When one of Caroline Paul's cats disappeared for 5.5 weeks, it inspired her to find out what Tibula (the cat) was really up to when he left home. The process of this is pretty fascinating
. The outcome is, well, kind of cat like. What was Tibula doing when he wasn't at home? Avoiding the house and staring at himself in windows, apparently. — Maggie
Two things I learned from this video:
1: I am my cat's Facebook page. That rubbing-up-against-you-and-leaving-scent thing? It's not just to mark you as "theirs". It's also a way of communicating information about themselves to other cats that you might encounter.
2: My cats poop in a box and bury it as a gesture of submissiveness to me. Good cats.
A variety of animals have been used to deliver mail
over the years, from camels and dogs to horses and pigeons. But cats? According to a 19th century article in the New York Times, around 1877 the Belgian Society for the Elevation of the Domestic Cat tested 37 cats for the task by taking them far from the city of Liege where they "promptly proceeded to 'scat.'" Within 24 hours, they had all returned home.
This result has greatly encouraged the society, and it is proposed to establish at an early day a regular system of cat communication between Liege and the neighboring villages. Messages are to be fastened in water-proof bags around the necks of the animals, and it is believed that, unless the criminal class of dogs undertakes to waylay and rob the mail-cats, the messages will be delivered with rapidity and safety.
"Domestic Explosives and Other Six Column Fancies: (From the New York Times.)" - William Livingston Alden
Last week, I posted about a YouTuber who thinks his he might have tricked his cat with an optical illusion that's based on very human psychology. He asked other people to test the illusion on their cats
, just to get some more data points. Now, the psychologists who created the illusion have pitched in to help out
, posting a modified version that doesn't elicit the sensation of motion. Show your cat both versions and see whether it's the paper she's trying to kill, or the "rotating" circles. (Thanks to Diana Issidorides!) — Maggie
The Rotating Snake Illusion is a fun image that makes your brain perceive motion where no motion actually exists. Psychologists understand the factors that make an illusion like this work (and work better) — for instance, breaking up and staggering the colored lines that radiate from the center of the circle creates a much stronger sensation of movement. But they don't know exactly why it works yet, according to Japanese psychologists Akiyoshi Kitaoka and Hiroshi Ashida.
And that brings us to this kitten video.
YouTube user Rasmus posted a video that he thinks might show his cat being tricked by the same sense of motion that catches the eyes of humans who look at The Rotating Snake Illusion. On the other hand, this just might be a cute video of a kitten attacking a piece of paper — which is known to happen.
So here's the challenge: Try it on your cat. You can print it off here. Then, report back here and/or post video responses to YouTube. Let's gather some data!
This is not exactly the soundest experimental methodology ever, but it sure would be interesting to see what happens.
We found this cat in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool. Bill Benson shot this photo, and the one below.
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Sometimes you just need a fountain of cats set to rap music. HEY GRIFF, BRING IN THE CATS
. — Dean
From the Boing Boing Flickr pool, a wonderful photo by Kai Teoh, a Boing Boing reader and photographer based in Minnesota who is available for editorial and special occasions booking.
Reader Jon Siegel in Singapore shares this wonderful photo in the Boing Boing Flickr pool. "As far as I know, this one's the leader of a pack of these critters which hang out around my office," he says.
Oh, my goodness this video
is sweet. Uploader "jefcharles" explains,
After being sent home from work the first thing I did on getting home was to check outside the back door to see if there were any cat paw prints. There weren't, so I thought I'd introduce Fletcher to the snow and film the results..
(thanks, Joe Sabia!)
The New York Times Local East Village blog points us
to Siobhan Meow, an artist and cat-hoarder who at one point kept 100 cats in her home.
"Since the mid-nineties, the artist has rescued felines and used them as muses for paintings, ceramics, and photography," writes Andrea Huspeni. "She even collaborated with one of them, Jupiter, by combining his organic material — fur, urine, and yes, poop — with her paints. After his passing this October, she is dedicating her current collection to him."
Her feces- and urine-enhanced cat paintings start at about $1,500. In this New York Times video, the artist talks about her beloved Jupiter and his talent for “thinking out of the litter box.”
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I enjoy following Sakurako Shimizu, or "sakuracos," on instagram for daily cute-cat-photos from Japan. I was delighted to see that she has produced this attractively-designed "cat meme calendar," available on Etsy for $15.50 USD, with adorbzable photos of Fuku, Goma, and their furry friends.