Ever know a cat that didn't want to get on the other side of a closed door?
While trying to avoid the plague of 1666, Isaac Newton decamped to
Woolsthorpe. While there, he developed the Calculus but his work was
continually interrupted by his cat fussing to be on the other side of the
door to Newton's study.
Newton summoned a carpenter and had him cut a hole in the door which Newton
covered with a piece of canvas.
So, in addition to inventing the Calculus, discovering the Law of Universal
Gravitation and the Three Laws of Motion, inventing the first refracting
telescope, and being responsible for many other scientific advancements, we
can all be grateful for his contribution to human and animal tranquillity:
THE CAT DOOR
Thank you Sir Isaac.
When I was growing up on the farm, we had a cat hole in the kitchen
door. Or we did until the day my Mom discovered a huge rat snake
reclining on the kitchen cabinet. Hard to say which was the most
surprised, but Mom was the loudest.
I put the cat door in a window with a couple of long steps needing a
long jump that a cat could negotiate with ease but that were beyond
snakes and the like. Worked fine--only critters other than cats that
ever came through it were carried by the cats, and they were usually but
not always hors d'combat by the time they came in.
Newton invented the "reflecting" telescope, not the "refracting"
type. I built a 6" Newtonian (reflecting) telescope at the Hayen
Planetarium (In NYC)many moons ago. It was a not to be forgotten
experience, polishing the mirror blank and parabolizing it using the
wave lengths of light. I haul it out on rare occasions and look at
the moons of Jupiter (as per Galileo) and the rings of Saturn.
Arghhh! My bad. My really bad. Inexcusable for someone who used to be a
proctor in the Astronomy department.
Now the observatory at the University of Texas had the world's
seventh-largest REFRACTING (finally got it right) telescope. Some years
back, the grad students fixed the mounts so it would point below the
horizon. We couldn't see the girl's dorm because the Home Ec building was in
the way, but the Villa Capri Motor Hotel, seven miles away was a different
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