From whiskers that swivel to tails that communicate in code, there’s more to felines than meets the eyeSome of my friends prefer dogs to cats, but then nobody’s perfect. Cats don’t bark incessantly. You don’t find the smeared remains of cat droppings all over pavements and parks. Cats don’t bite children’s faces off. (At least domestic cats don’t: if you keep a tiger at home, you probably shouldn’t invite toddlers round.) Cats have inspired better literature – I know of no dog-based poetry to rival Christopher Smart’s sublime verses on his cat Jeoffry. And while dogs are desperate to be human, cats are perfectly happy being cats. Why wouldn’t they be?After all, cats have the widest hearing range of nearly any mammal: not only can they perceive sound in what we egotistically define as the “ultrasonic” range (so named just because humans can’t hear it), they can also appreciate all the bass Dr Dre can throw at them. They can swivel their whiskers forwards while hunting to provide a kind of short-range radar. And they can see exceptionally well in the dark thanks to a reflective surface behind the retina that bounces light back, giving it a second chance to …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books