Too many kittens

Too many cat posts at the blogs and twitters of Greta Christina and Jen McCreight.

This came out.

Dog help us all.

* * *


Eustace J. Wobbles
Professor of Faunamathematics
Agric. Univ. Hoho, Sussex

A kitten cuteness measure C should have the following three properties:

(1) C(0) = 0

(2) C(x) < U for all numbers of kittens x, where U is the baby unicorn crocodile cuteness constant.

(3) C(x) is continuous in the piecewise fractional kitten sense for all x > 0.


  1. Gauss’s hypothesis that \lim_{x\to\infty} C(x) = U was disproved by Wiles in 1999. The best current result is that \sup_x C(x) is at least \pi/3 below U for all natural measures C(x), i.e. measures that have (1)–(3). See Olcat for the contradiction that follows if the distance is less, “the Cyriak Paradox”.
  2. The behavior of C when x < 0 is of no importance. For an exhaustive survey of research into this case, see the celebrated book by Vem Varför (Varför 1993) and the more accessible Varför 2001.

We now introduce a common cuteness measure; for full derivation and alternatives, see Olcat and Hezbuugaa.

Let x be the number of kittens. Then Erdös’s experienced cuteness function C is

C(x) = 10x - \frac{1}{2}x^2.

Clearly C(0) = 0, and since C is continuous, it is continuous in the piecewise fractional kitten sense. Condition (2) follows for the Wieso-Holzkopf Lemma.

Observations on the aptness of this measure for measuring real world kitten number behavior follow.


The cutest number of kittens is 10, after which cuteness decreases. After 20 kittens C is negative; experimentation has shown this is the number at which the Kitten Hivemind activates, and all cuteness disappears.

At roughly 144.5 kittens the cuteness goes below minus nine thousand, with predictable and catastrophic consequences. (See Narm.)

It is at the present unknown what would happen if over 145 kittens were present at once; the Gell-Mann-Feynman PET model seems to indicate the strong nuclear force would prevent this configuration and those above it.

For a contrary view, see Hezbuugaa’s proposals for “the Kittycube” (1984) and “the Kittycube Propulsion System” (1989).

Research into maximal kitten formations has been severely limited by the Kitten Ground Test Ban of 1992; at the present, Russia and China are still conducting secret kitten tests in space, and CERN in co-operation with the European Union and the Hivemind is planning a strictly volunteer-based non-weaponized high Earth orbit testing program as a successor to the LHC. (For a look into the possible environmental impact, see Appendix D in Miau’s Raining What? Fertilizer At The Crossroads.)

The ease of weaponizing over-20 kitten configurations (the so-called “Cat Lady Weapon” or “the K-bomb”) has been greatly exaggerated in popular depictions. It is not enough to simply throw thirty kittens at someone and duck! Likewise, compacting a sub-100 number of kittens does not cause a 144.5 meltdown, but just an awful mess. Speaking of awful messes, the Alan Smithee film “Hellcats at the Singularity!” makes both of these blunders, the first in the presidential assassination scene and the second in the New York destruction scene. The Hivemind does not appromeow.

See Olcat and Hezbuugaa’s book for human- and time-dependant kitten functions, and Munroe for the distance dependant function.



Olcat, L. and Hezbuugaa, C., Advanced Animal Theory, Springer Verlag, 2009.

Olcat, L., The Unicorn Crocodile Constant Is Strictly Separated Away From Kittens, Comm. Soc. Fel. Amer., 7 (1992), no. 3, 133–176

Grausam, J., Fractional Kittens: A Very Graphic Approach, Wilford Telmarine Farrar, 1962.

Munroe, R., Cat Proximity, xkcd, 231, no. 1, 1–1

Narm, M., An Oral History of the Kitten Apocalypse of Syracuse, 1909: A Retrospective In Analysis, New Syracuse University Press, 1984

Varför, V., Negativa och icke-real complex kattdjur: en helveten spekulativ strategi, Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien, 1993

Varför, V., Subzero Farm Animals: An Introduction, Springer Verlag, 2001

Feris, M. O., How Much Is Too Much? Too Many Perspectives on Humor/Humour in the Mathematical Sciences, Tripleday, 1973

Feris, M. O., I Spell It Hummor: Translating Humor Across Subculture Boundaries, Quadrupleday, 1984

One Response to “Too many kittens”

  1. Sigma Says:

    Damn kittens are taking over the blogosphere. And by that I mean there’s more kittens than there used to be at one blog, and this frightens and confuses me.

    By the by, I caught most of the references, is there something hidden in “Varför, V.” I’m missing?

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