by Matthew Cobb
The BBC website reports the case of Smokey, a cat whose owner, Mrs Adams, claims that her pet is the noisiest cat in the world. Indeed, the claim is that she is sixteen times louder than your average cat, @ 73dB, which allegedly makes her as loud as a 747. They don’t explain quite how close they placed the mike, but Ray Meadham from Northampton College said “The recording equipment we used to record Smokey’s purr included a Rode microphone, Logic music software and a category 1 sound meter which measures decibels – it’s the same equipment music professionals use.”
Smokey will be submitted to that definitive journal of all things extreme, the Guinness Book of Records. But in the best tradition of 17th century science, they already had some reliable witnesses: “Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris, veterinary nurse Kaye James, Diana Johnson from Cats Protection, and British Airways captain Alisdair Tait.”
[EDIT] Reader CarlosT, in comment #10 below posted this link to a UK TV news item, which includes the sound of Smokey! “To me, the cat sounds like an owl” he says. Smokey’s been recorded at 85 decibels, equivalent to a pneumatic drill operating 50 feet away.
This is what a normal cat sounds like: this is Ollie, who scandalously scratched Jerry’s nose when he came to visit a couple of years ago. You have to listen closely.