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Looking for a New Career? This U.K. Café is Hiring a Cat Nanny

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If you’re obsessed with cats and looking to make a career change, here’s some good news: A cat café opening this spring in Manchester, England, is hiring a cat nanny.

The Telegraph reports that the position at Cat Café Manchester pays £8 an hour and includes responsibilities like playing with and feeding the café’s many felines. From the job description, which was posted on Facebook:

The role of a Cat Nanny is to look after the general wellbeing of the Manchester Cat family alongside encouraging customer interaction with the cats. You will be required to look after the cats and the customers to the highest standards at all times. Shifts for Cat Nannies can be around the clock, when the café is both open to the public and closed. Our opening hours are 9am-9pm Monday to Sunday.

But the job won't be all cuddling and playtime. The cat nanny will also be responsible for cleaning litter and changing the bedding for the cats’ beds.

Co-owners (and sisters) Ellie and Sophie Close hope the café, which is scheduled to open this June, provides a relaxing and educational environment for cats and humans alike. “We want it to be warm comfy and a good place for stress relief,” Ellie told the Manchester Evening News. “People will be able to learn about the breeds and about the individual cats. They’ll even have their own Twitter profiles.”

If you’re interested in applying or finding out more about the operation, check out the café’s Facebook page.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Big Questions
Do Cats Fart?
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Certain philosophical questions can invade even the most disciplined of minds. Do aliens exist? Can a soul ever be measured? Do cats fart?

While the latter may not have weighed heavily on some of history’s great brains, it’s certainly no less deserving of an answer. And in contrast to existential queries, there’s a pretty definitive response: Yes, they do. We just don’t really hear it.

According to veterinarians who have realized their job sometimes involves answering inane questions about animals passing gas, cats have all the biological hardware necessary for a fart: a gastrointestinal system and an anus. When excess air builds up as a result of gulping breaths or gut bacteria, a pungent cloud will be released from their rear ends. Smell a kitten’s butt sometime and you’ll walk away convinced that cats fart.

The discretion, or lack of audible farts, is probably due to the fact that cats don’t gulp their food like dogs do, leading to less air accumulating in their digestive tract.

So, yes, cats do fart. But they do it with the same grace and stealth they use to approach everything else. Think about that the next time you blame the dog.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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environment
How Japan's 'Dancing' Cats Predicted a Deadly Environmental Disaster
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In the 1950s, residents of Minamata, Japan, noticed that something was wrong with the city's cats. As the SciShow's Hank Green recounts in the video below, the cats would convulse, make strange noises and jerking "dancing" motions—and eventually die. Soon, these symptoms spread to the local townspeople, and scientists began searching for the cause of the terrifying sickness.

The culprit was soon revealed to be the Chisso Corporation, a Japanese chemical company with a factory in Minamata. About 30 years earlier, the company had begun making an organic chemical called acetaldehyde, using mercury as a catalyst to trigger the needed reactions. Afterwards, the company dumped the leftover chemicals into Minamata Bay, where the mercury came into contact with bacteria that transformed it into the most noxious form of the metal: methylmercury. This toxic substance was absorbed by plants, which were in turn eaten by fish. Eventually, the methylmercury made its way up the food chain and poisoned both felines and humans. Birth defects became rampant, and more than 900 people died. Thousands of victims have since been identified. The neurological syndrome caused by extreme mercury poisoning is now known as Minamata disease.

You can learn more about the worst mercury poisoning disaster the world has ever seen by watching the video below.

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