The Cat That Fell To Earth

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Marbles, doing her best impersonation of David Bowie circa 1976. (pic by Coturnietta)

6 responses to “The Cat That Fell To Earth

  1. Oh, that’s awesome. Camera 1, Camera 2…

  2. Are those eyes different colors the rest of the time, or is it just the retinae?

  3. He means tapetum.

  4. “Are those eyes different colors the rest of the time, or is it just the retinae?”
    If the irises were actually different colors, it would surely just be coincidence.
    But what I would find interesting is if that same color scheme is seen at other times (ex. – a flash picture taken from a slightly different angle). Does Marbles have two different colored tapeta? Or do they “shimmer” so that another picture taken moments later would show different colors? Or is the tapetum more reflective (perhaps thicker) behind some parts of the retina than others? (thus the angle of the shot would explain the discrepency)

  5. It’s just this one picture. In all others, both eyes are yellow. And in real life, both eyes look the same.

  6. I was just listening to NPR yesterday, and they talked about the Tapetum!! In only certain animals (excluding humans, pigs, and some others), they have a reflective “mirror” on their eye to help with night vision.
    If i’m recounting correctly, photons enter the eye and hit the photoreceptors – the thing that helps send the picture info to your brain. In low light, there aren’t a lot of photons and some of them may miss the photoreceptors. The tapetum acts as a mirror to reflect the photons past the photoreceptors for one more chance at hitting. Basically amplifying your night vision.
    The crazy part is that tapetum may be based on different chemistry – riboflavin, zinc… and this accounts for the different colors. It’s not connected to your animal’s eye color, but having different eye colors may mean that each eye is chemically a little different instead of identical.
    Some animal breeds have distinct colors!! (Can you tell I find this fascinating? Thanks NPR and the opthamologist veterinarian they had on from CSU, Dr. Cynthia Powell!!)
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96414364