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Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011 - 5:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dog lovers and cat lovers have argued, both with scientific credibility, that one or the other has more expressive facial and body language. (Many biologists assert that the tiger has the most expressive face in the entire Carnivore order.) A domestic cat has one ability that sets it apart from other animals. What is it?
Sundowner (Sundowner)
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Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011 - 9:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does the ability have to do with face expression? with body language in general? winking with the eyes relevant?
Shez (Shez)
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Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011 - 9:41 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

does the domestic cat have an ability which feral cats do not?

is it the ability to twist its owner round its little finger? (or claw?)

is it do with sound?
Potato (Potato)
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Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011 - 3:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is a certain body part relevant?
Tail relevant?
Whiskers relevant?

Any of the five senses relevant?
If so:
Hearing?
Seeing?
Smelling?
Feeling?
Tasting?

Orientation relevant?
Sensing upcoming events (like earthquakes) relevant?
Sensing the time relevant?
Loyalty to the owner relevant?
Landing on thir feet after falling relevant?

Eating relevant?
Catching prey relevant?

Do all domestic cats have the ability, no matter where they live?
Do cats living on a farm have the ability?
Do cats living in a regular house have it?
Do cats living in a small apartment have it?
Do cats who are allowed out have it?
Do cats who aren't allowed out have it?
Do cats living in big cities have it?

Acting in a certain way when their owner treats them bad relevant?
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 2:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does the ability have to do with face expression? with body language in general? winking with the eyes relevant? Body language in general
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 2:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

does the domestic cat have an ability which feral cats do not? Yes. I have not taken a poll of every wild cat in the world (that would be fun!); but I am taking this on the written word of experts as well as personal observation.

is it the ability to twist its owner round its little finger? (or claw?) Whoa! I yelled my laughter so suddenly that little Mischka jumped off my lap. Shez, you are close in that you are thinking of communicating with other cats and also with humans.

is it do with sound? You must be a cat-friender. No. Or mostly no.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 3:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is a certain body part relevant? yes
Tail relevant? yes
Whiskers relevant? no

Any of the five senses relevant? Potato, I am developing a crush on you. To be truly factual, I'd have to refer your questions to an actual cat! But, to choose, I'd go with
If so:
Hearing?
Seeing? works for me, as first choice, but hearing and smelling might - or do - precede the seeing
Smelling?
Feeling?
Tasting?

Orientation relevant? you mean, like, where the North Pole is? in that case, no
Sensing upcoming events (like earthquakes) relevant? I know many animals can do this, but it's not the answer to my puzzle.
Sensing the time relevant? no
Loyalty to the owner relevant? I hadn't thought about this. YES!
Landing on thir feet after falling relevant? good q! but no

Eating relevant? no
Catching prey relevant? in certain cases, yes. Explore maybe?

Do all domestic cats have the ability, no matter where they live?
Do cats living on a farm have the ability?
Do cats living in a regular house have it?
Do cats living in a small apartment have it?
Do cats who are allowed out have it?
Do cats who aren't allowed out have it?
Do cats living in big cities have it?
All domestic cats have it, although they are likely to lose it if they've become feral. I'm so sorry that you had to type that much

Acting in a certain way when their owner treats them bad relevant? A fine studious query! Yes. But variable. In the same way that a word can be printed, or could be understood by sign language.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 3:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is a certain body part relevant? yes
Tail relevant? yes
Whiskers relevant? no

Any of the five senses relevant? Potato, I have a teensy crush on you. To be truly factual, I'd have to refer your questions to an actual cat! But, to choose, I'd go with
If so:
Hearing?
Seeing? works for me, as first choice, but hearing and smelling might - or do - precede the seeing
Smelling?
Feeling?
Tasting?

Orientation relevant? you mean, like, where the North Pole is? in that case, no
Sensing upcoming events (like earthquakes) relevant? I know many animals can do this, but it's not the answer to my puzzle.
Sensing the time relevant? no
Loyalty to the owner relevant? I hadn't thought about this. YES!
Landing on thir feet after falling relevant? good q! but no

Eating relevant? no
Catching prey relevant? in certain cases, yes. Explore maybe?

Do all domestic cats have the ability, no matter where they live?
Do cats living on a farm have the ability?
Do cats living in a regular house have it?
Do cats living in a small apartment have it?
Do cats who are allowed out have it?
Do cats who aren't allowed out have it?
Do cats living in big cities have it?
All domestic cats have it, although they are likely to lose it if they've become feral. I'm so sorry that you had to type that much

Acting in a certain way when their owner treats them bad relevant? A fine studious query! Yes. But variable. Feel free to get more info.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 3:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Folks, I don't know why some of my posts recur. Sorry about that! I'll beg info of the Moderators...
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 7:24 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey, guys and gals, please don't think that you have flopped.

Maybe owners don't notice it, but it's a world-wide habit. Yes, it is an important fact for cats. It is also an important fact for other cats and for cat owners.

Honestly, the clue is nothing like science fiction or horror or any other genre. If you are taking care of a cat, you'll have seen this behavior.

I promise, this is nothing arcane! The answer is easy if you own a cat; also easy if you have cat-owning friends or have been bored to death with a television show.

PS: Okay a sweet hint:

Hey, guys and gals, please don't think that you have flopped.

Maybe owners don't notice it, but it's a world-wide habit. Yes, it is an important fact for cats. It is also an important fact for other cats and for cat owners.

Honestly, the clue is nothing like science fiction or horror or any other genre. If you are taking care of a cat, you'll have seen this behavior.

I promise, this is nothing arcane! The answer is easy if you own a cat; also easy if you have cat-owning friends or have been bored to death in a television.

PS: Okay a sweet hint:
Potato (Potato)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 10:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hm, the hint is missing but the rest of the text appears twice. I'M sure you didn't intend to do that. Anyway, waiting for the hint :-)

Wagging the tail in certain situations relevant?
Not wagging the tail in certain situations relevant?
Using the tail for balance relevant?
Stroking the owner with the tail relevant?
Brushing the tail against objects relevant?

I'm not sure if cats normally do the latter two since I've never had one myself, but I guess it's possible.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 1:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry, again! I meant to say:

"or have been bored by, or have noticed in, cat food television ads."

I meant to send the hint to a friend, not to everyone. I must have edited some, but I'm sorry if you are all irked by repetition!
Fiona
Shez (Shez)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 1:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

is recognition relevant?
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 1:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wagging the tail in certain situations relevant?
Not wagging the tail in certain situations relevant? Both are close because both convey emotion.

Using the tail for balance relevant? no

Stroking the owner with the tail relevant?
Brushing the tail against objects relevant?
Again, you're close! Both are normal and important activities. The one I refer to is normal and important; it's just that it rarely gets attention compared to facial expressions. For a non-cat owner, you're doing well!
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 1:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

is recognition relevant? Yes!
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 1:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am baffled why my posts, and variations thereof, keep showing up. It's rude to you and it's unintended by me.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 - 7:07 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I bet you all will have found or experienced the answer about cats before I can get through to a maintenance person to fix my weird posting behaviors. Or, at least, I'll pretend to believe it, if doing so will tell me how to find how to get rid of these clones. Oh, and tell me how to fix my username so that it displays my name as 2 names, not 1, Fiona Kelleghan, and trivia such as those. Please??
Hugs from rainy Miami,
Fiona
Sundowner (Sundowner)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 - 8:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it about cats recognizing: people? other cats? other animals? situations? locations?
Vesica (Vesica)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 - 2:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anything to do with tail position?
Like if it is upright?
Tucked between the legs?
Half-mast?

I always thought cat mood could be read some by tail...at least more than dog mood, since pups wag for "Hooray!" and "Who the hell are YOU?" and "Go ahead, make my day". :D
Kalira (Kalira)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 - 10:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fiona, a lot of people have the issue with double posting if they post something and then refresh the page. If you think this might be the problem, I'd suggest that after posting, you click on the "Topics" button in the menu to the left instead of hitting the refresh.

As to the username, I don't think we have the option of changing it... if you look back in the archives, there was a time when people's names appeared the way you're talking about (for example, to name the first one I saw when randomly clicking back there, "Felicia Nimue Ackerman (Nimue)"). I don't know what changed, but there appears to have come a time when it all went to "Nimue (Nimue)" without anybody changing their own individual settings. Basically, a long way to say I don't think you can get it to display differently (unless the great and powerful Admin or one of the mods knows a way).

Now, since I have barged into your puzzle, I should probably ask some questions :-)


So is this something specifically about a cat's tail? or are other aspects of the kitties relevant?

Is something physical/structural about the tail relevant? Bone structure? Fur?
Or how they use it physically (like the actual movement)? Or how it conveys their emotions?
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 4:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sundowner: Is it about cats recognizing: people? other cats? other animals? situations? locations?
Recognition is important for all pets, of course. Your questions are broad enough that I'll say, Yes, this particular cat behavior might arise, or might not arise, depending on, as you say, situations and locations and other creatures. The behavior at the heart of this puzzle is decided by the cat's own emotions, which determine whether the cat says (in body language) Yeahh! or Er, I'll just be on my way to somewhere quieter. -- Looking at what I've written, I need to explain further that this body-speak is decided by the cat itself. No number of snacks can determine whether the cat will decide to do it, or not do it.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 5:01 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Vesica: Anything to do with tail position?
Like if it is upright? THIS. You've found half of the answer here, so good onya mate!
Tucked between the legs?
Half-mast?

I always thought cat mood could be read some by tail...at least more than dog mood, since pups wag for "Hooray!" and "Who the hell are YOU?" and "Go ahead, make my day". :D

Hee hee - I know! A few years back I was invited to do some wine-and-cheese PowerPoint talks in Coconut Grove, about animal behavior - myths and truths, to be precise. I still have those PPT files if anyone wants to know why we say "That will get his goat!" or "Is purring the happiest activity for a cat?" and why dogs circle several times before curling up for a nap.

Um, excuse me. I've returned to my pleasing lecturer tone. Let's get back to the puzzle, shall we?
Kalira (Kalira)
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Posted on Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 9:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

psst... I think you may have missed my post, Fiona.
Potato (Potato)
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Posted on Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 11:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do they lift the tail when
...they're happy?
...they feel superior?
...they feel proud?
...they want their owner's attention?
...they want to show something to their owner?
Shez (Shez)
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Posted on Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 11:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

do they lift their tail in greeting?
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Friday, July 08, 2011 - 2:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kalira, thank you thank you thank you!

Do they lift the tail when
...they're happy? That's right, and you're close to what makes the domestic cat unique.
...they feel superior? Huh. I don't know whether that's in the emotional repertoire. If it is, then yes.
...they feel proud? See above.
...they want their owner's attention? No.
...they want to show something to their owner? No.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Friday, July 08, 2011 - 2:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

do they lift their tail in greeting? Cats greet much the way dogs greet. Butt sniffing, etc. For both pets, the tail is likely to move, but something different is unique to cats.
Sundowner (Sundowner)
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Posted on Friday, July 08, 2011 - 8:34 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cats can move parts of the tail, like keeping the tail upright but the tip bent down, or even the tip waving .. is this relevant? (at least I have never seen that of dogs)
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Friday, July 08, 2011 - 10:06 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cats can move parts of the tail, like keeping the tail upright but the tip bent down, or even the tip waving .. is this relevant? (at least I have never seen that of dogs)

You are 95 percent of the way there! Look again at your "like keeping the..."
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Saturday, July 09, 2011 - 9:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kalira, I've had little sleep, so I am super sorry that I missed your questions. But I do thank you, especially for your website help!

You wrote:
So is this something specifically about a cat's tail? Yes. It is, like, 98% to do with the tail.

or are other aspects of the kitties relevant?

and then, when you ask me this, I have to say: It's the tail that matters, but it really signals the entire body language. Unmistakable.

Is something physical/structural about the tail relevant? Bone structure? And, folks, here is the first purely scientific question! Science is always the best tool to understand our pets, even if they act crazy some times.

Fur? Great! NO, but this afternoon I was wondering to myself why fur is so soft? And why one cat is so soft you can fall asleep on her, yet the other...

Or how they use it physically (like the actual movement)? Or how it conveys their emotions?

Now you're 99% there.

I hate to repeat myself, but it's the domestic cat which exhibits this behavior.

Of course the cats don't necessarily do it all the time. Perhaps they do it a few times a week.

These are such great questions that I think we ought to pool our ideas and write a round-robin fantasy novel.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 8:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kalira!

You wrote, "Is something physical/structural about the tail relevant? Bone structure?"

I praised you for being scientific. What I *didn't* do was to answer your precise question.

The easy answer is YES, absolutely - almost.

Some biologists argue about how many bones and muscles are in the tail, and so on (since some cats have only bob-tails) - but there is no question that the domestic cat has something really great going on.

And I'm sure I'm not the only one who argues that this trait probably developed when early cats met early humanity.

If we compare animal butts, from cats and dogs to squirrels and foxes and rabbits and white-tailed deer, we'll find some comparisons but also differences. This is where Domestic Kitty comes in.


PS. The ear is also marvellous - but we can save that for later.
Kayleetonkslupin (Kayleetonkslupin)
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Posted on Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 8:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would just like to congratulate you, Fiona, as your post count has jumped from 40 to 120 so far in this puzzle, though obviously not all those posts are in this puzzle =) It's great to have you, and other new members, aboard! And this puzzle about cats is great to read...my sister's a member here, and still has her puzzle up, but it's been languishing...my poor TortieKitten =( She'd probably love this puzzle though! I bet she'd know better questions than me, so I'll call her tomorrow and tell her to look. My brain's shutting down, so maybe I can give you a real question tomorrow, LOL! for now, just wanted to say hi =)
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 - 6:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kaylee, hi! Thanks so much!

(When I see your name, I'm always going to picture you as Jewel Staite.)

I felt kinda like I was cheating, since "Pets: Threat or Menace" isn't properly a situation puzzle (as my first, Joe vs. Sid, was).

All the same, I thought I'd try it out because I'm competent in ethology, and because if there were no cat lovers around, I'd find that out pretty quickly.

Oh, I'd noticed the "TortieKitten" column! It intimidated me, both for its size and for its general knowledge among you ladies and knights which I have not yet gleaned.

Kaylee, thanks to you, I skimmed through my last posts in search of yours; and I saw another error of mine (no worries, mates, I'm confident that after the first couple of weeks, I'll be a stellar performer <g>) which went like this:


[Fiona said] "I hate to repeat myself, but it's the domestic cat which exhibits this behavior.

Of course the cats don't do it all the time. Perhaps they do it a few times a week."

Me here again. That average is a guess, though an informed guess. My own 2 cats do it a few times a day. The feral cats who come to my yard each night (the tired, the poor, the hungry masses yearning for some nice gravy 'n' food out of a can) probably don't exhibit this behavior often, if ever.

Vesica, Sundowner, Potato, you know who you are - the folks who have proposed the best zeroing-in hypotheses.

Kalira comes closest when talking about bone structure. If you all want a recap hint:




*****RECAP HINT******



Do re-read Kalira's and your own posts, because most of you are advancing between 90% and 99% toward the answer.

Many of you have already described tail poses and postures. Now think about them connected with bone and muscles, and the butt structure. (It's not parallel to but might be similar to brachiating in gibbons, in the sense that only 2 or 3 primates have it and, again, they choose to brachiate or not to.)

This unique ability is one that the kitty decides on and controls, whereas: (1) activities such as ears pivoting to identify sounds; (2) whiskers can arch forward or lay flat along the head; (3) flattened ears can signal fight or retreat; (4) obstinately licking its fur just because its nice kind owner petted it and now it has to wash our cooties away (No Offense Intended to the Management, of course).

- those are all chiefly instinctual, not decisional.

I appreciate (and my cats appreciate) the weight of thought that you have all put in.
Kayleetonkslupin (Kayleetonkslupin)
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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 - 7:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If I picture myself as Jewel Staite, I'm going to picture myself as Dr. Keller, which makes me die laughing as one of my closest friends is surnamed Keller. Her name's Danielle, not Jennifer, though. *giggles madly*

Everyone keeps mentioning Firefly, especially as I have a tendency to call things shiny. Total accident. I still have yet to see this amazing show. Note to self, remedy this.

On a more sobering note, I just finished watching the Jaycee Dugard Story with my mum on TV. I don't think I'll be able to sleep for a long time tonight...even though it's nearly half past eleven.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 - 7:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey, stay awake just a bit, then, and I can try to cheer you up... I was supposed to get to sleep at midnight -
I don't know where you are. My computer says I'm at 2:34 a.m.
-
Honestly, I love "Serenity" and have watched it over 30 times. I also own the series, and watched a couple of them twice.

I love Joss Whedon, but, oh boy, when he screws up the science, he REALLY screws up the science. I suspect, though, that he gets away with it, because he's such a fine story-teller. And that's all that really matters.

(Loike, nobody is going to bring a lawsuit against Homer because they didn't like a film adaptation.)

Meeting you is shiny, lady, and tomorrow I'll check in to see whether you're still anxious about the Dugard Story.

Hugs from Miami. I am so delighted to find so many easy friends here!

Fiona
I don't know Dr. Keller, but I'm already laughing because you are.

Because I have duplicate copies of "Serenity" the DVD, and as I'm on vacation, it would be a cinch to send it to you.

(Not the series, just the movie.)
(Which you will love. Everyone does.)
Kayleetonkslupin (Kayleetonkslupin)
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Dr. Jennifer Keller is from Stargate: Atlantis. Tortie and I are big Stargate fans =)

But yes, still anxious about the Dugard Story. It is very sad and angry and...and many things. =(

Hugs from San Jose, California, 3,000 miles and an internet connection away. Still awake.

Kaylee
Vesica (Vesica)
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I love Jewel Staite (followed her in Wonderfalls as well as in Firefly/Serenity) but was not crazy about Keller as a character. Also, if she had to end up with someone, I was voting for Ronan (Rrrar! is that man hot!). Oddly, I wanted her with Ronan also because I really didn't like how she and Rodney interacted. Also, I might have a huge honkin' crush on David Hewlett (Like really huge. My car is named McKay.) Hooray for the Rodney and Radek show, which some people seem to call "Stargate Atlantis". Odd that - when it is so clearly all about the two nerd-boys saving the universe (when not accidentially blowing it up).

Ahem, back to the cats.

Do wild cats not raise their tails?
Are they not able to?
Do they not do it as often as domestic kitties do?
Do wild cats not twitch their tails or use them to communicate?
Anything about hunting relevant?
Oooh! Do wild cats not walk around with thier tails up?
Seems like that would not be good for sneaking up on prey...

I am so in on writing a fantasy novel round-robin. What are we going for here? A new version of "Tailchaser's Song"?? Perhaps like the Warriors series (which is totally a children's series but also kind of fun so I ignore the odd looks when I, as an over-30, check them out of the library).
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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[Sorry, folks - Off Topic!]


Oh, lord, everyone tells me that I am going to love Stargate. (I know I loved the film, which puts me into a minority I think?)

I have enough stress as it is that I won't check out the Dugard Story. Except that I probably will, because I'm all about STORY. I'll take your advice either way.

Ah, darn it, now I'm going to see how many minutes I can go before googling Dugard.

Are you acquainted with the YouTube postings by Stevecash83? He is all about the cats. His videos are quite short, but are REALLY brilliant and funny and occasionally profane. After I finish interviewing a writer at Cracked, I'm going to ask Steve to agree to an interview as well.

Okay, now I'm putting MYSELF to sleep. My interviews are always good, but who wants to hear pride before the actual job is done?

But yes, I do need to nap for a little. Like you, I had an interrupted night.

Hugs from sunny - oh no! - rainy! - that sucks, I have errands to run and don't own a car. - Miami, and that's okay, July in Miami is a good time to walk in the rain.

Looking forward to chatting more,
Fiona
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 5:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Vesica politely reminds us... "Ahem, back to the cats.

"Do wild cats not raise their tails?
Are they not able to?"

Since I already mentioned feral cats, I am reading your "wild cats" as "big cats."

Big cats have no need to raise their tails above butt-level, because they like to keep a low profile. Lions, leopards, servals, cheetahs, ocelots, jaguars all tend to flick their tails during the day, against flies, or to lash their tails when provoked, but these are instinctual.

(Incidentally, some big cats purr! Though not in the way that domestics do. Maybe I'll drop a line about that, later.)

When moseying, they usually hold their tails in a fat U-shape (as domestic cats do, too): The tail doesn't drag along the ground, but is held just a few inches above, with the highest parts of the tail being the butt and the tip.

(With domestic kitty, that tail-shape signals both contentment and curiosity. Like: "Oh, Fiona is reaching into the catfood cabinet! She doesn't always feed us this time of day. But if I weave between her legs, I might get lucky.")

When a lioness is mating, she moves her tail out of the way, of course, just as canines do, and when big cats run, the tail is straight out behind them.

But
"are not able to?" Excellent question: you've almost stumped the master! <g>

I presume they are not able, at least in their physical (bones, muscles, etc) state today. After all, most big cats don't pack-hunt in the way that canids do - and from small dog to wolf, the tail is an important communicator.

I have never seen a big cat do this particular thing that domestic cats can, and I say this from the <cough> arrogant height <cough> of having read about wild animals all my life, and publishing articles and giving talks about them. However, I'll send $100 to anyone who can prove otherwise. Preferably on unaltered video. <g>



"Do they not do it as often as domestic kitties do?
Do wild cats not twitch their tails or use them to communicate?
Anything about hunting relevant?"

In my prolix way, I hope I've answered these questions, but to simplify things: If big cats use their tails to communicate to others, then it's still irrelevant, because I am making a case for a unique ability in domestics, who are signaling contentment, not planning-to-hunt.

Anyone who has owned a kitten or has watched the Nature Channel has seen how, just before pouncing, the cat wriggles its butt in excited anticipation. But that great hunter, the lioness, doesn't do what domestic kittens are born to do.


"Oooh! Do wild cats not walk around with thier tails up?
Seems like that would not be good for sneaking up on prey..."

And, honey, you are 98 percent to the answer!

If you put together bone structure + muscle structure + conscious decision to communicate, you've got it. I really think it's neck-and-neck between you all, what with the imagination and the recognition, an' all.


I am so in on writing a fantasy novel round-robin. What are we going for here? A new version of "Tailchaser's Song"?? Perhaps like the Warriors series (which is totally a children's series but also kind of fun so I ignore the odd looks when I, as an over-30, check them out of the library).

You and I are going to be great friends!

Oh, lord, Tailchaser. "Filthy Tailchaser?" "Frikkin' Tailchaser?" I haven't read that since college (and I'm 46 now, just to get "that age thing" out of the way).

I think that could be a lot of fun!

Oh, and my librarian self hopes that "the odd looks" at the library have nothing to do with anyone checking out any book. Anything at all. If you get odd looks, it's probably because the clone behind the desk wants to go to the bathroom, or to get coffee, or to flirt with the new person behind the desk. - But maybe you were joking; and as I've quit my library post, I am perfectly free to give my own "odd looks" to anyone I care to!
Kayleetonkslupin (Kayleetonkslupin)
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Domestic cat can haz cheezburgur?

(lol, I know, that's off topic, but it's become the obligatory Kaylee-joke around here. Kaylee is the Kaylee kitteh. To be fair, Balin started it with his ICHC/LOLcat puzzles...)

And...I still don't know! *sobs* where is my Tortiesibling?? =(
Sundowner (Sundowner)
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Are only domestic cats able to move each bone of the tail separately? or to bend the tail at any bone? My brown-beige tabby is a great master in that .. if he needs something he can put up the tail in 90 degree vertical like a chimney but when he is greeting from a distance he just holds the tail horizontally with perhaps the tip waving upright. Well, at least I have never seen this behavior of dogs; they just can put the whole tail either up or down.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 8:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All right, Kaylee,

We'll make an exception this ONE time. Yes, domestic cat can haz cheezburgur.


Okay, for a potential contributor [I'm up for this!] to a round-robin, we need a name for a cat.

Vesica, that's your charge: name and gender.

Kaylee, if you're up for it, you describe the dog and cat - breed, color, whatever.

I'll start the story - though we should find a better location than right here in the middle of an info-dump in the middle of a puzzle.


[Fancy italics:]
Cats don't, as a rule, pay any attention to the skies above, unless a bird is whistling, or a squirrel makes its mad dash up a tree.

They certainly don't pay any attention to various human-made satellites in space.

Why should a cat have the faintest interest, after all, to learn that author Arthur C. [2001: A Space Odyssey] Clark once described the variety of working or non-working satellites as "space junk"?

Some of us humans think that the statement was unkind and unfair, because Clark actually invented the damned communication satellite, and he knew exactly which great many important electronic satellites that rotate around the globe with the Earth - he knew what they do. And all help humanity; and some even help poor people and wild animals.

[It's okay, we aren't sending this story to The New Yorker just yet.]

No. No cat needs to look up into the stratosphere, because humans don't themselves, and have therefore never taught their pets to look up.

And dogs never look up.
[This is a giggley shout-out to Dbw, who knows I'm making a reference to "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz."]

Even Kitty's dog friend - they have agreed on a non-alignment pact - is more likely to look under his nose, if he is inquisitive, than up to the skies.

So, it was the most astonishing thing that a chunk of weird human metal (they hoped human) crashed into their front grassy yard, early one morning, so early that the sun had yet to rise.

The eastern sky was full of yellow and pink and clouds, but the cat noticed none of this.

(Cats are born with blue eyes and with color vision. Most of them lose both. Cats see a green lawn as a snowy white field. Your red car? Cats see it as light gray. They can see yellow, blue, and pink fairly well - just not as vividly as humans see them.)

Both dog and cat, after sniffing this bizarre outer space intruder into their quiet lawn, decided that it would not harm them in the next minute.

So the dog went back to his doggie house, filled with unease - though he knew breakfast would come eventually.

And the cat decided to roll over on the grass to get as great a back-rub as possible, when you're dealing with grass.

Both were feeling pretty good, until they noticed a <strange> <unexpected> <kittens> <monsters> <lovely> <butchers>?

Okay: next writer. Did the satellite burst through the roof of the house, like in "Donnie Darko"?

Or did cat and dog realize they should spread the panic information, by barking and by... hmm, whatever cats do when they want to signal panic?

Lots of other options, too, but I'm outta here for now.

We have no deadline, we have no rules. We're just having fun. And if it stops being fun, then we stop.

Pretty easy, eh?

Lots of fondness for you all,
Fiona
Kayleetonkslupin (Kayleetonkslupin)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 8:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I vote for naming the cat Tortie. Which must of course be a tortie kitten. Because of my sibling. Who is still absent from this puzzle.

...I think whatever hole sucked in woubit and woodworm kidnapped my tortiesibling!!!!!!!! =( *weeps*

(*thinks this hole might be known as "Real Life", but this is only a guess*)
Sundowner (Sundowner)
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If it's Tortie, then it is a "she"? OK, let's see what Tortie does next.

Tortie does not panic. Cats never panic; cats know when to run and where and in which speed.
Long before the great philosophers cats did already realize that knowledge is power.
To know every tree, every stepstone, every hole in the fence, every window in the neighborhood is what a cat makes strong.

Tortie starts to investigate the intruder thoroughly. First visually: It's round and big and shiny and looks a bit like the debris the Two-Legged occasionally are throwing away. It has a hole .. could there be a mouse in? No, probably not. Mice do not live in the Upper World.

(Cats refer to anything that is above ground level as the Upper World. Birds, for instance, live in the Upper World, and squirrels. Cats also might get up to the Upper World, but only in some places. Tortie actually loves to climb trees and do some birdwatching.)

Then smell: actually, it does not smell like anything, not even with the nose very close.
Then tactile: cautiously Tortie touches the object .. mee - it's warm?!
That's strange .. is it, in the end, alive?
But no, it did not move since it fell down from the Upper World. And no, it does not breathe. No chance that it's alive.

One more circle around .. then it's clear: class M object, debris, warm, strange, dead, of no particular use, not dangerous.

Tortie moves on, when a voice from inside the satellite says "Hello Dave".
Vesica (Vesica)
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Are we even playing a puzzle up in here anymore?? *iz confuzzled*
Kayleetonkslupin (Kayleetonkslupin)
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Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 5:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I is not know, Vesica kitteh. But Tortie can haz cheezburgur! *is pleased* Vesica kitteh can haz, too. *givz*
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Sundowner! I neglected you! Very sorry.

Are only domestic cats able to move each bone of the tail separately? or to bend the tail at any bone?

You really have stumped me here. I can't recall ever reading about or watching a cat do a voluntary "kink" movement.

My brown-beige tabby is a great master in that .. if he needs something he can put up the tail in 90 degree vertical like a chimney

I love how you say "if he needs something." I'm serious! I've always interpreted the vertical tail as, well, what I expressed earlier: it's a signifier of an emotional state.

Sundowner, we all know that tabbies have that great "hybrid vigor," which makes them super smart. Perhaps your tabby (you didn't give the name) has adapted or adopted this tail signal because you respond to it (with attention or snacks or whatever).


but when he is greeting from a distance he just holds the tail horizontally with perhaps the tip waving upright.

If he's greeting you from a distance, then that's a happy sign. It means he's happy to see you. Of course, it could also mean that he's happy to spot a lizard or a dog's tail waving, or smells something meaty, so don't get TOO excited. :D).

Cats don't - we all know this - they don't have the ability to "think another person's thoughts" - so your tabby is saying that he's happy and curious, and has no idea about how YOU react to that.

Isn't it just GREAT BIG FUN to live with animals who don't speak our language?


Well, at least I have never seen this behavior of dogs; they just can put the whole tail either up or down.

Oh, then you need to tell me some anecdotes! I know lots about dogs, but I've never lived with one; and that's the important thing.

Hey, maybe you can match my "Pets: Threat or Menace" with a story about a non-cat animal.

Thanks for writing, and I *KNOW* that one of you lovely people will solve my cat-tail question today.

Hugs from Miami,
Fiona
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 7:11 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tortie moves on, when a voice from inside the satellite says "Hello Dave".

Oh good lord I am laughing so hard! Awesome, and I still can't stop laughing.

Wait, I'm still laughing. Oh lord. Oh, you awful goblin, you, my sides are aching.

(and my boyfriend Tim heard me laughing from two rooms away and came to see if I were hurt or something!)
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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(I'm still chuckling and giggling. Okay, true story: I am the middle child in a family of great wits. I was the perfect audience - the "straight man" for my sister and brother - I always fell on the floor, laughing. More reliable than the clock, was our family joke.

When I grew up, I began writing serious articles about humor. So I guess I showed THEM a thing or ... Well, no, my family still have the brilliance to send me falling down laughing.

And even here, among strangers, still the silliest thing crashes me to the floor. Laughing. No: guffawing.)
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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(I'm still chuckling and giggling. Okay, true story: I am the middle child in a family of great wits. I was the perfect audience - the "straight man" for my sister and brother - I always fell on the floor, laughing. More reliable than the clock, was our family joke.

When I grew up, I began writing serious articles about humor. So I guess I showed THEM a thing or ... Well, no, my family still have the brilliance to send me falling down laughing.

And even here, among strangers, still the silliest thing crashes me to the floor. Laughing. No: guffawing.)
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 8:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"whatever hole sucked in woubit and woodworm"

- I vote for this to be our title. Any objections?

(Because it's perfect, that's why.
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 9:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Tortie starts to investigate the intruder thoroughly. First visually: It's round and big and shiny and looks a bit like the debris the Two-Legged occasionally are throwing away.

It has a hole .. could there be a mouse in? No, probably not. Mice do not live in the Upper World.

Or, Tortie thinks uncomfortably, maybe mice are taken UP in the Upper World.

But certainly not cats. It is impossible that a kind person who opens cans ... No, it is unthinkable.


(Cats refer to anything that is above ground level as the Upper World. Birds, for instance, live in the Upper World, and squirrels. Cats also might get up to the Upper World, but only in some places. Tortie actually loves to climb trees and do some birdwatching.)

Then smell: actually, it does not smell like anything, not even with the nose very close.
Then tactile: cautiously Tortie touches the object
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 9:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tortie is the bravest cat in the whole world!

But Tortie is also careful, and backs away when the dog begins to prance and bark.

To Tortie, the dog's actions are just silly hyperbole.

But the dog, who has a keener sense of smell, is barking for Tortie to get away.

Tortie turns away, pretending that there is something caught between delicate claws.

For that reason, Tortie does not see when the prancing dog accidentally triggers a horror.

The noise flattens the dog to the grass, and would almost flatten Tortie, who is racing for the fence that separates Our yard from Their yard.

Tortie is desperately climbing that white picket fence, when

an enormous

!!WHOMMP!!

causes every living thing in the neighborhood to fall silent.

No sound of ambulance. No police siren. No dogs yapping in dismay.


Tortie scrabbled. He was covered with loose earth. He scratched and scrabbled, trying to right himself, trying to focus on that horrible deafening noise.

Tortie was always up for any emergency.

But this was not an emergency that a cat could predict.

Tortie was about to learn that what he knew as "the Upper World" was not very "Upper" after all.

Tortie had never read fiction, much less science fiction, so he had no idea that:

in some universes, cats and dogs are pets
in some universes, humans are pets to cats and dogs
in some universes, mice are not merely playthings; they are a type of land-mine, or booby-trap, or some similar horror

Tortie saved his own life when, for one moment, he glanced away to paw some bits of green grass out of his eyes.

It saved him; and when he looked back at what the interstellar machine was becoming, he took only 1 second to flee.

He was underneath a cow before he could spell "cow." He couldn't, but that doesn't matter, because next...

some possibilities?

(1) The cows were going crazy because they hadn't been milked for over 2 days. A single cow can flatten a slight wooden door. TWO cows?

(2) The farm dogs are running here, darting there, but mostly gathering together, with drooping tails.

(3) Do the animals need food? Do they need comforting? Do they need that f*cking outer-space sound to stop flooding all of their senses?


(Did everyone think that I would turn this into a love story, a guy, a girl, a great cat, a great dog?

Actually, I'm much more into horror, so anyone who wants to wrench this narrative away from me: go for it!}
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 9:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Okay, having major guilt about infusing, or changing, an honest game posting board into a round-robin.

I can make up stories forever, so, please, keep me from doing so, if you want to get your board back again!

I admire and love you folks for letting me get away with this dredging-fantasy-out-of-crumbs, but, please, is an Admin available to move this to a (perhaps new) other section?

I tell stories. I'm good at that. But I'm also good at "playing well with others" - which is what matters to me now.

Cheers,
Fiona
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 10:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And it sounds like raccoons are squabbling out back!

I'll check it out, then sleep, looking forward to what will arise here tomorrow.

Happy purring to you all,
Fiona
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - 4:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, all!

I'm really sorry that I dropped off the radar 2 weeks ago, when this thread was going so wonderfully with your smart suggestions.

I'm going to give the answer now, because so many of you came so close, and I don't want to leave it unanswered in case I fall under a bus tomorrow.

If anyone decides not to go to my Spoil answer, of course I can keep this going, no problem!


****SPOILER ANSWER***************








Domestic cats can hold their tails vertical while walking.

This is unique in the animal kingdom; what is also unique is that they DECIDE to do so.

Anyone who has had a happily reared cat has seen this; might even have seen the gradual or quick transition from "fat U tail" to vertical.

Most animals use the different parts of their bodies entirely by instinct, such as white-tailed deer and wild rabbits flashing their tails when running from enemies and also signaling to others that an enemy is in the area.

Cats, parrots, dogs and dolphins are probably the only animals which (1) humans have close contact with and which (2) can break instinctive behaviors to use their bodies in order to signal an emotional state to us.

Of course I'm willing to add other animals in that more general statement. Orcas, maybe? I thought about horses, but no, even though they can love us, I believe that they just act in their great, noble, gorgeous instinctive ways.

I enjoyed meeting so many of you - and learning your fun personalities - with this little puzzle. And I really do bet that most of you had the answer already in your head, even if you didn't phrase it as a statement rather than as a question.

I am so happy to have found so many fun, witty people to share my love of puzzles. Hell, I'm so happy to have met all of you, here and now.

Hugs to all from steamy Miami,
Fiona
Balin (Balin)
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Huh...we have two cats at home and I've never seen them with vertical tails. Check that -- yes, I have.

Good one!
Fionakelleghan (Fionakelleghan)
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Post Number: 217
Registered: 7-2011
Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2011 - 6:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Balin, aren't they just the cutest little demonic evil creatures?

One of my cats holds her tail high almost always.

The other one does only when when he's also stropping my legs - precisely when he sees me going to the kitchen shelf where the cat food lives.

Thanks for taking the time, compadre!

Fiona

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