Friday, August 24, 2012

Fun Friday Facts #42: House Cats Edition

Okay, so it's been some time since I did a Fun Friday Facts. I know, I know, I'm a horrible blogger and a bad person and I'm not fit to lick your boots. Which is just as well, since I didn't want to lick your boots anyway, you freaky sonofabitch.1

I chose “house cats” because I have fairly recently acquired a new one, meant to replace my beloved elderly Tom, who passed away last year of intestinal cancer.

RIP Tom. *sniff*

The kitten I received was about three weeks old, so I thought I'd keep it until it was old enough to give away. That, of course, didn't work out so well and I'm keeping it anyway. Even though it bites the sh*t out of me. Every. Single. Day.

I can't say no to those enormous feet.

1) For many years, scientists believed that the domestication of cats was a relatively recent phenomenon, dating to about 3,600 years ago in ancient Egypt. While it's true that the ancient Egyptians took cat ownership to a whole new level, creating an entire society of crazy Cat Ladies where the killing of a cat was considered a crime punishable by death, more recent evidence suggests that the domestication of cats goes back much further, to the dawn of civilization in the Fertile Crescent.

That would be this area right here. ~ Nafsadh

That means people have been keeping cats as pets for at least 10,000 years, but possibly as long as 12,000 years.

2) If you have ever known a cat, you'll know that they aren't domesticated in quite the same way as other domesticated animals, like dogs, cows or sheep. Unlike these animals, cats don't need to rely on people for their food, and they certainly don't depend on their owners to hook them up with sexy cats of the opposite sex. Or same sex, for that matter, since cats can be gay, apparently.


Most house cats, no matter how soft and lazy they may seem, are bloodthirsty killers. That's to say, they're perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, thank you, . According to a bunch of scientists' best guess, cats were attracted to the rodents that adapted to live in early grain silos and refuse heaps. From there, they seem to have decided that humans were kind of alright, and humans seem to have decided the same.

I'm here because I want to be, not because I need to be.

3) Kitty-cat facial features do tend to inspire nurturing feelings in people – their high foreheads, large eyes and short faces mimic the features of a human baby. It's perhaps for this reason that the first cat ladies took in the first house kittens 12,000 years ago. Or maybe their kids drug them in. Kids are forever dragging creatures into the house. Ancient moms were probably just relieved they hadn't brought in snakes again.

"Can we keep it Ma? Puh-leeeeeze?"

4) Researchers at the University of Sussex have discovered that cats use a special kind of purr to solicit food from their owners. Cats seem to know that howling obnoxiously will just piss people off, so they emit a complex, high-pitched purr that inspires a feeling of urgency and a need to nurture in the human brain. The cry imitates that of a hungry human infant. And yes, there is scientific evidence that cats form stronger bonds with women than they do with men. Cats have been hailed as expert manipulators, with one researcher saying, “If you ask people who own cats what they do when they get up they say they feed their cats. Even before they have a cup of coffee. Cats are very good at getting their own way."

When I piss mine off, he straight-up punches me in the face. 

5) The oldest cat in the world was called Cream Puff. She lived for 38 years, from 3 August 1967 to 6 August 2005, with Jake Perry in Austin, Texas. Perry also owned Granpa Rex's Allen, who held the record prior to Cream Puff, with a life span of 34 years. Perry credited his cats' vegetable-rich diet and active lifestyles for their longevity. Tizzie, an English contender for the title, claimed a lifespan of 36 years and counting in 2009. Sadly, Tizzie's owner Jim has been unable to prove her age, because her vet records remain incomplete. Jim told The Sun in 2009 that Tizzie showed no signs of slowing down, and credited her extremely advanced age and vitality to “something in the water.” 

6) Also, cats can grow wings. When I first saw that I totally thought it was bullsh*t, but it turns out to be a real picture of a real cat with honest-to-god wings. Okay, it can't fly or anything. But still.

According to Wikipedia, cat wings are often merely large mats of fur, which totally doesn't count at all, in my opinion. Cat wings can also grow due to a skin condition known as feline cutaneous asthenia, which causes extreme stretchiness of the skin. The wings may even have some muscle tissue in them, allowing the cat to flap them a little.

The wings could also occur if the cat grows extra limbs on its back. Ew.

The Chinese lady said her cat grew wings at the age of one year, so I guess four-month-old Shoe could still become a freak of nature.

Come on, Kitty, Mama needs a new roadside attraction. 

1. Censorship standards are slipping around here.