No 5 – See, Hear, Smell!

Tapetum Lucidum

Hello all fellow Felines, friends, and staff – I hope you are all keeping well in these rather unusual times.

I was recently discussing with Ossie, one of my dear Sisters, over breakfast, how often one sees photos of our relatives and friends (especially on that thing called the “ internet” or I think Mewtube) that show us with glowing eyes… which from a certain (human) point of view can be a little unnerving!

I’ve done a little research (now you know why your bills can be a little high, after all it’s not just eat and sleep for us when you are at work) and here is some info that one should find informative, and at least from an eye perspective show that we aren’t possessed and/or are harbouring aliens!

Tapetum Lucidum

No, it’s not a name from some comedy about Romans – it’s the name of the reflective layer behind our retina that reflects more light back into our eyes, making them super efficient in darkness; in fact, giving us SEVEN times better low light vision than humans. Proved of course by all the times you have tripped over us when you’ve got up in the night, WE know exactly where we are, of course… that’s why our eyes “glow” when a camera flash goes off, it’s the light reflecting back!


We can hear 1.6 octaves above human, and even 1 octave above a dog (of course) and our range is 55Hz to 79,000Hz – that’s why we can be asleep upstairs, yet be downstairs instantly, should you try to open the fridge ever so carefully, like you don’t want to share…! In fact, one of my compatriots, Steggy, loves cheese and can even tell the different wrappers apart… if it’s blue cheese he won’t bother, as opposed to a nice mature cheddar where he’s there in a flash – it’s all in the crinkle, he says!


No, it’s not a personal question, but not surprisingly, we have a 9 to 16 times better sense of smell than you poor humans, we have 200 million odour-sensitive cells in our (sweet little) noses, whereas humans have a mere 5 million, so please make sure your staff wash their feet regularly!

And as for catnip – whoa – we can detect that as low as 1 part in a billion! Though there are only around 70-80% of us who are addicts, sorry partakers.

So there you go, a pretty impressive package, though I say so myself… we Felines are wonderfully evolved to be superb hunters, self sufficient, masters of our environment!  Hmm, now then, it’s dinner time, I wonder what sachet delight our staff will be opening and presenting to us – I quite fancy Salmon and Trout or Duck. Choices, choices, eh?

Happy Purring ’til next time,


One thought on “No 5 – See, Hear, Smell!

  1. Colleen Hensman says:

    Thank you for sharing your meow perspective Gollum. Such new respect for your visual and auditory skills! (Will wash feet ever so carefully)🐈

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