Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Funday: Cuddling Up With A Killer

As usual, today is Friday, and while there is still plenty of political news to discuss - from the hypocritical grilling of Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel by Senator John McCain, to the out-of-context and bogus attacks on Hagel by the overzealous freshman political-climber Ted Cruz - we'll leave those kinds of discussions about ethics and politics for another day.

Fairness, however, is a topic we're more than willing to tackle today.

For example, in no way is it fair that when we began gathering content for today's edition, the temperature outside our Lincoln, NE office was bitterly cold, in the single digits, with snow everywhere we could see. Meanwhile, the temperatures outside both our DC and South Florida offices weren't even below freezing.

It was so cold in Lincoln last night, if we'd had a cat in our office, we might have thought about curling up with the little furball for warmth - if we hadn't also recently discovered what kinds of homicidal maniacs cats are.

According to a study released this week in the journal Nature Communications, domesticated cats that either live outdoors, or are allowed to roam outdoors part of the time, kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds a year. The little buggers also exterminate somewhere between 6.9 and 20.7 billion other small mammals - like mice, moles and voles - annually.

If you happen to be living in a home ruled by cats, these statistics may not exactly surprise you much, especially if you're a good cat servant.

The tendency of cats to pounce, scratch, chomp, pee on, or beat to death anything they decide they don't like - regardless of the desires of the humans they live with - is a common trait of virtually all felines. It's one of the reasons some members of our staff are dog people more than they are cat people.

Another reason is that on a cold day like today, if the cat living with you doesn't want to snuggle up with you, no matter how cold you might be, that creature isn't going to land in your lap. Unless the cat changes its mind and decides to jump from the couch onto you, you're just out of luck.

The rule is, dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

We know our stereotype of the domesticated cat isn't entirely fair.  Some cats are more like dogs in their temperament, and our staff members have been blessed to know a few of those over the years.

Still, science doesn't lie, and that scientific study from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute makes it clear: your little "Furball" may be more of a homicidal maniac than you ever knew.

If we didn't know any better, we'd think cats were perfectly suited to politics.

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