June 11, 2013

An incomplete list of cats Jonathan Franzen wants to kill


European shorthair/local menace Mr. Bones gets an unexpected visit from National Book Award winner/multigrain bagel Jonathan Franzen.

“The bird community’s position is, we need to get rid of the feral cats, and that means cats must die. We feel bad about that, but we can morally justify that position, with all of the birds that they are indirectly killing.” Jonathan Franzen*

An incomplete list of cats Jonathan Franzen wants to kill:

• Mr. Bones
• Crookshanks
• Grumpy Cat
• David Pawster Wallace
• Sylvester
• Scratchy
• Pudding Pops
• Heathcliff
• Garfield
• Señor Mittens
• Keyboard Cat
• Sadie Shephard
• Lucy Shephard
• Mr. Bigglesworth
• Tom
Schrödinger’s cat
• Robert Benn Purrin
• Cat in the Hat, The
• Chairman Meow
• Prince Hairy
• Catfred Catt
• Cat R. Waul
• Mittens
• Mittens Jr.
• Boots Tarkington
• Tiny the Usurper
• Rufus Lynx, Esq.
• Hodor
• Mayor Stubbs
• Sockington
• Jonesy
• Comandante Meow Mix
• Commodore Purry
• Soy Sauce
• Top Cat
• Andrés Galarraga
• Felix
• Ms. Piggles
• Josie
• The Pussycats
• Josie and The Pussycats’ cat, Sebastian
• Azrael
• Salem Saberhagan
• Mr. Kitty
• Mrs. Kitty
• Miss Kitty
• Mrs. Tibbs (née Kitty)
• Andy Milonakis
• Snowball II
• Balthazar
• Catbert
• Krazy Kat
• Magical Mr. Mistoffelees
• Behemoth
• Robert Francis Goldthwait
• Your cat

*I am, obviously, taking Franzen out of context here—he’s actually quite persuasive on the subject of cat genocide and the article in which the above quote appears is fascinating (in large part because it features a number of people who are very clearly off their rockers). For legal purposes, I would also like to add that I am in no way suggesting that Jonathan Franzen wanders the streets of Manhattan at night, stuffing strays into bags that he dumps in the East River before returning home to browse the pages of Warby Parker until sunrise. He just really likes birds.

Eric Jett contributed to this post. 


Alex Shephard is the director of digital media for Melville House, and a former bookseller.