Evening Open Thread – Cats and Dinosaurs

The New York Times asks, Does Fluffy Really Want To Be An Adventure Cat?

It tells the story of Copurrnicus, who lived through the initial paralysis of suffering a harness (Ric fell over on his side, too, the first time) to become an adventure cat, even going camping. Also hints about how to accustom a cat to a harness and leash. It takes a run at figuring out how to tell if a cat is stressed, but gives up easily.

All told, this means that cat owners should be attuned to signs of stress. But cats, can be difficult to read.

And that comma! Heavens to copy editors!

Another good read is New Clues Point to When Dinosaurs Began Reproducing Like Modern Birds. The key is when they started brooding their eggs, rather than just leaving them in the sand.


41 replies
  1. 1
    HinTN says:

    Cheryl Does Fluffy Really Want To Be An Adventure Cat? Hell Yes!

  2. 2
    Sab says:

    Late Spring cleanimg. Found my dad’s cat (now my cat) harness and the instructions on how to put the damned thing on the cat.

    Weather has been perfect. The old guy may get to go out into the yard with me tomorrow. The other four cats don’t want out ever again.

    Yes he did fall over the first two times I put it on him. He does love the outdoors.

  3. 3
    Ohio Mom says:

    My mom always complained about The Times’ copy-editing (or lack thereof) and she’s been gone (does math) 32 years.

    One of my childhood memories is asking her a question about telling time. She put down The Times she’d been reading and drew clock faces in the margins (she had a pencil handy because the crossword puzzle).

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Who would have guessed Mick Jagger has led such a sheltered existence?

    He joked that even though the band has played in Chicago 38 times over the last 55 years, he’s never had an Italian beef — “wet or dry” — and he’s never taken a shot of the cringe-inducing local liquor Malort. Source


  5. 5
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Technology question for you people:

    I read a lot and I travel a lot, ergo the e-reader has been a godsend for me. No more packing five hardbacks in a suitcase for a weeklong trip!

    Last night I started reading an old fashioned book printed on paper, but it’s not as easy to do as I remember.

    Question: how do I enlarge the font and increase the brightness on a paper book?

  6. 6
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I know, right? And nothing happens when you swipe except your thumb gets paper burn.

  7. 7
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Sab: I assume the instructions start with “1. Get all your shots. 2. Have medical professionals standing by. 3. Brace yourself with a shot of whiskey. 4. Accept the folly of what you are attempting to do.”

  8. 8
    Mike in NC says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Reading glasses

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    As summer is now officially upon us, Ocean Bacteria Colonize Your Skin After Just 10 Minutes of Swimming.

    @Steve in the ATL

    Rum, with an LSD chaser. ;)

  10. 10
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Two of my earliest (related) memories are learning to tell time on a clock, and learning about the more-or-less predictable patterns of the calendar.

  11. 11

    @Steve in the ATL: @Mike in NC: I’ve got a pair with lights on. Not only great for reading in bed but also very handy for lots of other stuff.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:


    From across the pond –

    Schools are removing analogue clocks from examination halls because teenagers are unable to tell the time, a head teachers’ union has said.

    Teachers are now installing digital devices after pupils sitting their GCSE and A-level exams complained that they were struggling to read the correct time on an analogue clock.
    Earlier this year, a senior paediatric doctor warned that children are increasingly finding it hard to hold pens and pencils because of an excessive use of technology. Sally Payne, the head paediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust, said that when children are given a pencil at school, they are increasingly unable to hold it.

    “To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers. Children need lots of opportunity to develop those skills,” she said. Source

    Also too, a Jimmy Kimmel bit.

  13. 13
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @NotMax: It may be summer, but nobody told the mountains. Places here have gotten up to 2 feet of new snow.

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    @A Ghost To Most

    But it’s a dry snow.


  15. 15
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @NotMax: New Yorker cartoon from at least 20 years ago: Tyke & father in a room with a few digital timekeepers. Caption: Dad, what does clockwise mean?

    (Which for some dogforsaken reason reminds me of one of my college physics classmates working on a homework problem involving a vector cross product, both hands stuck out each with thumb & first two fingers making a sort of set of axes, muttering This is the right-hand screw, this is the left-hand screw… )

  16. 16
    Sab says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Naw. He is an extremely laid back cat. The only things that stress him are his feline housemates, several of whom have personality disorders or at least issues.

    Meankitty is improving with her feliway diffuser. Mouf the Maine coon cat is simply an unadulterated asshole to cats (very pleasant with humans.)

    The cocker spaniel is okay with cats but eats all his (Maxcat’s) food.

    The rottweiler mix loves all cats except for the tuxedo cat (all around good guy except he has hated the rottmix since the first second he saw her.)

    Maxcat just wants time away from all of this, like back when it was just him and my dad watching tv together.

    This cat wants to go outside to get away and sunbathe in peace.

    ETA plus he’d rather go outside than share a litterbox with those creatures.

  17. 17
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: of course, “clockwise” means the opposite in Australia

  18. 18
    NotMax says:

    @Uncle Cosmo

    Put in mind of another (albeit more recent) cartoon.

    Parents on couch, Xmas tree in background, unhappy teenage son standing there wearing a new pair of pants.

    “We’re sorry, son. Tomorrow we’ll exchange them for a pair that don’t fit.”

  19. 19
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @NotMax: Not this time of year. At our house, it has been a soaker you seldom see here. But the rabid skiers and boarders are jacked at the chance to ski on the 4th of July.
    For us, it means many of the high roads will open very late, if at all.

  20. 20
    Ohio Mom says:

    @NotMax: Mick Jagger is an excercise freak. He makes Jack LaLane look like a slouch. Maybe that extends to what he deigns to eat.

  21. 21
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @A Ghost To Most: so icy east coast snow that you can’t turn in rather than powder? Defeats the whole purpose of skiing out west!

  22. 22
    Wapiti says:

    Instead of clockwise and counterclockwise, we can go back to sunwise and widdershins.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to take a couple of my adventurous boy kitties camping with us. I know they would love it, too, outdoorsy, curious and brave fellows that they are.

    So would the bears. And the mountain lions. And the coyotes. And the giant frigging owls.

    So, for safety’s sake, I’ll have to stick to barking doggos who clean up our wildlife-attracting leftovers like Hoover vacuums.

  25. 25
    NotMax says:


    “Gnomon, coordinate.”


  26. 26
    Chacal Charles Calthrop says:

    @NotMax: no, the solution is to buy the book as an ebook and read that. Feel free to give the paper copy away to someone else.

  27. 27
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    I’ve only skied once, but that sounds accurate. It’s not really about the skiing; it’s being able to ski in a swimsuit in July, I guess.

    I’m one of the ones waiting for the snow to melt, so we can have our fun.

  28. 28
    Jay says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    It’s about collecting not only a great sunburn, but also a lovely road rash from the corn snow.

  29. 29
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Jay: That also sounds accurate. Most are still immortal, I suspect. They haven’t yet learned you are only immortal for a limited time.

  30. 30
    Jay says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    One of the most fun years was when we formed a “corporate” ski team, got discount tickets in bulk. We all skiied hard, but one by one dropped out due to injuries.

    I was second to last. I was surfing a road edge, got a little too far back on my skis, punched the road edge to regain my ballance, broke my left hand because under the 4 inches of fresh snow, was 6 feet of hardpack and ice.

    Rob survived into May, came into the office on a Monday with an epic combo of sunburn and road rash, legs, chest, arms and face.

  31. 31
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Wapiti: I thought the opposite of “widdershins” was deasil – & aha, Wikipedia to the rescue:

    The opposite of widdershins is deisul meaning clockwise.

    Eh, close enough for jus de ballon use – I doubt the Scots o’ those days werrrrrrre sticklerrrrrrs frrrrr spellin’…

  32. 32
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Jay: Sounds like fun? Different strokes. I’ll take the mountains in the summer. The winter traffic sucks.

  33. 33

    (Hoisted from the previous open thread, where this was misplaced.)

    I did a piece on the national labs and the Green New Deal. Bottom line: most of the effort for the past 70 years has been spent on fossil fuel and nuclear. We know how to build a nuclear system, we don’t know how to build a wind-and-solar system and either way – or both ways – we still haven’t actually started. We are so fked. https://adviceunasked.blogspot.com/2019/06/getting-started-green-new-deal.html

  34. 34
    Jim Parish says:

    @NotMax: A few years back, my university removed the clocks from all of the classrooms because all the students have smart phones nowadays. The fact that some of us professors are well behind the curve, and that in any case we don’t really want them constantly looking at their phones was, apparently, irrelevant. After considerable outcry, they put the clocks back, but without the campus-wide synching that had previously been used. Among other things, we have to reset the clocks in our rooms after the spring and fall DS resets.

  35. 35
    Jay says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Spring is fun, nothing like almost dying of heatstroke with a pack on, shorts, tshirts, rounding a bend in the trail to find a 20’ drift of snow, in the shade, still blocking the trail.

    Fall’s fun. Indian summer, hiking up, Donner Party coming down.

    Summer, blech. Too many people.

    Winter, Wow. Chair lift all day, last chair up, skiing into the backslope, setting up a winter camp, ( because they banned sleeping in car’s and rooms are $500 a night), supper, loaded hot chocolate, Hard liquor, howling at the moon and stars, skiing downslope in time to get the days tickets, and the first lift up.


  36. 36
    David Evans says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: The far superior Witchipedia gives deosil (which is the only one I knew) or deiseal. So that’s four spellings. It’s almost like Shakespeare.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    TriassicSands says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Question: how do I enlarge the font and increase the brightness on a paper book?

    Simple. To enlarge the font either move the book closer to your face or get stronger reading glasses. To increase the brightness, replace the light bulb in your reading light with one of higher wattage.

  39. 39
    TriassicSands says:

    The secret to successfully training a cat to accept a harness and go for walks is simple: start when the cat is young. I had two cats that I adopted when they were five months old. I immediately introduced them to a harness and outdoor walks. Both enjoyed a full life of walks. It also might help to begin walking them after dark — the less external stimuli, the better. I don’t know that, but that was what I did. Later, we walked at all times of the day.

    I don’t pretend that every cat is going to take to a harness and walks, but an adult cat that has never been on a leash and worse has never been outside is probably a poor candidate. Then again, every cat is different.

  40. 40
    JustRuss says:

    Couple hours ago I looked out my window to see a woman attempting to walk a rabbit, complete with harness. He was not enthusiastic.

  41. 41
    Aaron says:

    If every time you walk the dog, the cat goes to the door, then the cat wants to go for a walk too.
    Not sure about using a harness. use a real collar, not one of those breakaway collars. Also: don’t let the cat climb higher then you can reach.
    I used to walk my cat with my dogs until I didnt have a dog. :(
    It helps if you have a quiet block to walk them on.

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