Tag Archives: Cats

I smell a cat

It’s a confirmed fact that Snowy misses Browny within seconds.

A curious incident happened the other day. I had loaded a new wall paper on the desktop. Snowy came along to the room, gave one look at it and began behaving very strangely… This series of images will tell you what I mean.

smell a cat

She sure did “smell a cat” πŸ˜‰

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A cat-and-mouse game

Here is Browny bringing another English idiom to life!

cat and mouse game (1)
Dating back to 1675, a “cat-and-mouse game” means “a contrived action involving constant pursuit, near captures, and repeated escapes.” The “cat” is unable to secure a definitive victory over the “mouse”, who despite not being able to defeat the cat, is able to avoid capture. In extreme cases, the idiom may imply that the contest is never-ending.

In this case however, the contest ends with the cat getting caught! And then all it has to do is …

cat and mouse game

… look innocent! πŸ™‚

The Cat’s in the Bag

My laptop just got some company!

cat in the bag (2)

It’s not surprising… With two cats at home who like to find their own place no matter what you make comfortable for them… this is one of their favorite haunts.

cat in the bag

 

(Imagine my predicament if I had blindly picked up the bag and rushed off to work!)

cat in the bag (1)

Here is something interesting about “cat quotes”

Many people use the phrase β€œlet the cat out of the bag” to refer to divulging a secret, but they are often unaware of the colorful history behind the term.

In order to understand the origins of “let the cat out of the bag,” it helps to understand how medieval markets worked. During the Middle Ages, markets or fairs were held to sell livestock, produce, and other goods from around a region. Most of the livestock was sold alive, usually in sacks so that the purchaser could bring it home relatively neatly. As a general rule, someone would inspect the pigs, chickens, and so forth for sale and pick one out, and then the farmer would bag the animal so that it could be carried.

Unscrupulous merchants might replace the livestock with a cat, since cats were readily available. The unknowing customer would carry the bag home, open it, and realize that he or she had been swindled. However, the plot relied on not letting the cat out of the bag too early. If the bag was opened in the marketplace, the customer could demand reparations from the merchant, since the secret would be out. Of course, the scheme would also rely on a quiet cat, since most people know the difference between a oink and a meow.

Cats feature very often in English proverbs (this routine appearance of cats in the language is no doubt a consequence of them being widely kept as mousers and pets in domestic houses)

A cat may look at a king – 1546
All cats are grey in the dark – 1596
Curiosity killed the cat – 1921
There are more ways of killing a cat than choking it with cream – 1855
When the cat is away, the mice will play – 1607

For the coming few posts, be prepared for more cat-attacks! πŸ™‚

She’s got the look

Sno-Brow continue to grow… and continue to discover the world around them.

They are now quite comfortable to see a camera staring at them in the face and they prefer to stare back. These are samples of those startled expressions πŸ˜‰

She's got the look - Brownie

She's got the look - Snowy

A Rose by any other name

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

~ Juliet (Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2))

This is a quote from Shakespeare’s lyrical tale of “star-cross’d” lovers. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall in love, but are doomed from the start as members of two warring families. Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called “Montague”, not the Montague name and not the Montague family. Romeo, out of his passion for Juliet, rejects his family name and vows, as Juliet asks, to “deny his father” and instead be “new baptized” as Juliet’s lover. This one short line encapsulates the central struggle and tragedy of the play.

I on the other hand do not want to dwell on the vagaries of love in this post but on a feature I rarely use on my camera… Infra-red mode.

Here are a few sample pictures of The Rose πŸ˜‰

Infra red rose

Infra red rose (1)

This is IR under a focus lamp

The pictures are clicked in pitch darkness. I think cats can sense IR, and the more adventurous of the two, leaped onto the table to inspect the object of my affection πŸ˜‰

Infra red rose (2)

And if you are wondering how the original was, then here it is:

Infra red rose (4)

UPDATE: Here is the same in fractal format….

Infra red rose - Fractal

Cat Light

One of those interesting moments that come your way when there are pets around.

We decided to light up the Christmas tree a little in advance, but first thought it best to get Sno-Brow accustomed to the light. And so I plug the series lights in and their reactions were worth capturing!

Sno-Brow and the lightsAt first they both looked tentatively at the flickering light bulbs, keeping a safe distance. Snowy then edged close and tapped the lowest bulbs and jumped back when the lights swung in her face! Brownie on the other hand sat transfixed gazing at the light patterns on the wall.

All in all, I guess putting up the lights on the tree might not be a very good idea this year… because in a few minutes Sno-Brow teamed up to attack the vicious “glowing insects” and the whole pilot test had to be called off πŸ˜‰

Is there a problem?

I was being advised by an experienced cat lover and a good friend on cat care. In the process I began reading the USPCA manual Caring for Cats & Kittens and was in for a nasty shock.

snowy - white cat - blue eyes

We had always noticed Snowy to be ignoring us when beckoned. Turns out that she is deaf! And through no fault of hers. Believe it or not it’s because she has white fur and blue eyes!

Not all blue-eyed white cats are deaf, but many of them are.

Here are the STATISTICS:

  • 95% of the general cat population is non-white cats (i.e. not pure white) and congenital deafness is extremely rare in non-white cats.
  • 5% of the general cat population is white cats (i.e. pure white).
  • 15-40% of these pure white cats have one or two blue-eyes.
  • Of those white cats with one or two blue eyes, 60-80% are deaf; 20-40% have normal hearing; 30-40% have one blue eye and are deaf while 60-70% have one blue eye and normal hearing.
  • Of the 5% of white cats in the overall population, 60-80% have eyes of other colors (e.g. orange, green). Of those 10- 20% are deaf and 80-90% had normal hearing.
  • Deaf white cats with one or two blue eyes account for 0.25 – 1.5 of total cat population
  • Total number of cats with white coat and blue eyes account for 0.75 – 2.0% of total cat population

And so, we are lucky to have the one in a thousand cat!

And here is the SCIENCE:

White cats with blue eyes often suffer from a genetic defect that causes their cochlea, a vital organ within the inner ear, to degenerate shortly after birth. This is because the stem cells for the melanocytes (pigment producing cells) and cochlea are the same. White cats with eyes of other colours can usually hear. As for odd-eyed white cats, when a white cat has one orange and one blue eye, the ear on the blue-eyed side is likely to be deaf, whereas the one on the orange-eyed side is usually fine.

Popular belief has it that such cats make bad mothers because they tend to ignore their cries of their young. However, deaf cats can be good mothers and good hunters. Many compensate for their disability by becoming exceptionally sensitive to sound vibrations, thus enabling them to hear with their paws. Vision and other senses may also be enhanced, giving the deaf cat an edge in some respects.

We only have to wait and watch!