3, 2017 - "Essentially, you do not so much teach your
cat as bribe him." - Lynn Hollyn
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "What do you mean you're pregnant?"
Mewvie: Friends with dogs? Ewww.
Feline Art: "Kitten",
cats purr when humans aren't around?
by Jan Hoole
Why do cats purr? Humans tend to think that purring is a sign of happiness
in a cat – and indeed it can be – but there are other reasons
why our feline friends produce this particular vocalisation.
Purring is a habit that develops very early in a cat's life, while suckling
from its mother, so clearly it is not a sound that is directed solely
at humans. Cat owners will be well aware that a cat can produce more
than one kind of purr, just as they have a whole repertoire of meows,
chirps, growls, spits and other sounds.
The purr that is produced during suckling, is quite different in quality
to the purr that you will hear when your cat is sprawling across your
lap being stroked. Analysis of the sound has shown when a cat is asking
for food, whether from its mother or a human – the purr contains
a high-pitched note that is similar in frequency to a cry (though not
as loud). It may have something of the effect of the cry of a newborn,
which affects the hormonal state of female mammals and elicits a care-giving
When a cat is being petted or is snuggled up to its owner on the sofa,
the purr it produces is much more soporific and generally soothing, and
acoustic analysis shows that the "cry" component is missing.
Adult cats will often purr when they are close to or in physical contact
with another cat, engaging in grooming for example. They will also do
it when they play with an inanimate object, or while eating, which can
be at a time when they are alone. However, the most usual time for purring
is in company, and it can be the care soliciting sound, asking to be
fed or stroked, or an indication of social pleasure.
The darker side
Strangely, vets also report that cats will purr when they are in great
pain or just before death. This seems to be illogical if it is a sound
relating to pleasure, but in fact, it could be that the cat is asking
It could also be a way of masking the fact that the cat is injured and
vulnerable. If you are a small animal, even a carnivore, it is not good
to show weakness as this could encourage larger predators to come along
and eat you. The purr may be the cat equivalent of "everything's
fine, I'm on top of the world. Nothing to see here, move along please".
Can big cats purr too?
There has long been a debate about whether the "big cats" can
purr – and the belief has been that cats that roar, such as lions
and tigers, cannot purr. Although there is no conclusive evidence on
this subject, it seems that even cats that roar purr as cubs while suckling.
All mammals have a bone or series of bones in the throat called the hyoid
apparatus, which supports the larynx and tongue. In cat species that
roar the hyoid apparatus is not entirely made of bone but retains some
parts as cartilage, while cat species that purr have a hyoid that is
completely bony. This modification may permit roaring, but does not necessarily
mean that purring is impossible. It is believed that cheetah, ocelot,
margay, serval, and lynx, among other species, can purr, and it is suggested
that jaguar, leopard, lion and tiger cannot – or if they can they've
kept it secret all these years.
Process behind the purr
The actual process of producing the purring sound is complicated, and
is still not completely understood, but it involves the muscles of the
larynx and the diaphragm being activated by bursts of nerve activity
that originate in the brain and occur 20 to 30 times every second. This
happens on both in and out breaths, which accounts for the continuous
sound of the purr.
The fact that a cat can do all this and simultaneously eat, knead the
cushions, rip the chair leg to pieces or weave complicated patterns through
your legs without getting stepped on makes one wonder what they would
have achieved with opposable thumbs.https://phys.org/news/2017-07-cats-purr-humans.html#jCp
4 2017 - "You may own a cat, but cannot govern one." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Foundling kitten, one month later.
Mewvie: Dancing with kitty.
Feline Art: "Purr" by
5, 2017 - "The cat does not negotiate with the mouse." -
Robert K. Massie
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Be the turtle, be the turtle..."
Mewvie: Simon's Cat strikes again.
Art: "Cat" by Kat Corrigan
6, 2017 - "A cat isn't fussy--just so long as you
remember he likes his milk in the shallow, rose-patterned
saucer and his fish on the blue plate. From which he will
take it, and eat it off the floor."
- Arthur Bridgese
Gratuitous Kittiness: Kittens, now with 75% more ears.
Feline Art: "Tiger Cat
in Flower Paradise" by Miki de Goodaboom.
7, 2017 - "Perhaps a child, like a cat, is so much
inside of himself that he does not see himself in the mirror."
- Anais Nine
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "All for one and one for zzzzZZZZzzzzzzzz..."
Mewvie: Senior cat foster program.
Feline Art: "The
Cat's Party" by
cats and cows protect children from asthma.
by Science Daily
It is a known fact that microbes on farms protect children from asthma
and allergies. But even non-microbial molecules can have a protective
effect: Immunologists from the University of Zurich have shown that a
sialic acid found in farm animals is effective against inflammation of
lung tissue. This study opens up a wide variety of perspectives for the
prevention of allergies.
More and more people suffer from allergies and asthma. In the past decades,
these diseases have massively increased in industrialized countries.
Today, about 30 percent of children have allergies -- with the exception
of farm children. Among farm children, the disease is increasing less
dramatically than in the case of their friends who live in the same village,
but not on a farm. Microbes that occur in higher amounts and greater
diversity on farms protect farm children from allergies and asthma. An
environment that is not highly hygienic has a positive effect on the
development of the immune system as it learns not to react to harmless
materials as is the case with allergies.
A sialic acid acts as protection
Not only microbes protect against asthma evidently, but also farm animals:
Petting cats and cows and drinking farm milk can also prevent asthma,
as the team of researchers headed up by Remo Frei of the Swiss Institute
of Allergy and Asthma Research from the University of Zurich in cooperation
with the Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE) in Davos
and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Switzerland in St. Gallen: "Early
childhood contact with animals and the consumption of food of animal
origin seems to regulate the inflammatory reactions of the immune system," says
immunologist Frei. His study shows that a non-microbial substance, a
sialic acid, is responsible for this mechanism. This substance is wide
spread in vertebrates -- and therefore in many farm animals -- but missing
in the human organism: N-Glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc).
Antibodies as measure for contact with farm animals
Based on a genetic mutation, humans do not produce Neu5Gc. They can absorb
sialic acid through contact with animals or by eating food of animal
origin and integrate it into their glycoproteins. Contact with Neu5Gc
triggers an antibody reaction in humans which can act as a measure for
contact with Neu5Gc, that is, with farm animals. The researchers led
by Remo Frei have measured the concentrations of Neu5Gc antibodies in
the serum samples of children collected within the scope of two epidemiological
studies financed by the European Union (PARSIFAL and PASTURE study).
Data comparison of more than a thousand children
As a comparison of the Neu5Gc antibody concentration of over a thousand
children and the occurrence of asthma has clearly shown, "Farm children
have many more antibodies against Neu5Gc in their blood -- and children
with more antibodies suffered considerably less from asthma," Frei
says. The positive effect of sialic acid Neu5Gc on the respiratory system
was confirmed using a mouse-model: The Neu5Gc molecules consumed with
food improved the pulmonary function of the mice, therefore reducing
From farm effect to allergy prevention
To understand the mechanism of how Neu5Gc affects the human immune system,
researchers analyzed various cells of the immune system that play a role
during an inflammatory reaction. With an interesting result -- both in
the children tested and on the animal model: Contact with Neu5Gc did
not reduce immunoglobulin E, the antibody that frequently occurs during
allergic reactions, but it initiates an anti-inflammatory reaction of
the immune system. "This takes place through so-called regulatory
T-cells, which have an increased presence," Frei explains. "These
T-cells dampen incorrect responses of the immune system and have a strong
anti-inflammatory effect. Our research results open up opportunities
for transferring the protective effect of farms to all children. In this
way, we can possibly lay an important foundation stone for effective