Reader’s kitteh contest: Copernicus and Galileo

Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos is my “grandstudent,” that is, he’s a fledged Ph.D. from my second student Mohamed Noor. Daniel is at the University of Queensland, studying speciation in plants, and contributed photos and a description of his two cats.

My wife Antonia took this picture of our two cats.  You should know that every time I tell her something about cats, she immediately asks me if I learned that from one of your posts at WEIT (I follow it continually). She was particularly sharp when I told her about the dissertation on cat pictures that you recently posted about.

Our two cats are called Copérnico and Galileo. Coper is the one that is stretching and has that massive tail. I just thought you would like the picture.

That’s quite a brush on the cat!

Copérnico and Galileo are our two gregarious cats that we adopted a year ago. It was not easy to find their names, mostly because some names would be difficult to pronounce in English. We thought of Rodrigo, Rafael, Aracataca, and Aureliano. Not that people would see the cats all the time, but mostly because we have translated our own experience with our own names (e.g., Daniel Ortiz Barrientos and Maria Antonia Posada Olaya) to our animals as well, and more recently to our son, Isaac. So we chose Copérnico and Galileo.

Copérnico, or Perni or Coper, is the skillful one, the very clever one, the lazy one, the one that eats vegetables and loiters by the fridge, or gets into the grocery basket to eat chives, the one that you can cuddle any time you want, the one that jumps 2m high, and can turn his body upside down in a millisecond when dropped from 10 cm above the ground—that is the way we test their catness.

Galileo, or Gali or Galipicho, on the other hand, does not pass the test, is incredibly cuddly but shy, loves meat, and seeks you out all the time; my wife could not be more affectionate to him, and he could not enjoy it more. The two cats play with each other, particularly at night, going up and down the stairs, and sometimes jumping on our beds and walking over us. We love them, and they make life much more fun!!! My boy Isaac smiles and giggles to them very often, but they know how to keep the minimum distance to prevent hair loss, but still incidentally make him happy. And boy, do they have tails!

10 Comments

  1. daveau
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Where do you come up with these names? Congrats to all.

    I will have to tell Keeshu that whe has a rival in Coper for “longest kitteh ever.”

    • daveau
      Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:03 am | Permalink

      she*

  2. Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous cats! I envy their tails & will not mention them to my feline friends (she has a ridicously shot tail for her size & luxuriousness of fur).

  3. Sarah Lawson
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Are those Maine Coon cats?

  4. Posted May 15, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Spliced squirrel genes — that’s how you account for the tail!

  5. Jen A
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The second two photos are especially wonderful. What beautiful kitties!

  6. aleopold
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Copernicus in the title, Copérnico in the text.

    They are simply gorgeous felines! I’ve decided to make the leap from dogs to cats, and will be adopting one this August. Your posts played a rather large role in that decision, Jerry. Thanks!

    • RFW
      Posted May 15, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Adopt an adult cat. The “pet” ad category on Craigslist is full of heartbreaking pleas “please, please, please, somebody adopt my cat (or my deceased relative’s or friend’s cat). Unless adopted, all the love and affection shown in the past to an adult cat goes down the drain when they are of necessity euthanized.

      Kittens are adorable, but they’ve hardly begun their lives and cute though they are, not so much is lost when they have to be euthanized.

      Also, by adopting an adult, you know what you are getting in terms of personality.

      Better yet, adopt two adult cats.

      I adopted my two girls via Craigslist when they were 9 and 10 y.o. respectively. Glad I did. Their former owner gets periodic reports and photos, and has even come to visit once. She knows that her much beloved girls are safe and happy until the day they die.

      • aleopold
        Posted May 15, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        In some respects you and I are on the same wave length. My inbox receives several messages a week pertaining to various species needing second homes (I’m a vet student). And that is the route I’ve decided to take, as my peers and I see daily how much life is lost due to any number of reasons – irresponsible breeding (not all breeders are of this nature!), lack of income, animals not matching furniture (really), etc.

        I recognize every situation is different. Certain families may have more time to devote to the very young, or senior population. For right now, I’ll just be searching for an adult cat who likes people, but isn’t bothered by spending longer stretches of time alone due to my class load. I’m very much looking forward to August.

  7. Roz
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Cat yoga! Love it. Super sexy kittehs


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