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.
If I lived in Japan, I’d totally buy whatever cat food is being shilled in this (surprisingly suspenseful) “Cats and Domino” video. Bravo to the folks behind it! screengrab via Cat Navi Desk/YouTube Thanks, Julie!
Above, watch the first episode of Cats, biologist, naturalist and TV presenter Roger Tabor’s wonderful BBC documentary series from 1991 that explores the history of the house cat around the world. And a bonus below, Tabor’s 2011 short “The Secret Life of Cats: Report and Documentary”: (via r/ObscureMedia)
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