Skip to comments.A Catís 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing
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 Years Eve staggering, weak and emaciated in a backyard about a mile from the Richters house in West Palm Beach.
Are you sure its the same cat? wondered John Bradshaw, director of the University of Bristols 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 theyre 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 its 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 ...
Scientists don't "guess." Either they know or they don't know.
Cat thing PING
Cats rule. Dogs drool.
Apparently today they wait until consensus is reached, then echo the talking points.
Some people say that experts agree that Scientist’s are guessing.
Wrong. Science is chock full of THEORIES.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) - IMDb www.imdb.com/title/tt0107131/
That kitty cam IS awesome. Thank you for posting it.
Kitty adventures. Now we know what they might be dreaming about.
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.
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.
(I don’t think she ever had a name, but I loved her!)
Dogs have masters. Cats have staff.
Sorry. My fault. Didn't leave the /s flag.
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.