14 thoughts on “Shocking News From Science”

  1. When my cat wants me to rub his head, he bops me on the cheek. If I stop, he bops me again. I think it’s like putting a quarter in the head rub machine. It’s a behavior I haven’t observed in non-friendly animals.

  2. My cat has recently found she likes to lick ice cubes. And at some time she had learned the word “ice”.

    Me: Do you want an ice cube?
    Her: Meow.

  3. When I was a kid, I had a cat that was from a long-time feral colony. He was found in a storm drain after a storm as a tiny kitten (eyes barely open, I had to bottle feed the little guy for a while).

    He was a wonderful, very affectionate cat (also a rather large and strong one), but only with me and my parents. When anyone else visited, the cat was decidedly displeased; hissing, spitting, growling, etc, and if they came close anyway, he would attack. This included relatives who stayed for a while, it wasn’t just unfamiliarity.

    So, I’ve always known that cats don’t just see people as useful furniture. They know, and love, their people. They also very much recognize their human family, and see them differently to random other humans.

    And BTW, they can differentiate between human twins, too. My mother has a twin sister, and when she’d visit, the cat would seem mostly fine with her on sight, but would be wary, and edge forward for a sniff. One sniff was all it took for the cat to go into feral mode. And as an aside, I was the only person who he’d ever let touch him (sans serious bodily harm) when enraged like that.

    I miss that cat a lot, even after all these years. One of the hardest things I had to do as a teen was put him down, but there wasn’t a choice; he was in agony, he’d gone insane, chasing his tail and ripping it to shreds, and was acting crazy in other ways too. He was about nine at the time. I tried two different vets, nothing worked.

  4. I have to admit I have for many years been a reluctant cat rancher. My wife had several when we met and we consequently received others that my wife could not part with. I created a second home for them on the other side of a sliding glass door called Catopia. Most have been described as friendly cats. Several were recovering near-feral cats, of those are two of the sweetest/friendliest but they each have their own personalities that have evolved as they aged. Though some were skiddish or downright dangerous to some humans all were without exception respectful, and kind, and loving to my bride. Some even warmed to me in their youth and all see me as a friend now as they have aged. It has been a learning experience for me, a dog guy. ; )

  5. Back around 2000, I was living on the second floor of an apartment. My first floor neighbor adopted a kitten. Long story short, the neighbor often went away for the weekends and I ended up cat-sitting Chloe. I had never had a cat before but Chloe and I rapidly became best friends. I’ve never bonded with an animal like that in my life.

    My neighbor was not the most conscientious pet owner, and eventually Chloe got pregnant. I continued to cat-sit her and her three kittens on the weekends and ended up adopting two of them, Leo and Kira. After about six months my neighbor moved away and took Chloe and the other kitten, Roxy, with her. (I once rescued Roxy from the roof of the three-story house, but I digress.)

    But here’s the thing. The kittens stayed with their mother for six months, which is much longer than usual. They were a very close-knit cat family and were raised together. Each of them had a unique and distinct personality. They were as different from each other as night and day.

    The unmistakable lesson from this is that every cat is an individual, just as humans are. I would have never believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

    1. Anyone who doesn’t understand that doesn’t know any cats. The brother and sister that we adopted at Christmas have very distinct personalities.

      1. I have twin males with differing personalities. One an extreme extrovert and the other an extreme introvert.

      2. It makes me wonder how much of that personality variation was present in the initial gene pool and how much was the inadvertent result of artificial selective pressures that slowly broadening the variability, as people favored treats and attention on cats that displayed traits ranging from “great mouser” to “silly snuggle ball.”

        As one scientist (Perhaps Steven J Gould) pointed out long ago, dogs breeds look so different because puppies are physically very different from adult dogs, in terms of head shape, paw size, and leg length. There was a lot of inherent variation to work with within the dog’s genome. In contrast, kittens are shaped very much like adult cats so all the various growth rate modifiers weren’t there for us to select.

        Did pre-domesticated cats have quite a lot of personality variation? I’m not sure how to even investigate that, as even breeds considered closer to the original physical stock would have been under the same artificial selective pressures for the same span of time. Perhaps some information could come from completely different cat species, from pumas to sand cats.

        Obligatory Nat Geo clip of first-ever footage of sand cat kittens in the wild, taken in a Moroccan desert.

      3. This was my very first experience with cats, at age 42. I never had them growing up because my dad didn’t like them.

  6. This study conflicts with other studies that show cats want to kill people and are just creating complacency while waiting for the right moment.

  7. So today I decided I’d learn how to make balloon animals.

    Kitty decided the balloon animals must die.

    Kitty wins again.

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