Tag Archives: hey this is science

The Feline Heat Index

“Hey.” I sit up in bed. Two kittens, serenading me from the shelf where our toothbrushes are plugged in, stop singing and look over at me. The jump down and run to the bed. Four front paws – two snowy white and two stripey brown – come up on the edge of the bed and two adorable kitten faces pop up behind them.

“Shut.” I say, pointing to Oliver.

“Up.” I say, pointing to Obi.

They look disappointed. I noticed that as I plopped back down to the pillow. But last night was the first night in a week that it had cooled down enough to sleep comfortably. See, in Cheyenne there’s only five days out of the year where you really need air conditioning. And this? This is day eight.

The humans are not pleased. And this morning, Kitten Thunder decided that they wanted to be fed early. Like before it was light out early. And they launched a dedicated, widely varied effort of Girl annoyance.

The kittens are suffering too. They do, after all, have heavy fur coats and it doesn’t much matter if they’re naked underneath.

How do I know they’re uncomfortable? I’m trained to read the Feline Heat Index:

Generally seen in Wyoming winter - October through April - the Cold FHI keeps the core compact for heat conservation.

As temperatures rise, the core of the cat expands both for optimum heat exchange - solar in, hair out.

When the FHI reaches hot, cats will stretch to full length to make it easier for heat to escape. This does not negate their need for a sunbeam.

At too hot FHI levels, your cat's spine will start to pop in the effort to stretch beyond capacity. Be nice and put some ice in the water dish. Ice cream would be lovely, thank you. And - hey! - has that ceiling fan always been there?

As I sat in the living room, dripping, The Boy came in a turned on the ceiling fan. Hey…we have a ceiling fan! Honestly, I’d forgotten. So had Oliver. Over and over and over. And over.

And over.

The first night we had it on he walked into the room and hit the deck. “What is that thing!?!” He jumped up on the couch with me and flinched as he looked up. “What is that thing!?!” He dozed off. Then woke with a start. “What is that thing!?!” He took a bath and stopped in a panic, mid-lick. “What is that thing!?!” He Thundered and was toppled by Obi when he stopped short at the rug. “What is that thing!?!”

Whatever that thing is, it feels great to lay under. Nice breeze. Favorite show on OutRadio. And The Girl is just about to – “What is that thing!?!”

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