Posted by: Green Knight | March 14, 2013

Cats as Cheap Microclimate Sensors

Jim Augustyn wrote “The Solar Cat Book” in 1979, and put out a revised version about 25 years later. The idea is simple: your cat follows the sunbeam around the house to find a warm place to sleep. The book uses that concept as a primer for understanding solar energy. The cartoons and captions are amusing, and it’s still a great resource. I’ve had a few e-mail exchanges with him, and he’s a delightful person.

Many years ago I was looking at a label on a can of cat food, when I was considering buying some taurine additive powder to keep my kitties healthy, and I saw something about how it was approved by the NRC. Turns out it was the National Research Council, but me being enviro-me, I immediately thought of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, then I thought back to Jim’s book, and thought, “aha! I don’t have solar cats, I have NUCLEAR cats!” (Cheap thrills are all I can afford.)

At any rate, last night I noted that Mr. Shrimp Scampi, an injured alley kitten that my rescue friends Jackie and Christine helped me save, was exhibiting a new behavior. In the past, he’d play with the little cat bed that Jackie gave him, in one spot, trying to disembowel it with his hind feet, flipping it upside-down and sleeping on it that way, etc., but now he’s dragging it to different spots in my main room and sleeping there. He’s not sunbeam-chasing, so all I can think is that he’s finding the warmest microclimate spots in my place. Critters are smart!

scampi2(the photo is old, but that’s Scampi in his kitty bed.)



  1. Scampi may have had an overdose of his nuclear food – he looks all worn out 🙂

  2. he had the art of sprawl perfected even as a kitten!

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