Friday Cat Blogging – 12 November 2010

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On the left, Inkblot has claimed ownership of the newly reupholstered reading chair. Surprisingly, it took him a couple of days. Usually it takes more like a couple of minutes when something new comes through the door. In any case, it’s his now. On the right, Domino takes advantage of our current November warm spell to enjoy the outdoor sunshine while she can.

In other feline news, four engineers have finally figured out how cats lap up water. Dogs, of course, merely scoop it up crudely in their tongues, but cats, it turns out, have a far more elegant method based on subtle considerations of fluid dynamics, a remarkably fast tongue speed of 78 cm/sec, and the need to keep their whiskers dry. Pretty much as you’d expect. Explanation and pictures here. There’s even a formula for lapping frequency:

This turns out to be about 3.5 times per second for your average housecat, somewhat less for your kings of the jungle. So be sure to take a closer look the next time your cat ambles on by to the water dish. It’s all in the name of science.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

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That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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