This is a seven minute video created by Vancouver veterinarian Dr. Uri Burstyn discussing and demonstrating different techniques for properly picking up a cat, absolutely none of which involve yelling, "Hey, furrytits!"
the key to picking up a cat safely is to make them feel supported, so I always pick up a cat with one hand under the chest one hand under the abdomen and then we can lift them up with of even force, gently so they're not hanging down, they're not flopping about. That way they'll be comfortable and also that way you'll be safe...though be sure their hind legs - they can do quite a bit of damage
I guessed I learned how to pick up cats via trial-and-error, because that's the thing about cats -- they won't hesitate to let you know if you're doing something wrong. *nuzzling cat face* Isn't that right -- isn't that right, Miss Muffet? *meow* I get it, I'm not eating right or exercising, stop remind me.
Keep going for the very informative video.
Thanks to becca b, who agrees a comfortable cat is a happy cat. Except the cats that are angry all the time.