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gblowfish
07-13-2009, 03:02 PM
http://tinyurl.com/ljwwzn
Cats Do Control Humans, Study Finds

If you've ever wondered who's in control, you or your cat, a new study points to the obvious. It's your cat.

Household cats exercise this control with a certain type of urgent-sounding, high-pitched meow, according to the findings.

This meow is actually a purr mixed with a high-pitched cry. While people usually think of cat purring as a sign of happiness, some cats make this purr-cry sound when they want to be fed. The study showed that humans find these mixed calls annoying and difficult to ignore.

"The embedding of a cry within a call that we normally associate with contentment is quite a subtle means of eliciting a response," said Karen McComb of the University of Sussex. "Solicitation purring is probably more acceptable to humans than overt meowing, which is likely to get cats ejected from the bedroom."

They know us.

Previous research has shown similarities between cat cries and human infant cries.

McComb suggests that the purr-cry may subtly take advantage of humans' sensitivity to cries they associate with nurturing offspring. Also, including the cry within the purr could make the sound "less harmonic and thus more difficult to habituate to," she said.

McComb got the idea for the study from her experience with her own cat, who would consistently wake her up in the mornings with a very insistent purr. After speaking with other cat owners, she learned that some of their cats also made the same type of call. As a scientist who studies vocal communication in mammals, she decided to investigate the manipulative meow.

Tough to test

Setting up the experiments wasn't easy. While the felines used purr-cries around their familiar owners, they were not eager to make the same cries in front of strangers. So McComb and her team trained cat owners to record their pets' cries - capturing the sounds made by cats when they were seeking food and when they were not. In all, the team collected recordings from 10 different cats.

The researchers then played the cries back for 50 human participants, not all of whom owned cats. They found that humans, even if they had never had a cat themselves, judged the purrs recorded while cats were actively seeking food - the purrs with an embedded, high-pitched cry - as more urgent and less pleasant than those made in other contexts.

When the team re-synthesised the recorded purrs to remove the embedded cry, leaving all else unchanged, the human subjects' urgency ratings for those calls decreased significantly.

McComb said she thinks this cry occurs at a low level in cats' normal purring, "but we think that cats learn to dramatically exaggerate it when it proves effective in generating a response from humans." In fact, not all cats use this form of purring at all, she said, noting that it seems to most often develop in cats that have a one-on-one relationship with their owners rather than those living in large households, where their purrs might be overlooked.

The results were published in the July 14 issue of the journal Current Biology.

L.A. Chieffan
07-13-2009, 03:05 PM
cats scare me

CoMoChief
07-13-2009, 03:05 PM
cats suck

Rooster
07-13-2009, 03:12 PM
cats taste like chicken

Demonpenz
07-13-2009, 03:27 PM
that sack of kittens i put in a bag and dropped in the river sure didn't have much control

kstater
07-13-2009, 03:28 PM
This is soooo not what I was thinking. But yes, kitty does control me.

Sofa King
07-13-2009, 03:29 PM
dang it... i thought this was another vagina thread...

JD10367
07-13-2009, 03:30 PM
Someone actually got paid to research that? "Animals make noise when they want something." Wow. News flash, LOL.

scooter
07-13-2009, 03:51 PM
McComb and her team trained cat owners to record their pets' cries - capturing the sounds made by cats when they were seeking food and when they were not. In all, the team collected recordings from 10 different cats.


Shopkeeper:
What cat detector van?

Customer:
The cat detector van from the Ministry of Housinge.

Shopkeeper:
Housinge?

Customer:
It was spelt like that on the van. I'm very observant!. I never seen so many bleeding aerials. The man said that their equipment could pinpoint a purr at four hundred yards! And Eric, being such a happy cat, was a piece of cake.

Always room for a Python Reference

SDChiefs
07-13-2009, 03:53 PM
This is not news. We have know for a long time that pussy controls man.

Iowanian
07-13-2009, 03:54 PM
Pussy has been controling many of my actions since I was about 14.....


cats, not so much.

DMAC
07-13-2009, 03:55 PM
that sack of kittens i put in a bag and dropped in the river sure didn't have much controlI'm sure someone rescued them. An ungulating sack of high pitched kittens always gets rescued. Hence the control.

Frazod
07-13-2009, 04:00 PM
I see our usual sociopaths have chimed in.

Hey CoMo, you don't by any chance have a screaming woman trapped in a well in your basement, do you?

Rain Man
07-13-2009, 05:11 PM
My cat just asks.

Coach
07-13-2009, 05:12 PM
http://i41.tinypic.com/vndyk6.jpg

Coach
07-13-2009, 05:14 PM
cats suck

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v39/SwedeCarlson/Funnies/flip.jpg

Reaper16
07-13-2009, 05:19 PM
Cats are the coolest.

88TG88
07-13-2009, 05:21 PM
that sack of kittens i put in a bag and dropped in the river sure didn't have much control

you win

Jenson71
07-13-2009, 05:23 PM
I actually met a cat worth a damn recently. It actually comes when you call it and likes people. It's always rubbing up against me. And it loves water straight from your glass.

JD10367
07-13-2009, 06:33 PM
I actually met a cat worth a damn recently. It actually comes when you call it and likes people. It's always rubbing up against me. And it loves water straight from your glass.

Cats are just like dogs, people, and every other animal: a lot of them are useless and have no personality, and a lot of them have very quirky individual personalities and are batshit insane, LOL. I have a cat in the latter category. Black and white, with a Hitler moustache. She doesn't meow, she talks (i.e. meows back and forth as you talk to her). She fell out a window as a kitten, and off the top of the bathroom door and into the toilet bowl headfirst. She eats electrical wires, tips over the trash, shreds toilet paper. She'll eat any human food you put in front of her and drinks from the tub spigot at full stream. If she had an IQ it would be 13, maybe, on a good day.

sedated
07-13-2009, 07:28 PM
It's always rubbing up against me.

I get arrested when I do that.

FAX
07-13-2009, 07:53 PM
I'm allergic to cats. Always have been. It's the only animal to which I am allergic. Well, at least I think it is. I've never been in a room with a wombat, or a spiny anteater, or one of those weird loris things - slow or otherwise.

Anyhow, here's the deal. Let's say that somebody is throwing a party and let's say that the host owns a cat and let's say that I attend the party and let's say that I sit in a chair whilst attending the party. I guaran-damn-tee you that the friggin' cat will ignore everybody else in the room, sneak up beside me, jump right smack on my lap, and drag their nasty-ass, friggin' tail across my face. It almost never fails. I'm here to tell you that, without question or debate, cats are evil bastards.

FAX

PastorMikH
07-13-2009, 08:05 PM
Who's in control? I've learned that if I withhold feed from the cats they get friendlier. It's amazing how nice they act when they have gone without food for a couple of days.

:)

MahiMike
07-13-2009, 08:38 PM
Watching my kids cat while they're gone. I hate that damn cat. I have an air mattress and I don't want her anywhere near it. Thought I could train her like a dog. You know, kick the shit out of her anytime she goes in the bedroom. Doesn't matter how many times I kick this cat, she still goes in there.

Oh and the poop! This cat shits more than me - 4 times a day! And I'm talking big shits. Tried to flush one today and it almost wouldn't flush.

I hate cats...

JD10367
07-13-2009, 08:40 PM
Who's in control? I've learned that if I withhold feed from the cats they get friendlier. It's amazing how nice they act when they have gone without food for a couple of days.

:)

That works on women, too. Especially when they're locked in the basement. Just sayin'. Be right back, gotta go yell at a chubby chick to rub the lotion on her skin or else she'll get the hose again....

gblowfish
07-14-2009, 03:04 PM
Dogs and Kitties take to the air:


Paws up: All-pet airline hits skies
AP
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090714/ap_on_bi_ge/us_airlines_pet_airways

By SAMANTHA BOMKAMP, AP Transportation Writer Samantha Bomkamp, Ap Transportation Writer 1 hr 45 mins ago

NEW YORK One trip for their Jack Russell terrier in a plane's cargo hold was enough to convince Alysa Binder and Dan Wiesel that owners needed a better option to get their pets from one city to another.

On Tuesday, the first flight for the husband-and-wife team's Pet Airways, the first-ever all-pet airline, took off from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, N.Y.

All commercial airlines allow a limited number of small pets to fly in the cabin. Others must travel as checked bags or in the cargo hold a dark and sometimes dangerous place where temperatures can vary wildly.

Binder and Wiesel used their consulting backgrounds and business savvy to start Pet Airways in 2005. The last four years have been spent designing their fleet of five planes according to new four-legged requirements, dealing with FAA regulations and setting up airport schedules.

The two say they're overwhelmed with the response. Flights on Pet Airways are already booked up for the next two months.

Pet Airways will fly a pet between five major cities New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. The $250 one-way fare is comparable to pet fees at the largest U.S. airlines.

For owners the big difference is service. Dogs and cats will fly in the main cabin of a Suburban Air Freight plane, retooled and lined with carriers in place of seats. Pets (about 50 on each flight) will be escorted to the plane by attendants that will check on the animals every 15 minutes during flight. The pets are also given pre-boarding walks and bathroom breaks. And at each of the five airports it serves, the company has created a "Pet Lounge" for future fliers to wait and sniff before flights.

The company will operate out of smaller, regional airports in the five launch cities, which will mean an extra trip for most owners dropping off their pets if they are flying too. Stops in cities along the way means the pets will take longer to reach a destination than their owners.

A trip from New York to Los Angeles, for example, will take about 24 hours. On that route, pets will stop in Chicago, have a bathroom break, play time, dinner, and bunk for the night before finishing the trip the next day.

Amanda Hickey of Portland, Ore. is one of the new airline's first customers. Her seven-year-old terrier-pinscher mix Mardi and 2-year-old puggle Penny are taking their first flight soon.

Hickey said the service was a welcome alternative to flying her dogs in cargo when she transplants them from her soon-to-be Denver home to Chicago to stay while she and her fiance travel to Aruba to get married.

"For a little bit more money, I have peace of mind," she said.

It was a stressful experience in a cargo hold that spurred Binder and Wiesel to start their airline. Their Jack Russell terrier, Zoe, flew once in cargo and Binder said they worried about how the dog was doing, but were unable to check on her or get information. The couple soon started looking for a better solution.

"One time in cargo was enough for us," Binder said, walking through an airplane hangar as Zoe trotted in front of her. "We wanted to do something better."

The company, which will begin with one flight in each of its five cities, is looking to add more flights and cities soon. In the next three years, Binder hopes to fly to 25 locations.

Among the big U.S. carriers that offer pet services, AirTran, Spirit, Southwest and JetBlue only allow pets to fly in the cabin. Most U.S. airlines charge between $100 and $125, but Delta and Northwest charge $150 for cabin trips. AirTran is the cheapest among big carriers at $69.

The charge is more to fly in the cargo or check-baggage holds. Delta and Northwest are the most expensive at $275. Alaska Airlines and Midwest charge the least, at $100. Frontier prices its checked pets fees between $100 and $200 and only takes pets as checked baggage.

Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com, questions the viability of an airline with such a specific niche.

"I'm not sure how sustainable it is," she said. "But if people are trying to go for a first-class service, it could make sense."

She said the service's popularity could spike in peak summer or winter months when airlines in some areas don't allow pets to travel.

Betsy Saul, co-founder of Petfinder.com, which has ranked the pet-friendliness of airlines for three years, said she's excited about the expected impact Pet Airways will have on pet travel across major airlines.

"The entire industry will stretch because of Pet Airways," she said. "It's a challenge that says 'let's make this (experience) better for pets.'"