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Busy signal

I am extremely busy this week (I'm on the down-slope to finishing the first draft of "Rule 34"), so in lieu of content, here is a video of a very silly cat:

(Her name's Mafdet, she's around 15 years old, and this is just part of her repertoire of author attention seeking strategies.)



Healthy looking 15 year old cat. Someone's taking good care of her.


Very sweet.

We've got our little kitten clapping.


Our Mona the Norwegian Forest Fur Factory has an odd reflex of her own: rub her tummy, she starts washing her face.


I'm afraid that may be her telling you you're making her very excited indeed.


Whrrrrr ..
BTW #3 we have a Norwegian Forest Fur-Factory too (also referred to as the mobile biohazard") - proper name Hex(adecimal)....

Then there's Ratatosk - the world's totally cutest Birman tom-kitten, just over 2 years old, who understands the class of objects with lids: like butter dishes, kitty-crunchy boxes, fry-pans etc...


I have a dog who does something very much like that...cross-species similarities? There's a book in there somewhere...


I have a Scottish Fold who lifts up her head and licks the air if you scratch by her tail.


I have a mutt cat that licks whatever is in front of her if you scratch the base of her tail, where her tail meets the rest of her body. You, the bed, walls, other cats, or, if nothing's nearby, air. It's very odd. I've read of other cats who do things when touched at the base of the tail, but never one that does something when pet under the chin. Other than purr, of course.


One of my cats seems to have a sensitive spot at the base of his ear -- if I scratch him just the right way, he'll then scratch at it with his rear leg.

But this is something that obviously irritates him a bit, as he pulls his head away as well.


I have a turtle that doesn't do any of that stuff.


Our other cat has/had what we call a "lick button", off one side of her spine a few centimetres ahead of her tail -- tickle it and she'll start to wash, compulsively.

I say "had" because (a) it became erratic after we starved her down to 50% of her original (morbidly obese) weight (under veterinary supervision, I hasten to add), and (b) she has osteoarthritis in her hind quarters and tail these days (a relic of being morbidly obese) so we're reluctant to irritate her.


When my kitties get scratched, they purr. I have to have my head on Junie to hear her, but Spirit and Loki can be heard from a distance.


Just a neural link reflex - typically the cat scratches itself with its hind leg in that spot, so sometimes the motion an dhte feeling get a neural link in the brain, so instead of the motion causing the feeling it feeds back and the feeling causes the motion.

It is pretty basic once you get used to thinking about the brain as just a complex a neural network. :)


Nice one. My family's (now just my parent's) ten year old cat lost half a leg when she was one year old. she has the same reflex even with a leg with which she hasn't scratched herself in almost a decade...


Ha--wonderful cat! But you've inadvertently reminded me of a John Scalzi blog post describing the three stages of blogging:

Post One: “Here’s my blog! This is where I’m going to share all my thoughts about life, the universe and everything! It’s going to be great and I can’t wait to tell you all what I’m thinking about everything!”

Post Two: “Hey, sorry I haven’t updated in a while — life’s been crazy. But I’ll be back soon.”

Post Three: “Here’s a picture of my cat.”


My 45kg Alaskan Malamute has the same kick reflex for scratching his upper belly. It's much more important to stand back during that than for a cat.


Charlie, are any of your computers at home "conventional" tower machines?
And do they get cat-fluff in the air-cooling inlets?

Yesterday, I had to turn ours off (again) to remove considerable amounts of spare fur from the main fan, and the appropriate inlet vents - it was making horrible grinding noises.

Oh, and do/did any of yours show interest in the screen-cursor? Ratatosk sometimes has to be dissuaded from treating it as a special sort of rodent, which he wants to add to his collection.
[ Consisting, so far of: 1 House mouse, 1 very dead Rat, 1 Bank Vole, 1 Gerbil (we have no idea either!), and one Field Mouse - the last-named we got away from him, and released it back to the garden. ] He is obviously after (grey) squirrel next ...


Greg, the only non-laptop in the household at present is my wife's Mac Pro. (Unlike me, she is friends with Photoshop and InDesign.) It gets dusted from time to time )and doesn't sit on the floor, anyway -- the #1 cat fur hazard fa1ctor).

our cats are elderly and obligate indoors-dwellers, since before we adopted them from a cat shelter. (Previous owner lived in a flat; we live in a flat, too.) Mafdet isn't even interested in laser pointers ...


But what we really want to know is, is she a natural green or does she use dye?

We once had a cat who could tell the temperature: while asleep, you measured the distance from base of tail to tip of nose in half inches, and that was the temperature in degrees centigrade. He was quite accurate over most normal temperatures, although in very hot weather he got a bit non-linear.


I think the only cats that are naturally green are the Norsk Skogkatt.

(Or Norwegian Forest Cats, as they're known in English.)

Though it's plausible that some cats have tree sloth in their ancestry.


The Fur Factory is not green; instead, she's a pleasing combo of grey/apricot tortie on the back and white on the front. Of course, she's only really part Norwegian, so maybe it takes a full one to be green?


As I recall from "The Jennifer Morgue", a cat not responding to laser pointers is a dangerous sign...


Steve, this one's a cat alright. She's just elderly and very lazy. On the other hand, she responds to cat treats. Boy does she respond to cat treats! She wants to grow up to be the world's first perfectly spherical kitty. (I'm not going to let her.)


I already told you .... Ratatosk can open a box of kitty-treats (belongs in class of objects with lids, which he can open) WITHOUT human assistance, which is why we have to keep them hidden.

If he ever really works out levers, then that's it for the human race.


Many years ago I had a very smart and adept cat. He could open all the doors, so I had to put flip latches up high on the ones I didn't want him to open by himself. He knew about 100 words and responded to them; even when he became deaf, he responded to a number of hand gestures. When he died, my vet sent me a two-page letter on how wonderful he'd been and how she'd never seen a cat like that before. Me too, and not since, either. Oh, and he opened lids.


Ok, I'm talking about a dog, not a cat, but my Godmother's Sheltie responded to whole sentences. He once surprised my Canadian aunt by responding to being told, in literally these words "No Timmy, I'm not getting up to open the living room door for you; go out into the garden and come in through the French windows." by doing exactly that.

As per others, if cats and/or Collies ever work out latches and develop opposable thumbs, we've had it! ;)


Dude, she has you hacked, and if you think otherwise, it only means her work is done. That whole kicking leg thing? That's window-dressing. That's so you'll scratch her more. It's like your daily cute bonus. She's got you on the hook and you're busy savouring the bait. Think those purrs are cute? You're being manipulated.

...Now make with more cat videos. Me likey.


Norwegian? Lovely plumage.



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on June 1, 2010 2:47 PM.

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