It’s #caturday y’all and I’ve been up to my ears in spreadsheets (the good, the bad, and the ugly) all week long.

This morning, I woke up thinking that so much of what I do is sort information into meaningful categories. I labored on that project while coordinating my synagogue’s annual budgeting process (what buckets of money will we spend money in this year?!) and while I sorted through some chaotic datapoints during my day job.

I think back to my tween grrl self, and how my friend group used to say that we “resist labels.” How that flies in the face of the identity politics today!

Are categories good? Are they bad? The question came up in a different group that I’m a part of, where we were having the “gender pronoun multiple choice” debate. (I wrote about my opinion here: #WeWillNotBeErased: A mandate for database admins and survey researchers!)

How detailed should categories be? How will we sort them? Who are we accountable to when we make categories? How do we deal with categories that change over time?

In honor of Caturday Categories, I made a list of categories that describe CATS!

  • Kitten
  • Adult cat
  • Elder cat
  • Tabby cat
  • Calico cat
  • indoor cat
  • Outdoor cat
  • indoor/outdoor cat
  • Stray cat
  • Domesticated cat
  • Wild cat
  • Tiger
  • Other (please describe): ___________

The problem here is that you might want different Types! For example…

Environment:

  • Indoor
  • Outdoor
  • Both
  • Unknown
  • Lives in zoo
  • Wild

Coloration:

  • Tabby
  • Tortoise
  • Bi-color

Hair:

  • Long hair
  • Short hair
  • Bald/naked

And so on

  • and so forth
  • etc

Even CATegories have CATegories!

Dividing these attributes into types, each of which have subtypes, makes it easier for us to find the “Short haired + old + tabbies” or the “pet tigers” (LOL) etc from a dataset that describes cats <3. It’s much harder to work with a giant list! But sometimes it can be hard to decide how many options is the PURRRRRfect amount!

That’s an existential question that I can’t answer today. So instead, I will provide you with a few favorites from my meme stash and wish you a happy #caturday however you choose to celebrate!

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