Tag Archives | Cats
Citing birth rate statistics in Italy and the United States, Pope Francis stated on June 2nd that couples who forgo child rearing to own pets are dooming themselves to an old age of loneliness. [I know I've wanted to scream out the window at couples walking dogs "make babies, you losers!"]
Indeed birth rates across the Western world have fallen steadily over the past few hundred years , but especially in recent times, to far below replacement levels. In the USA they have been falling more and more slowly since the “end” of the financial crisis, but remain relatively abysmal.
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“It might be better — more comfortable — to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog. Is this true or not? Have you seen it?” Stated the pontificate, ““You can go explore the world, go on vacation, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be carefree,”
“Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness ”
Francis said without qualification that Jesus Christ would not approve of childless marriages. “There are things that Jesus doesn’t like — [couples] who don’t want children, who want to be without fruitfulness.”
“Married life must be persevering, because otherwise love cannot go forward,” Francis said.
OH HAI! I HAZ U HOOMAN CATNIPZ!
An unnamed woman from the Dunedin, New Zealand neighborhood of Halfway Bush called cops this week to report that her cat had dragged a baggie with about five grams of pot in it onto her back doorstep. While the cat was undoubtedly proud of his haul, his owner wasn’t very pleased and called the cops to deal with the ganja.
Cops in Dunedin, New Zealand – known as one of the more cannabis friendly cities in Kiwi-land – say this is a first for their department. It total, the cops said five grams of pot had a street value of about $100. That’s a little high compared to prices we found in the city a few years ago, but we don’t expect cops to be very accurate when trying to inflate drug bust figures anyway.
A 7-11 store in Kanto, Japan, has reached its limit over a known shoplifter. The store posted a sign with a picture of the perpetrator, a cat described as “three-apples-tall, black, and walks in an aloof manner.” The cat has been helping himself to cat food from the store for some time. The sign reads, in part:
We need your help
Please do not feed this cat.
It enters the store and shoplifts cat food.
We told the cat that it was banned from the store but it didn’t listen.
Thank you for your cooperation
WSB haunts the entirety of counter-cultural curation like the grey eminence he was often portrayed as, but, it’s important to note that Burroughs rarely portrayed himself this way.
I thought I’d seen every Burroughs documentary, but this one was news to me.
Words of Advice: William S. Burroughs On the Road is a 1983 documentary that finds the Beat Generation icon touring Scandinavia, signing books and giving readings of works like The Place of Dead Roads in his inimical, laconic snarl. Along the way, he waxes philosophical about cats, Hiroshima, Brion Gysin and the illusion of duality. He’s polite and hilarious throughout.
Here Burroughs bemoans the high cost of death in ancient Egypt:
Watch the full movie at the Snag Films website.
History’s earliest animal cyborgs? In the 1960s the CIA implanted cats with technological devices to turn them into living surveillance machines, io9 reveals:
In an hour-long procedure, a veterinary surgeon implanted a microphone into the furry feline’s ear canal and a small radio transmitter at the base of her skull, and weaving a thin wire antenna into her long gray-and-white fur. This was top-secret Operation Acoustic Kitty. The leaders of the project hoped that by training the feline to go sit near foreign officials, they could eavesdrop on private conversations.
The problem was that cats are not especially trainable, and the program was abandoned; as a heavily redacted CIA memo from the time delicately phrased it, “Our final examination of trained cats…convinced us that the program would not lend itself in a practical sense to our highly specialized needs.”
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With half as many neurons in their cerebral cortex as cats—and half the attitude, some would say—dogs are often taken to be the less intelligent domestic partner. While dogs drink out of the toilet, slavishly follow their master and need a chaperone to relieve themselves, cats hunt self-sufficiently and survey their empire with a regal gaze.
But cats beware. Research in recent years has finally revealed the genius of dogs.
Like other language-trained animals—dolphins, parrots, bonobos—dogs can learn to respond to hundreds of spoken signals associated with different objects. What sets dogs apart is how they learn these words.
If you show a child a red block and a green block, and then ask for the chromium block, not the red block, most children will give you the green block, despite not knowing that the word “chromium” can refer to a shade of green.
Hide your cats, feline fanciers, there’s a backlash against the mass killings by the furry creatures. Hannah Waters makes the case at Scientific American:
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Every few months, the fact that domestic cats are ruthless killers hits the news. This past summer it was the Kitty Cam, memorably explained by webcomic The Oatmeal, which saw nearly one-third of cats kill 2 animals each week on average. In 2011 a study found that domestic cats were responsible for nearly half of predation on baby gray catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis), a shy bird common in the mid-Atlantic and named for its cat-like call. And this morning, Nature Communications published a large analysis estimating how many animals are killed by cats annually in the US: 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals each year (1).
Let me repeat: every year BILLIONS of birds and mammals are killed by free-ranging domestic house cats, Felix catus.
An Italian cat owner got the surprise of his life when his runaway pet managed to slip into a previously-hidden grotto. The owner, Mirko Curti, followed the sounds of the kitty’s yowling into an lost Roman tomb full of bones and urns:
The tomb was discovered just outside a residential area in the Roman city of Via di Pietralata.
Archeologists who were called to the site have speculated that it dates back to sometime between the 1st century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D.
With all of those bones, Curti was lucky he wasn’t chasing a dog…