All About Cats

Over the weekend I wasted, er, spent a couple of hours on the website Answer The Public, where we can find information about any topic. You merely type in a word and a circular grid appears with all kinds of questions related to the “what, why, how, when and who” related to the topic.

Warning! It can become addictive.

This week I typed in the word “cat” and had fun checking out all the questions that arose. One of them was why cats take over dog beds.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found all of my cats in Dusty’s bed at one time or another.

Lily loves the soft blue blanket.

Apparently my cats aren’t the only ones who steal cat beds. Here’s a link to a video on YouTube that you might find amusing.

When it comes to brain power, I was a bit amused to find that the Siamese made The Top 10 Smartest Cats List. Note I didn’t say I was surprised. My Sammy, who is part Siamese, has me well trained.

A while back I saw a video that was quite popular on YouTube showing Cats Afraid of Cucumbers. When I first saw the video, I thought it was cute and did wonder why the cats were so skittish about a vegetable. Perhaps it was because they didn’t know the cucumber was there and were surprised when they turned around and saw it. Cats, and most dogs, are wary of anything new in their “space.”

But a link on Answer the Public took me to this explanation on the Internet:

 Jill Goldman, a certified animal behaviorist, told National Geographic that it’s possible that a cat’s first instinct is to assume that the cucumber is a snake, which can be a deadly predator.

If you are really into the science of things, you might enjoy a trip to Quara where the ancestry of cats is explained. There’s an interesting diagram of the origin of cats, large and small, as well as other neat information including: “All cats have evolved as predatory hunting mammals with particularly keen senses of hearing, sight and smell.”

Cats have had a reputation for being aloof, independent, and indifferent to the moods of the humans they allow to live in the same house, but recent research shows that perhaps our feline friends aren’t so indifferent after all. A study by Moriah Galvan and Jennifer Vonk of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and reported on in BBC- Earth by Robin Wylie indicates that perhaps cats can pick up on our moods much the way dogs do.

The researchers do include this caveat:

That does not mean they feel empathy. It’s more likely that the cats had learned to associate their owners’ smiles with rewards: people are more likely to spoil a cat when they are in a good mood.

Still, even if cats do not truly understand our moods, the study still suggests that they can pick up on surprisingly nuanced human gestures.

If this is a pressing question in your mind, you can find out which breed of cat is more likely to act like a dog. One of my cats, Harry, has that behavior, but his breed did not make the list. Harry follows me around and chases balls – although he doesn’t bring them back like a dog will. He’s a domestic short-hair and most recently he’s been playing with the dog toys that were purchased for Dusty. Dusty is fine with that. He doesn’t care for toys.

“No worries. I’ve got this one.”

The answer to the question What Cats Can’t Eat connected to this article by John Bradshaw at Science Focus that explained why most cats should not drink milk, as well as addressing some other topics, such as training a cat. I know cats can be trained. My daughter trained hers, but I have never attempted anything beyond hoping they will respond to “no” when they are doing something inappropriate. Sometimes it works.

We may think our house kitty is fully domesticated, but according to another article by John Bradshaw at Science Focus, they are not as domesticated as we think.

Domestic cats still have much in common with their wild cousins.

Only 15-20 genes separate your cat from wildcats.

Now, how about a joke to start the week off:

A man in a movie theater notices what looks like a cat sitting next to him.
“Are you a cat?” asked the man, surprised.
“Yes,” the cat replied.
“What are you doing at the movies??” the man asked.
“Well,” said the cat. “I liked the book.”

That’s all for me today, folks. I do hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about cats. If you’d like to share stories and pictures of your cats, please do. And if you know any more trivia, you can share that in the comments, too. 

Be safe. Be Happy

1 thought on “All About Cats”

  1. Pingback: All About Dogs – Maryann Writes

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