Scientific Correspondence

A letter from a colleague

Master Woo-Shrew's 'informative' flier.

Master Woo-Shrew’s ‘informative’ flier.

Since my work on the purr-boom was leaked into the public domain (I suspect bossy kitten in a deliberate ploy to ensure funding for the lab), I have been bombarded by messages from someone who styles herself as Master Woo, Shrew (She even sent me a publicity poster to really get the sense of what she is about). She would like to bring to my attention the healing effect of kittens on humans.

The health of humans hardly seems like exploring the big questions of life, the universe and everything, but one of Master Woo’s messages reached bossy lab kitten and she was intrigued. She has determined that human healthcare may be a very lucrative research area and for now, I am forced to compromise my principles in the quest for funding and freedom in the future. I did leave a protest message for her to find though. Ha!

Master Woo’s messages list a range of benefits that cats supposedly exert on human health, from stress reduction to accelerated bone growth. Evidence is mixed and some of the Woo’s terminology sets off the sceptic-alarm in any good scientist’s head.

Phrases to question ScienceKitty says
[unsubstantiated odds] can’t be a co-incidence As Tim Minchin says, this ‘severely underestimates the number of things that there are’
Obviously… I feel ‘a’ and ‘b’ are linked, but can’t rationally explain it
‘as featured on xxx tv’ TV is an entertainment medium, being featured on National Geographic or Discovery channel does not endorse your claims

Faster than the speed of purr

Classified: kitten eyes only

Experiment with the ‘purr boom’. This effect occurs when a purr is processing faster than a kitten.  Conscious humans (see previous post about difficulties caused by sleeping humans) are extremely susceptible to this effect. By deploying boss kitten as the purrer, I am able to remain observing. The ‘purees’ have been observed looking for the purrer before she even enters the room, reaching for treat packets and lowering their hands to ground level in preparation to provide tummy rubs and stroking. Actions do not appear conscious by the human, and I must suspect that some primal instinct in their brain responds to the passage of the purr boom. Most useful.

Of course, these notes must not fall into human hands, already they are growing wise to the components of a purr and one meddlesome scientist has started to identify the bit that makes humans feed us.

Newton’s sausages

Thursday

Continuing my study of the so called great scientists. Today Isaac Newton. Verdict – unimpressed. After all who cares about apples?

Gravity as it affects a packet of raw sausages on the kitchen counter is a far more interesting question. Due to the inter-connectedness of sausages, entirely possible that once one sausage falls they all will. Could sausages be gravitons?

If so, gravitons are tasty.

Tested experimental limits on the acceleration of sausages when making a rapid exit. Limits are: the slippy tiles, the turn by the kitchen door and the rug that rucks up when you run on it at speed. Otherwise

Vs ≈ vk >vh

Where vs is the velocity of sausage, vk is the velocity of science kitten and vh is just pathetic. Poor human.

Ultimate food: Chuna or Ticken?

Friday

Working on making the ultimate food stuff, breeding tuna with chicken! Science is expensive. Have brought in marketing kitty to do audience research and attract sponsorship.

I am focussing on sourcing tuna, very tricky to fit through the catflap.

Marketing kitty reports discouraging early results. Focus group not enthused by “chuna” as they can’t tell the difference or “ticken” because they think it sounds boring. They have identified a third option, crossing a tuna with a pasty, to create “Tasty”.

Bloody marketing! I can’t breed a pasty with anything. If I could, that American Pie film franchise would have run very differently.

Human Auditory Prompt

Saturday

Lab notes: Have recently noticed disturbing trend towards deafness in humans whilst in their bed. They definitely know I am there, but do not seem to hear my purrs or reasonable requests for food or access to the outdoors. Situation especially severe if the noise box in the corner of their room has not started beeping.

Hypothesis: humans needs trigger noises to become able to hear. Purring ineffectual, must test other sounds to find alternative to beeping box.

Test day 1: Urination in corner of room – extremely effective. Near instantaneous reaction to the sound and acknowledgement of my needs.

However, standard lab conditions jeopardised by washing of carpet and moving of furniture to deny access to my experimental area. Shall have to formulate alternate approach for tomorrow. Or maybe they will be more sensitised and respond to purring without additional prompts.