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How Many Cats Is Too Many Cats?

An illustration of several people, each one passing some juicy gossip on to the next one.
Illustration by Tara Jacoby

One of the things I loved about my old apartment was that it was coated in many layers of lead paint. I'm not actually sure if this is why the walls were so thick or if they just built walls thicker pre-war, but I never heard my neighbors unless I had my windows open. I lived there for eight years and only for the one season that the people above me had a Roomba, did I even remember my neighbors existed once I was inside the closed door of my apartment.

I honestly cannot imagine how I would have survived the pandemic if I had been tormented by the sounds of other people that I couldn't see or talk to, whose conversations interrupted what little sanity remained in my mind. But that's what happens to the protagonists of this week's episode of Normal Gossip. They moved into a new apartment sight-unseen (their first mistake), and then spent the rest of their time there hearing every single thing their new neighbors said or did.

Joining me this week is Defector's own Sabrina Imbler! Sabrina is our resident creatures expert, one of my favorite writers to read, and the author of the forthcoming book How Far The Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures, which comes out December 6.

It felt like my civic duty to ask Sabrina about which creatures gossip and how, but I did not expect them to bring me the story of a 10-foot-long worm that lives in the ocean and gobbles up little fish! Terrifying! Since learning about it, I have thought about the worm every day. I am glad to know that few little fish are using gossip (and bubbles!) as a way to circumvent its trap, and I think you will be too.

We also dove into this week's gossip, which is not only about thin walls but also about Siamese cats that yell all the time, forcing us to answer an important question for the ages: How many cats is too many cats? Come for the drama, stay for Sabrina's hot takes about Settlers of Catan.

You can subscribe to Normal Gossip on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever else you listen! You can follow Normal Gossip on Instagram here.

(The transcript for this week’s episode can be found here.)

And if you do have some good goss that you want us to hear, the email for that is, or phone it in to 2-6-7-9-GOSSIP.

Thank you for listening to Season 3 of our show! We’re still learning and growing and having fun. We hope you are too.

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