Monday 19 September 2016

Two photos of Palmerston the house cat at the UK's Foreign Office

They are not great photos; more snapshots. But it was all I could get on a recent visit to this vast, ornate building near the Palace of Westminster. Palmerston is named after a former Prime Minister. His job is to keep down rodents. He has caught 22 mice since being hired not long ago.

He wanted some peace a quiet so slopped off to a quiet corner where the public could not go. He is very laid back. As you can see he is a random bred black-and-white; a tuxedo cat.



Were recent terrorist bombs in America organised by Russia's foreign military intelligence agency?

There has been a spate of terrorist activity in America, most recently the pressure cooker bomb exploding in New York City's Chelsea district wounding 29 people.

Law enforcement is trying to find out who is behind it and the reason for it. It occurred to me that the reason for it could be to ensure that Donald Trump becomes the next president of the United States of America. If that is the reason and it might sound far-fetched then the organisation behind these bombs could be Russian intelligence as directed by Vladimir Putin. This is because Putin believes that if Donald Trump becomes president there will be a rapprochement between the two nations which will lead to the lifting of financial sanctions against Russia.


Sorry for temporarily putting on hold posts about cats. I only do this very rarely.

Russia is in dire need of financial assistance. They are burning through their reserves very quickly. There is no likelihood of a price rise in oil in the near or medium-term future. Russia is dependent upon all revenues for its balance of payments. There is increased poverty in Russia. Putin remains popular but his popularity is waning due to the financial crisis.

Donald Trump has made it known to the world that he admires Putin. They could readily enter into a dialogue on the lifting of sanctions and even the acceptance by America of Russia's invasion of Crimea.

The Russian state has a history of criminal activity including assassinations and murders in other countries and in Russia. Dissidents who emigrate from Russia and settle in other countries such the UK sometimes end up dead at the hands of highly skilled assassins employed by Russia's foreign military intelligence main agency which is commonly called the GRU.

I'm simply putting out this suggestion as an idea because law enforcement in America is struggling to find the reason for the recent bombings. The likely suspect would be Muslim extremists inspired by ISIS but bearing in mind the imminent election of the new president of the USA in 49 days it is timely to create chaos with terrorism in order to make Donald Trump more popular and therefore more likely to win because he has consistently presented to his supporters a hard line towards law and order, immigration and terrorism.

Only recently, in fact shortly after the New York pressure cooker bomb, he said that terrorism must stop giving a clear signal that if he became president he would do all could to heighten and make more rigourous the fight against terrorism in United States of America.

Terrorism now will make it more likely that Donald Trump makes it to the White House and Putin wants him there.

Friday 19 August 2016

Why Do Cats Rule the Internet?

Why do cats rule the Internet? It is a peculiar phenomenon. However, it is not that peculiar when you analyse it. The short answer as to why cat videos and funny cat pictures have been so popular on the Internet is because they make people feel happier, less anxious and less sad.



It is about as simple as that as far as I can tell. The result of a study at Indiana University lead by Asst Prof Jessica Myrick came to the above conclusion. There asked 7000 people how they felt before and after watching cat videos.

I suppose when you think about it the fact that cat videos make is happy has to be the right answer. Perhaps it could be said that cat videos make us the happiest amongst all the videos which are intended to make us happy.


The cat video which has been viewed the most is called “Nyan Cat". It's a rather peculiar video in my opinion - designed to be viewed by younger people who are the most likely to visit YouTube.

It is short and you can see it below. It has being viewed 137,492,886 times at the time of dictating this post. Extraordinary. The name Nyan originates from the Japanese sound "nya" which is their version of the meow in English. It is considered cute. I think the Japanese like cuteness as far as I remember.




In addition to videos there are funny cat pictures. These are also enormously popular. In 2007 a couple of people, Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami (Japanese I presume) started a website on which people could share their funny cat pictures. The site became very popular very quickly and people started to add words to the pictures (LOL cats). Currently it has over 100,000,000 views per month and it created a new sort of Internet language.

Funny cat pictures and funny cat videos spawned the celebrity cat which we now know very well. Top celebrity cats make a lot of money for their owners. It has been reported that Grumpy Cat has made over $100,000,000 for her owner. Lil Bub has earned, we are told, around £130,000 for charity (pets with special needs).

You Tube videos of cats had been viewed around 26,000,000,000 times making them the most popular single category on that website.

Monday 15 August 2016

Cat Trivia: Domestic Cat Milk Contains Eight Times More Protein Than Human Milk

Domestic cat milk contains eight times more protein than human milk and three times as much fat. Did you know that? I think is an interesting bit of domestic cat trivia as I've called it. I also think it's pretty impressive.

Kittens grow rapidly (hardly surprising feeding on that kind of milk) as their mother uses her body reserves to produce milk. In one study it was found that mothers lost about 5.7 g per day when lactating. Kittens from larger litters are smaller and put on weight more slowly than kittens from smaller litters.

Female cat can give birth to between one and ten kittens. The average litter is about four or five kittens.

The largest litter ever recorded was 13 kittens. Each kitten weighs about 3% of their mother's body weight at birth or around 90 to 110 grams.

Source: Wild Cats of the World pages 108 and 109. Get this book.

Friday 12 August 2016

Are cats more intelligent than dogs?

I would like to take a different angle on the question in the title. I think it's a silly debate. I think it's pointless to ask this sort of question for various reasons. Firstly it is very difficult to measure intelligence of humans because there are various types of intelligence and therefore it is next to impossible to reliably measure the intelligence of companion animals. The test that have been devised generally, as I recall, favoured dogs as being slightly more intelligent than cats but as mentioned there are different types of intelligence and how good are these tests? How reliable are these tests? I suspect they're not very reliable.

I don't think we need to know whether a cat or a dog is more intelligent than the other. We know they are of similar intelligence; let's just say that and focus on more important things which are to do with us not cats and dogs. We should ask questions as to how we can improve animal welfare. We should ask questions as to how we can improve the attitude of a minority of cat owners who are irresponsible. These are far more important question. They are questions which are not being asked sufficiently often.

I don't really wish to say much more than that.....perhaps one or two things...Dogs have bigger brains than cats but that doesn't mean that they're more intelligent. You see what I mean? It's all a little bit silly. I don't think I've read any study about cat and dog intelligence which really stacks up and is rigorously scientific. They are more about entertaining humans than pure science.

In any event it doesn't make any difference how intelligent a cat or dog is really. The most important thing is how good a companion they are and how good we are at bringing the best out of dog and cat companions.

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