I've heard some people say that human entertainments like music and television are just so much white noise to domestic pets such as dogs and cats.

I can't speak much about canine behavior, but I've shared living space with something over a dozen cats in my life (no, not all at once; that'd be kinda scary). And I can safely say that some cats dig music and even TV; if they seem not to, chances are they don't like what you've got on.

Take for instance Braunbeck's new kitten, Sprat. We just got cable yesterday (first time I've really had cable in my life -- I'm finding it rather cool, even though I'm a bit of an anti-TV curmudgeon.) I clicked on the TV in the bedroom this morning, and Sprat hopped up on the bed, staring at it fixedly for several minutes. I left it on the Weather Channel, and he flopped back on the pillows, dozing in the blue light. This isn't his normal behavior; he's usually off the bed once it's no longer got people in it, chasing the other cats and wanting to play.

My parents have several cats. My folks play a lot of classical music and operas, and I've noticed the cats tend to congregate near whichever stereo is playing. (The presence of human laps guarantees their congregation, of course).

However, one of their cats hates Verdi.

You put on some Bach or Beethoven, he's there. Wagner operas, cool. Philip Glass, fine. But even if he's getting petted on a nice comfy lap, if somebody puts on a Verdi opera ... he's off your lap and scratching at the door, wanting out and away from the music.

At least he just leaves the room. They had a cat for many years who would pee on the speakers.

In other news, I got the singularly most depressing telemarketing call ever: a woman, reading awkwardly from a script, trying to sell me a cemetery plot. In Westerville, Ohio.

How horrible must that job be? Not only is it that most universally hated occupation, telemarketing, you're selling something most people don't want to think about. And if you happen to find someone willing to consider death and the proper disposal of their earthly remains ... who wants to be buried in Westerville? Especially when Greenlawn Cemetery is just down the road?

I felt kind of bad for her, but I broke the call off as quickly as I could just the same.