July 19, 2012

Cat Facts

The other day I was watching TV with my sister
when the following popped up on the screen:
In 1942, New York City Mayor LaGuardia banned pinball as a
form of gambling and smashed several machines in a publicity stunt.
I laughed and snapped a photo to send to JD. 
It reminded me of something.
 And I think that by now enough time has passed for me
to discuss what exactly that something was.

It all began several months ago.
JD and I went out for dinner to a little Indian restaurant in the East Village.
They sat us upstairs next to a railing that overlooked the entryway
and hostess desk downstairs. When the waiter brought the menus
he told us to try not to drop any silverware as it may take out the hostess.
We laughed, wondering if something had happened to warrant the warning
or if they were just being cautious. I always find it funny when warnings are given
that seem like they should just be common sense, the ones that make you
shake your head and say "Really? Who attempts ironing a shirt already on your body?"
But then again, I can think of a few people I know who might try that...

Continuing on the topic of funny things, JD told me about something he had seen
on a website called Reddit. A man had posted a screenshot of a conversation
he had had with his unsuspecting little cousin who had posted his phone number
on Facebook, saying he was bored. Since this little cousin did not have his
older cousin's phone number, he pretended to be an automated service that sent out
fun facts about cats every hour, a "subscription" that is impossible to cancel.
The original post on Reddit.
JD showed me the post. We laughed a lot reading it and
wanted to try it ourselves, except we took it a step further.
 Instead of sending true facts, I suggested that we make up our own.
The key was striking the perfect balance between fact and fiction.
For example, we mixed accurate bits of info such as dates, names,
and statistics with completely crazy made up facts.
That way, they would be more believable, and if doubted,
a quick google search would prove that at least some of the info is right.

For example, the one that reminded me of the pinball fact:
In 1940, the Mayor of New York, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, released 200 cats
into the subway system in an attempt to reduce the growing rat population.
In the subsequent 70 years it is estimated that the original underground cats
have multiplied to nearly 10,000 to date. These "Subway Cats" can be seen
most often in the tunnels north of 125th Street.

Our friends and family caught on eventually that it was a joke,
but nothing beat having my mother tell me about cats being able to read.

Some of our other facts:

Within the United States alone there are 12 breeds of
domestic cats that do not have tastebuds.

According to the research of leading feline scientist Juliet Clutton-Brock
and her work with the Sphinx breed, cats have been trained to read
children's books. Interestingly, research indicates an affinity
towards Dr. Suess' "Cat in the Hat".

In addition to the 1,517 people who perished when the Titanic
sank in 1912, 37 of the 53 cats on board were lost at sea.
Sadly, the official count does not include likely stowaways.

Did you hear of this joke? Did you play it?
Let me know how it went!


  1. Hahah omg! I literally laughed out loud at the Cat Facts on Reddit! Too funny! Seriously!


  2. I can't stop laughing about this! Such a great trick to play. Who knows, maybe you would find one of those rare people who would love to receive cat facts every hour.


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