Friday, July 20, 2012

San Jose and Winged Cats

  I was in San Jose (CA)  recently and I had the opportunity to explore downtown San Jose. I always thought of San Jose as bland, but the downtown area is actually quite charming. While there, I went to the art museum, an art gallery and a sushi restaurant. All were great especially the art museum. My favorite exhibit was Sandow Birk's 'Divine Comedy.' His art was a modern day take on Dantes Divine Comedy.

    When I was little I really liked a book called "Catwings" by Ursula K. Le Guin. It is about a mother cat and her kittens, but they are not ordinary cats, they have wings! It is a fanciful notion and I like imagining cats flying in the air. But recently I learned about something interesting- real life winged cats. Winged cats from this world are not quite as magical as their fictional counterparts. The winged cats of reality are more like penguins because they can not actually fly. Although witnesses of winged cats sometimes say the cats use their wings to gain leverage when they leap for prey. Their wings are not feathered like a bird, but rather strange wing shaped appendages covered with cat fur. There are three explanations for winged cats. The first, and most boring explanation is that the wings are just large tufts of matted fur. If a cat has a matt large enough to look like a wing, I feel very sorry for that poor cat. Another explanation is the cat has a strange skin condition that makes its fur extra elastic. When I looked on Wikipedias winged cat page, there was no explanation on how elastic skin leads to wings. My guess is that the skin stretched out until it is long like wings. The third explanation is that is that the wings are extra limbs shaped like wings.


Artha Arihta said...

Amazing photos!
I like the summer feel in these photos and,
first, i was the same with you, thought that the wings cat actually can fly.

Amber said...

Thank you Artha! It would be awesome if the winged cats could fly. I'd like to look up in the sky and see a fluffy cat fluttering around. Although I would be concerned for the fate of all birds.