Humans have long been fascinated by cats. They’ve been everything from gods in ancient Egypt to agents of the devil in Medieval superstition. Even today, cats are hailed as smart, though often arrogant, creatures all over the world through the Internet phenomena of the lolcat. Maybe it’s their mysterious ways or that common look of wisdom and content that graces their faces that leads one to believe that there are more to these animals than meets the eye. Here are a few interesting facts about cats.
1. Cats have natural superpowers. They can reach speeds of 30 MPH in just a few seconds while barely making a sound. They are able to reach outstanding heights gracefully with simple jumps. They have extra-sensitive hearing, sight, and smell that we can only envy. The ancient people who domesticated cats as a means of protecting their crops from rodents had the right idea; cats are built to hunt. You can learn more about this here.
2.Cats have been used in warfare and as spies. Because of their fine-tuned sense of hearing and smell, cats have been used to detect dangers (such as poisonous gases and on-coming bombs) during times of war. They’ve also been used in attempts to spy on the Russians in what is now referred to as Project Acoustic Kitty and as under cover police agents like Fred the Undercover Kitty.
3. There are health benefits of owning cats. If you don’t own a cat, you’re 30-40 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who do have a kitty friend, according to the University of Minnesota. And no, having a dog instead won’t save you. Dog owners are equally likely to die as non-pet owners unless, of course, they also have a cat. Read more about this here.
4. Cats have figured out how to manipulate us into feeding them sooner. Some cats have discovered a special persuasive purr that is perceived as urgent and a bit obnoxious by their owners. This purr develops in cats who live in quieter households and share a one-on-one close relationship with their human. It works by tapping into our nurturing instinct, convincing us that kitty needs her food. It’s obviously a very successful tactic for forwarding the cat’s agenda.
5. Cats have been known to have the ability to predict death. The Here Kitty episode of House wasn’t entirely based on fiction. Oscar the cat from Providence, RI, has helped alert staff in a nursing home’s advanced dementia unit that a patient may soon pass. When a resident is about to die, Oscar springs to attention and rushes to their bedside with purrs and love to provide comfort through the last hours. You can read more about him in this CBS News article.
6. Cats are very loyal and form strong bonds. From Scarlett, who suffered severe burns while saving her kittens from a flaming building to Karim, the cat that walked 2,000 miles to find his family that had moved away, there have been many recorded instances of amazing feline loyalty and love. Many cat owners, including Koko the gorilla, have felt such love first hand. Maybe those crazy cat ladies aren’t so crazy. Perhaps they know they’re surrounded by love.
Project Acoustic Kitty
The Use of Cats in Warfare