Have You Heard?

Living Cat Telephone

Have you ever heard of the Living Cat Telephone?

I hadn’t either until I was browsing around on the web looking for story ideas and fascinating facts in history. I came upon an article about how a professor and his research assistant turned a cat who was a live and stayed so, into a telephone of sorts. Here is how it went…

Professor Ernest Glen Wever and his assistant Charles William Bray while working on learning how the auditory nerve transmits and uses sound waves decided to use the a cat to test out some of their experiments. This was 1929 so animal right’s activists weren’t very active. They took a cat, heavily sedated it, drilled a hole in its skull, attached a telephone wire to the auditory nerve and the other end to a telephone receiver. Then while Wever held the receiver in a sound proof room 50 feet away, Bray would speak into the cats ear and the sounds and words would come through loud and clear on the receiver. They made many modifications to this experiment and tried differentiating the blood flow to different parts of the brain and hooking up the wire to different parts of the brain, but only while the wire was attached to the auditory nerve did the words come through. They found that the louder the sound the higher the frequency. This experimentation led to many technological breakthroughs. Wever learned that people with musical talent made better sonar operators because they could distinguish the different nuances of sound, this was put into practice in WWII during the submarine warfare. This also has benefits today, such as the Cochlear implants used today for the deaf to be able to hear. 

Can you imagine what we will do next to animals in the pursuit of understanding the human body? Hmmmm that’s right we clone human ears and body parts on rats and pigs. So all you Mozart’s out there who think that being in the military isn’t for you, join the Navy as a sonar operator and you will find your calling for a little while anyway. And all those of you out there with hearing implants you can thank a poor cat from the local shelter near Princeton university for your implant and ability to hear.

What will humans think of next? Why do we as humans feel the need to experiment on animlas that can’t talk? Oh that’s right we think because they can’t talk they don’t feel emotions like we do, well, i know a lot of emotional therapy animals that would disagree with that sentiment, and I am so thankful that animal right’s organizations came along and stopped this sort of experimentation on animals. Just because it can’t talk like we do doesn’t mean it can’t feel or have emotions too. My hat is off to this cat for taking it and for living a long life after they were done with him for experimentation purposes, I hope he found a loving forever home after this. Cos, he needed all the extra love he could get after this, I mean that is like how we used to treat mental patients before we got humane treatments.

So although no one is advocating using your household cat to replace your iPhone, it does make you want to next time you are around a friendly feline whisper in its ear a thankyou to its relative who unwittingly- but significantly- contributed to the understanding we have today of the human ear.

So, just thought I would pass on the interesting tid-bit I found on the internet last night while looking around. As always Happy Writing and have a good evening.


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