ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 06: Brooke Burke-Charvet helps Purina Cat Chow celebrate 50 Years at Fulton County Animal Services on June 6, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Purina)

Last month we lost our 21-year-old cat named “Terrible.” She lived up to the name when she was younger but in the long run was a pretty cool cat. As we all know there are dog people and cat people so this week I’ll do cats and next week we can explore some notable dog facts. So for all you cat lovers —

Fun Facts About Cats

  • Cats spend about two thirds of their lives sacked out. If you cat is twelve years old that mean that it spent about eight years of its life asleep.
  • Cats have different key taste receptors than dogs so you cat doesn’t have a sweet tooth like your dog does.
  • When humans and dogs run their heads usually bob up and down. When a cat is running down that mouse it will keep its head perfectly level.
  • If “hairball” is a distasteful term around your house you can always use the more technical term of “bezoar.” It does sound a little better.
  • What’s the technical name for a herd of cats? That would be a “clowder.”
  • While dogs only make about 10 sounds, cat owners know that cats have about 100 ways to tell you to leave them alone.
  • Since cats’ claws only work one way when they climb trees they have to back down the tree much like a lumberjack rather than descending headfirst.
  • Female cats are right handed, or pawed. Male cats tend to be left pawed. While 90 percent of all humans are right handed, the remaining 10% of lefties are mostly male too.
  • There are 73 million cats in North America compared to 63 million dogs. Thirty percent of families in North America own a cat. Probably because of the litter box thing and cats could care less if you leave alone as long as there’s food and water. Dogs require much more attention.
  • The fact that a cat’s brain is much more similar to the human brain explains a lot. The part of our brain that controls emotions is identical to the cat. So yes, they do know what you’re thinking.
  • Cats can be expensive. The most expensive cat ever was Little Nicky who cost $50,000. What made him so expensive? He was a clone of an older cat. If you have enough money your cat will never die.
  • Cats can run at a top speed of about 31 mph for short distances and can jump up to five times their height. Anyone who’d ever scared one knows this.
  • Cats hear much better than dogs. Cats can hear sounds two octaves higher than humans.
  • Cats’ good hearing paid off in the Holland Embassy in Moscow, Russia when cats started scratching at the walls. The cats were hearing the Russian listening devices being turned on thinking they might be mice.

Some Final Thoughts

Most pets are amazing creatures. They are happy to see us when we come home. They give us unconditional love. They are often a pain in the — you know what, but what would we do without them? They share our happiness and console us when we are sad. They have a way of becoming legitimate family members and their lives are often way too short. So take a few minutes to appreciate what you have because it won’t be there forever.