Well, Google did it to me again. Every time I look at their Top Charts, I find something confusing.

This time around, it’s the “Animals” chart. It’s not that the chart itself is confusing, nor are there any peculiar entries. No, what’s confusing me is the actual data.

Number One: “Dog”

Number Two: “Cat”

And it’s not even close. If we can believe Google, people search for dogs more than twice as often as they search for cats. And it’s been that way since Google started keeping statistics back in 2004. Here’s the comparative popularity of dogs and cats as measured by Google over the past decade:

“OK,” I hear you say. “People are more interested in dogs than cats. So what?”

Well, it just doesn’t make sense. The Internet was created for cats. Nobody wastes their entire day looking at videos of dogs in boxes. Nobody obsessively creates LOLDog images*. There’s no mythology of Basement Dog, Ceiling Dog, or even Monorail Dog.

* Yeah, OK, there is Doge. But his followers are a lunatic fringe, and he’s only been hot for the past year. Doesn’t explain the numbers prior to 2013.

So what’s going on? I can only come up with two possibilities. Either our Evil Feline Masterminds are attempting to minimize their visibility on the Internet, or the Criminal Canine Conspiracy is staging a takeover.

I don’t see an obvious way to establish which is correct–though if we see a surge in feline snuff videos, that would be a pretty good indication that the CCC is adopting ISIS’ tactics*.

* By that logic, a surge in videos featuring non-fatal violence against cats would suggest the CCC is fronting for the NFL. Or maybe using the Internet to facilitate a takeover of the NFL. There are, after all, four cat-related team names (Bengals, Lions, Jaguars, and Panthers), but not a single dog-related team name.

My money is on the EFM scenario. There’s been a real shortage of news coverage of criminal cats lately. Take another look at that chart. Notice how smooth the cat curve is compared to the dog curve. The variations in the canine searches strikes me as suspicious. Why would it suddenly peak, then drop back? Those are the kind of numbers you would see if a random number of searches were being added to the actual interest levels.

I suspect the EFM has been conducting a disinformation campaign, pumping “dog” searches into Google late at night when their cover humans aren’t online. Check your browser history, especially if you spot suspicious cat hair on your keyboard.

Not So Swift

We’re overdue for another look at the link between cats and crime. In the past, we’ve focused on the feline criminal masterminds. Lately, though, there’s been a run of not-so-criminal-mastermind cats. (Yes, the ambiguity there is deliberate. You’ll see.)

Consider the tale of “Mercy“. Last Christmas, Mercy decided to change her living quarters. She enlisted the help of one James Boyce to spirit her away from her previous domicile and deliver her to her new home. (For those of you who didn’t read the article, Boyce has been convicted of stealing Mercy from a neighbor and giving her to his mother as a Christmas gift.) Not a bad plan on Mercy’s part, really. Her only error was in selecting a henchman who was too easily identified. Considering that she was less than a year old at the time, her error can be excused on the grounds of inexperience. It could be argued that she also erred in not choosing new quarters further away from the old ones, but I’m inclined to give her a pass on that. According to the report, she has returned to the her original home. Presumably, she’ll have a more robust plan the next time she decides to move.

Next, we turn to a case that raises more questions than it answers. According to The Sentinel, Someone broke into an apartment in Cobridge sometime around Christmas. Adding insult to injury, a neighbor saw the broken door, walked in, and stole several DVDs. When the inhabitants returned, they found that “the room had been trashed. A cat was found in the living room that did not belong to them.” Questions: Did the cat break down the front door, or did he just take advantage of someone else’s work, in the same way the DVD thief did? Was the cat present when the DVDs were stolen? If so, did he tempt the thief into the criminal act, or did he chase him out before he could steal anything else? Who trashed the flat: the original burglar, the DVD thief, or–assuming there were three individuals involved–the cat? How stupid did the cat have to be to get caught? Given the usual clutter and chaos in student-occupied spaces, he could have easily hidden and lived there for years rent free!

On a related note, is reporting that a woman was recently robbed of $10,000 of jewelry. According to the story, there were no signs of forced entry, but there was a window “slightly ajar”. The critical piece of information here: her cat was found in the basement with the door closed. It seems clear that this was an inside job: most likely, the cat stole the jewelry and hid it somewhere outside, then locked itself in the basement in a transparent attempt to provide itself with an alibi. Hopefully the woman and the police will keep an eye on the cat and keep an eye on its finances. Arrest that cat before it blows all of its ill-gotten gains on catnip!

Let’s close with a cheerful story. reports that a woman recently used a vacuum cleaner to chase an intruder out of her house. When police located the suspected housebreaker, they were able to link him to the crime partly because his clothes were smeared with cat droppings, which they were able to match to a smeared pile of droppings the woman’s cat had left on the floor. That’s right, we’ve got a cat who’s on the right side of the law, helping police catch criminals! How rare!