Some of you are cat lovers, some are dog lovers, and some love them both.  I’ve had both cats and dogs, but have to admit that I tend more towards dogs than cats.  From personal experience, I can tell you that there are many differences between cats and dogs including their behavior, temperament and habits.

Cats seem to be more aloof, arrogant and kind of prissy, while dogs are greeting tongues with a lot of fur and wagging tail attached.  Dogs tend to be more people sociable than most cats.  Cats like to be left alone while dogs generally want to be with their owners.  Dogs will wolf down (pardon the pun) their food while cats are dainty eaters.

At the moment, my wife and I have two adorable Maltese and you can always tell when they get a drink of water, especially our male, Timothy.  Whenever he finishes getting a drink, he comes running up to us to be loved with a very wet chin which I call the mop chin syndrome for obvious reasons.

When I did have cats, I never recall any of them having the mop chin syndrome after they got a drink.  My sister even had a very fluffy long haired cat that also never had a mop chin after drinking.

When you watch cats and dogs drink, there is a great deal of similarity between them, except the wetness or dryness of the chins afterwards.  I never really thought about it much until I read a recent article discussing a study done on how cats drink.

Researchers carefully filmed cats drinking and then meticulously studied the films.  Unlike dogs that just lap up the water as fast as they can, sending water everywhere, cats seemed to have mastered the physics of fluid dynamics and channeled the water directly into their mouths.

Dogs kind of cup their tongues forward  and backward trying to lift as much water up as possible.  They more or less slash the water up into their mouths as fast as they can.  Note in the photo that the water seems to be just randomly splashing as the dog drinks.

Cats, on the hard, curl their tongues under and slightly back while leaving the upper surface of the tip of the tongue to gently skim the surface of the water.  According to the researchers, cats balance the forces of gravity and inertia to create a column of water to drink from.  As the cat’s tongue caresses the surface of the water, it draws an upward stream to its mouth which it captures at precisely the right moment before gravity draws it back down.  To add to the effectiveness of the physics involved, they discovered that the cats lapped up the water at a rate that yielded the most water for the least amount of energy expended.

To see if this drinking mechanism was unique to house cats or all cats, the research visited zoos to film some of the larger cats and found videos of others that they could use.  In all, they were able to observe the drinking habits of lions, leopards, cheetahs, tigers, bobcats and ocelots.  They were all found to have the same drinking mechanics.  The only differences were the rate of tongue laps per second compared to the size of the cat and tongue.  House cats averaged about 4 tongue laps per second while the large cats like lions and tigers averaged about 2 tongue laps per second to optimize the balance of inertia and gravity.

While the research originally started out as curiosity on the part of the head researcher, who happens to be a cat owner, there may be some practical uses in the field of soft-robotics.  Soft-robotics is the use the use of soft non-metallic parts in the robotic field.

What I found interesting in this study was the fact that all members of the cat family used the same efficient drinking technique.  How did they learn a completely different technique than members of the dog family or other mammals unless they were designed that way from the beginning.

Most creationists that are studying created kinds, a field also known as baraminology (bara = created, min=kind, ology=study of), believe that there was only one, possible two at the most, originally created cat kinds to start with.  A universal family trait like the unique drinking style would help support the idea of only one or two created cat kind.  From the original cat kinds, it is very conceivable to produce all of the different cats we see today and in the fossil record.  Just look at the huge variety in size and shape of the members of the dog family today, from the 2 pound teacup Chihuahua to the 300+ pound Old English Mastiff.

Not only can we appreciate the special design features that God placed in cats, but the more we study them, the more see evidence to support the biblical account of Creation.

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