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Infinite Cat Project Archives for December 10-14, 2018.


Mewsings, December 10, 2018: "Some cats is blind, And stone-deaf some, But ain't no cat Wuz ever dumb."
- Anthony Euwer



cat soakig up the sun

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "December-shmecember. Sun is sun."





Cat Mewvie: Dreaming of sugar-plums. (Warning: Loud crappy music.)

 

cat xmas tree comic

Today's Kitty Komic


black cat japanese watercolor toshiyuki

Feline Art: "Black Cat" by Enoki Toshiyuki.


cat news

Who needs a therapist? Get a cat.
by Samuel Fishwick

If a cat rolls over onto its back, does it catsize?

This is one of the many baffling questions I’ve been mulling since coming into ownership of a jet-black one-year-old shorthair named Hiccup, who my girlfriend Saskia and I liberated from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home last month.

For the past week I’ve had to look after him alone while Saskia’s been away, and it has been an exercise in accelerated maturity. Parents, at risk of offending you all, I don’t know how we do it. Is he watching how I unlatch the kitchen windows? Is it OK to watch BBC’s Dynasties with the lions in front of him, or will this give him ideas? I am a nervous catstodian.

“ Honestly, I worry about him all day,” I texted my mum. “I know the feeling,” she replied.
Having never owned an animal larger than a goldfish before, I find him endlessly fascinating while, for the most part, he regards me with mild disdain. This is fine. Many major studies have shown how eager we are to anthropomorphise everything from our pets to our toasters
(Mr Burns, in our case). A more interesting study has, in the past month, shown just what they might say about us in return.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool found that while dogs look like their owners, cats behave like them. The findings, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, were possible thanks to the recent development by another group of scientists of a personality test for cats. Known as the feline five, they are friendliness, dominance, spontaneity, neuroticism and how outgoing they are. “Our results suggest that owner personality may have an influence on the type of cat a person is first attracted to, or the decision to maintain ownership of the cat,” says the report.

Closer to home, Hiccup is a show-off, skittish around people he knows, gobbles his food in seconds and then complains that there isn’t any more. Who needs a therapist? Get a cat.







Mewsings, December 11, 2018: "Any cat who misses a mouse pretends it was aiming for the dead leaf."
- Charlotte Grayr



siamese cat toes

Gratuitous Kittiness: "See my cute little toes?"





Cat Mewvie: Cat found one month after Paradise fires! YAYYYYY!

 

cat psychiatrist comic

Today's Kitty Komic


cats and Sauron's eye art

Feline Art: "Saurin's Cats" by Anna Maria Jung.




Mewsings, December 12, 2018: "A cat is nobody's fool." - Heywood Brown


cat sleeping on cactus

Gratuitous Kittiness: "I will find a better place to sleep manana."





Cat Mewvie: Rubber baby booty bunkins.

 

cat conversations comic

Today's Kitty Komic

mystic cat art

Feline Art: "Mystic Cat" by Danial Ryan.





Mewsings, December 13, 2018: "The reason cats climb is so that they can look down on almost every other animal...it's also the reason they hate birds." - K.C. Buffington


kitten sleeping in boot

Gratuitous Kittiness: A comfy kitten, no doubt aboot it.




Cat Mewvie: Dryer Kitty.

 

art for kitty comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat sleeping with woman art

Feline Art: "Cat Nap" by Josh Byer.




Mewsings, December 14, 2018: "My cat speaks sign language with her tail." - Robert A. Stern


cat stuck in cushions

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Uhhh.... little help?"





Cat Mewvie: Everybody was cat-food fighting.

 

cat hates xmas tree comic

Today's Kitty Komic

clockwork cat art

Feline Art: "Clockwork Cat" by Braden Duncan.



cat news

Cats are getting bigger.
by Meilan Solly

uring the Viking Age, domesticated cats were popular companions prized for their pest control abilities—and, in a dark turn of events, their pelts, which the Norse seafarers often donned as clothing. The idea of feline fur fashion may sound disturbing today, but as Emily Underwood reports for Science magazine, the practice yielded a bevy of ancient cat skeletons that have actually enabled modern scientists to better understand the long history of human-cat relations.

Perhaps the most surprising find detailed in a new Danish Journal of Archaeology study is the domesticated feline’s growth over time. Although most animals tend to shrink as they become domesticated (the average dog, for example, is around 25 percent smaller than its wild relative, the gray wolf), Julie Bitz-Thorsen of the Arctic University of Norway and Anne Birgitte Gotfredsen of the University of Copenhagen recorded a 16 percent jump in size between Viking Age and contemporary cats.

The reasons for this hefty increase remain unclear, but according to the study, plausible explanations include greater food availability—in the form of either human waste or a higher rate of deliberate feedings—and the shift in culture from treating cats as “fur providing and rodent catching” animals to “the present-day pet invited indoor, fed and cared for.”

To assess the differences between ancient cats and those of today, Bitz-Thorsen, then an undergraduate at the University of Copenhagen, extracted cat skulls, femurs, tibas and miscellaneous bones from dozens of bags filled with a mixture of dog, horse, cow and cat remains discovered at archaeological sites across Denmark. The samples dated from the late Bronze Age to the 1600s, with many originating in Viking era mass graves filled with the carcasses of hapless, de-furred cats.

“You can tell the cats were skinned,” Bitz-Thorsen tells Science’s Underwood. “They have cut marks, or the neck has been broken.”

Researchers have long puzzled over the exact timeline of cat domestication, but a 2017 study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution posited that the ancestors of today’s house cats arrived in two distinct waves. The first of these early felines likely spread from southwest Asia into Europe and the Middle East as early as 4400 B.C., Casey Smith writes for National Geographic. This lineage was based in the Fertile Crescent, otherwise known as the birthplace of agriculture, and includes a 9,500-year-old Cyprus cat buried alongside its human.

The second set of felines consisted of an Egyptian lineage that spread across Africa and Eurasia as early as 1700 B.C. but didn’t truly accelerate until the fifth through 13th centuries. According to Karin Brulliard of The Washington Post, Viking cats belonged to this lineage; remains found at a Viking trading port on the Baltic Sea support the idea that tabbies were employed as pest control on Middle Age ships.

Interestingly, Abigail Tucker, author of The Lion in the Living Room: How Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World, tells The Cut’s Alice Robb that felines are “uniquely ill-suited for domestication.” In addition to demanding a diet of “fancy food,” cats are solitary creatures lacking social hierarchies, making them difficult for humans to control. Still, cats have one advantage above ostensibly similarly unfriendly wild animals such as badgers and foxes: Their facial features remind us of human infants, enabling them to become “an intriguing and charming presence, rather than a straight-up nuisance, like a raccoon.”

Regardless of whether early felines won over humans with their cherubic charm or deadly hunting skills, Bitz-Thorsen tells Science that by the late Middle Ages, cats had become the treasured, well-fed house pets they remain to this day.

Domestication enabled cats to reduce the level of energy expended on finding food, but University of Oslo cat domestication expert Claudio Ottoni explains to Science that it’s unclear whether a change in diet or an actual genetic shift triggered the animals’ jump in size. To answer this question, Ottoni says researchers will need to search ancient cat DNA for chemical signatures of a changing diet.




 




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