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Instructables user hatstand4510
Instructables user hatstand4510

15 Pieces of Seriously Geeky Cat Gear

Instructables user hatstand4510
Instructables user hatstand4510

If you’re like 99 percent of other people surfing online right now, you love geeky stuff and cats. So what better way to enjoy both at the same time than with some geeky cat toys like these?

1. Time and Relative Dimension in Cat Nip

Tardis Builders user astromark’s cat loves boxes, so he built a half-scale replica for his kitty, Kaylee. He even incorporated her name into the lock design.

2. Doctor Mew, I Presume

This TARDIS cat house by Etsy seller The Cat Ball might not be as big as the first, but on the plus side, it doesn’t take up that much space. Also, just as some cats prefer bags over boxes, some felines enjoy a small, crushable space more than a massive, sturdy cat condo.

3. Go Ahead, Attack The TARDIS

Is your kitty a bigger fan of Daleks than of The Doctor? Is he bent on world domination? Then don’t give him a TARDIS to hang out in—give him one to beat up, like this toy by Etsy seller Kanga23, so he can pretend like he’s putting The Doctor in danger every time he pounces.

4. Boldly Going Where No Cat Has Gone Before

Is your cat a total Trekkie? Make his playtime out of this world with this U.S.S. Enterprise amazing cat tree! Best of all, thanks to Instructables user hatstand4510, you can even follow the instructions to make your own.

5. The Trouble With Kitty Tribbles

Etsy seller Kitty of Mine offers another great surprise for any Trekkie kitties out there—Tribble cat toys. While they don’t repopulate like the ones in the show, they are made from recycled fur coats, so your cat is certain to love them.

6. CAT-AT

It might not actually walk, but this cat condo by Redditor BillyAppletini is a pretty spot-on replica of an AT-AT Walker—at least on the outside. The inside actually looks more like a little kitty mancave with tiny bird head trophies on the wall and a full bar with airplane-sized booze bottles on the wall.

7. Use the Force, Fluffy

What kitty doesn’t want to be a Jedi master? Thanks to Etsy seller GEEKitty, every cat has the chance to learn the way of the Force. Just remember not to give these to skittish kitties as fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering.

8. Is Your Fluff Ball A Rebel or A Loyalist to the Empire?

Head to your local Petco any time after mid-September to get your hands on their new line of Star Wars toys. While most of the products are for pups, they do have a Princess Leia headband for cats; mice toys that look like Yoda, Darth, Chewie and a Stormtrooper; cat teasers with Yoda, Darth, a TIE fighter, and the Millennium Falcon on a string; and feathered ball toys that look like Darth, the Death Star, C-3PO, and R2-D2.

9. Angry Cats With Angry Birds

Another of the handful of commercially-available geek toys for cats are those featuring the characters from Angry Birds. Hartz partnered up with the gaming company to release vibrating plush toys, plastic balls, and a wand toy all featuring your favorite angry avians.

10. Level Up, Kitty

With a piranha plant and a question box, this cat tree by Instructables user Geckoo_Designs is perfect for any cat fascinated by the Mario Bros. series. Unfortunately, while it is posted on Instructables, only the materials, tools and a few tips have been included, so you’ll have to use your imagination if you want to create your own.

11. So Many Questions to Bash Open

If you don’t have the skills or space for a Mario cat tree, you can always get a question box cat toy for your kitty instead, courtesy of Etsy seller GEEKitty.

12. The Dungeon Kitty Master

If your little bundle of fluff prefers old-school games to video games, this D20, also from GEEKitty, is just what she’ll need to host an all-feline D&D session.

13. Gotta Catch ‘Em All?

If your cat seems to kill mice and lizards just so she can build a collection of all the dead animal species in your area, then perhaps she secretly wishes they were Pokemon. If that’s the case, these Pokeball cat toys by Etsy seller ShyLemon might curb her killing spree—at least, until she figures out how to trap the creatures inside the balls.

14. Night of the Living Cat Toys

Speaking of dead things, maybe your little fluff ball just wants to kill something in the hopes that it will come back to life. If she’s obsessed with the living dead, then she’ll certainly love this zombie cat toy by Etsy seller misohandmade.

15. Technological Kitties Only

Looking for something free for your cat to play with that won’t clutter your home? Then download some of these great Games For Cats on your tablet and let your kitty go wild thanks to Friskies.

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Pigeons Are Secretly Brilliant Birds That Understand Space and Time, Study Finds
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Of all the birds in the world, the pigeon draws the most ire. Despite their reputation as brainless “rats with wings,” though, they’re actually pretty brilliant (and beautiful) animals. A new study adds more evidence that the family of birds known as pigeons are some of the smartest birds around, as Quartz alerts us.

In addition to being able to distinguish English vocabulary from nonsense words, spot cancer, and tell a Monet from a Picasso, pigeons can understand abstract concepts like space and time, according to the new study published in Current Biology. Their brains just do it in a slightly different way than humans’ do.

Researchers at the University of Iowa set up an experiment where they showed pigeons a computer screen featuring a static horizontal line. The birds were supposed to evaluate the length of the line (either 6 centimeters or 24 centimeters) or the amount of time they saw it (either 2 or 8 seconds). The birds perceived "the longer lines to have longer duration, and lines longer in duration to also be longer in length," according to a press release. This suggests that the concepts are processed in the same region of the brain—as they are in the brains of humans and other primates.

But that abstract thinking doesn’t occur in the same way in bird brains as it does in ours. In humans, perceiving space and time is linked to a region of the brain called the parietal cortex, which the pigeon brains lack entirely. So their brains have to have some other way of processing the concepts.

The study didn’t determine how, exactly, pigeons achieve this cognitive feat, but it’s clear that some other aspect of the central nervous system must be controlling it. That also opens up the possibility that other non-mammal animals can perceive space and time, too, expanding how we think of other animals’ cognitive capabilities.

[h/t Quartz]

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The Queen's Racing Pigeons Are in Danger, Due to an Increase in Peregrine Falcons
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Queen Elizabeth is famous for her love of corgis and horses, but her pet pigeons don't get as much press. The monarch owns nearly 200 racing pigeons, which she houses in a luxury loft at her country estate, Sandringham House, in Norfolk, England. But thanks to a recent boom in the region’s peregrine falcon population, the Queen’s swift birds may no longer be able to safely soar around the countryside, according to The Telegraph.

Once endangered, recent conservation efforts have boosted the peregrine falcon’s numbers. In certain parts of England, like Norfolk and the city of Salisbury in Wiltshire, the creatures can even find shelter inside boxes installed at local churches and cathedrals, which are designed to protect potential eggs.

There’s just one problem: Peregrine falcons are birds of prey, and local pigeon racers claim these nesting nooks are located along racing routes. Due to this unfortunate coincidence, some pigeons are failing to return to their owners.

Pigeon racing enthusiasts are upset, but Richard Salt of Salisbury Cathedral says it's simply a case of nature taking its course. "It's all just part of the natural process,” Salt told The Telegraph. "The peregrines came here on their own account—we didn't put a sign out saying 'room for peregrines to let.' Obviously we feel quite sorry for the pigeons, but the peregrines would be there anyway."

In the meantime, the Queen might want to keep a close eye on her birds (or hire someone who will), or consider taking advantage of Sandringham House's vast open spaces for a little indoor fly-time.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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