New Felis Catus; humans drool, cat rules

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/minners_cat.jpgUPDATE: felis catus reacquired – see below.

In the middle of all the recent family medical troubles, we also lost our cat of 15.5 years, “Minners”, due to age related disease. Minners is seen at left, performing a water quality test.

Minners, whose name was derived from a lineage of cat names, Maximus “Max”, Minimus “Min” and finally “Minners”, was a good student of the cat performing arts and was well within specifications (but often outside of) for Felis Catus in a human domicile.

Yesterday, we got a new kitty, a Birman (for $20 at the local cat rescue of all places), who my wife wants to name “Mega”, simply so she can hear the veterinarian laugh when he has to record “Mega Watts” on the chart. That, and he’ll likely become huge given his size at two months.

Only one problem so far. Less than 24 hours into owning a new kitty, we’ve managed to lose him somewhere inside the house. He’s secreted himself somewhere while clueless humans turn the house upside down. The dog is no help, though we are sure he knows where the cat is hiding. I suppose now I’m going to have to get out the Skilsaw.

And it was all going so well last night:

In the meantime, we’ve turned to this training video for “engineers who own cats” for help, plus breaking news in the world of cat science.

UPDATE: After hours of searching, including using my infrared camera (the one I used in weather station surveys), to search for heat signatures inside furniture, under and in beds, in shelving, and outside at night, our errant kitty finally made himself known. Reader Pamela Gray can sleep tonight.

He was in the small drawer of an end table, a drawer full of clutter, and one we never thought to look in because it was so small. We looked in the other end table drawer.

While we have not named this critter yet, names that come to mind are:

TDC (that damn cat), Houdini, and “cubby”… since we spent the day searching every cubby hole in the house, twice, sometimes three times.

I hate the simultaneous feelings of relief and annoyance at being outwitted by a juvenile feline. ;o)

Our dog and new damn cat get along just fine:

Ok, at least I don’t look as silly as these two guys:

==========================================

In cat science news this week, a major breakthrough from MIT:

Cats show perfect balance even in their lapping

New study reveals the subtle dynamics underpinning how felines drink

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Cat fanciers everywhere appreciate the gravity-defying grace and exquisite balance of their feline friends. But do they know those traits extend even to the way cats lap milk?

Researchers at MIT, Virginia Tech and Princeton University analyzed the way domestic and big cats lap and found that felines of all sizes take advantage of a perfect balance between two physical forces. The results will be published in the November 11 online issue of the journal Science.

It was known that when they lap, cats extend their tongues straight down toward the bowl with the tip of the tongue curled backwards like a capital “J” to form a ladle, so that the top surface of the tongue actually touches the liquid first. We know this because another MIT engineer, the renowned Doc Edgerton, who first used strobe lights in photography to stop action, filmed a domestic cat lapping milk in 1940.

But recent high-speed videos made by this team clearly revealed that the top surface of the cat’s tongue is the only surface to touch the liquid. Cats, unlike dogs, aren’t dipping their tongues into the liquid like ladles after all. Instead, the cat’s lapping mechanism is far more subtle and elegant. The smooth tip of the tongue barely brushes the surface of the liquid before the cat rapidly draws its tongue back up. As it does so, a column of milk forms between the moving tongue and the liquid’s surface. The cat then closes its mouth, pinching off the top of the column for a nice drink, while keeping its chin dry.

The liquid column, it turns out, is created by a delicate balance between gravity, which pulls the liquid back to the bowl, and inertia, which in physics, refers to the tendency of the liquid or any matter, to continue moving in a direction unless another force interferes. The cat instinctively knows just how quickly to lap in order to balance these two forces, and just when to close its mouth. If it waits another fraction of a second, the force of gravity will overtake inertia, causing the column to break, the liquid to fall back into the bowl, and the cat’s tongue to come up empty.

While the domestic cat averages about four laps per second, with each lap bringing in about 0.1 milliliters of liquid, the big cats, such as tigers, know to slow down. They naturally lap more slowly to maintain the balance of gravity and inertia.

Analyzing the mechanics

In this research, Roman Stocker of MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Pedro Reis of CEE and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sunghwan Jung of Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and Jeffrey Aristoff of Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering used observational data gathered from high-speed digital videos of domestic cats, including Stocker’s family cat, and a range of big cats (tiger, lion and jaguar) from the Boston-area zoos, thanks to a collaboration with Zoo New England’s mammal curator John Piazza and assistant curator Pearl Yusuf. And, in what could be a first for a paper published in Science, the researchers also gathered additional data by analyzing existing YouTube.com videos of big cats lapping.

With these videos slowed way down, the researchers established the speed of the tongue’s movement and the frequency of lapping. Knowing the size and speed of the tongue, the researchers then developed a mathematical model involving the Froude number, a dimensionless number that characterizes the ratio between gravity and inertia. For cats of all sizes, that number is almost exactly one, indicating a perfect balance.

To better understand the subtle dynamics of lapping, they also created a robotic version of a cat’s tongue that moves up and down over a dish of water, enabling the researchers to systematically explore different aspects of lapping, and ultimately, to identify the mechanism underpinning it.

“The amount of liquid available for the cat to capture each time it closes its mouth depends on the size and speed of the tongue. Our research — the experimental measurements and theoretical predictions — suggests that the cat chooses the speed in order to maximize the amount of liquid ingested per lap,” said Aristoff, a mathematician who studies liquid surfaces. “This suggests that cats are smarter than many people think, at least when it comes to hydrodynamics.”

Aristoff said the team benefitted from the diverse scientific backgrounds of its members: engineering, physics and mathematics.

“In the beginning of the project, we weren’t fully confident that fluid mechanics played a role in cat’s drinking. But as the project went on, we were surprised and amused by the beauty of the fluid mechanics involved in this system,” said Jung, an engineer whose research focuses on soft bodies, like fish, and the fluids surrounding them.

The work began three-and-a-half years ago when Stocker, who studies the fluid mechanics of the movements of ocean microbes, was watching his cat lap milk. That cat, eight-year-old Cutta Cutta, stars in the researchers’ best videos and still pictures. And like all movie stars (Cutta Cutta means “stars stars” in an Australian aboriginal language), he likes being waited on. With their cameras trained on Cutta Cutta’s bowl, Stocker and Reis said they spent hours at the Stocker home waiting on Cutta Cutta … to drink, that is. But the wait didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for the project, which very appropriately originated from a sense of curiosity.

“Science allows us to look at natural processes with a different eye and to understand how things work, even if that’s figuring out how my cat laps his breakfast,” Stocker said. “It’s a job, but also a passion, and this project for me was a high point in teamwork and creativity. We did it without any funding, without any graduate students, without much of the usual apparatus that science is done with nowadays.”

“Our process in this work was typical, archetypal really, of any new scientific study of a natural phenomenon. You begin with an observation and a broad question, ‘How does the cat drink?’ and then try to answer it through careful experimentation and mathematical modeling,” said Reis, a physicist who works on the mechanics of soft solids. “To us, this study provides further confirmation of how exciting it is to explore the scientific unknown, especially when this unknown is something that’s part of our everyday experiences.”

Besides their obvious enthusiasm for the work itself, the researchers are also delighted that it builds on Edgerton’s 1940 film of the cat lapping. That film appeared as part of an MGM-released movie called “Quicker’n a Wink,” which won an Academy Award in 1941. Reis and Stocker say they’re moving on to other collaborations closer to their usual areas of research. But their feline friend Cutta Cutta might have Oscar hopes.

###
Less than 24 hours into owning a new kitty, we’ve managed to lose him somewhere inside the house. He’s secreted himself somewhere while clueless humans turn the house upside down. The dog is no help, though we are sure he know where the cat is hiding.
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143 thoughts on “New Felis Catus; humans drool, cat rules

  1. I hope you don’t need the skil saw — probably he’s just exploring some interesting by-way and will return when he decides he’s hungry. My Sunshine pulled that stunt on me when I first got him home – but turns out, he was comming out of hiding when I was at work to raid the food bowl and use the litter box.

  2. We have had a rescue cat since 1996 (the same one). She now has 19 years and still going. When we got her she spent 3 weeks hiding on top of the oven housing coming down when we were out.
    I would just put out the trays of food and litter and wait a while.

  3. They all go eventually, but it is always like losing a member of the family. We had to euthanize our 17.5 year old dog due to cancer. It’s never easy. My condolences and good luck with the new family member.

  4. Anthony,
    Sorry to hear about minners…
    I really like the name Mega Watts…
    He is just getting used to your family… and may not be accepting of the dog.
    You may need to remove the dog for now…
    My seal point himalayan is always there for treats, toys, food, and attention… on his own terms.
    Good luck.

  5. Mega Watts…hee hee hee. Or Kilo, heh. I like your wife’s sense of humor. 🙂
    Good luck finding your new cat.

  6. As both of my regular readers know, “Smokey” is the name of my wife’s big [24 lb] gray tomcat, with notched ears from all the fights he’s been in.
    I volunteer at the local Humane Society, a job that has its risks: last week we adopted an irresistible orange kitten. If I had that kitten’s energy I would rule the world.
    For the month of November many Northern California animal shelters have a special: $10 to adopt a cat or kitten. The regular cost is $175. It includes all vaccinations, spaying or neutering, a free vet visit, and an implanted ID chip. Our shelter doesn’t euthanize animals, so we always have lots of them.
    We’re overflowing with kittens, so if you’ve been thinking about getting one, now’s the time. [<— click on the "cats" in the link to see pictures of the available animals].

  7. Several Observations:
    1) Once one has achieved an energy state of “three cats” the next available state is “dog”.
    2) It is best to spay one’s cats. Failure to do so leads to an “irradiation” of photons called “kittens”. There is a considerable motive force for spontaneously “irradiating” kittens , because the alternative leads to: photon + photon = matter + antimatter (E=MC2). When matter accumulate in one’s litter box it tends to collide with antimatter ( generally one’s wife or girlfriend). Release of “kittens” into the “atmosphere” prevents matter/antimatter collisions. This prevents a local warming effect.
    3) There is an opposite “theory of kittens” espoused by persons who have not achieved a “three cat state”. Generally, these persons lack experience with anti-matter.
    Regards, Kforestcat.

  8. Don’t worry…Mega will come out when he hears the food can open! Loved the video! (have 4 cats myself). Sorry to hear about Minners, but he lived a good long kitty life and had the privilege of being your official toilet water tester.

  9. I’m not in the “leave him alone and he’ll come out when he is ready” set. Long story, but I had to move to a trailer with a cat, who promptly vanished. She crawled under a line of closets as far as she could. I left her alone for a couple of days, then opened that last closet and pulled her out. She felt dead (cold and stiff), but crawled back under the closets when I turned her lose. I don’t think she would have lived much longer had I left her alone. (No more pets for me. Too hard to lose them. My condolences.)

  10. We once had a cat that disappeared for a while we knew not where until we checked out a broom cupboard. It had squeezed through a gap in the floorboards. The same cat would find all sorts of hiding places wherever there was a gap or a chink or a dark corner. It really loved living life incognito. Another thing – it loved to lick people’s armpits. Tickled like crazy.

  11. Sad when you lose a cat – we lost Tilly in August due to inoperable tumours – she was 18, and looked like a kitten.

  12. A man after my own heart. After we had to have our lovely female cat put to sleep due to cancer, we were really upset. But within 10 days we had two lovely 2 yr old boy cats from the cat rescue to replace her.
    The house echoed with “The Boyz are back in Town” by Thin Lizzy for days
    One of them is sat on my desk as I type this
    Cheers Adrian

  13. Skilsaw? Cat? I know one person who described the sound of bagpipes as someone running a Skilsaw thru a cat. I always thought it sounded more like a bandsaw and a pig personally, but perceptions are different for everyone.
    Good luck with the new feline. I’m a dog person myself, though I keep neither due to allergies sadly.

  14. Regards “Mega” and the skill saw.
    My guess is “Mega Watts”, being a young male, is feeling a little insecure in the new surroundings. Cats are keenly sensitive to smell and associate odor with territory. It’s likely Mega can smell Minners, but, cant’s find him. So, Mega’s a bit confused. Cats hate change/confusion/conflict. Dollars-to-donuts, “Mega” is “hiding” because he does not want to get into a territorial conflict.
    I’d recommend simply locating Mega to satisfy your concern for his safety and then letting things play-out. A good tactic for introducing an older cats into a new home is to put them in their own “room” for a few days. Once they appear interested in the “outside” world then it’s ok to let them gradually explore the house and establish territory.
    Good Luck, Kforestcat.

  15. Had the same happen with our last kitten we brought home from the shelter . . . found him curled up in a lower shelf curled up in my big cast iron stew pot . . . . way in the back where it was hard to see him.
    He came out after about 48 hours . . . seems they need some time to adjust to their new digs. It was the scratching on the inside of the door that lead us to his hiding spot . . no skill saw required.
    Hope your situation works out as well.

  16. If your bed or furniture has netting underneath, the cat may have torn through it, and is hiding in the raftings of your furniture. Without knowing more about your house, it’s hard to tell. My wife once cried for two hours that she must have lost the cat outside. As I approached her to console, the cat was sitting over her shoulder looking at her like she was a stupid human. The cat is now 19 after having been abandoned in an apartment building hallway. Thanks for going the shelter way for your needs, instead of buying a purebred or in a shopping window.
    My wife and I are avid cat fanciers, and have a FEW. We spend our Sundays with leukemia cats as well at a local shelter, so we know all the hiding places.

  17. Sorry to hear about your cat Minners.
    As for Mega, she/he/it will probably showup during feeding time, mine always did, a good shake with the box or opening a can and there is that welcome feel of a cat rubbing against your legs.
    @Kforestcat
    A cat is composed of Matter + Anti-Matter + It Doesn’t Matter.

  18. Lucky kitty hid in the boxsprings, as well as under other furniture. Good luck with the new kitty–I’m sure he needs you as much as you need him.

  19. Anthony, you have a disturbing knack of writing a story that makes me worry till you tell us how it ends. I WAS enjoying my Saturday napping!!!!

  20. Sorry to hear of the loss of Minners. I hope your new one is a cuddly one. We adopted a feral one at home six years ago and he really does not like cuddles.
    I have a feral visitor at the holiday cottage where I spend half my time, and sometimes he hides and I cannot find him. When I bang two stainless steel pans he comes out running:)

  21. great name, Mega Watts! I’d definitely go with that. it’ll give everyone a chuckle for the entire life of your new kitty!
    where the kitty might be hiding…. while you undoubtedly live in a home with higher quality construction than an apartment which I lived in many years ago while I had a young kitten, I found that there was a gap beneath the bathroom sink cabinet which allowed the kitty to climb up over the baseboard and underneath the cabinet. nearly broke my arm getting her out but i was terrified to leave her there since there were other oddities of that apartment which made me worry about hidden gaps and holes that she might fall into. so, you might indeed need the skilsaw but it’ll be worth it and you’ll have a great story to tell too. best wishes on the new kitty and my condolences on the lose of the elder cat. I have gone through that loss twice now and it’s always very sad. When my first pet ever, Hedi, died, I cried for 2 solid weeks. Sockies had passed a few years earlier due to a sudden illness and I was, of course, devastated but there’s something about losing your first pet that just ripped me apart.

  22. I have this Springer Spaniel he was raised with cats. He thinks all cats are his buddies.
    We recently lost our old tabby cat, but she set the ground rules. “NO! ears lowered and
    Fangs showing do not mean kitty play!” ” I am an old ,grouchy , arthritic cat! closer,puppy dog!” Whack! on the black, rubbery nose, and that was it. The Springer
    would go to the other side of living room to avoid that cat. Which is what she wanted…

  23. You should be ashamed having a pet cat! According to the Greens the carbon footprint of a cat is about the same as that of medium sized Toyota.

  24. Hi Mega,
    What an interesting name, wish we could meet some day. I’m Mi mi, I’m a pert ginger lady with, I’m told, gorgeous eyes and a very cute tail.
    I keep a human, he calls himself Stephen Brown but I call him “Serf”. He demonstrates the idiocy of human-kind perfectly. Do you know, it has taken me years of intensive training to get him to learn such simple commands as ” Open the door to let me out”, “Now open the door and let me in”, “I want food”, “My hot-water bottle needs filling (it does get chilly here in England and a girl has to have her beauty-sleep uninterrupted)” and “I’m ready for bed so tuck me in, properly”.
    I have had to resort to some pretty brutal treatment of my Serf over the years. I’ve found the the tried-and-trusted “Fur ball on the pillow” works well in most circumstances, though I have had to resort to the rather more serious “Carpet Clawing” and “”Mattress Shredding” techniques when the Serf is being particularly obtuse. Usually, though, our feline repertoire of assorted howls and meows serves to keep my Serf in line.
    I know that it sounds difficult, but it does pay dividends when you “reward” your Serf with the occasional purr and gentle head-butt. If you can bring yourself to undergo the indignity you will find that actually sitting on your Serf’s lap will bring great rewards in his attitude and behaviour.
    I’m pleased to see that your Serf has found it necessary to wail to the world that your “I’m Hiding to Make You Appreciate ME More” trick is having such a devastating effect.
    Well done!
    Meow, Mrrrrrr,
    Mi mi.

  25. Great site , been a fan for a long time. As to Mega, once had a kitten who hid INSIDE a couch, got in between cushions and the back when you were sitting on it. When you got up, the ‘door’ closed and you could hear him goofing around in the sofa back. Good luck.

  26. Thank-you Anthony for providing a grumpy, argumentative old so-and-so with some humour. That is not to say that Josh does not make me smile. Spontaneous laughter, however, keeps me smiling for hours, adding much to the worrisome nature of Mrs Eng, who sometimes, I am sure, thinks that wine is not my only pastime.

  27. Good luck finding Mega! I concur with others here who are or have been owned by cats, food is the best means of finding them. Try something oily and smelly, like salmon or sardines, lightly warmed to encourage the flavor to waft around to wherever the little rascal is hiding.
    If you’d rather make the vet groan, you can name him “Killer”. Imagine how much difficulty he’d have keeping a straight face as he’s introduced to “Killer Watts”.

  28. Good luck finding the cat. Keep looking. We had a kitten that had climbed a ladder next to an old wardrobe box. Needless to say she fell in. We could hear her cry, but we could not find her. It took a while but we did find her.
    Keep us updated with cat pics.

  29. Get a mouse, release it in the house.
    The cat will kill it, and bring it back to you to show off its hunting prowess.
    If this doesn’t work, get more cats to catch the mouse 🙂

  30. I was arguing with Lori about dogs being smarter than cats (dogs are smarter, yet I prefer cats). I said cats don’t even know their own name and I challenged her to summon her cat.
    She made a strange trilling noise and sure enough, the cat immediately appeared out of nowhere. I was impressed.
    Then she smiled and said, “I just promised to feed her.”

  31. PERLEESE….
    Cats give stringy meat at best. If you must write this sort of crap pleaee stick to the delights of Aberdeen Angus, Welsh lamb, vancouver lobsters etc.

  32. I am a dog guy, so I am afraid I do not understand why someone would want a pet that does not give a toss about them, but only what is in their cupboard. I do understand the sting of losing a pet, as my german shepherd lived to 15 and it was devastating when we lost him. He could outsmart most people. Sharp as a tack that one. My condolences and sympathies on the loss, and congrats on the new yet elusive family member. P.S. – I wanted to name our next dog “Dixon” , but the missus wouldn’t let me. 8^D

  33. Strangely many people are cat haters, this does not bother me. It is the people that cats hate that are the ones to avoid.

  34. I go with the advice of the engineers regarding TUNA! But make sure it is in brine not oil. The oil masks the smell a bit, but if consumed by a cat, you will need to tether it in the litter tray. I know this now, because I didn’t, once.

  35. Awwww . . the Minners picture is so funny and sweet.
    Mega. Now that’s a darling name for a very darling kitty.
    Best of luck and many happy years with your new fur kid.

  36. Anthony, does your shower curtain show the water cycle? If it does , I want one.
    REPLY: Yes it does, get one here – Anthony

  37. Frederick Davies said on November 13, 2010 at 11:43 am:

    Skillsaw? Please explain.
    REPLY: used to open up walls and cut studs

    A circular saw? Ah, that’s for cutting studs and pieces before assembly. Plunging one into a wall is NOT RECOMMENDED.
    You use a Sawzall™ (reciprocating saw) for cutting studs in a wall, with a bi-metal blade suitable for wood or metal in case you’re cutting through nails or screws. For quick rough work, you use a long demo (demolition) blade. For nicer cuts through sheetrock (plasterboard, gypsum) you can use a jigsaw, or a router with a straight bit. There are smaller one-handed routers available, like the RotoZip, that are ideal for cutting small holes in walls while searching for lost cats.
    And Don’t Forget To Wear Your Safety Glasses!

  38. evanmjones says:
    November 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm
    > I was arguing with Lori about dogs being smarter than cats (dogs are smarter, yet I prefer cats).
    Our dog is smarter in general than my cats (all past tense) and has a fairly impressive vocabulary. However, there are areas where cats excel. I had a part Maine Coon cat, my parents had a St. Bernard dog. The cat (Rachel) understood the dog (Nino) better than the dog understood the cat. Rachel knew Nino had a very good sense of smell and pretty lousy eyesight and a very poor sense of animals in 3D. She could sit on top of stacked fire wood and know Nino wouldn’t see her. She akso knew how she had to come downstairs, trot through the kitchen, and head down to the basement where the litter box was. (Nino stayed on the first floor.) She’d be close to the basement stairs by the time the wood stove air convection would bring cat scent to Nino and wake him up. He’d run to the top of the stairs and miss her every time.
    As for Mega, the last time he got caught he got stuffed in a cage with too many other animals around and no place to hide. He’s making up for lost time.
    [REPLY – there is an overlap in quantity of intelligence as well as quality. ~ Evan]

  39. Evan
    Cats do know their name?lori knew the cat would come for food,cats are not as silly as dogs.They will not come ,unless they want something off you.Poor, stupid dogs will come running when called,even if a kick is waiting for them.Cats are definitely smarter.
    [Yes. (And, no, the cat did not respond to name. Lori was cheating!) One way to put it is that dogs are “smart” enough to be slaves. One thing’s for sure: you can’t order the cat to go take the sheep up the hill, defend them, then bring them back in the evening. Standards vary, of course, and there is an overlap. ~ Evan]

    • @Smokey
      We used to have a cat called Smokey too.
      Re the intelligence of cats, this was reported last year by the BBC: Cats ‘exploit’ humans by purring

      Researchers at the University of Sussex have discovered that cats use a “soliciting purr” to overpower their owners and garner attention and food. Unlike regular purring, this sound incorporates a “cry”, with a similar frequency to a human baby’s. The team said cats have “tapped into” a human bias – producing a sound that humans find very difficult to ignore.

      It is a purr with a high pitched whine in it – yep, I recognise that.

  40. We’ve had them hide behind the freezer, up in the rafters, inside the couch, under the stairs. They’re very good at it when a vet visit is scheduled.

  41. Once had a friend who moved into a new place and the cat decided to hide.
    We found her after many hours of concern hidden in the back of the linen closet curled up in the towels she had stacked on a lower shelf.
    Larry

  42. I have always been rather suspiscious of an animal that stays put when the owners/feeders/providers move house !!
    Good luck with the hunt
    Andy

  43. Anthony,
    “Mega” is an excellent name! Of course “Kilo” and “Giga” would have worked and I really liked “Killer”, but Mega is the best choice of all.
    I was raised a cat person. I only had cats until the late 80s when I added a Golden Retriever. Now I’m pretty much a dog person. My last cat, Loretta, was an animal shelter rescue and I had her for 17 years. Not sure how old she was when I got her but she was a pregnant, adult Egyptian Mau. Very pretty but intolerant of most other life forms. Though she never ventured far from home (like only to the bushes outside the back sliding door) I think coyotes or an owl finally got the old girl. Haven’t had a cat since as I have an aversion to litter box cleaning but they do make great pets and they all have unique personalities.
    Mega will show up…they always do. This is normal behavior until they realize they you work for them and they own the house. Please keep us updated. This human interest story is a welcome break from sea ice and CO2.
    Dave

  44. So Anthony,
    Not only are you enthusiastic about installing solar panels in your house and driving an electric car but you are an animal lover. What is the world coming to? You are supposed to be a red clawed ‘denialist’ earth killer. At least you’re not a Watermelon. :o)

  45. Birmans sound like great cats. I found the following description of their personalities:
    “Birmans are affectionate, gentle, and faithful companions with an air of dignity that seems to invite adoration by their human companions. As former temple cats, Birmans seem to have become accustomed to adoration. They are very intelligent and affectionate, according to fanciers, and very people-oriented. They will generally greet visitors with curiosity rather than fear.”
    http://www.petfinder.com/cat-breeds/Birman
    Hope you find Mega soon. Between the new home, and possibly being intimidated by the dog, he’s probably just found a place where he feels safe.
    We have 4 cats, or rather they have us. Cat toys are everywhere, and tunnels, and they even have their own hand blown glass bowls. They are a delight.

  46. So, we think we have cat troubles:
    ===================
    Idea 1 – WEARING MASKS:
    This simple, yet strange idea was first tested in 1986. Tigers almost always attack from the rear, so the thought was a mask worn on the back of the head would confuse the tigers enough to prevent attacks.
    The Indian government issued groups of workers with masks, and surprisingly, the idea worked. After a year no attacks had been reported upon those with masks, whilst thirty people not using the new system had been attacked and killed. It was noted that tigers followed some mask wearers for many hours, but without attack. In one later fatal attack on a mask wearer the tiger attacked from the side rather than the rear.
    Villagers were always pessimistic about the long term effectiveness of the practice, saying that the tiger would soon learn the trick and attacks resume. Unfortunately, they were correct and though the system is still used, it is with decreasing effectiveness. It has never been used on the Bangledesh side of the Sundarbans.

  47. Check all the drawers in your house. We had a kitten crawl into a “barely” opened drawer, and then we closed the drawer when “tidying” up the house……3 hours later, we heard the horrible wailing of a scared kitty.
    No worse for the experience though. Oh…..and check your dryer!!!

  48. Robert of Ottawa said on November 13, 2010 at 3:52 pm:

    Anthony how to break this to you?
    Is the dog looking unusually content?

    Dogs can consider cats to be prey. To a mid to large size dog, a young small cat may not be noticeably different from a squirrel or similar furry critter. Indeed, from the dog’s perspective all could make for a good meal.
    I’ll just say, I personally know outside dogs and young stray cats may not play well together, not well at all. And even in-the-house dogs may not appreciate the enthusiastic play of cats or kittens, especially when suddenly disturbed while sleeping. Indeed, our current house dog is old and quite nervous, and often responds to being bumped while dozing like a pack of slavering wolves just discovered her in her hiding spot. Good leather shoes are appreciated by the humans, and the cats have learned to maintain a respectful distance.
    But-of-course Anthony’s dog is well acclimated to cats and MUCH better behaved. 😉

  49. Reading above, I suddenly realize that while I have never purposefully sought to share quarters with a cat, I have had some considerable number of these creatures fasten themselves upon me since in adolescence I came upon a copy of Brandt Aymar’s The Personality of the Cat (1958), my first stumble into behavioral biology.
    In the course of desultory study, I recall having read a comment to the effect that Felis domesticus is not particularly intelligent (indeed, at its very best, a mature specimen rarely if ever demonstrates what we’ll call the “reasoning capacity” of a two year old human child, whereas the dog quite commonly attains the quite considerable abstraction capabilities of the human three-year-old), but the cat’s intrinsic instinctual “hard-wiring” is so elegant that the critters come to our relatively uncritical attentions as close to human in some of their responses to stimuli in their environments.
    Perhaps owing to this lifetime of reasoning perception of the cats which have been brought into my household by my various dependents – including grandchildren over the past two decades now – there seems to be an inexorable tendency for these animals to gravitate toward me. A very little (and quite rudimentary) knowledge of feline social behavior in same-species cohabitation predisposes me to provide them those cues which they take as felicitous responses, and to avoid behaviors they interpret as threatening or otherwise noxious. It’s not difficult. I found myself doing the same kinds of things with dogs and with the various species of laboratory animals with which I dealt during my undergraduate and graduate school years.
    But inasmuch as everyone in my household tends reliably to lose patience with (or cease to respond with affection to) the cats which they have brought to dwell under my roof, and I regard all dependents – human and otherwise – as my responsibility as head of household, the care of “their” cats falls inevitably upon me.
    As do these cats’ expressions of affection and demands for social interaction beyond the necessities of food, water, and that Door Into Summer of which Heinlein so eloquently wrote.
    Well, hell. I guess one can’t be a Heinlein reader without having his attitudes anent F. domesticus rub off on you.
    Along with all that hair, damnit.

  50. Our latest catquisition was free. Only we had to pay $500 first. (I did ask him if he had friends with email addresses in Nigeria) He showed up on our doorstep with a broken leg. Now he has a pin in it. Still runs with a slight off-beat but otherwise no worse for wear.
    Your new cat is a cutie! He might be in a shoe or pair of boots. I had a kitten once that loved to sleep in my boots. Only the $900 ones, of course.

  51. Opening a can of tuna (packed in water) usually will do the trick. Chelsea aka ‘The Kitchen Comet’ would appear from nowhere in milliseconds after hearing the sound of the can opener.

  52. Look in all your floor level cabinets (bathroom and kitchen). Most cats figure out how to open the doors, slide inside, and have them close behind them…

  53. For those of you who’ve never seen this….put drink down BEFORE reading,
    How To Give A Cat A Pill
    1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as
    if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side
    of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill
    in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to
    close mouth and swallow.
    2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle
    cat in left arm and repeat process.
    3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
    4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm,
    holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push
    pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a
    count of ten.
    5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of
    wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
    6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold
    front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to
    hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth
    Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.
    7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil
    wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep
    shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for
    gluing later.
    8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with
    head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking
    straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
    9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1
    beer to take taste a way. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and
    remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
    10. Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Open
    another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door on to neck, to
    leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill
    down throat with elastic band.
    11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on
    hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply
    cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus
    shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another
    shot. Throw Tee shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
    12. Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from across
    the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving
    to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.
    13. Tie the little bastard’s front paws to rear paws with
    garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty
    pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large
    piece of filet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and
    pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
    14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the
    emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm
    and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way
    home to order new table.
    15. Arrange for SPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call
    local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.
    Conversely (and for the sake of completion)…
    How To Give A Dog A Pill
    1. Wrap it in bacon.
    2. Toss it in the air

  54. When I was a child we lost a kitten for a while that was shut in a single room, the kitchen, and being in England it wasn’t that big of a room. Eventually we found the kitten at the back of the fridge, tucked in under the motor. Guess it was nice and warm there.

  55. As ever, I’m a day late and a dollar short.
    Glad to know you got your Birman back – I know how insane the breed is; I have 4! Be ready to kiss goodbye to your fabric furniture, Birmans pwn soft furnishing.
    Against that they are stupidly affectionate and will think nothing of throwing themselves at our feet for a tummy rub – usually as you climb or descend the stairs!
    Anyhow, well done and carry on.

  56. Glad you found the cat. I had to keep checking back all day until you did.
    Did you find it using the IR camera, or just part of the normal search?
    REPLY: he announced himself in pushing junk out of the drawer on exit. – A

  57. One morning I heard a cat meowing out side my front door. I opend the door and the cat sauntered into the house. Resident house cat hissed and spat. Strange cat ignored him. Strange cat wandered into bedroom and helped himself to the bed. A couple of hours later (forgetting the stranger was on the bed) I closed the bedrood door. Sounds of torture from behind bedrood door. God! Did I lock the dog in there with the cat? No. Opened door to bedroom. Cat was still lying on the bed but now he was yeowling. Stopped when he saw me. That was my into to my second cat — Yeller.

  58. A Birman! Excellent luck you have in getting a rescue cat. The best breed I’ve had in a dozen cats. Enjoy.

  59. I vote for Houdini.
    I lost my feline buddy (he was 21 years old, and I’d had him for close to half my life) a few years ago. I miss him terribly, he was the coolest cat I’ve ever known (and I’ve had my fair share of cats over my lifetime). I still haven’t been able to bring myself to replace him. A friend of mine who knew him well put up a memorial on the web for him. That is how cool he was.
    Well, I almost got a kitten last week, but then wisely realized that as a single man with a fulltime job, the task of raising a kitten was beyond my ability. I talk cat pretty well (that means that I let them run my life) so a nice adult shelter cat might fit me better. Maybe in the next couple of months — I still have to get rid of the ex’s stuff to make the place more cat proof.

  60. As far as the giving a cat a pill thing here is my formula:
    1) Bury pill in anti-hairball gel.
    2) Put concoction on finger.
    3) Hold finger in front of cat’s nose.
    4) Cat sucks the whole thing down in one gulp.
    Worked every time, but my cat loved the hairball gel.

  61. Anthony,
    My sincere condolences on the loss of your dear friend.
    My condolences too on having a new owner. (I know, you THINK you selected a new kitty, but that’s not how it works.)
    Your new addition is going to need training…. I suggest this site, for kitty, and for you to keep things in perspective…..
    http://icanhascheezburger.com/

  62. Dennis Dunton says:
    November 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm
    -I laughed till I cried
    Not eco-friendly our cats.
    The stray ginger tom who came to stay for four years would use energy in a wasteful way,cooking himself in front of the coal fire till his fur was too hot to touch.
    The white tom hated alternative energy,refusing to go out on windy days.
    The black and white queen wasted food eating only the fore-quarters of mice leaving the hind bits .

  63. Anthony,
    Great to hear you have found your errant kitty. What a beautiful Chin. How old is he/she/it? We have two. Sometimes they think and act like they are cats!
    REPLY: Yes Japanese Chins are the most catlike of dogs. This one, he is 2 now. – Anthony

  64. David Ball says:
    “I am a dog guy, so I am afraid I do not understand why someone would want a pet that does not give a toss about them, but only what is in their cupboard. ”
    Apparently, you’ve never had a cat. My cats are every bit as loving, playful, and interactive as any of my dogs have been; they love playing fetch (they bring things for me to throw, retrieve them, and bring them back, dropping them on my lap to throw again), chase, and hide-and-seek, and exhibit extremely high intelligence.
    It all comes down to how one perceives, raises, and treats them. I treat all of my animals, regardless of species, as loved, loving, interesting, intelligent family members, and that’s how they behave. When strangers come to the house, they express amazement and disbelief at their intelligence. Friends and relatives are used to it.
    I’ve never had a stupid animal or a bad one, and I’ve had maybe a hundred or more animals. I don’t have a single complaint about any of them.
    Incidentally, don’t let a cat go without food in the hopes it will show up eventually. Cats HAVE to eat regularly, or their livers can shut down, causing irreversible damage; this is why vets force feed them in hospitals if they won’t eat on their own. I’ve dealt with this issue, and it can be a nightmare.

  65. Lori’s current cat was given (read: “forced on”) her by her mother, who was a terrible owner. It was in very poor shape and very antisocial. But smart, for a cat.
    When her mother came to visit, the cat set up the most piteous, despairing howling I ever heard out of a cat. She hissed at her and wouldn’t let her anywhere near. (Lori was very pleased by this fact.) Her mother visited her very infrequently, but the cat never forgot and reacted the same way every time. She still has that cat. It is far from my favorite cat (her former cat, the one from the previous story, a completely wonderful cat), but she is definitely the “most improved” cat I know of.

  66. Sorry to hear you lost Minners. Our cat (a Burmese) will be 22 in January. Her brother had to be put down about 3 years ago. He went blind 2 years before the end but coped with it really well – just like a human blind person adapts. He could find his way around the house without bumping into things. At the end he became senile and stopped eating and drinking. He became so dehydrated that he only had a day or two left. The vet ended the suffering. Our last one is frail but her condition is still stable. She’s on pills for her kidneys and arthritis. Good healthcare has given her extra years of life but the waiting isn’t fun.

  67. We are approaching the blessed first anniversary of Climategate.
    Consider, therefore, naming that damned cat “Phil Jones.”
    He spent much effort and kindled much trouble evading exposure before getting discovered.

  68. I’m more a cat person than a dog person myself. I grew up on a farm and one of our cats had about 6 kittens in the hayshed. They were OK until one day when they were a few weeks old and all the kittens had disappeared. I could hear a very qiet and plaintive “miaow” coming from a kitten somewhere in the barn. The mother cat was pretty distressed and I set about hunting for the missing offspring. I found an average of one every ton of hay bales I carried out of the shed and by the time I had found them all there was more hay outside than in.

  69. It’s just got to be Mega. My Labrador is called Millie, so sorry it’s already in use. With a surname like Watts it’s brilliant. By the way Mr Watts, any relation?

  70. Evan
    researchers say dogs do not respond to their name either,it is the tone of voice.I own both dogs and cats,Both species respond to their name.Sometimes my cats will look at me when I call them as if to say what is in it for me.or yawn–can’t be bothered right now,or meow(I’m busy) My dogs will come every time.Loyalty or stupidity?
    That’s why I believe cats are smarter.They manipulate their owners.
    I am sure I could train a cat to herd mice up a hill.he he

  71. Cats are the most beautifully designed hunting machines, however, give me a dog any day.
    I was once walking our two dogs at the time and a man walking on the other side of the road yelled out “What’s better than a dog?” I had no answer. “Two dogs!” was his reply.
    A quote from the book “Why dogs are better than cats” by Bradley Trevor Greive –
    “To a dog, every morsel is a feast. Every kind word, a symphony of delight. Every pat, a thunderclap of joy.”
    ” In their minds, every time you go out for a walk together you are ascending the steps toward heaven.”

  72. Name him “Missing” in recognition of the drawer incident and you get a double entendre “Missing Watt” at Trenberth’s expense.

  73. “researchers say dogs do not respond to their name either,it is the tone of voice.”
    This is nonsense. Dogs learn the meanings of words, within their capacity, the same way people do, by association. I had a smart shepherd X mongrel who not only learned word association with objects, but could discriminate associations: “go get Ming’s bowl” [name of another dog], “go get your bowl”, “get your water dish”. She wasn’t taught the phraseology, only the associations of “bowl”. Ming, purebred Gordon Setter…smart?… not so much…:). Tone changed everytime she was sent out to get the food dishes., and she only had a one three chance of getting it right. Rarely failed, never failed more than once.

  74. Glad That Damn Cat has been found without the need for Skilsaw. Enjoyed the photos and engineer-ownership video.
    We have owned a number of cats who have lived very long lives, always four at a time. First, a breeder-friend went out of business; we had to help out. Second, as an experience in natural processes for son; we fell in love with ALL three kittens who became Queen Guinevere and Sirs Lancelot and Galahad. Clio was their mother. Now allergies prevent new arrivals and the heart hurts at the absences. Along the way we have had a number of disappearing cat acts; mostly they found themselves, but sometimes we had to discover that impossible tiny space in which they were closed.
    Mega is a great Watts’ name given your naming tradition, as is Cubby, but That Damn Cat should always be available.

  75. I have to vote for Mega. That’s inspired. “Megs” she will be to all who love her, but Mega Watt to the world is priceless. It so describes the Watt household. Obscurity is the fate of most of nature’s small critters – elevate her for all her kind!

  76. My feral cat listen’s to his name, Thrassos ( from Thrassivoulos), even when he is not hungry. Sometimes I can stop him attacking another male ( he is the top cat) and come to meby calling him.
    Also he understands “No”, and does not try to enter the house if I have said “no”.
    Also “come”.
    My house cat also turns at his name “Mikroulis”, fed or not. It is an ironic name, because it means “tiny” and he is huge now.

  77. We have had a Birman for 5 yrs now, raised from a kitten.
    The cat (as usual) owns us, stands up like a prairie dog, and has fur than never mats.
    It will smell our dinner, but never partake of anything, sometimes passing judgement by attempting to bury the dinner plates on the coffee table.
    We are happy to know you have a new owner. The Birman has obviously given you your 1st training exercies.

  78. Glad ou found annoying feline-Mega is my vote. had a maine coon mix Hobbes-after the
    cartoon character. Equally annoying and fun at the same time. His favorite-“The thing under the bed” maneuver-at 2:00 am.. as you are going to check out a funny sound…

  79. Now, I didn’t read all the comments, but I’m sure some reader could not resist changing Kforestcat’s “kitten photons” to “cat-ions”.

  80. Which one is the cat?
    I occupied my time by doing mind experiments of continental drift, oceanic currents, and the Milanchovitch cycle. Plus I have a chest cold I am trying to drown with Hot Toddies. I hate the taste of those things but my BF keeps pouring them down my throat. However, on the up side, the whiskey does a number on my mind’s ability to imagine experiments.

  81. The best two cats in the world owned me. They had kittens together (birthed apart but eventually brought to the same closet box by the moms and nursed as one big happy two mom family), brought mice into the house together and then released to scurry under the couch, hunted snakes and let them loose in my house together, and when too old to chase fast things, brought in slugs together (which they couldn’t let loose because the slugs had matted their cat whiskers into one big snotty mess). They died one year apart. The last one to go stayed by the other’s grave every day, sunning herself on the fence rail above the gravestone.
    I am a dog-only owner at the moment because I have plenty of feral cats around the ranch. There is an uneasy truce between species. During the week, the cats rule the barnyard. On the weekends, they are not-so-kindly reminded to stay out of sight.

  82. Forgot to mention their names: Princess (the spittin’ image of the famed Puss n Boots character), and Booties, a tiny runt of a cat with a crooked tail. I witnessed Booties chase to large German Shepards out of the yard once. Princess was fond of lego toys and would retrieve them just like a dog playing ball with its owner.

  83. For want of a better name, Mega Watts has demonstrated his position of authority in the household hierarchical structure. He had to do this quickly, else his attendants would walk all over him, imagining they were running things.
    The rules in a house with a cat are fairly simple:
    Rule #1: Cats rule.
    Rule #2: If in doubt in any unusual situation, see Rule #1.

  84. Condolences and congrats.
    We have had the painful experience of having to euthanize a cat after 12 years.
    He pulled the same disappearing stunt the first night we got him from the shelter, and my wife was worried that he was lost somewhere in the (new to him) house, and would starve unless we found him.
    After searching throughout the house, we finally decided to call it quits, and went to bed.
    The next morning , although we still couldn’t find the critter, the food and water put out had been partially consumed, and there was a deposit in the litter tray. Later the second day we found his hiding spot, a small area in our daughters’ closet.
    About three months after we lost our housemate my wife came home with another shelter cat that had been a runaway, but this guy was about a year old according to the shelter.
    Talk about changes! This guy was like a kid who had just learned to walk-a handful.
    He’s quieted down somewhat, but still is still quite active.
    My wife swears that if this cat were a person, he’d be an engineer. Often you can observe how he methodically goes about achieving a task, returning with another solution? if his prior attempt failed to produce a desired result.
    As for intelligence, I believe that it’s all relative. Remember, dogs have been domesticated far longer than cats (several thousand years).
    Cats are lower maintenance than dogs, but admittedly, dogs are more easily trained; depending on your needs and capabilities, either , or both are great companions.

  85. Having 3 cats and 2 dogs, I can say that there are times cats are my favorite and vice versa.
    I have trained all 3 of the cats to speak, sit, lay down and am working on the other tricks. Note, that cats even when trained will not always perform as commanded, as sometimes they are simply not in the mood to do tricks…
    Our dogs are speak deprived, I tried for so long to get them to speak on command, to no avail. The cats are slowly learning more tricks then them. We have two main coons and one calico, so its all good times. I almost have one cat that has learned the “dead cat” trick which one of our dogs does to an extent, but the other is braindead and barely sits on command…shrug.
    Personally, training cats and dogs is about the same as long as you realize that cats will only learn or perform when they want to, which if you have treats out is more then likely yes, I will be a circus animal….
    Not sure if I have weird cats or something, but its been something watching them sit and all those tricks. Of course, when we have company and I try to show this off, I never get them to do one trick…but thats the issue with cats in general lol.

  86. Example of dog teamwork:
    I have dogs. And people. Lots of both together sometimes. One day with a dozen people and half that many dogs on our dock – everyone dogs included eating, drinking, swimming, and critically for some dogs having a tennis ball thrown in the lake to fetch.
    One of my dogs in particular gets pesty wanting someone to throw the ball. He got too pesty and I sent him off the dock to sit on the shore by himself (a timeout basically). So another dog (not one of my dogs) who isn’t in trouble for pestering brings me a ball to throw in the water. I throw it for her. Instead of going to get the ball she swims toward the shore where the dog in “timeout” is sitting. Timeout boy swims out to get the ball, returns to shore, and gives the ball to the waiting dog who isn’t in trouble. She then swims back to the dock with the ball and looks for someone to throw it again. They kept this up for many iterations until I allowed timeout boy back on the dock.
    This was spontaneous behavior between young dogs (4 and 2 yrs) where they quickly worked out a relay pattern so both could enjoy swimming and fetching when one wasn’t allowed on the dock from whence it was being thrown. The dogs had been around each other before but not much. They were casual acquaintences lets call it.
    That’s pretty amazing if you ask me.
    Dogs are team players. Cats not so much.

  87. About purring: a few yrs ago, I saw some reports that it was “tuned” to stimulate/soothe/repair various parts of the cats’ bodies, and that holding a purring cat had similar therapeutic effects on their humans. A spin-off was use of a vibrating pad to stand on for astronauts or the elderly; 15-20 Hz supposedly stimulated bone regen. Etc.
    IAC, it seems that cat-vibes are functional, not just monotone humming.

  88. P.S. to the above: I’d meant to mention that the pads’ vibes worked at amplitudes below the sense-able — to soft to feel.

  89. Anthony,
    Our youngest son had, as a small child, a beanny-baby kitty, that fit comfortably in his pocket, which he named Minimus. Like yours, it was always getting lost, and as the best friend of our youngest child of four, loss of Minimus was always a family crisis. Minimus always turned up somewhere and today resides in our memory chest along with a surviving scrap of this child’s security blanket.

  90. Anthony, I am very pleased the kitten has shown up. You have had enough grief recently.
    Which reminds me: I hope your dear lady wife is doing well.

  91. Thanks for the wonderful story, it was a joy to read.
    Mega is a fine name, and he looks like he’s going to be a big guy.
    Let’s see now. A physics professor TEACHES the laws of motion and gravity, a kitten APPLIES them.

  92. We are fostering a second cat from the local shelter where my wife works. They have oodles of cats and about half as many dogs and will let you take one or more, free of charge, to care for at home. All you provide are food, water, litter box and care, toys and love. The first cat was with us five days when someone came to the shelter, looked at his photo and decided to adopt him. The second cat has been with us three weeks. She hid in the back of a closet for the first five days, only coming out at night to eat, drink and use the litter box. She’s still quite skittish but loves to roll on her back and have her tummy rubbed and sit (for hours) on my wife’s lap while the two of them watch tv. In the past we’d two cats raised from kittens, then added a large St. Bernard male dog (240 lbs full grown), then after all three eventually had to be put down got a medium sized (150 lb) female St. Bernard. We had to put her down in 2007. Now we’ve moved from inland southern California to eastern Washington State and recently bought a house. Fostering is especially nice when you want to take a vacation or the cat of dog gets sick. You just take them back to the shelter until you return from vacation or they get well. You don’t avoid bonding with them, though.

  93. homo sapiens says:
    November 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm
    “…You should be ashamed having a pet cat! According to the Greens the carbon footprint of a cat is about the same as that of medium sized Toyota…”
    And if you’ve ever had a Ragdoll, you own a CAT that’s the size of a Toyota.
    And the new cat’s name would be obvious for a fan of “Back to the Future”.
    BTW, current score is 21 cats to two dogs. All spayed/neutered, of course…

  94. We named our cat “Schroedinger”, but I’m thinking we should have called him “Heisenberg”, because I’m never quite sure both where he is and how fast he’s going…

  95. On reading through the comments, and seeing the debate over the relative intelligence of cats versus dogs (as exhibited by which species will come when you call), I feel the need to point out that a hamster I used to own would come when he was called (when he was out “exploring” in his hamster-ball). So, by this evidence, a dog is about as bright as a hamster?

  96. Behind the Fridge.
    That’s where all my kittens prefer to hide. It’s warm and it ‘purrs’. Just like Mommy.
    Beautiful kitty looks just like my Tiger….who is a boy kitty and just LOVES wearing the dog’s hand-me-down dresses.
    LOL a Boy cat in Dresses! LOL

  97. I Vote for “Killer Watts”.
    Especially if he turns out to be a good ‘pest’ control kitty. I have one of those-no need for Orkin in my abode-I just wish he’d leave the geckos alone.~sigh.

  98. Our first cat Amber (long haired ginger tom) used to purr so loudly you always knew where he was in the house, he didn’t like being laughed at when he did something silly and would flick the end of his tail in a very dismissive way.
    Our current cat Simba (Persian something cross) spent the first few days with us hidden under a corner unit and only came out for food etc he then moved on to small boxes including trying to empty the tissues to get into the box also he would stuff his head into shoes and boots?
    Another name if your vet is into calling the surname first is “That” as in Watts That.
    All the best. James

  99. Cats are among the most eco-friendly pets one can have. Here in Winnipeg there is an ill-advised law against letting one’s cat roam free. Well, our two (neutered) males are outlaws. They cannot abide a single day without “patrolling the perimeter”. It would be inhuman to deny them this basic feline instinct. Our (neutered) female prefers to stay inside and let the boys take care of security.
    Why “eco-friendly?” Well, Winnipeg is in the heart of an agricultural region, and the place is infested with rodents of all varieties, which are pests in our corner of the city. But our neighbourhood is relatively free of mice and rabbits (the two most common offenders), and while they are continually replaced by newcomers, the squirrel population is under control (I count about 6-8 dead squirrel corpses per year).
    The aforementioned law is only enforced by citizen complaints — but in 10 years there have been no complaints about our cats. In casual conversation it is evident that most of our neighbourhood consider the local feline militia to be heros. We have an understanding among those who are less cat-tolerant that a shot with a garden hose is a perfectly acceptable means of marking one’s territory as a paws-pause. Cats have remarkably good memories when it comes to self-preservation.
    If not for our cats and several neighbour’s feline contributions, chemical “solutions” to this problem would be necessary. Nasty chemical solutions. Cats are nature’s way of controlling such pests.
    … oh, and birds. Birds of almost every feather. It would help if the cats could be induced to cull the herds of Canada Geese that fertilize our parks and greenways, but alas cats are too smart to take on waterfoul with 8x their bodyweight (go figure).
    What have I against birds? Well, in general nothing. However, I argue that cats are an indispensable factor in the evolutionary development of birds. You see, they only kill the stupid ones.
    Oh yes, and with three cats in the house, I believe our heating bill is reduced by a few dozen to a few hundred BTU’s per year, replacing our use of non-renewable natural gas with a renewable, nonpolluting fuel: bird and rodent guts. Need I add also that a cat’s CO2 production is only a small fraction of that of a human?

  100. Only ever had one, a b&w little stray my son adopted. Eventually trained it to walk on a leash; lots of funny looks, especially in the local mega-mall!
    Tough customer. Used to walk the patio railing 5 floors up on our condo development, visiting the units along the way, especially if they had their patio doors open. One unit down the way was occupied by a couple of very fussy ‘guys’, who had a couple of fat pampered pusses. He’d terrorize them, and we got lots of complaints! Once he was interrupted by one of the ‘guys’ and he fled out the front door, and cleared the front walkway and railings in a single bound, falling 5 floors onto cement. And sauntered away casually.
    Eventually vanished mysteriously and was never seen again. Chose freedom over free food, I guessed.

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