Nope | Reviewer: Mo | 8/4/11

It really probably isn't a cat to do with anyone in the band. The fact that they like cats probably allowed them write this, but it seems this song is about an Old woman/Maybe Man.

Things they miss- The Cold War ad card catalogues are hardly in the bands time frame. Parlour games - another reference.

This song is about a cat being honest with its owner about how it knows they are better than what they've become and how they're hiding behind lies so not to get hurt or regret their life. 'Sharp edge of a century' also suggest the person is older especially in the context of the surrounding metaphorical lines.

It is definately a retrospective look at someones life. Who's? I don't know.

Some of the comments on here scare me with how stupid they are.

VIRTUTE | Reviewer: Gawain | 5/8/10

The cat's name is VIRTUTE not Virtue - I made the same mistake originally. It's pronounced Ver-tu-tay according to So any references to 'virtue' are probably not relevant.

I love how the cat is recommending some of its own lifestyle habits, like 'lie down/lick the sorrow from your skin/scratch the terror'. It's quite amusing, and really cool. Great song.

Careful... | Reviewer: Andrew | 3/31/10

Just want to leave a note that one of the first things to keep in mind when reading and analyzing poetry is to never assume the writer is the speaker, or in this case, even the 'speaker's' owner. The song could quite possibly have nothing to do with Samson himself, or perhaps contains bits and pieces of realism, but in no way should we assume that Virtue's owner is Samson himself.

My favorite song for where I'm at. | Reviewer: Cass | 1/16/10

This song has a double meaning for every line, almost. The song represents what Sampson 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. 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.

Response to Alec | Reviewer: JayMac | 10/14/09

I think this song is about a combination of John's close connection with his cat, as we see on the album, "Reunion Tour" there is a song titled, "Virtue the Cat Explains Her Departure" (about the life of his cat and her passing away) and him kind of imaging himself as his cat sees him. Many psychologists say that the way we image people view us is how we truly view ourselves. In this song the cat sees him as a depressed person sleeping all the time, not eating, singing bitter song. The only inclination that we get his depression is caused by a sour relationship is in the line, "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." Which can imply that he is maybe talking of the phone to someone or more likely he is talking to himself.

Great song | Reviewer: Alec | 4/19/09

It's a fantastic song, but you fellows know that it isn't really a song from a cat's POV, right? Think more inter-personal relationship. Perhaps old John Sampson had some girl troubles? As for the Girlie drinks & Parlour Games, he's trying to tell this woman to go out, stop being so introspective, and do what she once did. Live.

The Cat's point of view is just a brilliant way to achieve this fly-on-the-wall observation point for this troubled woman.

Or I could be wrong, and he just really connects with his cat. Could be, I suppose.

So | Reviewer: Michael | 2/8/09

what's that bit in the middle about Cold War and card catalogues, do you think, and the girlie drinks and parlour games? Seems it drifts there somewhat, which is a shame in terms of artistic efficiency.

Michael II

A unique perspective | Reviewer: Michael | 11/19/08

Only someone who has lived for years with a cat and developed a real relationship with that small creature could understand that this song is in fact what cat would say if they had the capacity. Insightful lyrics emphasized by strong, fast moving and sometimes melodic riffs create an exhilarating and inspiring thoughtful Plea From A Cat Named Virtue. I never get tired of this song. And neither does my cat Mac.