Just Another Cat-Loving, Saab-Driving, Wine-Swilling Liberal Jewish Democrat


Michelle Togut

Michelle Togut resides in North Carolina with her husband and pets. She has worked as an adjunct professor of history, contributor and writer, and small-firm attorney, among other things. These days, she's trying to sell real estate. For fun, she reads political blogs of all persuasions, practices yoga, drinks wine, hikes, reads, and volunteers for a local animal rescue.

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58 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Welcome! Yay!Report

  2. Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

    I know you’ve been around quite a while, but Welcome!Report

  3. Avatar Robert Greer says:

    Your excellent comments give me good reason to look forward to your posts, Michelle.Report

  4. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Except for the fact that I am absolutely allergic to cats and prefer dogs. We seem to have a lot in common.

    I’m still curious about how your parents feel about being among the 20 percent of Jews who are Republican. Minority-in-minority groups fascinate me.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      My father thinks Jewish liberals are deluded, particularly those who don’t understand that Obama is going to throw Israel under the bus. My mother grew up in a small town outside of Sacramento and registered Republican the moment she could vote. She was raised as some kind of Protestant and converted when she married my father.

      They haven’t been active in the Jewish community for ages and, near as I can tell, most of their friends are pretty Republican and not Jewish. So, they live in something of a bubble made worse by their excessive consumption of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the National Review. I pretty much bite hard on my tongue when either of them talks politics anymore because failure to do so ends up in a nasty argument. My father and I once got into a two-hour screaming match over the topic of Sarah Palin. We pretty much live in two very different political realities.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        Once again confirming my theory that liberals and conservatives exist in two different realities that somehow exist on the same planet.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Welcome, Michelle!

    Diesel? Not so much.Report

  6. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Welcome aboard! If you’re ever interested, a Lasch symposium here would make my month!Report

  7. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Welcome! It is most awesome to have you on board.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Hurray! (Cecilia, Tiger, and Angel are delighted as well.)Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      Actually, while at least one additional member of the household (me) is also delighted, the cats are quite ambivalent. You see, they think the job of humans is to feed them and pet them (and in Jaybird’s case, to sit on the couch, playing video games, as pictured in the gravatar above). The job of humans is most definitely NOT to shut themselves into the computer room, or fill up their lap with a laptop, while reading this “League” business. Thus, the addition of even the most pro-cat blogger to the rostrum is a matter of grave doubt, as far as the cats are concerned.

      [I think this may be the most twee paragraph I have ever written. OH WELL. Welcome to the front page, Michelle! I’m looking forward to your posts.]Report

  9. Avatar Murali says:


    P.S. Is it me or is the cat to person ratio increasing?Report

  10. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    You sound fabulous! Here and from you previous comments. I’m so excited for you. 🙂

    I’m not a cat person, but Pugs are my *favorite*. I like the part about wine, yoga, and hiking. Yay Michelle!!!!Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      I’m pretty much my pug’s servant these days now that’s she’s getting up there and doesn’t get around nearly as well as she used to. She’s still a little sweetheart though who’ll happily suck up to anybody who thinks she’s cute.Report

  11. Breaking my usual comment silence to note that Christopher Lasch is a great, fascinating academic. Someday I’d love to pick your brain about him and his Rochester colleague, Robert Westbrook.

    A very hearty welcome! The site is better for having you aboard.Report

  12. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Congrats, Michelle. I’ve enjoyed your comments, so it’s nice to see you elevated to the masthead.Report

  13. Avatar Theo. Bennett says:

    Welcome. And thank you. Saabs, wine, liberalism and the Rest are
    treasures mire aluable than opals.
    – Theo.Report

  14. Avatar Theo. Bennett says:

    Almost as valuable as fingers less buttered than mine
    when hastily tapping a message by ‘phone txt… ( smile)
    I meant, of course, “treasures MORE VALUABLE than”…!
    Then again, perhaps it’s my own mired Saab-driving, border
    collie loving, Clare Valley shiraz-viognier swilling, basic
    Liberal Judeo democracy passion that’s to blame…?
    Looking forward,
    – Theo.Report

  15. Avatar James K says:

    Welcome to the Inner Circle Michelle.Report

  16. Avatar Rod Engelsman says:

    Congrats, Michelle! Looking forward to some more insight from the XX wing.Report

  17. Avatar zic says:


    Nice to have another woman posting. And always nice to have someone with so much common sense have a soap box on which to stand. (And the more I read/react here, the nicer I think that soap box, too.)

    Thanks for asking Michelle, Tom & Erik. I’m grateful.Report

  18. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I’m thrilled to have you on the front page, Michelle, and I am really, really looking forward to reading your work.

    Diesel would not only have curled ears also but a bobbed tail, no? And about the size of Maine Coon? He must make quite an impression on people.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      Diesel only has curled ears and he’s not all that big. Some of his siblings and both his parents are polydactyl but not him. He’s still quite impressive. He’s slim and muscular and looks (and slinks) like a mini wild cat. A very cool and friendly little guy.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Where on earth did you get him?Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP says:

        Just gotta say Diesel is a little feline work of art. He’s tremenjus. Though I’ll probably own shelter cats for the rest of my life, at some point, I want to own a Pixie Bob.Report

        • Avatar Michelle says:

          I’ve seen Pixie Bobs at cat shows–they’re awesome. We’ve mostly adopted shelter and rescue kitties as well, but it was hard to resist those ears.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP says:

            My girlfriend owns the loveliest dog I’ve ever known. Took her a while to get used to me: she’d never been much about men in general.

            So one day, C and I were tooling down a back road with Cheyenne in the back of the Dogmobile. As she looked forward from the back seat, I leaned my head and put mine next to hers. She didn’t want to admit it, but it took her a second or two to pull her head away. Thereafter, she kinda accepted me and just a bit more. I call her the Dainty Dog.

            Here’s a much-loved kitty, Purdy, another gift from my girlfriend, an elderly kitty from whom I coaxed perhaps a year more of life with my own cooking. Yeah, sad to admit, for quite a while, I was making cat food.Report

  19. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    Mazel Tov on the birth of posting privileges!Report

  20. Avatar ktward says:

    Very awesome.

    Fwiw, I’ve ever found affinity with folks who are both dog people and cat people. Admittedly, I’m much less excited about birds as pets but I’m usually willing to come to terms with my own shortcomings.Report

    • Avatar Plinko says:

      If there is a bird in your house, one of you has made a mistake.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      We never planned to have a bird, but she never would have survived outside where we found her. Turns out she’s a pretty fascinating little creature. Our younger cats are a bit too fascinated by her and so have to be imprisoned in our bedroom when she’s out and about.Report

      • Avatar Trumwill Mobile says:

        I once pet-sat a dog and a bird. The dog ate the birds. That wasn’t fun.Report

        • Avatar Rod Engelsman says:

          Ouch! Pet-sitting FAIL. That must have been an uncomfortable conversation when the owners returned.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            Fortulately, she was very understanding. Unbeknownst to me, the bird had a habit of “dive-bombing” the dog in an attempt to play. Under my watch, alas, the dog won.

            By way of coincidence, I let my dog out along earlier. I was busy with the baby, so I let her out by herself. Anyway, when she came back, she had feathers all across her mouth. I don’t know, I’m not asking, and she’s not telling.Report

  21. Avatar Glyph says:


  22. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Welcome aboard Michelle!Report

  23. Oh, hurrah! I am super-delighted by this.Report

  24. Avatar Damon says:


    Cats rock.Report