Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dry Bones, Wet Cat

Riddle: You are standing at the closed door of a windowless room that has a single incandescent light bulb in its ceiling. There are three off-on switches on the wall outside the room. Only one of them controls the bulb inside. You can play with the switches all you like, but eventually you have to stop fooling around and enter the room. (Note: You can enter the room only once.) How can you determine which switch controls the bulb?

I read an article on Sunday that they plan an announcement on Monday, February 4, about the results of mitochondrial DNA tests they've been running on the skeleton found under a parking lot in Leicester, England, and on a descendent of the sister of King Richard III whose skeleton they may have found. As I've been saying, I'm a huge fan of King Richard III, have been for many years, and find this discovery very exciting. But are the bones Richard's? I think they probably are – but now there might be proof! Here's a link to the article: http://www.decodedscience.com/dna-analysis-and-the-search-for-richard-iii/24792.

Riddle Hint: There's a chair in the room you might need to solve this riddle.

A kind of strange thing has been evolving at our place. Our cat Snaps is fascinated by running water. For years, he has begged me to turn on the water just a trickle so he can lap it – and I know other cats do this, too. But some while back he started shoving his whole head under the faucet when I was rinsing my mouth after brushing my teeth. He'd lap furiously and sometimes wheeze or sneeze when he'd inhale a snoutful of water. I had to keep a little towel on hand to dry his soaking orange fur after he'd do this. Strange, but okay. Just recently, he's been standing on the flat edge of the tub, between the two shower curtains, and crying at me while I'm bathing. Very recently, he's been poking his head out into the tub, with the shower running, and crying at me. I've been interpreting this as anxiety for my safely. Sunday morning, he reached for me with one forepaw then the other, crying. I spoke encouraging words to him, and he seemed close to jumping in the shower with me. He went to the faucet end, where the water trickles when the shower is running, and lapped at it, leaning so far in, he got very damp. When he went back to the other end and again seemed about to join me, I stroked him with my sopping hands and he seemed to like it, but he still didn't jump in. I think next time I shower, he's going to join me. His first owner had him declawed front and back, so I'm not afraid he'll hurt me in a panic trying to get out again. Can any of you tell me what he's up to? Does he want to save me from myself? Or is he stirring up the nerve to join me? He's very fond of me, and wants to be wherever I am. Anyone else have a cat who doesn't mind getting really wet?

Answer to Riddle: Turn on the first switch and leave it on for five minutes. Turn it off and turn on the second switch. Open the door. If the light is on, it's the second switch. If it isn't on, touch the bulb (stand on the chair if you're short like me). If it's warm, it's the first switch, if it's cool, it's the third.


Mary said...

We have had several cats that liked water up to laying on us in the bathtub. One of ours like to sit in between the shower curtains and one sits on the bathroom counter so she can talk to us. Leo likes to lay in the tub after one of us has showered.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Wish I had an answer for you, Monica, but I unfortunately don't know how cats think. My dogs don't seem interested in getting into the tub with me, but one of them particularly enjoys drinking the water after a shower if I don't catch her in time!

Monica Ferris said...

I had a cat that would lie on the edge of the tub when I took a soaking bath - but that was when I lived in England and she did that because it was, for awhile, the warmest place in the apartment.

I had a cat that would lie in the empty tub after a shower, again, I think, because it was warm.

Betty Hechtman said...

One of my cats often sits on the tub when I take my nightly bath. He seems mostly intersted in getting attention. My son has a cat that recently started getting in the shower while it's going and seems to like to get soaking wet. He looks to be all or almost all Siamese.

Ellen said...

About that puzzle: first, open the door. Second, try the three switches to see what one works. Third, enter the room.

The puzzle doesn't state whether the door is open or closed. It doesn't say you can't open it before testing the switches. It doesn't even say there isn't a crack under the door you can peer under to check.

Sorry about that. Engineers don't think about these things like puzzle-solvers do.