- Pets and Animals
The Physics of Cats
I'm not going to pretend to be an expert in this area. Rather I am a naturalist/observer who wonders why certain feline phenomenon have not been the subjects of serious study. Yes, we all know about static electricity. I'm talking about deeper mysteries. Alas, I am far less versed in physics than I am in cats and so my guesses as to the forces causing what I observe are admittedly stabs in the dark. I welcome more knowledgeable explanations of what I have witnessed.
The Relationship Between Cats and Voids
I consider this by far the most fascinating and perplexing of the phenomenon I've witnessed. Anyone who knows cats knows how they seem to create vacuums that suck them inexorably through doors. We all know how they helplessly race through the door only to turn around and mew painfully to pass through it once again. I have two cats of very different physique, one slim and one plump. I've noticed that the size of the cat makes a difference. My slimmer cat feels no pull from a partially opened door. She only feels the attraction of cracks created by closed door. She can be charging through the house and suddenly will be sucked up against the slightest vertical sliver. She cannot lay in the vicinity of a door without her paw getting pulled under it. It usually requires a strong leap to pull her away. On the other hand, my fat cat will be sucked pell mell through a wide open door that my thin cat is impervious to.
Another observation in support of my suspicion that cats create voids that they then must fill is an old hayloft observation. This was the loft of a friend who had many cats and the bales where full of tunnels at every corner wherever bales met. Now, it's hard to believe a cat would go to the trouble of burrowing these tunnels. One might suspect rats, but rats and cats don't usually co-exist. The number of cats pretty much ruled out the rat theory. I believe the mere presence of cats, maybe some effect of their gaze, actually created these tunnels, which of course, they were then sucked into and were rarely seen except when impelled by hunger.
The Relationship Between Cats and Edges
This relationship appears to be direct and simple with few variations: the leaner the cat, the more likely it is to be magnetized to narrow ledges. The narrower the cat the narrower the ledges. The attraction is there but the strength of the magnetic pull doesn't always appear to be reliable. The cat is pulled to the peak of a lean-to, a slender branch or edge of the foot board of a bed, but there is no guarantee that it will be able to maintain contact. I don't think this should be misconstrued as a preference of the cat since they sometimes have unpleasant experiences as a result and yet are compelled to repeat them due to some force, I believe, acting on them.
Please feel free to share your own observations and any theories you have about the physics of cats. Who knows. Maybe the development of this field will lead to the cure for cancer or cleaner forms of transportation.