Anonymous asked: Is the internet sensation known as the "cat beard" considered cruelty to animals?
As I am no expert on the feline psyche, I defer this answer to my good friend, Thomas Broza DVM:
"From my observations of cats subjected to the ‘cat beard’ process, it does not strike me as inherently cruel. The modern domestic cat is an animal that, unless restrained, has an enhanced capacity to (for lack of a better word) wriggle away from a situation she finds undesirable. I have yet to see a ‘cat beard’ where the cat’s owner is holding the scruff or neck of the cat, rendering it immobile. Indeed it seems that the ‘cat beard’ poses the cat as well as her owner in an essentially affectionate position, with the tip of the cat’s head available for light petting or kissing, and the cat’s nose poised to tap the owner’s nose in the customary feline greeting ritual."
To digress a bit - while it has received some recent popularity through the internet, the “cat beard” is not a new phenomenon. Recent interpretations of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics suggest that feline-loving Egyptians held upward-looking cats in front of their faces in a very similar ritual to the modern “cat beard” meme. Several of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s early drafts and sketches also show late 19th century cats and their owners engaging in a variety of novel and humorous poses, some of which evoke the modern “cat beard.”
It seems to me that cats, owners and casual observers alike are all enchanted by the “cat beard” and one should not feel that it is a cruel or unusual ritual to perform. In fact, it may even serve to strengthen the inter-species bond between feline and human.
Anonymous asked: Can cats obtain superpowers? Either by genetics or scientific modification.
In the late 1980s, a young cat from Indianapolis named Gregory owned by Dr. and Mrs. Kendrickson was notable around the city for his seemingly impossible feats of strength; “Strong Greg,” as he was called, was often seen pushing full size automobiles and lifting manhole covers in order to get around his neighborhood. The Kendricksons reported that he was picked out of an unremarkable litter of kittens and was fed ordinary cat food. Strong Greg lived to be 23 years old - a long lifespan, but not unheard of for a domestic cat. The Kendricksons never contacted any sort of records committee nor any sort of genetic testing team as they did not want to put their beloved pet through the stresses and rigors of national notability; his story lives on through some brief local newspaper clippings and the narratives of neighbors and friends of the Kendricksons.