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Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing

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Kitkat
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Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing

Post by Kitkat on 13th February 2013, 21:57

Nobody knows how it happened: an indoor house cat who got lost on a family excursion managing, after two months and about 200 miles, to return to her hometown.

Even scientists are baffled by how Holly, a 4-year-old tortoiseshell who in early November became separated from Jacob and Bonnie Richter at an R.V. rally in Daytona Beach, Fla., appeared on New Year’s Eve — staggering, weak and emaciated — in a backyard about a mile from the Richters’ house in West Palm Beach.

Read in full: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/19/one-cats-incredible-journey/



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Kitkat
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Re: Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing

Post by Kitkat on 13th February 2013, 21:59

And ... it definitely pays to have your pet microchipped.

Any pet owner still debating the merits of the microchip will be swayed by the story of Willow the calico cat.

Willow disappeared from her home in Boulder, Colo., five years ago. Her owners thought she had been killed by coyotes and had moved on. And Willow, apparently, just moved. She turned up this week in Manhattan, 1,800 miles from where she was last seen. A microchip implanted when she was a kitten helped track down her owners, according to The Associated Press.

The ASPCA recently reported on the story of Roxy the boxer, a pet that disappeared from her Staten Island home during a blizzard and showed up 20 miles away in Guttenberg, N.J., in March, where a police officer asked his vet to check to see if Roxy had a microchip.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/cat-found-5-years-1800-miles-and-one-microchip-later/

Aussiepom
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Re: Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing

Post by Aussiepom on 2nd March 2013, 12:04

I feel that most animals have that sense of....not sure what to call it....ability to track down their old home ground.
Could be smell but finding an old home so many thousand miles away must be a psychic gift or help given from somewhere else?
That sounds a bit stupid but what else does an animal have to lead or sense their way home from all that distance?
Animals are very sensitive not only by noses but instinct as well.

AP
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Pixie
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Re: Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing

Post by Pixie on 3rd March 2013, 07:29

Aussiepom wrote:I feel that most animals have that sense of....not sure what to call it....ability to track down their old home ground.
AP
It's called homing instinct nan.
Tried to copy and paste an interesting paragraph on that and something called psi trailing but me font keeps going weird every time I try to post...not enough patience or caffeine for that kind of mither on a Sunday morning...

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Re: Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing

Post by Aussiepom on 3rd March 2013, 12:12

That's it,Pixie.....needed that many a time when out for a boozy night with me mates.
Plus a map to get home.... sidestep

Nan xx
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Re: Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing

Post by Whiskers on 6th March 2013, 11:31

Pixie wrote:
Aussiepom wrote:I feel that most animals have that sense of....not sure what to call it....ability to track down their old home ground.
AP
It's called homing instinct nan.
Tried to copy and paste an interesting paragraph on that and something called psi trailing but me font keeps going weird every time I try to post...not enough patience or caffeine for that kind of mither on a Sunday morning...

Is is this Pixie? http://sonic.net/~pauline/psych.html

What is the"homing instinct"?

Homing instinct refers to the ability of an animal to perceive direction that is beyond the usual human five senses. There are two types of homing instinct: one type refers to the ability of an animal, after being moved, stolen, or lost outside their established territory, to return to their home base. Another type refers to the ability of an animal to follow their owner, when their owner has moved away and left the animal behind, called "psi trailing."

Scientists in Germany and the US have tested cats to find out if they had a this first type of homing instinct, the ability to return to home base after being removed. In the US test they sedated a bunch of cats (so that the cats could not consciously remember the route by sight, sound, smell, touch or taste), drove them on a very circuitous route to a big maze and then released the awakened cats, one by one. The maze had openings in 15 degree increments. The cats were left to wander at their leisure and exit if they wanted. More often than not, the cat exited the maze at the closest point towards their home. Older cats performed better than younger. Homing ability dropped off with distances greater than 7.5 miles from home.

One theory to explain this ability is that cats have sensitivity to the earth's magnetic field (perhaps because as they age more metal is deposited in their brain). When cats had magnets attached, the homing ability was disrupted.

What is "psi trailing"?

"Psi trailing" is a term that Dr. Joseph Rhine of Duke University coined to refer to animals managing to locate their owners after the owner moves away and leaves the animal behind. He documented a number of cases of this phenomenon, in all cases the animal had to have some distinguishing mark, abnormality, or previous injury by which the owner could positively identify the pet, in order to rule out any lookalike situations. In one case a cat followed its owner, a veterinarian, from New York to California. The cat settled down immediately in the "old cat's" favorite chair, and, after taking x-rays, the new cat also happened to have the same physical abnormality as the "old cat."

Dr. Myrna Milani, D.V.M., offers a few explanations for this phenomenon. One is that perhaps there is some dis-equilibrium when closely bonded creatures are separated, something that could one day be explained with something similar to Bell's Theorem. Bell's Theorem proposed that all electrons function in pairs, with each electron spinning in the opposite direction of the other electron. The physicist Bell speculated that if you change the spin of one electron, the other electron would "sense" it and alter its direction accordingly to the one whose spin was altered. When scientists began doing experiments in space, this was one of the first things they tested. And sure enough, when the spin of one electron taken into space was changed, its matched electron back on earth immediately altered its spin correspondingly.

If we mammals are made of cells, molecules, and atoms, maybe the bond between two creatures is not just with the "heart" but also some sort of "rhythm" on an "actual" cellular or atomic level that is disrupted when the physical bond is disrupted?
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Re: Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing

Post by Pixie on 7th March 2013, 08:37

That's the one!
Don't know what I was doing wrong...it wouldn't copy without the font being too small and I couldn't change it manually.

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