- Ada, Oklahoma


January 30, 2013

Modern cat physics


Ada —

Missy, who had been quite mischievous in her kittenhood, is now quite the regal lady.  She views every human in the world besides my wife Jean with an emotion somewhere between disdain and contempt.  This is to say, she is a cat.

Stars, the Countess Dowager of our home, has grown over the years.  At one time, she had an appearance not unlike the other cats of our three, but over the years she has expanded.  Currently her shape is somewhat between that of a football and a basketball, breaking toward the latter if the observer is forced to choose.

Recently, it struck me that this change has occurred mostly since the arrival of Tyson.  This, of course, cannot be a coincidence.  Rather, it is a consequence of the laws of cat physics.  Tyson isn’t really a cat in the typical understanding of the concept.  This is clear because of his dog-like behavior. But he has a perfect feline shape and appearance.  He’s clearly not a dog.  Therefore he must be an anti-cat.  

He is to a regular cat what a positron is to an electron; what an anti-proton is to a proton.

Those who are familiar with how matter and anti-matter interact--i.e. mutual destruction--will not be disappointed by how he gets along with the other cats.  This is to say, he doesn’t.

The clincher on the theory, though, is Stars’s increased size.  Her mass has increased in proportion to Tyson’s.  As Tyson grew, his mass as an anti-cat and the preservation of cat number has forced Stars to increase her mass.  Her mass has to increase double to that of Tyson’s: once to cancel his mass and once to account for the missing third cat.  The only other way to explain it would be her eating out of the cat food sack when our backs are turned, and what cat would do that?

No, the theory of cat physics and the preservation of cat number are unparalleled in their explanatory power.  There are doubtless other discoveries to be made.

(Bobby Winters, a native of Harden City, Oklahoma, is Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Mathematics at Pittsburg State University. He blogs at and You may contact him at )


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