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18622.  Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:36 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
A number of the Chinook words are imports from European languages, but it doesn't say whether puss puss is.
On another page of the same site it does confirm that - - but I still like the mental image of a fierce Chinook hunter pointing out a puss-puss, even if it is a hyas one.

18624.  Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:12 am Reply with quote

That page contains a speculation on the derivation of the expression "tickety-boo":
Tickety-boo - perfect, in place, etc.
I am only including this because it may be of (Chinook) jargon origin, given the ticke- beginning (from "to want" or "to have") and the formation of such words as mucketymuck (from muckamuck). The possible origin here may have been a Chinook-French hybrid, tikke p'ti beau - "I have a little beauty", i.e. "everything's nice". This is only a speculation......

18749.  Sun May 01, 2005 11:24 am Reply with quote


18767.  Sun May 01, 2005 5:58 pm Reply with quote

I love Wain's freakonaut cats! Someone once sent me a Wain card for my birthday, which was a bit of an eye-opener...

18799.  Mon May 02, 2005 2:20 pm Reply with quote


18805.  Mon May 02, 2005 3:18 pm Reply with quote

Well, the American military is already starting to use remote-controlled rat cyborgs for surveillance and detection, so cats can't be far away:
The rats are remotely controlled using electrodes inserted into the medial forebrain bundle (MFB), a part of their brain associated with reward, and the somatosensory cortical area, which is linked to the right and left whiskers.

Stimulating the whisker areas of the brain along with the forebrain reward region encourages the rats to move forwards or either left or right. Exposing the rats to a smell while stimulating the medial forebrain bundle causes them to act like miniature sniffer dogs, following an odour by instinct.

Recent experiments have now shown that these two behaviours are compatible and the rats can be directed to an area before being encouraged to sniff out a target.

18808.  Mon May 02, 2005 3:31 pm Reply with quote


20518.  Thu May 19, 2005 9:56 am Reply with quote

Have we done cat years? Probably too well-known, but just in case, here’s my FT column on the subject:

MYTHCONCEPTIONS: Cat Years by Mat Coward

THE MYTH: One year in the life of a cat (or dog, or sometimes horse) is equivalent, in terms of lifespan, to seven human years.

THE "TRUTH": So, if your ginger tom is 12 years old, that means he is at the same level of senescence as an 84-year-old human. In which case, how come he can still leap from the floor to the kitchen counter without apparent effort? Can your granddad do that - with or without his teeth in? Any Well Known Fact which contains the number seven tends to set the Myth-sense tingling, and the idea that the ageing process can be compared so precisely across species, despite numerous variables, is rejected by all authorities. A widely accepted approximate formula for comparing cats with humans suggests that kittens mature much faster than babies, with the rate of feline ageing slowing down significantly after two years. Therefore, for instance, a one-year-old cat might be roughly 16 in human years, while a four-year-old could be compared to a man of 32.

SOURCES: _In praise of older cats_ by Sarah Hartwell (Cats Protection League, 1996); _You and your cat_ by David Taylor (Dorling Kindersley, 1986); “How old is a cat in human years?” by Dan Christian, at

DISCLAIMER: Expert opinion varies considerably on this matter; there is no universally agreed feline to human ageing ratio.

Curious Danny
391448.  Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:08 pm Reply with quote

Having been around a museum for a while, i have to take issue with the idea that cats were entirely sacred to the Egyptians. Correct me if i am wrong but many mummified humans have been found with cats in the same tomb.
Now, surely many cats would not be conviently dead at the time of burial so surely someone would have to kill the cats - and you don't kill sacred animals.
I'm not sure, anyone know what the evidence of cats being sacred is? Hieroglyphics? Papyrus?

391466.  Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:43 pm Reply with quote

you don't kill sacred animals

Can you justify that statement, though? It runs contrary to my understanding, for sure.

This is from the wiki entry for Cats in Ancient Egypt:
As cats were sacred to Bast, the practice of mummification was extended to them, and the respect that cats received after death mirrored the respect they were treated with in everyday life. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that in the event of a fire men would guard the fire to make certain that no cats ran into the flame. Herodotus also wrote that when a cat died, the household would go into mourning as if for a human relative, and would often shave their eyebrows to signify their loss.

Such was the strength of feeling towards cats that killing one, even accidentally, incurred the death penalty. Another Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, describes an interesting example of swift justice imposed upon the killer of a cat: about 60 BCE, he witnessed the chariot of a Roman soldier accidentally run over an Egyptian cat. An outraged mob gathered and, despite pleas from pharaoh Ptolemy XII, killed the soldier.

391526.  Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:08 pm Reply with quote

Ah! I read about him when I was looking into Bedlam, of which he was a resident. Richard Dadd (he of "The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke") was also a resident, although not at the same time. Bedlam has a Museum these days, in fact open since 1970, and members of the public can once again visit Bedlam, on weekdays, if only to see the Museum rather than to torment the residents.


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