Tag: Mars

NASA Photo Shows ‘Cats’ Got To Mars Before Humans Did

Cats are sneaky, quiet as a ghost when they want to be and have a habit of seemingly teleporting between spots, but could they somehow use their feline superpowers to beat us to Mars?

As the Perseverance rover continues to chug along and take photos as well as samples of rock and soil, people following the rover’s progress can vote for “image of the week,” and this time around they picked an image that, when seen from a distance, appears to show a crouched cat with its behind raised, in mid butt-wiggle as it prepares to pounce on some unfortunate Martian.

marscatloaf
A Martian Desert Cat spots a rich vein of Temptatiums in a natural deposit and is ready to pounce.

This isn’t the first time Mars enthusiasts have spotted a “cat” in an image from the red planet. In 2015, some people said a group of rocks resembled a “giant cat statue” poking out from the Martian soil in a photo taken by the Curiosity rover.

I don’t really see it. YMMV:

Perseverance is exploring the site of a former crater lake and an adjoining former river delta. The Bad Astronomy blog says it was “very clearly a lake of standing water at some point in the past.”

The blog provides a breakdown of the geography of the crater and what it can tell us about the Mars of the past. Knowing there was water on Mars makes the idea of life elsewhere in the solar system seem possible. Astronomers believe Jupiter’s moon Europa, for example, potentially hosts life. The satellite exists so far from the sun it’s in a permanent deep freeze and would normally be inhospitable to life, but the evidence strongly suggests there are oceans beneath Europa’s icy surface, and those oceans are heated by massive vents on the ocean floor.

Water, warmth, energy. The conditions for life are there. If Mars was covered with lakes at one point, what’s swimming in the oceans of Europa?

mars_jezerocrater_landingsite
Credit: NASA

So Mars had water and the entire planet was pristine litter box. If it had some prey to hunt and an atmosphere, the red planet could have been the perfect homeworld for felis sapiens, who would rival humanity in technology if not for the tragic fact that their species is only awake eight hours a day.

Now that’s a scary thought!

Temptations Releases ‘Tasty Human’ Flavor Treats For Halloween

I’ve never been more grateful that I’ve weaned Buddy off of Temptations.

The treats, which are famously irresistible to cats thanks to some strange alchemy that definitely isn’t healthy for them, now come in Tasty Human flavor in a new promotion for Halloween. (They’re heavy on corn and other fillers, as usual, but the meat ingredients in Tasty Human flavor come from chicken, liver and beef. Apparently we taste like KFC and burgers.)

The commercial spots are clever and humorous.

“I read that if our cats were bigger, they’d try to eat us!” a man whispers as ominous music plays and his cute cat grooms himself in the background. “So this Halloween, I’m gonna keep him satisfied with these.”

The man tosses a nervous look over his shoulder at his cat as the music swells with a horror movie-style orchestral stab, then he shakes the bag.

I won’t be buying any.

The popular cat treats are made by Mars, the almost $40 billion pet food and candy multinational that has had its own significant controversies, particularly with the use of slave labor in sourcing particular ingredients. Many of its pet food brands, such as Whiskas, are loaded with cheap carbohydrates and use by-product meal as their primary protein sources.

But I stopped feeding the Budster Temptations before I knew any of that, and for an entirely different reason: The little guy turned into a full-fledged kitty crack addict when he ate them.

Like any cat, Bud loves his treats, but when I fed him Temptations he had a one-track mind: The first thing he’d do in the morning was follow me to the kitchen, sit in front of the treat cabinet and meow incessantly for his precious Temps. It got to the point where he was turning his nose up at wet food he’d always liked and pestering me for Temptations instead. He was going full-on Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

I weaned him off once, stupidly folded less than a year later when I bought a bag for him on impulse (we were out of treats and the grocery store did not have any other kind), and had to wean him off the kitty crack a second time when he returned to his cracktastic ways.

Nowadays the little dude gets natural treats with non by-product meat as the main ingredients, and he behaves like a normal cat: He still loves his snacks, but he doesn’t ignore his wet food and howl at me for kitty crack.

tl;dr: Serve the Temps at your own risk. 🙂