just for a Rossetti poem. It was Rossetti who said the naughty thing, not me!

  18. i think if you substitute “little pickaninny” or “no tickee, no laundry,” it’s easier to see. it’s not easy–some stereotypes rankle, others do not. i usually side with the aggrieved and original owners of the identity. i think if indians (that’s the lastest acceptable term, as far as i know) don’t want their names to be used for sports teams, i don’t see the argument against them. i think the same thing applies here.

  19. i think that would be a great second choice!

  20. Into the mod lounge with me. What’s for lunch-noms?

  21. Unclench please.

  22. then they’d be napping flappers

  23. Fird Birfle says:

    I got lounged also (time-stamped 9:29 am)
    and I TRULY am unclear why. I haven’t posted elebenty-fourteen times today; I wrote one line which even repeats part of the phrasing from Mike’s story. No young canine quadruped words; no hilbilly songs about being King of the Road ….

    oh well.

    *Finds a choccie-cuvvered stromberry and takes a seat under a Really Groovy 1970s spherical light fixture*

  24. welcome to camp wewannanomnom.
    today’s snack is buffalo jerky and bug juice.

  25. Quite succinctly put. *giggle*

  26. Hmmm. *snags some buffalo jerky but declines the bug juice* Many thanks.

  27. I’m tempted to make one word posts with each of the words I think caused moderation, just to check. But that would probably be unduly annoying.

  28. lol… yes, agreed

  29. Oh, I’m sure Sharpy would love that. Please let us know the results. 🙂

  30. *Sends in a Viennese Dessert Buffet for all of today’s mod loungers*
    Clearly, I have been watching too many episodes of Four Weddings!

  31. A cousin of mine given to malapropisms used to call those “Vietnamese Tables.”

  32. BUG JUICE. Off to play volleyball. “ROTATE!” 😛

  33. Pancake's Mom says:

    No worries, Sam. THIS First Nations chick will continue to follow and laugh along on CuteOverload! Thanks for the giggle, Nomtom.

  34. kibblenibble says:

    Agreed, Theresa. Your interpretation of the tone of this post, based on long-time observation of NOMTOM’s style, is likely correct.

  35. Upon reading 6rabbits post too quickly I thought it said Vietnamese desserts and for the life of me couldn’t figure out what that was. Though I do understand Vietnamese cuisine is delish.

  36. I so want to gently pick up both kitties and snorgle them 😀

  37. I agree with you there are always some people who get offended at the little things, Lillith.

  38. fleurdamour says:

    I don’t think these Native Americats were meant in any sort of disrespectful way, but CO, maybe you should consider changing the captioning for this post. As a long time participant in the CO comments I know I’d rather no one here feel alienated and I can’t blame any First Nations person for feeling sensitive.

  39. Yes, indeed! A table of little fresh bánh mì (sandwiches) might be something nice for a wedding reception. Or the Mod Lounge! 😀

  40. Unless any mention at all of anything Native American is offensive, I don’t see what people are objecting to in this post.

    Your examples are clearly meant to be slighting and insulting, but I don’t see anything like that in this post at all.

  41. As a person of Cherokee descent, I don’t see what the fuss is about. The post is hilarious! It seems to be more in a vein of poking fun of the old-time horse operas that I loved to watch when I was very young. (Still love Westerns, but they are much grittier now.) The dialog is spot on. 😀

  42. Speaking of malapropisms, my brother-in-law likes to say “pomeranians” instead of “pomegranate.” As in, these pomeranian seeds are delicious in the salad, or may I have a pomeranian martini? He thinks he’s hilarious. 🙄

  43. Try the afterdinner coffee. The sweetened condensed milk will rot your teeth.

  44. STILL in moderation… Let’s try this again, with words altered, shall we?

    As someone who is a member of two “protected” types, I find life is easier if one doesn’t go around trying to make things into more than they are. For example, I’m not offended by all “femayle” stereo types, or all “&ewish” stereo types, only by those that are quite obviously meant to be der0gatory or vishus.

    Certainly, one may say that this post is race-ist. And yet, as pointed out down the comment thread, it does appear to be a parotty of early literature stereo types of Nativ3 Americans, and does not imply in the slightest that these stereo types are true. In this, as in all things, context and intent are key.

    If you are and remain taken aback, that is certainly your prerogative. However, there is something to be said about thinking the best about the intentions of the writers here, and maintaining a sense of humor, or at least a sense of proportion. After all, these are kittehs, not hoomin actors dressed in insuulting r3d-face.

    WHEW. Hope that worked…

  45. Queen of Dork says:

    Good Lord. I was trying to stay out of this but I can’t. I’m Black and Native American. The post is cute and silly and nobody is trying to hurt anybody. Dang.

  46. have no fear, sharpy the mod is here!

    the three rules of cuteoverload club: cute first, funny second. third, cute.

    1. this discussion doesn’t belong on CO
    2. each of us probably already knows what side we’re on.
    3. the issue of racial sensitivity won’t be resolved here, no matter how much we all believe this is the center of the universe.
    4. the objections have been noted and we will try to be more thoughtful in the future.
    5. since the cat is already out of the barn, i’m gong to curtail the discussion to the comments we’ve already read and hopefully close the thread with all sides equally represented.
    6. PLEASE MAINTAIN PURRSPECTIVE! we’re here to look at cute animals and laugh at (mostly) funny or creative captions! why, look! there’s another one already!


  47. I saw the commentary as a campy reference to outdated lit and movies, and thought it was all in good fun. In fact, I came here to comment on how charming it is…

  48. They would indeed be the cat’s meow!

  49. Brothers-in-law so often do.

  50. as a jewess, i must say that a sense of humor is a winning response to genocide. that, and living well.

  51. he kind of is 😉

  52. i didn’t either, but it weren’t mine eyes what were offended.

  53. ooh, we might need to have a pho topping bar!

    i used to belong to a gang who went out for vietnamese every week. we could never figure out how to pronounce “sriracha” sauce, so it became known as “the funk,” e.g., “please pass the funk.” i don’t care how trendy sriracha got, it will always be the funk to me.

  54. we made killer gods eyes in arts and crafts (aka “farts and craps”).

  55. that should DEF be one of the mod lounge options. would bubbles be over the top?

  56. JohnnyJohnny says:

    It might be a good idea to point out that the intention here is, in fact, the cute. But it is these notions, burred deep, and in such common use, that is the black heart of discrimination. It all might seem small and of little real harm, to most people, except for those of us constantly thought of as savage/less then human, even in this day and age.

    I do, however appreciate the opportunity for conversation on the issue and hope that if this becomes a major issue, we can approach in in the spirit of higher understanding and of community.

  57. you know, your other choice is just to wait a bit and let the moderation happen. 😉


  59. JohnnyJohnny says:

    Go deeper.

    Yes it is a parody of early literature. And YES, the intention is clearly to be silly, fun-loving, and so on. Exactly what we’ve all come to expect here and can readily rely on. But, at least for me, that is not the point.

    If an adorable black kitty was napping, laying on its back, arms splayed, on a huge watermelon, it would be immediately offensive to most of us if a reference to “early literature” was made.

    So too, FOR ME, “We must make war upon these canine devils,” said Swats Many Mousies, the elder. “That is our way.,” is similarly offensive.”

    Look, I love everything I know about this site and I’ll continue to visit daily. But we’ve got to begin to see how insidious these ideas we harbor are. These are assumptions we never question unless pointed out. We don’t intend any harm, ever, but sometimes the old unpleasantness comes out.

    Mike, I admire your writing. I wish I had your talent. I believe you really meant nothing by your caption. I really do. Thanks for the opportunity to make my point and I’ll leave it at that. Thanks, forever, for all the goodness this site brings into the world.

  60. Fird Birfle says:

    @ Theresa:
    might I thank you for knowing the logical plural formation of the term
    “brother”/ mother/ father etc etc in law. ??? Please and thank you.

  61. Fird Birfle says:

    and to Sharpy, re. the sauce and its name:

  62. JohnnyJohnny says:

    What a wonderful poem! Thank you for introducing me to Rossetti’s work. Beautiful!

  63. Queen of Dork says:

    Mazel Tov! 🙂

  64. mine’s still in there. my back teeth are floating in bug juice.

  65. Obviously that headband’s bothering that kitten and keeping him from sleeping.

  66. l’chaim!

  67. *snerk*

  68. Queen of Dork says:

    (Heart and Love!!!)

  69. What you term “the little things” can be awfully big things to others.

  70. Dante is also the brother of the arguably-even-more-brilliant-and-famous poet, Christina Rossetti. What a talented family!

    May i just say that I normally detest the so-called commentroversy that happens every so often around here, but this particular discussion has been fairly interesting and refreshingly free of vitriol.

    For the record, I think nomtom seems perfectly within bounds on this one, but I do understand and respect sensitivity around the overly war-ish stereotype of native american people. the names bit is what cracked me up…. 🙂

  71. Hold, on you’re saying that this isn’t the center of the universe? Dammit now I have to redraw all my navigation maps! Also, as a Barn American, #5 offends me. I may be assuaged with a rum banana split and a duel. Consider yourself glove slapped, madam!

  72. Huc venite iuvenes ut exeatis viri.

  73. kallisto73 says:

    Thank you, NOMTOM, that is another classic. Me and Swats Many Mousies the younger salute you.

  74. Keeping the peace? Forgive the irreverence? No. You certainly would not have posted a picture of a kitten dressed as a stereotypical black person, why one earth would you post this? If you read my second comment you would know that this is extremely offensive and disrespectful. You should have known this to begin with. Cute Overload is now off my feed.

  75. well, that’s too bad. i’m sorry we offended you, even if you can’t see this.

  76. *sigh* I don’t believe for one second that the poster had even the vaguest notion that it was offensive. Laughter, at the things that are meant to hurt takes away their power.
    Nobody does it better that Mel Brooks. He single-handed “offends” every race, religion, gender, lifestyle, political movement etc. (including his own) in almost every single movie.
    So, everyone’s homework is to go watch, “Blazing Saddles,” and laugh. Why laugh you say… because everyone of us already knows we are better than any of the ignorant stereotypes angry, insecure people create.
    Take a page out of Mel Brooks book and give laughter, peace and yes kittens a chance!

  77. Moderation… really? Pass the chocolate covered strawberries.

  78. I’m making a test to see which words I used that sent my comment into moderation… Here we go. offended? laughter? Mel Brooks….?

  79. hint: it’s not always the words.

  80. i’m cynical enough to believe that someone was offended by Blazing Saddles.

    *double sigh*

    pass me a bearclaw.

  81. I need a bigger hint. I don’t think it was offensive or incendiary either… though I could be wrong. 😦

  82. There are bearclaws? nom!
    And… you are probably right. *tripple sigh*

  83. bookmonstercats says:

    Forgive me, @pickledbeatnik, I’m really not trying to pick a fight, but aren’t you being offensive, in your choice of name, to people who are probably now in their late 60s/70s, who actually used to be beatniks? Firstly, poking fun at what was then a valid lifestyle choice by assuming they were all “pickled”, and secondly to those of our respected elders who adopted that lifestyle in their time (whether pickled or not)?

    Sharpy, if you consider this post inflammatory, then by all means take it down. I trust your judgement.

    NOMTOM, brilliant post. I’m a femayle, late 50s, working-class, Liverpudlian, Roman Catholic, working-mother lawyer. There’s an awful lot to go at there, so I look forward to you getting your inventive mind around a suitable post in my honour.

  84. may i add a suitable comment in your honour?

    does “get that will you, deirdre?” offend you? 🙂

  85. luvstehQte says:

    interesting, johnny johnny, that you would use the term “black heart of discrimination.” i take it you’re not african american, or you might find that term offensive. it’s possible maybe we all live in glass houses, not just other people.

  86. luvstehQte says:

    @whiskers: i think that should OFFICIALLY be the new spelling of “vishus!” 😀

  87. Be careful not to stir the warrior spirit of the Kittehwahs. They are fierce practitioners of the ancient practice of counting coup. Most of their victims go down with a silly look and the words “aw” on their lips. 😉

  88. I agree with you 100%, Amy.

  89. Would a beavertail be okay? A beavertail is a large pastry made in the shape of a beaver’s tail, covered in whipped cream and chocolate or whatever topping you want and is made in Canada where I live 😀

  90. It’s a shame that those 5 whole people who are “following” you will miss out on the qteness. Your mom, 2 sisters, step mom, and co-worker will be sadface, now.

  91. I think I’ll name my next cat Swats Many Mousies.

  92. I’m Cree and I’m not offended either! It’s just cute! 🙂

  93. Bravo! 😆

  94. I doubt this means much, but I feel the need to share anyway. I’m not First Nations, but I am a passionate First Nations advocate. I majored in international native studies, immigrated to a different country because I couldn’t live with the way my native country treats their First Nations, and my favorite charity is Survival International. I found this post amusing, because not even my ridiculously hillbilly family, who believe Indian food means frybread tacos, think these sorts of stereotypes are true. Of course, I call us “ridiculously hillbilly” because we make lawn ornaments out of shotgun shells and I literally grew up in a trailer in a one-stoplight town with no tornado sirens. This post is funny to me because I can appreciate a caricature that’s amusing but not true; I’m even comfortable with a caricature that has a lot of truth to it, because there’s a grain of humor in everything.

    If NTMTOM had said “You don’t want to know where they got that blanket,” well…

  95. um, I didn’t read the txt. I saw the pic and thought it was f.scott and zelda…srry!

  96. Oh, look – a cute fuzzy kitty with a feather on its head!!

  97. @Sharpy, Oh, where’s the fun in that…and it’s STILL in moderation…

    @luvstehQte, *takes bow* Absolutely. *grin*

  98. I’d vote for Swats Many Mousies for President, well, maybe Vice President! 😉

  99. Bookmonstercats says:

    I’m thinking long and hard, Sharpy. Unfortunately, trailing that amount of baggage around, I’m virtually uninsultable 😉

  100. Fird Birfle says:

    HI SHARPY!!! I only just now saw your item referencing Bl. Saddles and
    you’re entirely correct. However, my incident of such goes ‘way ‘way back to when Bl. Saddles was RELEASED in theatres (78 ish maybe?)

    my oldest brother was probably in his 30s or so and he’s the most-flamingly liberal of my brothers….was vegan for awhile but “relapsed” into only a partial vegetarian (in other words, he will occasionally partake of the occasional bit of red meat…he also drinks alcohol so really it’s kind of a “unless there’s a good party happening” set of beliefs…..) and I was still in high school …I couldn’t convince the
    ‘rents to take me to see the film, so I asked him to do so …… HE was horrified and indignant about all of the inappropriate humor being made about people who are not caucasians, about hebrew people and everything else in Blazing Saddles.

    He was TRULY indignant about things like the campfire/ farting bit etc …
    He did his OWN Harrrumph’ing!!!!!

  101. He made fun of the redneck cowboys, the racist townfolk, the Nazis, and the KKK. He portrayed them as ugly, ignorant rubes without two brain cells to rub together. In the end the racist townfolk had to let go of their their hatred and accept the leadership of the sherif because he was the only one smart enough to lead them to victory.
    I think Mel is a genius if you look beyond the surface of his movies. Are they coarse and offensive in places… yes. But it is always so over the top that that sometimes you just have to laugh because you know he isn’t trying to offend he is trying make a point about the behavior. (most of the time) 🙂
    I mean come on… the “Inquistion” number in “History of the World”. He was the grand inquistor and he’s Jewish.
    “Humor is just another defense against the universe. ”
    “We want to get people laughing; we don’t want to offend anybody. ”
    – Mel Brooks

  102. 😆

  103. final werd.

  104. well i certainly hope you disowned him forever!

    i was born catholic. when i was 9, my mom remarried and we all converted to judaism. soon after, i began studying for my bat mitzvah, but the true passage for me was the family outings to see “blazing saddles” and later, “love and death.” laughing at the bean scene with my dad was all i needed to know about my new religion and i’ve stayed faithful ever since.

    and, since you asked, one of my favoritest lines of ever is, “they read you byron and shelley and then they jump on your belly.” it’s not precise, but it’s the way i hear it and laugh every time.

    YAY FIRD!!!!


  106. YAHOOO! i think the lesson is that some stereotypes are toxic and others benign. it takes time for the first to morph into the second.

    and yes, it’s also considering the source. i can make jokes about myself that my friends really shouldn’t make, but the results of making fun of myself with new friends is usually a good laugh.

  107. is it all you can eat?

    either way, yes, please.

  108. Why thank you! It makes me feel better. ;p

  109. fleurdamour says:

    Kittehs slept through all the post-cultural debate about them. Kittehs could sleep through Armageddon.