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There are an estimated half a billion cats in the world, of which about 100 million are domestic pet cats living in the U.S. About 68% of American households own at least one cat. Come along with Tidbits as we pet our cats!
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• A doctoral student at Oxford set out to see if he could find a common ancestor for the house cat. He gathered sample DNA from wild cats, feral cats, and domestic cats all over the planet. Once he had analyzed samples from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company 701-775-5522 Grand Forks, ND State FarmCompany, Mutual Automobile Insurance Company Bloomington, IL 1301900State Farm Indemnity State Farm Indemnity Company, Bloomington, IL 1,000 cats, he did indeed find common ancestry among them. Worldwide, all of the cats he found shared DNA with a specific sub-species of cat called Felis silvestris lybica, commonly Carpet Cleaning known as the African wildcat. It is native to ORGANIC www.elitecarpetsgf.com northern Africa and the Middle East where SALON SPA Carpet Cleaning • Carpet the cats still live today. Cleaning Hair Loss Hospital SPECIAL! • “Felis” means “cat” in Latin; “silvestris” • Upholstery • REPAIR • REFRESH $99 means “woodland” or “forest”; and “lybica” Cleaning 1 Bedroom, 1 Living • RECLAIM means “from Libya.” Room, 1 Hallway • Water Not valid with any other offer. • There were at least seven types of prehistoric Call to learn about Extraction Expires 2-15-20 feline species living in what is now California Residential & Hair Loss Therapy! Commercial around 11,000 years ago, including long-ex701-739-2403 tinct species of bobcats, mountain lions, and 2600 DeMers Ave. sabre-tooth lions. Over 2,000 skeletons of saGrand Forks, ND 701-775-8500 ber-tooth cats have been retrieved from the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, more than have The Best, Newest, FILE YOUR TAXES been found at any other location on the planet. WITH PAID TAX PREPAR Townhome & APPLY FOR AN Turn * Apartments in EASY ADVANCE WANT TO PUBLISH A the 720 S Washington St Greater Grand Forks! page TIDBITS IN YOUR AREA? (Next to Italian Moon) 1506562
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6. Which was the first U.S. state to be admitted to the union after the original 13 states were admitted? 7. What’s the capital of Spain? 8. To which destination is the McCallister family traveling in the movie “Home Alone”? 9. What is the first number in which the letter “a” appears in its spelling? TRIVIA SPONSORED BY:
1. What percentage of Americans suffer from cat allergies? 2. What percentage of people identify as “cat people”? 3. What percent of American cats live their entire lives indoors? 4. T or F: Cats have better hearing than dogs. 5. What percent of pet cats in the U.S. are overweight?
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• Most of the different breeds of cats were developed starting in the 1960s. The hairless Sphynx descended from two cats from Minnesota named Dermis and Epidermis who were mutants born in the 1970s. The Scottish fold cat, with bent ears, was bred from a mutant that appeared in a litter in Scotland 1961. The short legged dwarf Munchkin descended from a pregnant stray found underneath a truck in Louisiana in the 1980s. The Manx and Cornish Rex were likewise products of mutations. Other breeds, including the Norwegian forest cat and the Persian, developed after being isolated in an ecosystem and being subjected to natural selection. • All cat species are what is known as “hypercarnivores” eating pretty much nothing other than meat. They have no molars for chewing plants and all of their teeth are pointy and sharp, ideal for killing and cutting. Cats need three times as much protein in their diets as dogs, except for kittens who need four times as much. • Cats have some of the best binocular vision of any carnivore, with eyes set close together to give them an overlapping field of vision resulting in excellent depth perception. Rabbits, by contrast, have wide set eyes which allows them to see a wide field of vision in order to spot incoming predators, yet they have very poor threedimensional vision. • Cats have the largest eyes relative to their head size of any mammal. • Today the 100 million or so pet cats in the U.S. consume about 3 million chickens every day in the form of chicken-based cat food.
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• When archaeologists X-rayed the mummies of cats found in Egyptian tombs, they were surprised to find that many of the cats were actually kittens and that most of them had died violently rather than from natural causes.
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SPORTS QUIZ 1. T or F: Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams is not in the top 20 for highest slugging percentage in a single season. 2. In 2018, Ronald Acuna Jr. set an Atlanta Braves single-season record of eight leadoff homers. Who had held the mark? 3. The Lakers own the longest winning streak in NBA history. How long?
4. Place-kickers Adam Vinateri (599) and Morten Anderson (565) are 1-2 in career NFL field goals made. Who is No. 3? 5. In 2019, golfer Viktor Hovland set a new mark for lowest total score by an amateur (280) at the U.S. Open. Who had the previous record? 6. Who was the first player in NBA history to be elected league MVP by a unanimous vote?
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• A study done in 1980 followed people who survived heart attacks. It found that those who owned a pet showed a distinctly larger chance of living for a year following the heart attack (94%) over those who did not have a pet (72%). However, a follow-up study done by the same researcher in 1995 set out to discover if there was a link between survival rates and the type of pet that was owned. It turned out that owning a dog had significant advantages, while owning a cat did not. This may be due to the fact that dog owners are 64% more likely than non-pet owners to do at least some walking every day. Cat owners were less likely to get outside and walk. • The first established cat show was held in 1871 in London’s Crystal Palace. • A study done in England showed that an average of 3.8 million cat pictures are uploaded to the internet every day, versus a total of only 1.4 million selfies. When Sir Tim Berners-Lee, known as the father of the internet, was asked what aspect of modern web usage he found most surprising, he answered, “Kittens.” BuzzFeed reports that their average cat post gets twice as many views as their average dog post. • Cats have 230 bones, which is 24 more bones than humans. About 10% of a cat’s bones are in its tail. A cat’s spine has up to 53 loose-fitting vertebrae, making it extremely flexible. A human spine has only 34 vertebrae. • Cats sometimes stare with their mouth open because they have an extra organ that tastes scents in the air.
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• Cats move with their right feet and then their left feet. The only other animals that walk this way are camels and giraffes. ...continued
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• They use their whiskers to help determine if they can fit in a small space because their whiskers are approximately the same width as their body.
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We are looking for male and female participants to join our study to determine whether whole eggs in a Mediterranean diet will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Receive up to $858 dollars, or a 20 month individual or a 15 month family membership to Choice Health & Fitness at the end of the study. All food will be provided during the duration of the study.
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• Cats typically have about 24 whiskers on their muzzle, 12 on each side. • Thirty-two individual muscles in each ear allow a cat to rotate its ears 180 degrees. • A single litter of kittens can have multiple fathers. • All cats are born with blue eyes. Their adult eye color will begin to appear in 3 to 12 weeks. White cats whose eyes remain blue have a high chance of deafness. Those with only one blue eye will likely be deaf only in the ear closest to their blue eye. • Cats can make about 100 different sounds. A dog can only make 10. • The average cat spends around 70% of their lives asleep. • Adult cats can leap up to six times their own length and jump five times their own height. • Cats purr not only when they’re content, but they also when they’re sick, stressed, hurt, or giving birth. • More than half of cats don’t respond to catnip. Catnip sensitivity is hereditary. • Cats sweat through their paws. • Most cats have 18 toes, including five on each front paw and four on each back paw. • Cat claws curve downward, which means that they can’t climb down trees head-first. Instead, they have to back down the trunk • Males are more likely to be left-pawed, while females are more likely to be right-pawed. • A leopard-like wild cat called the margay, found in the Amazon, attracts prey to it by mimicking the calls made by baby monkeys. • Spaying and neutering can extend a cat’s life. Neutered males live an average of 62% longer than unneutered cats and spayed females live an average of 39% longer than unspayed cats. About 85% of domestic cats are spayed or neutered, but only about 2% of feral cats are.
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• It was nonviolent Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi who made the following sage observation: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." • In 1905, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, became one of the first people ever to be fined for speeding. • Appropriately, the patron saint of bankers is St. Meingold.
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• Ever wonder how BVDs came to be called that? From the names of the men who originally manufactured them: Bradley, Voorhies and Day. • Less than half the people in the world use a spoon, fork and knife to eat. The rest use chopsticks, just a knife or their hands.
Never, never, never give up.
• In Babylon 4,000 years ago, it was accepted practice that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and so that time became known as the honey month -- what we know today as the honeymoon.
• People who pick chili peppers in Costa Rica have to wear special suits to avoid getting blisters just from coming into contact with them. • The Pledge of Allegiance was published in 1892 in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage to the New World. It didn't contain the words "under God," though, until 1954, when they were added by an act of Congress in an attempt to check the creeping advance of "Godless Communism."
• Abraham Lincoln was the only American president to witness battle firsthand while in office.
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• The creature was designed without eyes, so that it would look chilling and soulless.
• In the 1979 film “Alien” the crew of a mining starship • When the space crew first discover the nest of facefinds the ruins of an alien ship and subsequently be- hugging aliens, an eerie blue beam of light sweeps comes tangled up with a fearsome parasitic alien spe- across the scene. Roger Daltrey and The Who were excies. In the end, the only survivors are Ripley (played perimenting with lasers right next to the studio where by Sigourney Weaver) and Jonesy the cat (played by Alien was shooting. Daltrey loaned his equipment to four ginger kitties.) Ridley Scott for the shot. • The film was originally titled “Star Beast.” • To get Jones the cat to react fearfully to the Alien, a
• Backers had a hard time finding a studio to produce German shepherd was placed in front of the kitty with the movie until “Star Wars” became a blockbuster hit. a screen between the two, so the cat wouldn't see the Then, every studio in town rushed to get anything re- dog at first. The screen was then suddenly removed to motely sci-fi into production, so Alien got the green make Jones stop advancing and start hissing. light by 20th Century Fox. • The slime used on the Alien was K-Y jelly, and it re• The entire crew of the ship was originally cast as all moved acrylic paint used on the surfaces of the models male, but the producers thought it would be more of the monster, which had to be repainted every eveinteresting to have Ripley be a female. The film ning. launched the careers of Sigourney Weaver in that role • It was Sigourney Weaver’s idea to sing “You Are My as well as director Ridley Scott. It was Scott’s second Lucky Star” while preparing to get rid of the Alien. feature film as director, and he followed it up with Ridley Scott got a lot of flak from the studio because of “Blade Runner” in 1982. how expensive the rights to the song were.
• The spacesuits worn by the cast were very hot, es- • The first day that she shot a scene involving Jones the pecially filming under studio lights in the summer. cat, Sigourney Weaver’s skin started reacting badly When Ridley Scott put his own kids into space suits and she thought she was allergic to the cat. Howevin order to film a couple of long shots, the kids both er, it turned out that Weaver was reacting to glycerin passed out from the heat. After that, the suits were sprayed on her skin to make her look hot and sweaty. redesigned to allow more ventilation. • You can buy a book called “Jonesy: Nine Lives on the • Ridley Scott was desperate to avoid having the alien Nostromo” which tells the story of “Alien” from the look like a man wearing a rubber suit. He consid- cat’s point of view: “Aboard the USCSS Nostromo, ered casting mimes, basketball players, and even Pe- Jonesy leads a simple life enjoying The Company cat ter Mayhew who played Chewbacca in “Star Wars.” food and chasing space rodents. Until one day, his But he ran across a man named Bolaji Badejo in a cryostasis catnap is rudely interrupted. The humans pub. Badejo was about 7 feet tall with long gangly have a new pet and it's definitely not house-trained.” arms and legs that gave him the stance of a praying The movie’s tag line was, “In space, no one can hear mantis, which was perfect for the role. While he ul- you scream” and the theme of the cat’s book is, “In timately had fun playing the creature, Badejo never space, no one can hear you meow.” acted again, and died in 1992 at the age of 39.
The word should be spelled "perseverance"
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January 6, 2020
• Mayonnaise can stand in for cooking oil in a recipe. Use in an equal amount. It works especially well in brownies. • “When flossing, cut a length of floss, then tie the loose ends together. Now you have a circle and can hold it open with your fingers rather than wrapping the loose ends around your fingers and cutting off the circulation. All it takes is a little tension on the circle to keep the line taut.” — C.E. in Kentucky • “If you have to wash dishes by hand, here’s a tip for rinsing utensils: Clean silverware together and toss into a colander. Then you can rinse the whole thing together instead of each fork, knife or spoon. This will save time, and water.” — M.V. in Ohio • Apply car wax to shower walls to keep soap scum from hanging around. Petroleum jelly can be used in shower-door tracks to lubricate them, since it won’t wash away easily. • “I like to use metal cans for storage in my shop. To make them safer, I file the rims and dip them in a shallow disk of melted wax. When the wax hardens, it fills in all the potential jagged edges that might lead to a small cut.” — F.J. in Florida • Here’s a fun plumbing trick: Use a wad of soft white bread (centers only) to plug up a pipe you are working on. The bread disintegrates quickly but will stop up any trickle of water long enough for you to seal two pipes together. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.
• On Jan. 26, 1918, soon after the Bolsheviks seized control in Russia, the former Russian state of Ukraine declares its total independence. In 1922, Ukraine became part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; it would not regain its independence until the USSR's collapse in 1991. • On Jan. 25, 1924, the first Winter Olympics begins at Chamonix in the French Alps. Spectators were thrilled by the ski jump and bobsled, two of 12 events involving six sports. • On Jan. 24, 1943, German Gen. Friedrich von Paulus, commander in chief of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, urgently requests permission from Adolf Hitler to surrender. Hitler refused. Of more than 280,000 men under Paulus' command, half were already dead or dying. Paulus held out until Jan. 31, when he finally surrendered. • On Jan. 23, 1968, the USS Pueblo, a Navy intelligence ship, is engaged in a routine surveillance of the North Korean coast when it is captured by North Korean patrol boats. Eleven months later, negotiators reached a settlement to resolve the crisis and free the surviving 82 crewmen. • On Jan. 21, 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War. Some 100,000 young Americans went abroad in the late 1960s and early '70s to avoid military service. • On Jan. 20, 1980, bleachers at a bullring in Sincelejo, Colombia, collapse, resulting in the deaths of 222 people. The deadliest tragedy at a sporting event in Colombia's history was the result of overcrowding and poor construction. • On Jan. 22, 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau releases detailed statistics on race and ethnicity showing that the Hispanic population was the country's largest minority group. Some 29% of immigrants in the U.S. had come from Mexico alone.
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CAT vs. ISLAND
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• Cats have been ranked as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. Cats can be devastating to local wildlife, especially on islands. One study estimated that 14% of all vertebrate vanishings on islands can be blamed on cat infestations.
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• Cats expanded their populations around the world largely through traveling on ships, where they were used to control rodents. Upon landing on some remote outpost, many went to shore and established new populations, to the great detriment 8:12 AM of native species. Whereas domestic dogs who go feral often struggle to maintain wild populations without aid of mankind, domestic cats who go feral are able to thrive and reproduce even without humans.
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• Marion Island off the coast of South Africa is a forbidding landscape, with a permanent snowcap, a harsh climate, and a lot of volcanic activity. Two cats released on this island in 1949 resulted in over 2,000 surviving descendants 25 years later. The cats had been brought in to control the mouse population, as the invasive mice (who had jumped ship) were affecting the bird population. The cats also decimated the birds. After a concerted effort, all cats were removed from the ecosystem by 1991 at enormous expense. • A report blamed domesticated cats as a factor in the disappearance of 89 out of Australia’s 138 extinct or nearly extinct mammal species. • The Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain used to be covered by a particular type of shrub found only on those islands. The shrub reproduced by seeds, but the seeds could not sprout unless they were eaten and then excreted by a certain type of lizard that also lived only on those islands. When cats arrived on the islands, they ate all the lizards, which went extinct. The shrub later died out entirely as well. ...continued
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CAT vs. ISLAND (cont.)
• When the invasive cat population was removed from Macquarie Island located halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, their absence resulted in an exploding population of the similarly invasive rabbits. The rabbits ate so much of the vegetation on the steep mountainsides that it resulted in landslides that wiped out much of the population of native penguins.
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• The Key Largo wood rat is found only on the island of Key Largo south of Florida. It was so critically endangered that an artificial breeding program was begun in 2005. Wood rats were raised in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. Yet when they were released on Key Largo, they the rats would invariably end up being killed by local cats. The program was abandoned in 2012. • Stephens Island is a speck of land off the coast of New Zealand. In 1894, a lighthouse was built on the tiny island. Lighthouse keeper David Lyall brought his pregnant cat along. The resulting litter roamed the island. The cats kept bringing Lyall dead birds. Lyall was an amateur ornithologist, so he examined each bird and was excited to see examples of an unknown species of wren. He sent several preserved bodies off to ornithologists, who dubbed the new bird the Stephens Island wren, and clamored for more samples. However, Lyall had increasing difficulty in finding more samples of the tiny bird. By the time a year had passed from his first discovery, he could find none at all. In the span of a single year, Lyall’s cats had discovered and then decimated the entire population of the new species, which was now completely extinct. Lyall may have been the only human to have ever seen the bird in real life. When a new lighthouse keeper took over in 1899, he removed over 100 cats from the environment, yet it took another quarter of a century before Stephens Island was once again cat-free.
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"Cats," "Alien" and "Cats vs. Island"