Why don't you ever want to play?
I'm tired of this piece of string
You sleep as much as I do now
And you don't eat much of anything
I don't know who you're talking to
I made a search through every room
But all I found was dust that moved
In shadows of the afternoon

And listen, about those bitter songs you sing?
They're not helping anything
They won't make you strong

So, we should open up the house
Invite the tabby two doors down
You could ask your sister
If she doesn't bring her basset hound
Ask the things you shouldn't miss:
Tape-hiss and the Modern Man
The Cold War and card catalogues
To come and join us if they can

For girly drinks and parlor games
We'll pass around the easy lie
Of absolutely no regrets
And later maybe you could try
To let your losses dangle off
The sharp edge of a century
And talk about the weather, or
How the weather used to be

And I'll cater with all the birds that I can kill
Let their tiny feathers fill disappointment
Lie down; lick the sorrow from your skin
Scratch the terror and begin
To believe you're strong

All you ever want to do is drink and watch TV
And frankly that thing doesn't really interest me
I swear I'm going to bite you hard
And taste your tinny blood
If you don't stop the self-defeating lies
You've been repeating since the day you brought me home
I know you're strong

Lyrics submitted by lakeoffire23

Plea from a Cat Named Virtute song meanings
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  • +4
    General Comment

    I think we all really need a cat named virtue, who will bend over backwards to try to get us out of our depressive ruts. sometimes it worries me though, what exactly does it mean to be strong to a cat?

    windmills221bon April 14, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    This song is hard for me, cos I feel like the owner of the cat, but I love what I'm hearing from the cat. This cat's voice in a song makes more sense to me than the people that try talking to me. But I also don't want to give up this wallowing. I sleep a lot, I barely eat...but then I remember The 'thans' Aside: "I'm unconsoled, I'm lonely, I am so much better than I used to be."

    I love this cat named Virtue and I want him to keep talking to me, but I can't just 180 my life, deny how I feel and my inclinations. But maybe, just maybe he can inch me there, one degree at a time.

    poetryoflifeon October 28, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    What other band can just write a song from a cat's perspective and make it one of the deepest songs I've ver heard. And how clever the "And I'll cater with all the birds that I can kill. Let their tiny feathers fill disappointment. Lie down; lick the sorrow from your skin. Scratch the terror and begin to believe you're strong." line is amazing. This is one of the best songs on Reconstruction Site. But Reconstruction Site to me doesn't even compare to Left And Leaving or Fallow. But it's catching up fast.

    The Smell Of Rainon November 20, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I always believed the cat's owner to be going through a bad breakup. A good friend of mine broke up with his fiancee and was distraught. He was depressed and lost all motivation, just like how the cat in the song describes. It was his dog and this song that pulled him through. This song always reminded me of him. I have so much respect for the Weakerthans-- Like The Smell of Ran said, who else can write a song from a cat's perspective and have it be so meaningful and moving!

    tigerlily13on March 21, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Unum Cum Virtute Multorum. That's the motto of Winnipeg and probably the derivation of the cat's name. Just throwing that out there.

    jc88150225on August 17, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Powerful song,

    It isn't about immediately changing your life for the better, but to remember to live because "you're strong."

    Listen to it after a breakup, after you are down in your luck, and feeling sad for it will give you hope.

    Josion November 13, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The Weakerthans. Top 10 Fav. bands of all time. Any album, any song, anytime!

    Suspneceon November 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I swear I'm going to bite you hard and taste your tinny blood if you don't stop the self-defeating lies you've been repeating since the day you brought me home.

    This is still a longstanding joke with my parents and I since we saw The Weakerthans in concert. I love them. And Virtute means strength...the Weakerthans shirt says "The Weakerthans" and "Unum Cum Virtute Multorum"--One with The Strenghth Of Many

    hardcoretroubadouron September 04, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    What a brilliant observation - our pets are usually more aware of our emotional state of mind than almost anyone else. They suffer and benefit directly from our happiness or unhappiness while we remain mostly oblivious to how our moods must be affecting them - or even what kind of long term mood we might be in.

    I've listened to this song about a hundred times now and always come away wondering what my pets could be telling me, and how I could be less self-absorbed in my misery, be the strong person they know and love me to be and just start seizing life and enjoying it a lot more often because, you know, it's not very long.

    coldsillyon October 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    This song has a double meaning for every line, almost. The song represents what Samson imagines what his cat would say to him, and simultaneously it's really him telling himself what he already knows: He's become weak-hearted, possibly depressed, and complacent with things he really doesn't enjoy (such as t.v., drinking, staying by himself and alone) instead of living his life as he know he should or wants to. Hence the cat being named "Virtue", or what he knows is right, yet not paying enough attention to his own sense of virtue, as echoed in the very first line, "Why don't you ever want to play?". I won't go line by line, but suffice to say the meaning is there if you look well enough. Truly an inspiring song. By the way, the song doesn't have to apply to any "emo" character, but just anyone who has lost reason to believe in themselves and knows they need to change.

    CasstheMagicianon January 16, 2010   Link

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