Friday Cat Blogging – 23 July 2010

Today we have Adventures in Cat Science™! First some background: I feed the cats dry food twice a day. Inkblot normally makes a huge production out of this, meowing pitifully and pacing around and then, after I fill the dish, bowling over anything in his way to get to the food and start hoovering down his kibble. After he’s satisfied, he wanders off and Domino starts eating.

Now, I’ve never thought this was because Inkblot is an alpha cat. Not hardly. I just think he’s hungrier and more dedicated to eating than Domino is. Still, the pecking order is what it is, and when it comes to food Inkblot has always been pretty clearly on top.

Or so I thought. Some more background: Once a day the cats get some wet food. I put it on two plates, and as the picture on the right shows, Inkblot’s is always on the left side of the cabinet and Domino’s is on the right.

Now for the Science™. A few days ago Marian woke up before I did and apparently got tired of Inkblot’s antics. So she fed the cats herself. But she does it differently. Instead of just dumping food into the bowl, she picks up the bowl, puts it on the counter, dumps in the food, and puts the bowl back on the floor. Except this time, for some reason, she put the bowl over on the right. And guess what? Domino was first to the kibble and it was Inkblot who paced around nervously waiting for his turn.

Obviously one experiment isn’t Science™. But two? You bet. So I tried this myself, and sure enough: if the food is over on “Domino’s side,” she gets first crack at it. Our cats have apparently been territorially trained to regard spots three feet apart as belonging to one or the other. Isn’t this thrilling? It should be. It’s Science™!

But the experiment is over. Poor Inkblot was humiliated by the whole thing, I think. As senior cat, I figure he’s entitled to a few perks, and getting first crack at the food is one of them. So the bowl is now back on the left for good. And everyone is happy.

As for normal catblogging, it’s below. This is summertime sun worshipping, Domino opting for the full treatment while Inkblot opts for the shade. Either way, they both love flinging themselves on the ground and rolling around when the weather is warm

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.