Category Archive 'Cats'
30 Nov 2017

Cat Stuck in a Tree? Here’s the Russian Way of Dealing With the Situation

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2:09 video

20 Jun 2017

Cats Have Enslaved Humans For Millennia…

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The Atlantic has an article describing a DNA study apparently determining the geographic and temporal origins of the feline conspiracy to use mankind to do all the work of providing food and shelter.

Sometime around the invention of agriculture, the cats came crawling. It was mice and rats, probably, that attracted the wild felines. The rats came because of stores of grain, made possible by human agriculture. And so cats and humans began their millennia-long coexistence.

This relationship has been good for us of course—formerly because cats caught the disease-carrying pests stealing our food and presently because cleaning up their hairballs somehow gives purpose to our modern lives. But this relationship has been great for cats as species, too. From their native home in the Middle East, the first tamed cats followed humans out on ships and expeditions to take over the world—settling on six continents with even the occasional foray to Antarctica. Domestication has been a fantastically successful evolutionary strategy for cats.

A comprehensive new study of DNA from ancient cat skeletons and mummies spanning 9,000 years traces the spread of cats from the Middle East to the rest of the world. …

Modern domestic cats appear to have all originated in one of two places. The first was Anatolia, which roughly corresponds to modern-day Turkey. These cats spread to Europe as early as 4,400 B.C.E. A second domesticated lineage appears to have begun in Egypt and then later spread through the Mediterranean. And wherever the cats followed humans, they also interbred with the native wildcats already there.

This DNA exchange went both directions along the trade routes, too. That led to what, at first, seemed like baffling results in the ancient DNA. For example, a 2,000-year-old cat in Egypt had DNA sequences typical of wildcats in India. Claudio Ottoni, another member of the research team now at the University of Oslo, remembers thinking it was a mistake when he first got the sequences back on his laptop. In fact, that cat was found in an ancient Roman port city called Berenike, which was directly connected to trade routes in the Indian Ocean. Humans brought cats onto ships to catch mice and, in the process, spread cats all around the world.

Compared to many other animals, cats have also changed very little in the domestication process. Behaviorally, they’ve become more tolerant of humans. Physically, though, they’re still about the same size and shape. They still like to pounce on small prey. “Cats have done since before they were domesticated what we needed them to do,” says Leslie Lyons, a feline geneticist at the University of Missouri. In other words, unlike dogs that herd sheep or hunt badgers, cats didn’t need humans to breed them to become good mouse hunters.

RTWT

11 Jan 2017

The Spice Must Flow!

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12 Nov 2016

Bad Donald!

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tweet228

(Some .gif files just do not work properly when saved. This was one of them. Unfortunately, I do not currently know how to fix that problem.)

30 Apr 2016

Bald Eagles Nest Cam Shocks Viewers

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Animal lovers got a shock yesterday when a webcam broadcasting pictures of a bald eagle nest in Pittsburgh showed the adult eagles feeding somebody’s domestic cat to their chicks.

Washington Post story

Cats? Bald eagles are powerful enough to kill sheep or even small deer.

27 Jun 2015

Off My Porch!

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07 Jun 2015

Bad Cat

17 Apr 2015

Animals Looking at Food

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Doglooking

Sad and Useless has a pretty good collection of photos to waste time smiling over.

13 Mar 2015

Eagle: “I Eat Things Your Size, But Not Like You.” Cat: “I Eat Things Like You, But Not Your Size.”

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“Carry on, Cat.” “Same to You, Eagle.”

30 Jun 2014

Let Us In, Mom!

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HURU1

22 Jun 2014

The Last Thing a Christmas Ornament Sees

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Cat1

Via John Anderson.

17 May 2014

More on the Bakersfield Cat Heroine

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CatGodzilla

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Some backstory from the cat’s owners:

14 May 2014

Bakersfield Cat Runs Off Attacking Dog, Saves Kid

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10 Mar 2014

Alleged Jedi Cat

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His light sabre is red. That cat isn’t a Jedi. He’s a Sith.

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