Friday, April 03, 2009

A Less Sanguine World

In my efforts to demystify the feline world I've done more research. I noticed that Bhindi loves blue — you might say "he eats it all up." But Lola on the other hand couldn't be bothered with Bhindi's new cat toy, she seems to prefer yellow. She guarded her yellow toy the way a tiger would lord over a prized kill.

Cats by nature are predominantly nocturnal creatures, their eyes are attuned to seeing motion in low light. Although they lack the ability to perceive the color red, they see many shades of gray, more than our human eyes can see. As most environmental and graphic designers know, yellow and black are color combinations used on traffic warnings for clear, long-range visibility at night. Before the commercial hybridization of flowering plants, yellow was also the most common color in the plant kingdom. It's most attractive to insects.

If it weren't for the painful sting, a bumble bee's combination of motion and color would make a playful snack for both cats and dogs. Very high in protein I hear. From what I've read and observed, red and orange are less attractive to cats, appearing as gray or dull brown. I've adjusted color levels in the photos below to demonstrate what a cat might possibly see.

Human Color Perception

Feline Color Perception

Human Color Perception

Feline Color Perception

But other sensory factors play into feline behavior. A cat's hearing is five times greater than ours, they can hear ultrasonic sounds that precede an earthquake. Even more impressively, cats can hear a grocery bag rustle through a heavy wooden door. Cats also have an olfactory system that is on par with dogs, but you probably can't get a pregnant cat to find truffles. I cat sat for a friend once and found that her cat had pried the bedroom door open and chewed the heals of my socks. There's one reason to not leave your socks on the floor.


Eliza said...

So Dinah actually plays with her toy, but she likes it best if I bounce it in front of her. Honestly, she's not much of a toy-lover, so I'm impressed that she plays with it as much as she does.

The Yarn Monkey said...

Hmm, try rubbing it in bacon.