As we've documented at Cats and Catts, Lan Lan has an odd habit of demanding faucet water. The dripping rate needs to be within the right parameters and she will let you know if it isn't.
It took a team of scientists, however, to appreciate fully the depth of Lan Lan's feat.
Scientists used fast-motion photography, computer modeling, statistics, and a cat named Cutta Cutta to reveal the physics behind cats' drinking behavior. Cats, the study shows, put the tip of their tongue in the water and retract. Unlike dogs who scoop water with their tongue, cats create a stream of water as they pull back, and their mouths close around the water just as gravity is about to do its thing. Cats make this tongue action four times a second!
Lan Lan's faucet drinking takes this highly complicated endeavor to the next level of elegance. By coming at the water at a forty-five degree angle, she maximizes the hydraulic vectors ... or something. I think we need further study.
In the same issue of the New York Times, the Home and Garden section ran a story called "Hard to Kill: Houseplants for the Inept." But they paired the story with a harlequin Phal. inflorescence and listed "moth orchid" among eleven plants that are hard to kill. Really? I'm doing okay with the ones I have but, trust me, they don't deserve the "hard to kill" label. And why didn't Sansevieria trifasciata make the list? Despite these gripes, the article is still worth reading and I hope it will give well-deserved link traffic to the Plants are the Strangest People blog.