Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NYT and Cats

On Sept. 24, 2013, the Science section of the New York Times contained a short item in its column of recent developments.

The item was a roundup piece about cats.

First it reported that the Iranians might send a Persian (how appropriate) into space as a prelude to launching a human in 2018. Okay... as long as it survives without trauma.

More disturbing, it reported that the genome of the Siberian tiger, largest of the cat family, had a "more than 95 percent similarity to the genome of the domestic cat."

Actually, that's cool. But this derivitave fact was used to explain "why our cats aren't very nice to us."

Excuse me! My cats are extremely nice to me. One of them, Herbie, is extremely nice to every living human being. Guinness, I must admit, is nice only to me but he is extremely nice, staying awake twice as long as most cats to watch over my every activity. When I'm working at the computer, he will walk in front of the keyboard when it is time for me to pay more attention to him, but that isn't not nice. It's just staying connected.

I value and respect most of the New York Times, especially its Science section but, really, any intelligent person should know that you cannot judge an entire species (or race, or gender or religion) by the fact that one or two individuals aren't very nice. After all, we wouldn't do that with humans would we?

Or would we?

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