Distributed systems are known for being notoriously difficult to wrangle. But why? This talk will cover a brief history of distributed databases, clear up some common myths about the CAP theorem, dig into why network partitions are inevitable, and close out by highlighting how a few popular open source projects manage the uncertainty created during a partition event. Almost all slides will contain original illustration featuring mischievous cats masquerading as sysadmins. By the end of this talk you will have a better understanding about the design trade-offs involved in architecting for distributed systems, and hopefully be inspired to pick up sketchnoting!