Cats Are Bilingual

Cats are nearly universally bilingual. I realize this is not news for many, least of all our friend Beau…

armchair beauphoto by Caleb Olson

Of course Beau’s first language, being from around these parts, is English. Since his ear has been clipped, I can only assume that he was at one time, before making our acquaintance, conversant in the feline lingua franca commonly known as Caterwaul. Since coming to live with us I like to think his skills in that tongue are rather unpolished. He does sneak out on occasion for a night on the town, and a buddy or two have come calling, but his command of English would seem to indicate the kind of no nonsense practicality which makes any Beau-initiated caterwaul seem highly unlikely.

Being so practical, of course, he has little need for more than a few words of English. In extremis those few words may be delivered with an amazing range of emotion and nuance, with each new inflection jam packed with one clear meaning. That word, or rather phrase, would usually be, “Feed me!”

The rest of Beau’s English consists pretty much only of the phrase, “Let me in!” He may well know the phrase, “Let me out!”, but being officially designated an Indoor Cat, even if he knows these words, he is far too cagey to ever use them.

“Sin Boldly”


I was so busy capturing this image Sunday at a taco shop in North Seattle I totally forgot to get a punch card. I finally googled the phrase today, after wondering about it already for some years. It turns out that the sentiment shows up only in a personal letter from Martin Luther to his old friend and fellow theologian Melanchthon, and even at that, only a few paragraphs of that letter survived. So yes, the phrase lacks complete context and has been translated into English in a number of ways, but it has persisted none the less for a half a millennium, albeit in fairly esoteric circles, most likely due to all the interesting questions it gives rise to.

So here we are, faced with a Spanish version of the phrase, thanks to my local taco slinger, and I encounter yet another intriguing question. Were I to commit the sin of guacamole and salsa a sufficient number of times for the 10% discount, just what exactly might I do with the savings?

For some strange reason I find the idea of 10% salvation to be every bit as intriguing as the idea that I should sin with gusto.