Friday, March 4, 2016

Advanced Catstistics (Or Meowney Ball)

Been thinking a lot about cats lately. Cats and baseball. That’s not really unusual. Those two things plus Star Trek consume most my brain space in general. My wife and I have a cat. His name is Elliott. We used to have two, but unfortunately Gobbles passed away earlier in the year. Before we were cat owners though we were cat placeholders. We fostered cats for a couple years. If you love the idea of having cats, but don’t like the idea of the financial responsibility then fostering is a good way to go. The only problem is that eventually the cats get adopted, so then some piece of shit just walks into your apartment and takes your cat. I never became okay with that.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with baseball. Well over the course of our fostering career we fostered a bunch of cats, and something friends would always ask was always “which cat was the best?” That’s a tough question because the relative bestness of each cat is tough to define. There are a lot of intangibles. Not to mention one’s opinion can play into cat ratings and you don’t want emotion to cloud your cat rankings. It's unfortunate that for too long there hasn't been a clinical numbers based way to look at cats. That’s why I’m proud to roll out these advanced stats to help you judge the cats in your life. (I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure with some tweaking it could help you figure out which one of your kids you should love the most too.)
Here are the stats:
Nibble rating: NR This is how likely a cat will be to playfully nibble. Often overlooked this can be a real important part of any cat’s game. The rating is the amount of time the cat is likely to spend nibbling you. -.999 = Not only doesn’t playfully nibble, but bites in a very non-playful way to .999 = all nibbles all the time. 
Litter Dependent Shit Location: LDSL How likely the cat is to shit outside the litter box. Doesn’t matter what the other stats are, but too high a LDSL can really hamper a cat’s chances of sticking around. Higher the number the worse the cat is at that. Range is .000 = Never shits in the litter box to 1.000 = Always shits in the litter box.
Destruction Zone Rating: DZR DZR goes along with LDSL, but it’s a more all encompassing stat. This not just covers how likely a cat is to shit in the litter box, but how likely you are to come home and have a plant destroyed, stuff from the desk on the floor, food destroyed, or on some occasions finding that the freezer door had been left open for hours and now everything in there has melted. Range goes from 0 = nothing broken, and no time spent cleaning up after it to 150 = holy shit, have we been robbed?
Value Over Replacement Cat VORC: This is the overall amount of value given by the cat. the stat is given in number of extra days this cat is worth over your year. The range goes from -365 to 365. The culmination of  all the other stats. This is the cat’s ultimate rating. This is the stat that shows just how much value that cat has given you throughout the year. A score of -365 means, not only are no days better because of this cat’s presence in your life, but every day is worse because of it. 365 is meaning every day is better because of that cat. 
Gus. AKA Beau Tie AKA Beau AKA Baby Beausey
Beau was the first cat we ever fostered. Obviously he was a cute one there ain’t no denying that. But he passed through pretty quick. So we didn’t get to know him all that well. Impressive stats, but there’s no chance we’d be retiring his number any time soon.
NR .379
LDSL  .079
DZR  .132
VORC 175


Randall was by no means a rookie when he came through our system. More of an aging veteran. Not to say that he was done. He still had plenty of fuel left in the tank, and he used it to full become a member of the family. When he was adopted, it hurt. 
NR  .767
LDSL  .286
DZR  .672
VORC  289
Scotty AKA Feral Beast

Scotty was not a cat in any real sense. It was a trapped beast that was not happy about being locked up in our apartment. It was just waiting for a time to strike, waiting for my wife and me to fall asleep so he could slit our throats. We never gave him that oppurtunity. Unfortunately his game just wasn’t worth it and we had to send him back down. He was fixed and rereleased into the wild of Washington Heights.
NR  -.999
LDSL  -.727
DZR  .899
VORC  -200
Jerome AKA Romster AKA Rome Rome
Now I’m not saying Jerome was a  bad cat. Also I definitely wouldn't say that he was a good cat. He had some jerk tendencies. He would steal food off people’s plates he would destroy things. He had some off field issues with the nip. I’d be generous calling him a troubled talent. Kind of a clubhouse cancer. But good lord did he have some hustle. You can’t take that away from him. I won't let you.
NR  -.323
LDSL  .854
DZR  .425
VORC  173
Teddy AKA Skitters
Skitters was a  special project of mine. Probably brought up both too quickly and not quickly enough. She had a little bit of feral left in her. Probably a little bit too much. But I put in a lot of special. When I first started working with her she would bite the living shit out of me every time I would get even kind of close. Those bites got less and less frequent. Also when she would bite I could tell she wasn't really trying to hurt me anymore. When she stopped drawing blood I knew she was ready for a forever home. 
NR  -.500
LDSL  .123
DZR  .089
VORC  73
Julia AKA JuJu Beans AKA JuJu Da Beanz AKA Da Beanz

Seriously, how fucking cute is that cat? Julia was without a doubt one of the most natural talents we had come through. Small, tenacious, and trouble. We used a spray bottle to discipline her from time to time. One night after she was corrected for biting people we woke up and she had bitten about a thousand holes in the spray bottle rendering it worthless. Truly one of the greats. 

NR .789
LDSL .023
DZR .567
VORC 356
Elliott AKA Eliott 2 AKA Twozles
NR .123
LDSL .092
DZR .132
VORC 122
The older crafty lefty to JuJu Beanz’s fireball throwing rookie. He spent most of his time being climbed on and licked by Julia. Then Julia got adopted and he spent most of his time just sitting there being not nearly as cute as he was when he was getting constantly licked by the other one. Sorry. He was good, but made for a secondary role. 
Diego.
From left to right: Diego, Me. 
From left to right: Diego, Me. 

Don’t let Diego’s lack of nicknames fool you into thinking he wasn’t one of the greats, because goddamnit was he ever. His on lap percentage was through the roof. One of the highest in the modern era. This alone should be enough to cement his place among the best there is. He had a lot of intangibles to go along with OLP too. The kind of cat who really played the game the right way.
NR .344
LDSL .009
DZR .079
VORC 344
Sebastian AKA lil buddy. AKA Ghost Cat

Sebastian started out having a lot of trouble adjusting to the bigs. He spent the first week howling endlessly at night. Waking my wife and me up at all hours. Though he always had a pretty good litter box rating the smell that accompanied it made it seem a lot worse than it ended up being on paper. He was grouchy, he bit, and his lap rating was abysmal. Then he spent some time back down in the minors. We didn’t mean to, but some gentlemen broke into our house and as they were absconding with our possessions they were doubly careless enough to leave the window open and he got out. Poor manners even for people who broke in to take our stuff. That time spent out of the spotlight really helped him work his shit out, because by the time he got back he was at the top of his game. Polite, less stinky, and more playful. Every aspect of him became better. Sometimes a little time spent in the minors is all you need to get your head right. So I broke down Sebastian's stats to before and after time outside.
Before going missing
NR -.237
LDSL .189
DZR .576
VORC 200
After coming back
NR .650
LDSL .034
DZR .078
VORC 365.25
Cody AKA Pink Nose AKA Da Pink AKA One half of The Legendary Purple Boys.
Cody was what you’d call a real character. Truly one of the greats even though he was not all that well behaved. He spent a lot of time opening the freezer door, eating things he wasn’t supposed to, knocking shit onto the floor and just generally being a menace. But there was something about him. Particularly when we got another kitten named Gizmo. The two were a force to be reckoned with.
NR .468
LDSL .090
DZR .899
VORC 302
Gizmos AKA Blue Eyes AKA Little Boy Blue AKA The other half of The Legendary Purple Boys.

The Legendary Purple Boys together
You very rarely talk about Lou Whitaker without hearing the name Alan Trammel. Same with The Legendary Purple Boys. One had blue eyes one had a pink nose. Together they were purple. The Purple Boys. The Legendary Purple Boys.
NR .333
LDSL  .501
DZR .347
VORC 294
So that’s it. Looks like if you’re just looking at VORC (the most all encompassing cat stat) then Sebastian was the clear winner, but that’s not to take away anything from anyone else on this list. Lots of good cats. Lots of heart.
Thanks for reading. 

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