Final Friday felid: a miracle cat!

I know we’ve had a surfeit of felids this week, but I couldn’t resist posting this one because it’s so weird.  Could it be a sign from God?  Polly, a ten-week-old tabby from Staffordshire in England, clearly has the word “cat” spelled out in her fur. (Click to enlarge.)

As The Daily Mail reports:

All the clues are there: the whiskers, the purring, the miaowing and even the toy mouse under her front paws.

But just in case you were in any doubt as to what sort of animal Polly is, the ten-week-old tabby is happy to help out, thanks to her unusual markings, which spell out the word ‘cat’ on her left flank.

Garry Marsh and wife Joan, both 57, adopted Polly from a local cat rescue centre last weekend.

But it was only as they admired their new pet’s colouring three days later that they noticed the marks.

Mr Marsh, a teacher, said: ‘We were commenting on how symmetrical her tabby patterns seemed when Joan suddenly noticed the letters.

‘Once somebody points it out, it is obvious – the word stands out a mile.’

The couple, who live with their sons Simon, 28, and Alex, 23, in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, also have a seven-year-old cat called Katina.

The article helpfully suggests other signs of divine intervention in tabby coats:

Tabbies have an ‘M’ marking on their forehead, between the eyes, with various legends suggesting why this is the case.

One suggests that the Virgin Mary made the mark of her own initial out of gratitude after a tabby snuggled up to the baby Jesus in the manger to stop him from shivering.

And an Islamic legend says that the Prophet Mohammed had a tabby called Muezza that saved his life by killing a snake which had crawled up his sleeve.

When the cat later fell asleep on his arm, he cut his sleeve off so as not to disturb the cat.

From that day on, all tabbies were born with the ‘M’ marking to signify that Mohammed held the animals in high esteem.

I doubt that there’s an “M” in the Arabic word for Mohammed.


  1. Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    The odds of a species’ name being spelled out on an individual’s fur is, like, 100 bazillion to one against?

    Therefore, Ceiling Cat!

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Ah but think of all the times that the word “cat” was spelled out in the fur of a dog—and the papers didn’t print it!

    • Jack van Beverningk
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Depends on the specie’s name I guess.
      A cat or dog .. probably have better odds than a Parastratiosphecomyia stratiosphecomyioides.

  2. physicalist
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    That settles if for me. What more proof could you ask for?

    Praise Ceiling Cat!

    • Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Did Hitler own a cat? If so, then followers of Ceiling Cat need to apologize for the Holocaust.

      • Kiwi Dave
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Hitler owned a dog. Dog is god backwards. Therefore Hitler was the anti-Christ. QED.

        And all you Nazi-atheists didn’t realise how bad Hitler was until ex-Hitler youth member Ratzi pointed it out.

        Where’s my medication. I need to lie down.

  3. Sili
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    It would seem the God is getting senile.

    I mean, how dim do you have to be to write “cat” on a cat in order to remember that it’s called a “cat”?

  4. bric
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    That Mohammed story sounds familiar . . . ‘cut sleeve’ is a long-standing epithet for homosexuals in China:

    (from Wikipedia)
    Emperor Ai was also famous for being the most effusive of ten homosexual emperors of the Han Dynasty. Traditional historians characterized the relationship between Emperor Ai and Dong Xian as one between homosexual lovers and referred to their relationship as “the passion of the cut sleeve” (斷袖之癖) after a story that one afternoon after falling asleep for a nap on the same bed, Emperor Ai cut off his sleeve rather than disturb the sleeping Dong Xian when he had to get out of bed.

    see for more detail –
    Passions of the Cut Sleeve:
    The Male Homosexual Tradition in China
    by Bret Hinsch

  5. Lee
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    So adorable. Comes with a name tag, too.

    Do you ever think: “That cat is so cute, I could just swallow it whole?” I’m serious. I sometime want to stick a kitten’s head in my mouth and just chew on it for a while. Of course, I don’t do that.

    • MadScientist
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Ewww. Stick to licking them. You might have to have some spikes surgically implanted in your tongue so that you groom them properly though; cats always get a combing as they get a licking.

  6. Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    The arabic M is مـ when word-initial,م when alone. That story makes no sense.

  7. Tom M
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Of course, it spells cat. How else is god supposed to keep track. I wonder where he spelt cockroach? On the inside?
    No need to mark a dog, though, little doubt what they are.

    • Jack van Beverningk
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      “little doubt what they are”

      Sure about that?

      • Hempenstein
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        I have the same doubts. There’s a suspicious lack of striping surrounding the label.

        Were crop circles common in that area? If so, they may simply have gotten arthritic and moved the operation inside.

        • whyevolutionistrue
          Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          Fifty bucks that it’s not photoshopped.

          • Jack van Beverningk
            Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

            If you click on the picture you can read the name ‘Bruce Adams’ next to the copyright ‘c’. He’s a “visual artist”.

            Bet still on? 😉

            • whyevolutionistrue
              Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

              ABSOLUTELY! Confirm it here in a post and the bet is on. Fifty bucks!

              I don’t think I’ve ever posted an amazing picture that someone hasn’t said was Photoshopped.

            • Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

              It sure doesn’t look photoshopped. Then again, the allegation is that it’s a professional photoshop job, in which case it makes sense that it wouldn’t look photoshopped. heh…

            • whyevolutionistrue
              Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

              I’ll bet ANYONE fifty bucks that it’s real. (But I’ll bet only once.)

          • Hempenstein
            Posted September 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think it’s photoshopped – the folks @ DM surely inspected it in person. I do suspect it was done with black hair coloring, like the panda dogs Jack posted about, probably enhancing some natural coloring in the direction of cat. Look at the field around the label – it’s overall blacker than the black regions elsewhere.

      • Posted September 18, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

        Oh yeah–the panda dog. Saw that on tv a while back. Everyone on the show was all “kawaiiiiiiiii!!” and all the 20-something girls looked ready to run right out and hair dye their dogs:))

  8. Jack van Beverningk
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Can’t you guys READ?

    Look closer at the second picture:
    it CLEARLY says ‘calf’, not cat. I can understand the cognitive bias, but we HAVE to remain scientific about these things and go with the data, not mold the data into what we want it to be!

    • MadScientist
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Well, god calls the whale a fish – what a moron – so I wouldn’t be surprised if he called the cat a calf. Next thing you know he’ll be asking for the fatted calf to be sacrificed – at which point god should be given the bird and told to go away. I wonder if he’s like Tinker Belle – if you don’t believe he just disappears.

      • Jack van Beverningk
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        “if you don’t believe he just disappears”

        It’s the other way around: If you don’t believe, he never shows up”

        • MadScientist
          Posted September 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          Ah, “God of the gaps” – he fills that gap between Tinker Belle (who disappears if you don’t believe) and Godot (who doesn’t appear if you do believe).

  9. JBlilie
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    That is not latin script saying “cat” in English. That’s a profile of an Easter Island head! And that proves ancient astronauts, and that proves …. er, uh … they say drinking lots of wine affects … I can’t remember.

    (I did pick up a 750ml bottle of St. Bernardus Abt.12 today! It was calling my name …)

    • Posted September 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Until I read the text I saw Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene (looking to the right, rotated anticlockwise by 40°).

  10. JBlilie
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Wait! It’s Jesus! No, the virgin Mary! WTF?

  11. Jack van Beverningk
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    “I don’t think I’ve ever posted an amazing picture that someone hasn’t said was Photoshopped.”

    I don’t quite (< 1 % chance)) think it's photo-shopped myself. I was just going for the initial "Oh shit" reaction. I'm mean that way.

    • Rieux
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      I, mostly seriously, wondered if someone dyed (bleached) the fur. “Cat” appears to be in cursive, which would make some sense if you’re applying a liquid dye.

  12. Doc Bill
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    A surfeit of cats?

    Is that possible?

  13. Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Clearly an irrefutable proof of God’s existence. The only remaining questions is – which one of the bazillion Gods out there?

  14. MadScientist
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Sure there’s no “M” in Mohammed, but he obviously used the Latin alphabet to spell “Muezza”.

  15. Dominic
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Pareidolia again.

    Just like the barcodes on the Zebra I bought at the zoo the other day…

  16. S.K.Graham
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    This clearly proves two things:

    (1) All animals received their names from Adam.

    How else was the word “cat” encoded in it’s DNA, cleverly programmed to reveal itself now, when we know what DNA is?

    (2) American was the language of Eden, the original language, spoken by everyone prior to Babel.

    How do I know it was not Australian or Canadian? Surely you’re joking, right?

  17. Tim Harris
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Not entirely off-topic, I think, but Andrew Sullivan has a Youtube thing up of Rossini’s Duet for Two Cats being performed. The cats perform very well, and they appear to be Christian.

  18. Posted September 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    It’s in Times New Roman! God uses Office… this explains so much…

  19. Ysor
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    If you squint your eyes real hard (like I did), the mark would read co2. God is trying to warn us about global warming, it seems.

  20. Sven DiMilo
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Big deal. One time I saw a snake that had Pituophis melanoleucus clearly spelled out in its dorsal markings, but wouldn’t you know it–I didn’t have my damn camera.

    • J.J.E.
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      I know someone who cites the gypsy leg lengthening trick and regrowth of a missing thumb as evidence of god. Of course, this can’t be verified. So, even when god does “substantial” miracles, it still must be taken on faith.

  21. Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone else see the sign for the pound sterling?

  22. J.J.E.
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Everybody is nuts! It’s clearly an ancestral form for the Chinese character for “mountain” or 山.

    Note especially L06202. Or maybe even L31719.

    Of course, it could also be 臣 partially completed and sloppily written.

    • J.J.E.
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Actually, it look much more similar to , meaning large, great, enormous, mega.

      • Posted September 18, 2010 at 4:40 am | Permalink

        Wow–you’re right! Well, if you tip your head left it looks like 巨, but if you tip your head waay the other way it does look kind of like 山. Weird–as soon as you said that, I stopped seeing “cat” and saw 巨 instead.

  23. Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I think it says Allah

  24. bad Jim
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Clearly the cat’s from Berkeley. It doesn’t read “cat”, it reads “Cal”.

    Or maybe it says “eat”. Hard to tell.

    As far as writing things’ names on them, there was the episode in “One Hundred Years of Solitude” when everyone stopped sleeping and started forgetting…

  25. Posted September 18, 2010 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    Clearly this is natural selection; they tossed all the other cats that didn’t have such markings back into the pound. Breed and iterate. They’ll find more and refine the process, and before long you’ll be able to order a kitteh with the message of your choice emblazoned on its fur.

    Then you can skin it and mount the pelt to preserve your message for eterniteh!

  26. justsearching
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    If you believe the word “cat” can appear on a cat, then you should also believe that Satan can appear on a tile in your bathroom.

    Clearly it is Satan in-tile-nate. Why else would that man pose in the picture like that?

  27. Posted September 18, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    a friend observes

    “Misspelled “kat”. Fail”

  28. Notagod
    Posted September 19, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Cat smat, it ain’t spell’n no cat.

    It spell’n c.o.t, picture of fishy.

    Decoded it is (c)an (o)f (t)una with a fish picture on the end.

    Whatz haz to do to senz subliminalz messagez to human slavez anywayz?

  29. Chris Booth
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Clearly, this shows divine preference for serif fonts.

  30. Posted September 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Hello everyone, thank you for all the great comments about our new kitten Polly Pepper. I can assure you that Polly nor any photos have been tampered with in any way whatsoever. It just says ‘cat’ in her fur ‘cos it does! Obvious cat is obvious, obviously! Emma Bayles, noted kitten scientist reckons that it is at least a gazzillion to one that Polly has the word ‘cat’ in her fur. I am told that there are 29 bazzillion in a single gazzillion; but anyway there is only ONE Polly Pepper, world famous tabby cat.

    Love and Peas,
    Garry and Joan Marsh, Simon and Alex Marsh, and Emma Bayles.

  31. Dustin
    Posted September 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    My friend has a cat that seriously has “No God” written on her fur. Hence, her name is Nogod.

4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Via Why evolution is true. […]

  2. […] Polly the miracle cat Remember Polly, the kitten with “cat” written in her fur? (Go have a look if you haven’t seen her.)  Polly’s owners have just posted on the […]

  3. […] Polly, the miracle cat who had “cat” written on her fur? Well, the Ground of All Being has just produced another such biological regression, but with a […]

  4. […] can forget Polly, in whose fur the Intelligent Designer, suffering from amnesia, inscribed the name of His […]

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