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loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the scientific cat

This list of what separates a cat from inert matter comes from a scientific work of the early 1900's, and it tickled me. Please go down the list and see if what you have is a cat or some other undifferentiated protoplasm:

* * *
§ 5. The contrasts which exist, then, between the cat, Considered Merely As A Living Being, and the mass of non-living inorganic things may be summed up as follows:

(1) It is bounded by curved lines and surfaces.
(2) Its section is heterogeneous.
(3) It consists almost entirely of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen, and largely of protoplasm.
(4) It grows by intussusception.
(5) It needs a certain moderate heat.
(6) It needs definite supply of moisture.
(7) It needs food.
(8) It effects a process of continued gaseous interchange.
(9) It tends to carry on a cycle of changes when exposed to certain fixed conditions.

-- from The cat: an introduction to the study of backboned animals, especially mammals, St. George Jackson Mivart (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1900), p. 445.


Katnip Lounge said...

No mention of an Evil Little Feline Mind? The list is incomplete.

curator said...

Oh, I know - though they did include "gaseous interchange," which believe me I get enough of over here.

order acai said...

Great post. Insightful and entertaining as always! Keep up the good work!