Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?

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istock

Felines have a knack for knocking things off their perches—even after you plead with them not to. There's something seemingly passive-aggressive about the way they slowly tip over your belongings, but are they intentionally being jerks? According to experts, this behavior has a few explanations, but being a bully probably isn't one of them.

One possible reason for your kitty acting up is boredom. Cats need stimulation just like you do, but they're probably not up for binge-watching HGTV with you. Knocking something over also earns them attention (a.k.a. you running into the room after hearing a crash).

“Your cat is curious, not purposefully aggravating," My Cat from Hell's Jackson Galaxy told Parade. "And, depending on how you look at it, bored! Think about a toddler who has been given crayons, but no paper. Hello, bedroom wall mural! Ask yourself, ‘Do we have enough cat toys?’ If the answer is yes, would he still rather bat a cup off the table? If so, it’s time to get new toys!”

This destructive habit is likely derived from a more primitive behavior called "toying." When your pet starts pawing at items, it's similar to them batting around prey. 

"Your cat's instincts tell her that paperweight or knickknack could turn out to be a mouse. Her poking paw would send it scurrying, giving her a good game (and possibly a good lunch)," Dr. H. Ellen Whiteley told How Stuff Works

Your naturally curious cat doesn't mean your shelves any harm, so if you need to blame anything, blame feline boredom—or gravity.

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Massive Swarms of Migrating Dragonflies Are So Large They’re Popping Up on Weather Radar

emprised/iStock via Getty Images
emprised/iStock via Getty Images

What do Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio all have in common? Epic swarms of dragonflies, among other things.

WSLS-TV reports that this week, weather radar registered what might first appear to be late summer rain showers. Instead, the green blotches turned out to be swarms of dragonflies—possibly green darners, a type of dragonfly that migrates south during the fall.

Norman Johnson, a professor of entomology at The Ohio State University, told CNN that although these swarms happen occasionally, they’re definitely not a regular occurrence. He thinks the dragonflies, which usually prefer to travel alone, may form packs based on certain weather conditions. If that sounds vague, it’s because it is: Johnson said that entomologists haven’t worked out all the details when it comes to dragonfly migration. They do know that the airborne insects cover an average of eight miles per day, while some overachievers can fly as far as 86.

Based on the radar footage shared by the National Weather Service’s Cleveland Office, the dragonfly clouds seem almost menacing. But, while swarms of any insect species aren’t exactly delightful, these creatures are both harmless and surprisingly beautiful, at least up close. Anna Barnett, a resident of Jeromesville, Ohio, even told CNN that witnessing the natural phenomenon was “amazing!”

Amazing as it may be to see, it’s hard to hear news about unpredictable animal behavior without wondering if it’s related in some way to Earth’s rising temperatures. After all, climate change has already affected wasps in Alabama, polar bears in Russia, and no doubt countless other animal species around the world.

[h/t WSLW-TV]

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