As we know, they’ve come up with a day for everything, so it’s no surprise someone came up with “Answer Your Cat’s Questions” Day. After all, don’t we wonder what the heck cats are thinking? Of all animals kept as pets, cats are most likely to think they’re the boss of the house, even though we actually feed them and take care of them. In fact, they seem to think we should feel lucky to do all that work. But even so, these beautiful furry friends of ours might need our help explaining some things. They’re not super-smart: their brains are less than 1/100th of their whole body weight, while for us humans it’s more than double that fraction. So if cats could talk, they might have lots of things to ask. So today’s our big chance to give them some answers.
Wee ones: “Hey, you! Where’s my dinner?” If you’ve taken 6 minutes to set up the cat’s food and you need 1 more minute to finish, how many minutes total does the cat wait?
Little kids: “I’ve caught 9 mice for you this week — whaddaya have for me? How about a treat for every other mouse?” If you agree to this deal and start with mouse #1, how many treats does your cat get? Bonus: If your cat talks you into 9 treats instead, how many more treats is that?
Big kids: “Hey look, I unraveled 52 feet of yarn! How much is left?” If you started with an 80-foot ball of yarn, how much is left? Bonus: “When are you going to get the dog out of here?” If it’s 2:43 pm and your dog goes out for a walk at 6:15 every night, how long does the cat have to wait?
Wee ones: 7 minutes.
Little kids: 5 treats: for mouse # 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. Bonus: 4 more treats.
Big kids: 28 feet. Bonus: 3 hours and 32 minutes.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.