The BBC has been running a new series Cat Watch 2014, which started on October 7. There are three episodes, all of which have had their first run, but there are still re-broadcasts and the full episodes are available online in the UK. They are not, unfortunately, available in the US, so readers will need to check their local availability. There are a series of video clips from the series, each a minute or two long, that should be viewable from any location. Much of the film uses “cat cams“, miniature spy cameras attached to the cats, which have been used successfully before in cat studies and a previous BBC program (which we also noted here at WEIT).
Although the clips have embed codes, I can’t get them to work. However, if you click here, you will be taken directly to a full screen view of a clip from the “Cat Talk” episode– meowing (or miaowing, if you prefer). Speaking of talking, I couldn’t exactly place the presenter’s accent– does anyone recognize it? (She sounds like Emma Thompson to me.)
Here, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, is Mr. Peebles, a hefty six-inch, 2.8 pounder who lives at a vet clinic in Illinois (I’m going to see him). His is a heartwarming story — a wormy runt saved by a good Samaritan.
The longest cat in the world is also in Illinois: the leonine Verisimo Leonetti Reserve Red. At 35 pounds, Verisimo weighs as much as 12 Mr. Peebleses.
Also: This week’s grandpa-rolls-over-in-his grave award to Lydia Guevara, granddaughter of Che, who has doffed her duds to advertise for PETA. It’s a pretty funny photo, what with the carrots and all, but I’m sure that Che, had he not been killed in Bolivia, would be steamed. I happen to be reading a biography of Che, and have just gotten to the part where, to keep silence during an attack in Cuba’s mountains, he strangled a puppy with a rope.
I’m in Boston and will continue substantive discussion next week.
In view of all the heat emanating from the debate about religious accommodationism, including the new statements on Panda’s Thumb that P. Z. Myers, I, and now Richard Hoppe are making the lot of young earth creationists much easier by telling the truth about the number of atheistic scientists, I think it’s time for a break. But I can’t resist one more question about accommodationism: where is the evidence that showing people how their faith comports with evolution makes them more likely to accept evolution? I’m not talking about anecdotes here, but systematic data. After all, the AAAS, NCSE, and NCSE predicate their entire strategy on accepting this principle. Would it have been much easier for Christians to accept the heliocentric solar system has the Pope shown them that it could be seen as consistent with the Bible? I don’t think so. I think that in the end scientific truth is always accepted by the public (albeit sometimes slowly), and that its acceptance is not accelerated by stroking people with religious platitudes.
Whoops, I’m on a tirade. Enough. Here, for your delectation, is non-accommodationist philosopher Russell Blackford (a party to this debate) and his atheist cat Mystical Prince Felix (“Felix” for short). Felix is a blue point ragdoll.
Presenting Verismo Leonetti Reserve Red, the Guinness World Record holder for “longest cat.” This behemoth Maine Coon cat is 48 inches long from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, and weighs 35 pounds. He is NOT fat! Leo lives in the suburbs of Chicago, and I’ve not yet seen him, but would love to. A cat like this can keep you warm in those Chicago winters. . .
Guinness compares Verismo Leonetti Reserve Red to the same size as an 8 year old child and his paw just fits into a size 2 child’s shoe. But if he were a human to Guinness’s scale, Leo would stretch over 8 feet tall and weigh 220 pounds.
Freida [his owner] says “We have to keep our eye on him when we’re cooking, because he can stand up and put his paws on the kitchen counter.” Leo’s dietary favorites are listed by Guinness.
We’ll start off today with a video of Ugly Bat Boy (aka “Uggs”), a cat resident in a veterinary hospital in New Hampshire. He is obviously a genetic mutant, since there was another kitten in the litter having the same bizarre appearance. I think he’s cute! (Also see the article and video about Uggs here.)
For more comic relief, I present Captain Pugwash, the famous “Broccoli Kitten”!:
Do black-and-white cats have a predilection for broccoli? Here’s another.