Saturday, August 14, 2004

Strange creatures.....

I would be really mad if I dropped dead before noting two observations.

(1) My cat - small, white, female, with a hint of the orient - chews tobacoo!

- each morning, when I have my first roll-up with a a cup of tea waiting for PC to boot (old and under-powered, whirring into virtual RAM), I put a few strands of virginia on the window sill. Once saw her sniffing the open tin....

- what is it in tobacco they like ?

(2) My neighbour's cat - black, Shia Khan look-alike - who's landed butter-side up by finding someone who likes him next door, thinks he's a dog.

- every morning he comes round the recreation field with me and dog (15 or more year old greyhound, deaf, senile, incontinent, keen sense of smell and desire to go for walks and smell every blade of grass).

- Yesterday it rained like Thailand in the rainy season, so no walks. But I had to walk over the way to see if a friend was in by checking for his car. "Bruno" leaps out of the bush as usual, walks with me to friends house and back without dog..

- Not exceptional, but not an everyday occurence.

* Cats do roam around within a territory (usually it night) but most range only short distance from home-base in built up areas because

(a) of high cat population and

(b) territories too tight and overlapping.

- "Bruno" never fails to come walkies everyday.

* Most cat owners do not realise how, despite reputation for being loners, cats, too, like their "pack".

- Anyone else walk cats ? Male or female ?

Monday 16 August 2004

I forgot to mention something else - white cat also has penchant for sniffing apples!

My conclusion:

(1) ethylene emitted from apple skin
- This article is about freshness of fruit, by the way.
- This says apples in same bowl will ripen other fruit like bananas
bananas, tomatoes, melons and pears also produce ethylene gas
(2) some noxious pesticide takes her fancy
- This chemical,
1-methycyclopropene (1-MCP), used to prevent ripening, is a possibility

* prefer (1)

What sort of experiment can I do? Start with:
(a) put apple, banana, tomato, melon and pear in separate dishes to see which (if it is ethylene gas she is hooked on) she prefers. Not very scientific, since each may be at differnt stages of freshness.
(b) take another fruit (tomato convenient because can see degree of freshness by eye)
(i) unripe
(ii) ripe
Does she prefer on over other?
This will indicate whether ethylene might be invoved in her strange behaviour.

Anyone else have cat sniffers?

29 August 2004

I have had my scientific musings dashed by the simple observation that Whitey probably just likes the smell of apples! Hey, I wanted it to be ethylene because I saw it as a way to test the ripeness of fruit...take cat to supermarket.

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