Finding out secret lives of felines promises to fascinating

info@islandpacket.comAugust 14, 2012 

Researchers in Athens, Ga. -- my hometown -- outfitted 60 cats with "critter cams" so their activities could be filmed.

Before the cats were let out each morning, owners snapped on breakaway collars and at night took them off and downloaded the footage. These were the smallest mobile systems to record animal behavior ever made.

The cats, it was discovered, wandered everywhere and engaged in very risky pursuits. They crossed busy streets, explored very tiny spaces, drank dirty water and tasted all kinds of things. They caught and ate lizards, snakes, frogs, bugs and birds.

Male cats were more likely to take bigger risks, and female cats and kittens were more cautious.

The researchers will present their findings at a conference in Portland, Oregon. I would love to see the films. I bet those cats had lots of fun.

  • Julia Child would have been 100 years old today. Ten years ago I was at her 90th birthday celebration in Charleston. There is a new biography of her life called "Dearie," by Bob Spitz. I can't wait to read it. Happy Birthday Julia!

  • * The Dock Street Theater in Charleston and the Footlight Players will present "Porgy and Bess." The Dock Street Theater is wonderful venue for this classic opera. "Porgy and Bess" was written by George and Ira Gershwin and Dubose Heyward.

    Luke Peeples, his father built my store, was Bluffton's composer of folk music. Luke was visited by this famed trio while they were writing their opera. Luke was known as an expert on the Gullah dialect, and they needed his advice on wording.

    "Porgy and Bess" runs through Aug. 19. Details: 843-722-4487, www.footlightplayers.net

  • You are invited to join us at The Store, from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 23 for "Tea and Trinkets." Nancy Wellard will be having a wonderful estate sale featuring antique jewelry, linens and silver items.

  • This is a benefit for the American Cancer Society of the Lowcountry.

    So stop by to visit with Nancy, have a sip of tea and shop the tag sale -- all for a great cause.

  • Are you ready for some peanuts? Well get your taste buds in a row for our first Boiled Peanut Boiloff on Aug. 30. Prizes and just plain fun are in store. If you would like to enter your favorite boiled goober or if you would like to be a sponsor, go to www.blufftonboilers.com.

  • * What were your favorite sports at the Olympics? I thought dressage was beautiful. Those horses and riders were so graceful. Every athlete was wonderful. Imagine living and breathing a sport for most of your life. What an amazing time for all of the participants.

    Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.

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