[image and article credit--where else but Boing Boing?]
I for one think it's about time my kitties started earning their keep. The data from 1877 is as relevant today as it was 136 years ago. This is an idea whose time has clearly come:
A variety of animals have been used to deliver mail over the years, from camels and dogs to horses and pigeons. But cats? According to a 19th century article in the New York Times, around 1877 the Belgian Society for the Elevation of the Domestic Cat tested 37 cats for the task by taking them far from the city of Liege where they "promptly proceeded to 'scat.'" Within 24 hours, they had all returned home.
This result has greatly encouraged the society, and it is proposed to establish at an early day a regular system of cat communication between Liege and the neighboring villages. Messages are to be fastened in water-proof bags around the necks of the animals, and it is believed that, unless the criminal class of dogs undertakes to waylay and rob the mail-cats, the messages will be delivered with rapidity and safety.
The fact that we do not now have this service means only one thing: just as the 1877 investigators feared, a criminal class of dogs must have undertaken to waylay and rob the mail-cats.
Maybe if the NRA armed cats and encouraged them to stand their ground....?
The link to Ultrarunning is this: I have certainly have had some bad encounters with dogs over the years, but never a confrontation with a cat. Just another side benefit of the plan.