The Facts are Meowt of Control

Heaven Grochoske, Staff Writer

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The Felis catus, what we know as a cat, has been known for as long as time to be a partner, free spirit, and can also assist and be a service animal for people who need it. The male cat can be classified as a tom, and a female cat can either be classified as a molly or queen. Cats can travel at a top speed of about 31 miles per hour over a short distance. Also they have the ability to make about one hundred different sounds and can hear high frequency sounds up to two octaves higher than a human or dog can. The purr of a cat has a frequency between twenty-five and fifty hertz, which is the same frequency at which bones and muscles use to repair themselves. Not only do cats have all the instincts as an invasive species to provide for themselves, they have been known as a major benefit to people with mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, stress, and anxiety.

Cats are North America’s most popular pet with 73 million cats as pets. According to a 2009 University of Minnesota study, owning a cat can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. It is said that when a cat slowly closes its eyes and opens them again or winks at you, that means they trust you and recognize you as a friend. Adult cats only meow to communicate with humans. Humans and cats even have the same parts of the brain that control emotion functions. Yet, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide every year, and about half of these animals are cats. There are 1.4 million cats each year that are brutally euthanized. An interesting fact that puts today’s zeitgeist towards animals to the test, in ancient Egypt, cats were considered sacred, dressed in jewels and were fed special treats. Cats were seen as a symbol of grace and poise; the Egyptians were considered ailurophiles- cat lovers.

There are so many unique features about cats that make them intelligent and interesting comrades. As you may know, cats rub against people to mark their territory. But if you’ve never noticed, after you pet your cat, they will lick themselves in order to remove your scent. Because of gene modification throughout time and the lack of the gene Tas1r2, cats do not have the ability to taste sweetness. Groups of cats in shelters or just feral cats joining together are called clowders. Have you ever wondered why cats sleep 13 to 16 hours a day? Exactly opposite of humans, cats are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during the hours of dawn and dusk. Also, the reason kittens sleep so much is because a growth hormone is released only during sleep. Cats are extremely sensitive to vibrations; they’re even said to detect earthquake tremors ten to fifteen minutes before humans can. I’m not saying everyone needs to convert to loving cats, but a lot of things about cats are interesting, and I feel cats are underrated in terms of their abilities.

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The Facts are Meowt of Control