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Cat Scans

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Got the idea from CliffyB's Cat Scan contest.   I wish I were clever enough to think of these things.

For those who don't have a clue, putting a cat on a scanner does not do anything harmful to the cat.  It's just a flourescent light.  It's got a little stepper motor that makes it sound funky, but it's not harmful to the cat at all.  In fact, when I first scanned Luka I didn't even have to hold her down.  She sat there quietly and watched the light bar go under her.  So even all of the sillyness about "burning out their eyes" is just air-headed hysteria.

My first couple of scans of Luka weren't very good because I was learning the software when I tried it.  The Agfa 1212U scanner seems to be a nice scanner, and the software installed easily enough, but it sucks.  Not enough options, and it doesn't save options between scans.  I tried Luka about three or four times, and then she started to get antsy, so I stopped.  I didn't want it to become some major trauma.  So the only images I have right now are of DunnoYet.

DunnoYet1_medium.jpg (24267 bytes)

DunnoYet2_medium.jpg (25073 bytes)

MightyAndDunnoYet.jpg (100348 bytes)

When I got DunnoYet people kept asking me what his name was and I kept saying, "Dunno, yet."  Rosy once came back with, "Hmm, that sounds Russian for tiger or something."  So the name stuck.

DunnoYet was definately "my" cat.  He followed me around everywhere.  He (usually) came when I called.  He wasn't the brightest cat I've ever owned, but he taught himself to play fetch.  When he was younger that was one of his favorite.  We'd sometimes play for 45 minutes or more.

DunnoYet was about 11 years old and was down to (!) 15 pounds when I scanned him.   I'm guessing he was close to 18 pounds before the cancer.  (And for those nuts about to accuse me of giving him cancer by scanning him, I'd like to point out he already had cancer before I even bought the scanner.)  I was used to him, but people who saw him were astounded by his size.  While he weighed a lot and was definately overweight, he didn't look incredibly obese.  He wasn't a round cat.  He was just big.

Around the middle of '99 I noticed a dramatic weight loss.  He had lymphosarcoma.   We fought it for about four months.  Apparently, the average length of remission is around six months.  I had jumped to the conclusion that I could buy him a couple of years.  During that entire time his temperment had not changed at all.   But the last few days it was obvious that he was going downhill fast and was really in discomfort.  I had him put down in November, '99.  That's the first time I've ever had to make that decision.  It was really hard.

I still miss him.

luka1.jpg (62002 bytes)

luka.jpg (82006 bytes)

Luka's doesn't like lying on the hard glass of the scanner because of her arthritis, so I can't get many tries with her.  For some reason, everytime I've tried the image has come out outrageously over-exposed.

When I first got the scanner I tried scanning Luka.  Many anti-cat-scan maniacs think that all cats are frightened out of their minds by scanners.  In reality, Luka laid on the scanner calmly as the light bar went under her.  She pricked her ears forward and watched it curiously.  She squinted a little, but it was clear that the light wasn't hurting her eyes at all.

Compared to normal office or home lighting, the light in a scanner is pretty bright.   But sunlight outdoors on a bright day is much brighter.   Animals handle bright sunlight just fine, so the light in a scanner is not in any way dangerous to their vision.

WhozitBlur.jpg (38770 bytes) Whozit, on the other hand, will likely never let herself be scanned.   She's a very skittish cat, and is nervous about almost everything.  She'll let me pet her, and whenever my roomies feed her when I'm out of town she'll let them pet her.   But she has to decide when she wants to be approached.  She hates being picked up and would very likely fight to get away as soon as the scanner made a noise under her.   So I'll have to settle for digital pictures.

Because of the zoom, it's hard to tell in these pictures, but she's actually a lot smaller than the other two cats.   Luka weighs about 15 pounds and Whozit weighs about 7 or 8 pounds.

FrostOnDresserMedium.jpg (23540 bytes) Frost is the new cat.  She's a refuge from my mom's.  Her neighborhood group was complaining about some cat or cats roaming the area and taunting indoor cats through the windows.  My mom has a cat door in her garage door, so there's no way to keep Frost inside.  So I took her to keep her from going to the pound.

She's a very personable cat.  But after two months, Whozit still hasn't accepted her.  They mostly ignore each other, but sometimes Frost chases Whozit around the room.

I'll be attempting a cat scan of Frost sometime soon.

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Last modified: January 25, 2003
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