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17181.  Tue Apr 05, 2005 8:21 am Reply with quote

While not actually cats, the marsupial lions of Australia (that went extinct about 40,000 years ago - guess why!) had the greatest biting power of any modern carnivore.

There's also an interesting bit in there on the pay-off between jaw muscle size and brain size: there's not much room in or around a skull, so there's a definite evolutionary branch there, which I've also seen argued for humans/neanderthals:
It is seems conceivable, Wroe and colleagues believe, that the skull architecture required for these bigger brains has evolved at the expense of muscle potential.

But what the placentals lack in terms of pure biting power, they compensate for in their smarter attack strategies, and the more precise way they seek to kill their prey.

17517.  Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:23 am Reply with quote

And we think that fox-hunting is controversial, cat-hunting could soon be legal in Wisconsin.

I refuse to give my opinion on this issue – but suffice to say, one of the blighters is currently using my front “garden” as a lavatory.

(in full from

At meetings across the state Monday night, residents in 72 counties were asked whether free-roaming cats should be listed as an unprotected species. If so listed, the cats including any domestic cat that isn't under the owner's direct control or any cat without a collar could be hunted.

A total of 6,830 voted yes and 5,201 voted no, according to results released by the Department of Natural Resources.

The prospect of feral cat hunting has more hurdles to clear and faces the considerable opposition of a number of national animal rights groups. The Humane Society of the United States called the proposal cruel and archaic.
The DNR would have to ask the Legislature to support the change. Lawmakers would have to then pass a bill, and Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle would have to sign it.

"I can assure you that the campaign is undeterred and we will still be working tirelessly to defeat this in whatever form it takes," said Ted O'Donnell, who gathered more than 17,000 signatures in an online petition to oppose the plan.
South Dakota and Minnesota both allow wild cats to be shot. Some estimates indicate 2 million wild cats roam Wisconsin. The state says studies show feral cats kill 47 million to 139 million songbirds a year.

At Monday night's meetings, animal lovers held pictures of cats, clutched stuffed animals and wore whiskers as they denounced the plan.

Few hunters publicly spoke in favor of the plan, first proposed by Mark Smith, a La Crosse firefighter. Smith had faced death threats over the plan.

Even Karen Hale, executive director of the Madison Audubon Society, one of the largest pro-bird groups in the country with 2,500 members, said she voted no. While the cats have reduced the population of birds in the state, she said the question was too controversial.

"The whole issue of possibly hunting them is so controversial and there has been so much misinformation that we really need a lot more discussion on this issue," Hale said. She called for another study looking at the impact of feral cats.

17524.  Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:19 am Reply with quote

Do those interested in big cats know the story of the Malmesbury Tiger?

17529.  Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:52 am Reply with quote

In those days the people who are nowadays employed by the greetings card business worked for tombstone manufacturers:
In bloom of Life,
She ???? from ????,
She had not room,
To make defence,
For Tyger fierce,
Took Life away,
And here she lies,
In a bed of Clay,
Until the Resurrection Day

There's a pub near my house in Wiltshire which is now called The Pheasant but I think used to be the The Winterslow Hutt or something - it was a coaching inn, and one day around 1800 the lead horse of one of the coaches was attacked by a lion, which had apparently escaped from a menagerie of some kind. The event was depicted on a stamp recently.

Things have been a lot quieter since then, though.

17565.  Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:00 am Reply with quote

If you’re ever eating out in the Canton region of China, I’d advise against “The Dragon and the Tiger”

From China Radio International

A dish called "The Dragon and the Tiger,'' made with snake and cat meat stir-fried together, sells for around 800 yuan, or 95 dollars.

Some of these cats are strays. Others are obviously pets that were most likely stolen.

Due to the lack of a law on cat protection, owners can't claim ownership of their pet cats.

<cue post-watershed "eating pussy" joke>

17567.  Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:14 am Reply with quote

<Squeamish cat-lovers look away now>

Has anyone heard of goyangi-tan, or “liquid cat” as apparently sold in South Korea?

One of the above links mentions it:

Cats are also used to produce medicinal potions such as Korean "liquid cat", a remedy for joint pain made by boiling cats (alleged to be alive in some cases) with spices, and for their fur which is used to make fur coats and other fur clothing.

A number of other sites mention it, including this one, protesting about the inhumane practices involved:

Dead cats are cooked along with ginger, dates and chestnuts to make a brown paste or "Liquid Cat" which is foolishly thought by many South Koreans to be a remedy for rheumatism and joint problems. Many times these animals have their fur blowtorched off while still alive, to save time in preparation.


17755.  Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:49 am Reply with quote

In 1636, there was a famous monster, albeit not a feline, in C for Chester:

“His Pissle is in length foure yards, big as a man i'th wast,
This monster he who well regards, from th' first unto the last,
By every part may motives find,
To wonder at this wondrous kind.
O rare beyond compare, in England nere the like.
His Cods are like two hogsheads great, this seemeth past beleefe,
But men of credit can relate what I describe in breife:
Then let's with charity confesse God's works are more than man can O rare, &c. “

Big chap, was he?


17802.  Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:50 am Reply with quote


17818.  Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:34 am Reply with quote

The spines actually cause the female to ovulate.

17823.  Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:41 am Reply with quote


17930.  Wed Apr 20, 2005 4:10 am Reply with quote

Rockwell Sayer was a self-styled “World Champion Cat Hater”, it was his great hope that he might live long enough to see the last cat executed, and he spent a great deal of money printing and circulating anti-cat literature, and giving presents to people who were opposed to cats.

When he died, his will stated that confectionary gifts should be sent to a number of famous cat-haters, including Queen Marie of Romania, who received a box of wine gums and the wife of President Coleridge who received a luxurious box of chocolates - she had eradicated cats from the White House. Each item of confectionary was accompanied by a 35 page hand-written essay full of abuse about cats.

S: Sweet Talk, the hidden history of Confectionary – Nicholas Whittaker

18617.  Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:57 am Reply with quote

Q. What is the Chinook word for "cougar"?
A. Puss-puss.

"Chinook Jargon" was a trade language of the Pacific Northwest, which spread quickly up the West Coast as far as Alaska. It's based on the two (now nearly extinct) indigenous languages of the Chinook people.

Here's a phrasebook showing the cougar/puss-puss translation, and this is a general description of the Chinook Jargon.

"Puss" itself is widely accepted by experts of all kinds as being derived from the name of the Egyptian cat-goddess Bast (or Pasht). I suspect this to be total hooey.

18618.  Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:07 am Reply with quote

From that site, here's a piece of information which will be enjoyed by people who think that words of foreign origin should decline the way they did in their original language:
Moose is originally a Cree word, apparently brought to the region by the voyageurs, and its proper plural (in Cree) is moosoutch.

18620.  Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:27 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
a piece of information which will be enjoyed by people who think that words of foreign origin should decline the way they did in their original language
Pardon the OT, but I remember being told I ought to say "kibbutzim" rather than "kibbutzes". It's notable that, on the rare occasions when English speakers need the plural of "eisteddfod", they generally use the Welsh "eisteddfodau", though our "corgwn" as the plural as "corgi" obviously doesn't have legs. Well, OK, four very short, stubby ones.

18621.  Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:29 am Reply with quote

Gaazy, I get the impression from that site that puss-puss means "cat" and that it's applied to cougars in the same way that the word "cat" might be in English. "Hyas puss puss" (big cat) seems to be the cougar in particular. A number of the Chinook words are imports from European languages (eg lelou = wolf via Fr loup) but it doesn't say whether puss puss is.

"Englishman" is "Kingchauchman", ie King George man.


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