No Dogs or Humans Allowed

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Several weeks ago, I registered the domain name,

    Before we proceed, allow me to explain. In previous entries to this blog, I have described in great detail the travails of my October depression that made the Book of Job look like a beach read. I’m happy to say I have emerged from my depression, and part of the credit goes to removing myself from an undertaking that was driving me crazy and putting it instead into something that proves I’m crazy.

    This is where comes in. It was time for something completely different. If this were Hamlet, this would be the place to write in the scene where the grave-diggers start cracking jokes. Comic relief, emphasis on comic, emphasis on relief.
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    This is no joke. A terrific new book by Joshua Shenk, Lincoln’s Melancholy, describes how our greatest President employed humor – often on inappropriate occasions - to cope with his crushing depressions. He needed the laughs, he said, for his survival.

    Now for some background. When I married Susan early last year I also became one in the eyes of the Egyptian cat god Bast with her striped tabby, Holly. I soon started calling her a big monkey pants and the name stuck. She is not just Holly the cat. She is Holly, the world’s only monkey pants. Not only that, she’s officially a fried monkey pants (a very high honor), an executive monkey pants (in keeping with her very important responsibilities), and Captain Monkey Pants (a field promotion).

    Anyway, Holly Monkey Pants (as she prefers to be known) has been putting out an e-mail newsletter, The Cat Whisperer (circulation about 15). Susan does Holly’s typing. The three of us had a discussion and decided a website was the way to go. At first I was simply content with registering the name,, and telling people about it. It made me laugh. It gave me precious few seconds relief from the deadening gloom that defined my dreadful October.

    Then, at the end of October, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. Now I can proudly reveal the result: The Cat Whisperer: Your Ultimate Cat Community Hosted by Holly Monkey Pants.

    Cats only, no dogs or humans allowed.

    Right now the site is just two pages, but Holly assures us it will be the biggest thing since Gone with the Wind. She has her own blog, which is the next Plato’s Republic, and she cordially invites other cats to start their own blogs, and submit articles, poetry, and photos. A message board is in the works.

    Before you start calling my cat grandiose, I seem to recall something about an obscure British civil servant who wrote some silly poetry about cats. The author was TS Eliot, some Andrew Lloyd Weber guy liked the verses, and the Eliot estate is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Can The Cat Whisperer enjoy similar success? Watch me, says Holly.

    The moral to this story? One of my major tools in getting through my recent depression was humor. I wasn’t afraid to be silly. I wasn’t afraid to celebrate my silliness. And now that I’m feeling better, I plan to devote much more time to things that make me laugh. is for real.

  • Believe me, I’m on a mission.
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Published On: November 17, 2005