Are Humans Hardwired for Feline Servitude?

Even if you’ve never lived with a cat, you can still be subject to their powers of mammalian mind-control. “The Cry Embedded Within the Purr,” Karen McComb, Anna M. Taylor, Christian Wilson, and Benjamin D. Charlton, Current Biology, 19 (13), July 2009, pp. R507-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.05.033. The authors, from The Centre for Mammal Vocal Communication and Cognition […]

Ten Tops List [videos of spinning tops] — 2011

There are lots of top ten lists, but this is the first Ten Tops List. Here are ten videos of spinning tops that scientists find interesting and or amusing. [Want to take a whirl at learning the science of spinning tops? Download (free) Professor John Perry’s 1890 book Spinning Tops— The “Operatives’ lecture” of the British […]

Cat color and allergies?

Investigator G.J. Reynolds writes: Here’s a nice little set of papers on how the color of a cat affects its owners allergies. First, a 2000 abstract in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunologyestablishing that owners of lighter-colored cats have fewer symptoms than owners of darker-colored cats [one of the authors, Clifford Bassett, is pictured here in lieu […]

The Curious Case of the Boyfriend and the Replacement Cat

“A Zoocentric Capgras Syndrome” [article in German], U. Ehrt, Psychiatrische Praxis, vol. 26, no. 1, January 1999, pp. 43–4. The authors, who are at Klinik und Poliklinik fur Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Halle/Saale, Germany, report that: “We present a case of a 23-year-old women who had the delusional belief that her cat had been replaced by […]

Legal poser: feline intent

The prosecution and defense wrangled repeatedly about whether witnesses could accurately assess the cat’s state of mind. So says a November 13, 2007 New York Times report about the trial of “bird-watching enthusiast” James M. Stevenson in Galveston, Texas. NOTE: the Times reported further details on December 2 of that same year. (Thanks to investigator […]