“We know what cats do in our homes – they sleep”

I’ve often wanted to attach some kind of GPS device to Enkidu, in order to work out where – and how far – he goes at night. It’s good to learn that Reading University scientists want to do something similar, and that even they have “virtually no idea of what they [the cats, not the scientists] get up to outdoors, particularly at night.”

The article also suggests that Enkidu may be wiping out far more wildlife than he brings in to show us, given that the rabbits, weasels (apparently) and water-buffalo that he brings down won’t fit through the catflap, and so they are eaten where they fall. (I may have garbled that last bit.)

Thinking of wildlife, I liked the final image in this gallery. Much better than that stupid white horse (and the duck isn’t bad, either).

UPDATE [Wednesday am]: Socialist Unity weighs in.

5 thoughts on ““We know what cats do in our homes – they sleep””

  1. The cat tags article is the sort of story that’s either largely garbled or a hoax. Tagging animals isn’t new. It’s been done with birds for ages and in the recent BBC series on elephants in Kenya, elephants were tagged. I really can’t believe that a university thinks this is a worthwhile project.

    Cameras are small enough now that even newspaper columnists‘ dogs can wear them. Available commercially for 42 Euros. And the picture quality is quite good.

    The duck was excellent, I agree. However, it might upset cats who are very far away, and who don’t understand perspective.

  2. I don’t think the article says that no animals have been tagged before. It does suggest that this is the first time cats have been tagged with an eye specifically to studying their pattern of movements outside the house. I’ve no idea whether that’s true or not.

    On your last point, I sometimes think the bit in Father Ted where Ted explains the difference between being “small” and “far away” to Dougal may be the funniest thing on television ever.

  3. Father Dougal may be one of the funniest comic characters of the last decade and a half, but have a thought for poor Ardal O’Hanlon, who’s still suffering the after-effects:

    People think I’m Dougal. Father Ted made such an impression on people that even now people look at me as if I’m remedial or something. They feel for me, they genuinely think I’m thick. Maybe I am, I don’t know.

  4. You could always duck tape an iPhone with Google Latitude to Enkidu, and then track away… …might be cheapier to buy the little camera.

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