Sometimes something that
we see every day is taken for granted as normal, when in fact it is
incredible. We have all seen cats drink water, but how many of us
realize that the method cats use is so fast we do not actually see
it. Cat tongues move at a meter per second so when we watch their
tongue move, all we see is a blur.
The acts of drinking may seem common place for us humans, because we
can create suction which makes drinking much easier for us than for
dogs or cats. Dogs thrust their tongues into the water forming a
crude cup. They then haul the cup back into their muzzle bringing
the captured water with it. It is sort of like throwing buckets of
water at a fire — a relatively sloppy, inefficient system.
Cats lap water so fast that only with high speed photography are we
able to see what they do. The cat darts its tongue, curving the
upper side downward so that the tip lightly touches the surface of
the water. The water adheres to the smooth surface of the tongue,
and the tongue is then pulled upward at a high speed, drawing a
column of water behind it. Just at the moment when gravity overcomes
the rise of the water and starts to pull the column down, the cats
jaws close over the column of water and the water is swallowed. The
cat has an instinctive ability to calculate the point at which
gravitational force overcomes inertia and the water starts to fall.
The cat laps four times a second, so all we see is a blur.
Scientists at MIT, Princeton, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute
have studied big and small cats and find this ability to be present
in all forms of feline life. It is another reminder of God’s
provision for all living things, something many of us need to stop
and consider as we look at God’s design for our own lives.
Source: The New York Times,
November 12, 2010, page A10.
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