SCIENCE GOES WILD PART 15 - SAMURAI PIZZA CATS/BLACK CAT
By Alex Wiggan (and Ryan the work experience lad)
Hey there guys, welcome back once again! This week Ryan and I are stood outside Domino’s Pizza, on Oxford Road in Manchester, because in this chapter we’re looking at the Samurai Pizza Cats! Yes I know once again we’re looking at cats, but fear not dear readers this time around we’re looking a little closer to home by focusing on the domestic variety. Those Samurai Pizza Cats are not the only felines that we’re focusing on though, because Ryan and I will also be taking a close look at Spidey’s on/off squeeze the Black Cat. Anyway there’s no time to waste, so let’s get started!
WHO ARE THE SAMURAI PIZZA CATS AND WHO THE HECK IS BLACK CAT?
The Samurai Pizza Cats were a group of superheroes (Speedy Cerviche, Polly Esther and Guido Anchovy) who first appeared in the Japanese anime series of the same name in 1990 and who kind of looked like kitties that had been stuffed into Robocop’s day wear. As for Black Cat, this flirty feline was the Marvel Comics superhero who first appeared in Amazing Spider-man #194 in 1979 and was created by Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard. Black Cat was a cat burglar and on/off love interest of Spider-man, but she also became a pretty capable super heroine and stood side-by-side with Spidey during many an adventure!
ARE THEY PEOPLE OR CATS?
Both! The Samurai Pizza Cats are actual cats, but Black Cat is a human who acts like a cat… well sort of. Think of her as being very much like DC Comics' Catwoman, only a bit more slutty and a lot less cat-like.
OH, RIGHT. SO TELL ME ALL ABOUT CATS.
OK, well cats are also known as Felis catus or by the more commonly known name of the domestic cat. These animals are extremely widespread across the world (there’s an estimated 500 million of them out there), they’re the natural enemies of birds and they come in different shapes, sizes and colours. The first recording of a domestic cat dates back around 9,500 years ago and in ancient Egypt they were seen as sacred animals.
Cats have many great attributes... including amazing hearing, a great sense of smell, fantastic night vision (although they struggle to distinguish colours) and the ability to pass their bodies through almost any space that they can fit their heads through! This is due to having forelimbs attached to shoulders by free-floating clavicle bones, which basically means they can move their limbs in and out when needed. Clever, aren’t they?
OOOH THAT'S INTERESTING... TELL ME MORE!
Well cats walk on their toes, they use their claws as a form of self-defence, their tongues are covered in tiny spines called papillae and they don’t sweat! In fact they can even rehydrate by drinking seawater, which is something we certainly can’t do. The clever buggers!
Erm... cats communicate by making a variety of different noises (purring, meowing etc), they can’t taste sweet things and if a cat falls from up high it can twist its body so that it right itself before it lands on the ground! Oh and did I mention that they’re also randy sods too?
Yep, just like you and a number of other animals in Science Goes Wild, cats are serial shaggers! During mating season when a female cat is considered to be ‘in heat’,she can be impregnated by more than one male! This often results in a mixed litter of kittens with more than one father and the female cat (known as a molly) can have 2 – 3 litters a year!
SO HOW ALIKE ARE THE SAMURAI PIZZA CATS, BLACK CAT AND DOMESTIC CATS?
Well the Pizza Cats are most like domestic cats as they are actual cats, but Black Cat is quite like a cat thanks to her ‘supernatural’ abilities and...
Well, old wives tales and a number of stories from folklore have it that cats have certain supernatural connections. Black Cat has been known to have the ability to induce bad luck for those that cross her path, which in itself is something taken from folklore and makes her quite cat-like!
HANG ON A MINUTE; ARE CATS REALLY SUPERNATURAL?
Erm.. no. But it’s not difficult to see why people of ancient times believed they were! As mentioned earlier, cats have a pretty unique ability to correct themselves when falling from up high, which lead many people to believe that they were practically invincible and therefore had more than one life. Of course they don’t, but there’s clearly become a supernatural connection between this and the fact that they land on their feet all the time and that’s why cats were believed to be quite mysterious creatures.
OK, SO NOW TAKING INTO ACCOUNT ALL THE STUFF WE LEARNT IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER ON WILD CATS…WOULD A DOMESTIC CAT MAKE A BETTER SUPERHERO THAN A WILD CAT?
Actually they probably would. Cats are pretty sociable creatures; they seem to get on well with humans and...
...oh hell, no of course they wouldn’t!
Come on, do you think you could ever really trust a cat? As if.
Right dear readers, we’ll be back next week to bring the final chapter of this epic journey to you, so don’t forget to return once more when we’ll be looking at dogs!