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A Catís 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing
The New York Times ^ | 19 Jan 2013 | Pam Belluck

Posted on 01/21/2013 12:54:16 PM PST by Theoria

Nobody knows how it happened: an indoor housecat who got lost on a family excursion managing, after two months and about 200 miles, to return to her hometown.

Even scientists are baffled by how Holly, a 4-year-old tortoiseshell who in early November became separated from Jacob and Bonnie Richter at an R.V. rally in Daytona Beach, Fla., appeared on New Year’s Eve — staggering, weak and emaciated — in a backyard about a mile from the Richters’ house in West Palm Beach.

“Are you sure it’s the same cat?” wondered John Bradshaw, director of the University of Bristol’s Anthrozoology Institute. In other cases, he has suspected, “the cats are just strays, and the people have got kind of a mental justification for expecting it to be the same cat.”

But Holly not only had distinctive black-and-brown harlequin patterns on her fur, but also an implanted microchip to identify her.

“I really believe these stories, but they’re just hard to explain,” said Marc Bekoff, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Colorado. “Maybe being street-smart, maybe reading animal cues, maybe being able to read cars, maybe being a good hunter. I have no data for this.”

There is, in fact, little scientific dogma on cat navigation. Migratory animals like birds, turtles and insects have been studied more closely, and use magnetic fields, olfactory cues, or orientation by the sun.

Scientists say it is more common, although still rare, to hear of dogs returning home, perhaps suggesting, Dr. Bradshaw said, that they have inherited wolves’ ability to navigate using magnetic clues. But it’s also possible that dogs get taken on more family trips, and that lost dogs are more easily noticed or helped by people along the way.

(Excerpt) Read more at well.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Pets/Animals; Science
KEYWORDS: cat; holly; homingcats; kittyping; navigate; navigation
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Just Awesome----


1 posted on 01/21/2013 12:54:32 PM PST by Theoria
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To: Theoria
"A Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing"

Scientists don't "guess." Either they know or they don't know.

2 posted on 01/21/2013 12:58:04 PM PST by YHAOS
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To: Theoria
...scientific dogma...

Oxymoron.

3 posted on 01/21/2013 1:00:26 PM PST by FReepaholic (Stupidity is not a crime, so you're free to go.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Cat thing PING


4 posted on 01/21/2013 1:00:52 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: Theoria

Cats rule. Dogs drool.


5 posted on 01/21/2013 1:01:23 PM PST by Ingtar (Everyone complains about the weather, but only Liberals try to legislate it.)
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To: YHAOS
Scientists don't "guess." Either they know or they don't know.

Apparently today they wait until consensus is reached, then echo the talking points.

6 posted on 01/21/2013 1:02:09 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: YHAOS

Some people say that experts agree that Scientist’s are guessing.


7 posted on 01/21/2013 1:06:47 PM PST by 4yearlurker (No matter who you elect,the government eventually gets in.)
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To: YHAOS
Scientists don't "guess." Either they know or they don't know.

Wrong. Science is chock full of THEORIES.

8 posted on 01/21/2013 1:08:01 PM PST by UCANSEE2
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To: a fool in paradise; Slings and Arrows; Glenn; republicangel; Beaker; BADROTOFINGER; etabeta; ...

9 posted on 01/21/2013 1:10:21 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Theoria
enduring movies bump...
The Incredible Journey (1963) - IMDb
www.imdb.com/title/tt0057180/

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) - IMDb www.imdb.com/title/tt0107131/


10 posted on 01/21/2013 1:11:17 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (who'll take tomorrow,spend it all today;who can take your income,tax it all away..0'Bozo man can :-)
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To: a fool in paradise; Slings and Arrows; Glenn; republicangel; Beaker; BADROTOFINGER; etabeta; ...

11 posted on 01/21/2013 1:11:23 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Theoria

That kitty cam IS awesome. Thank you for posting it.

Kitty adventures. Now we know what they might be dreaming about.


12 posted on 01/21/2013 1:14:53 PM PST by Gefn ("I am waiting for a rebirth of wonder")
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To: YHAOS

Why not return the cat to the same spot where they lost it in the first place? Release it and track it by GPS if they really want to know the route it took.

It should be much easier for the cat to find its way back the secnd time around.


13 posted on 01/21/2013 1:26:48 PM PST by 353FMG ( I refuse to specify whether I am serious or sarcastic -- I respect FReepers too much.)
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To: Theoria
Simple, it heard the can opener.

/johnny

14 posted on 01/21/2013 1:29:04 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: a fool in paradise
"they wait until consensus is reached, then echo the talking points."

Good observation.

15 posted on 01/21/2013 1:29:42 PM PST by YHAOS
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To: 4yearlurker

LOL!


16 posted on 01/21/2013 1:30:37 PM PST by YHAOS
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To: Slings and Arrows; redhead

Perhaps I am one in a million, but I don’t find these stories “amazing” or “incredible.” We know where we live, and we know how to go from home (Point A) to somewhere else (Point B.)

If a cat (or dog) is aware of the trip that is being taken, then it knows how to get home. The strongest draw is LOVE! An animal will find its owners if given the slightest point of reference. Why? Because it, too, is one of God’s Creatures and will return to the love.

I’m never amazed by these stories.

We had a white mouser on the three-acre plot we called home, and periodically, my dad would get tired of the kittens we had to deal with, and take the mom-cat to Hell-And-Gone. And she would return. Without fail. No matter how far into the county he took her, she would turn up at the front or back door within a week or two, and pretend that nothing had happened.

Oddly enough: a neighbor boy shot her in the hip with an arrow, and my mother took her to the vet who told her he had never put a leg cast on a cat. My mother didn’t care. She even made a denim “boot” for the cast because of the season (late fall) and that cat learned how to use that cast to do her job. Which was killing mice.

They KNOW!

(I don’t think she ever had a name, but I loved her!)


17 posted on 01/21/2013 1:31:07 PM PST by Monkey Face (Did dinosaurs become extinct because of a reptile dysfunction?)
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To: Ingtar

Dogs have masters. Cats have staff.


18 posted on 01/21/2013 1:31:46 PM PST by carriage_hill (AR-10s/15s are the 21st Century's Muskets. Self-Defense is The First Human Right.)
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To: UCANSEE2
"Wrong. Science is chock full of THEORIES."

Sorry. My fault. Didn't leave the /s flag.

19 posted on 01/21/2013 1:33:03 PM PST by YHAOS
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To: Monkey Face

I’ve always believed that animals are generally smarter than we tend to give them credit for. What they lack in higher cognitive abilities, they can often make up for in their primitive senses, which are far superior to those of humans.


20 posted on 01/21/2013 1:34:37 PM PST by jpl (The government spent another half a million bucks in the time it just took you to read this tagline.)
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