Jul 13, 2009 | 30
Although perhaps not as jolting as an alarm clock, a cat’s “soliciting purr” can still pry its owner from sleep. And, when sufficiently annoying, the sound may actually coerce them from bed to fill a food bowl.
This particular meow mix—an embedding of her cat’s high-frequency natural cry within a more pleasant, low-frequency purr—often awakens Karen McComb, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Sussex in the U.K. and lead author of a paper about that sound published today in Current Biology.
“Solicitation purring is probably more acceptable to humans than overt meowing, which is likely to get cats ejected from the bedroom,” McComb said in a statement.
Dec 12, 2008 | 13
It was just a month ago that ScientificAmerican.com reported the happy tale of a lost cat named George that came home 13 years after rescuers traced his owners through information on a microchip in the scruff of his neck.
He was nearly 17, sick and rail-thin, less than half the robust nearly 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms) he was when he mysteriously disappeared in June 1995. But Frank Walburg and Melinda Merman of Santa Rosa, Calif., were happy to have him home, and set about trying to bulk up their long-lost kitty and restore his health.
They spent weeks pampering and comforting George, giving him antibiotics and feeding him baby food using their fingertips until he was strong enough to eat on his own. Their feline friend, gray with a tinge of brown and wide golden eyes, gained a few ounces and perked up mightily with all of their TLC, taking strolls in the garden and even playing a bit like he did in his younger, heartier days, Walburg told SciAm.com during an interview shortly after George came home.
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