A man from Houston, Texas has allegedly claimed he owns a cat trained to sniff out gold jewellery, relics and coins, and his feline companion has been so effective that now he only takes his metal detector out as a back up in case his furry friend decides to take a nap in the shade, or enjoy a nice bowl of milk.
Obviously this has aroused the interest of several detectorist groups in the U.S, and one of them has paid for a blood sample to be taken and a DNA profiling to be carried out, and it appears that genetically, the cat appears to be more closely related to ancient north African stock than to it’s modern contemporaries in the Americas. According to experts in the field, some of its DNA seems to bear remarkable similarities to cat DNA taken from mummified specimens found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Now pseudoscience groups in Texas are demanding to examine the cat, claiming that if it shows signs of North African ancestry, then it possibly strengthens a theory proposed by certain fringe archaeologists that ancient civilisations in the South Americas somehow had direct contact with the ancient Egyptians.
The man claims to have aquired the talented animal two years ago after the death of a neighbour, apparently a very old Mexican man who’d lived down the road for years. The new owner was actually present for the old mans final moments. Here he takes up the story.
‘The old guy had lived there in his little bungalow with his cat for as long as I can remember, he must have retired there years ago, and I started talking to him because I’d see him with a metal detector occassionally. We talked, but he never invited me to go out with him, and never expressed any interest in coming out with me. I used to take his paper and milk in to him some mornings. I never asked what he used to do, but I often wondered, he never seemed to be short of anything, he lived pretty well.
The day I found him literally on his deathbed, all he seemed be worried about was his beloved cat. He told me that cat was special, not like other cats. He said he’d owned the cat’s mother for years before him, and her mother before that, and said he got her as a kitten from an old Peruvian guy years ago, and smuggled her across the U.S border with him. He said that cat had always looked after him, and now he was begging me to take the animal and care for it. He promised me that if I looked after that cat, that cat would look after me.
We simply couldn’t pronounce the strange name the old guy had given him, so we called him Tiddles, and right from the start my wife and I noticed that he wasn’t at all interested in cat toys, but was thoroughly fascinated by her gold charm bracelet, always obsessively pawing at it and playing with the charms as he sat on my wifes lap. One day my wife lost her valuable wedding ring in long grass while gardening. We searched for a while with no success, so obviously I went to get the old metal detector. I needn’t have bothered, by the time I got back Tiddles had arrived and was digging about in the long grass. In a few seconds he came up looking very pleased with himself, clasping the lost ring tightly in his teeth.
It wasn’t long after that that I was doing a bit of casual detecting a couple of fields away from the house, when who should show up and start sniffing around but Tiddles. When he suddenly looked all excited and started digging with his paws, I thought he was going to take a poop. But he just kept on digging, and I thought: ‘Well either he’s got one hell of a big poop in mind, or there’s something down there bothering him’, so I waved the detector over it and bingo. So I took over with the spade, and it took no more than about two minutes digging before I unearthed a solid gold brooch that must have been lost there over a hundred years ago. I don’t know about any of this ancient Egypt stuff, to us he’s just our Tiddles. Now I never go detecting without him, and I’m…sorry… we’re, doing just great.’
We wanted to get a more knowledgable and balanced view on the matter, and DD is proud to anounce that none other than leading amateur pseudo-archaeologist and best-selling writer Graham Hancock has agreed to give Paul McCoil his view on the matter
PM. So Mr Hancock, you’ve read the stuff we sent you, what’s your take on this?
GH. Well as you probably know, for years now, along with respected figures such as Thor Heyerdal, I’ve been saying that obvious cultural similarities between the ancient Egyptians and some ancient South American civilisations are clear indications that the two cultures could have engaged in some kind of maritime trading activities in the distant past. That both cultures built pyramids and almost identical papyrus boats, and used calendars and many other complex technologies is more than enough to suggest that they may well have communicated somehow, even in ancient times.
As I’ve said in many of my best selling books, available in all good book stores, I believe that culture and technology may go back much further than mainstream scientists allow. There may have been highly advanced ancient civilisations whose cities could have been destroyed by floods, earthquakes and other cataclysmic events that were possibly caused by a comet that might have hit the Earth in about 12800BC.
PM. A bit like Atlantis you mean?
GH. No, I did not say Atlantis, did I say Atlantis? No you said Atlantis, I never mentioned it. Ancient cities I said, or something resembling or vaguely alluding to that. And in the light of recent discoveries off the coast of Japan, and at sites such as Gobleki Tepe, isn’t it about time for all the mainstream scientists, archaeologists, Egyptologists and everyone else to just shut up and start listening to me, and to admit that I was right all along, and accept that I deserve every penny of all the money I’ve made out of my best selling books?
PM. Sorry, let’s stick to the cat then shall we? Where do you think this alleged metal detecting cat fits in?
GH. Well, as I’ve said many times in my best selling books, I believe it may have been the survivors of these proposed advanced ancient civilisations that could have taught the ancient Egyptians and others how to build pyramids, and passed on other skills such as farming and writing to keep civilisation alive after the cataclysm. And for all anyone knows about these survivors, they may have been very keen detectorists, but were no longer able to build the advanced electronic machines that they may possibly have possessed before their advanced civilisation was destroyed. They may also have possessed animal breeding and training skills that we can still only dream of, and it’s well known that the Egyptians worshipped cats, so there would have been a ready supply of healthy specimens right to hand. They may have been able to produce specially bred cats and train them to use their natural senses and instincts to detect metal objects buried underground, perhaps even using powerful psycho-active drugs to enhance those senses.
Since other survivors of the ancient civilisations would more than likely be teaching the people in the Americas how to build pyramids, boats, tools and other acoutrements of civilisation, there’s every reason to speculate that they were communicating with each other, even across the vastness of the Atlantic ocean. If they really did have these selectively bred and highly trained animals, they would obviously have been immensely valuable anywhere, and may well have been widely traded for other luxury items of the day. So it’s hypothetically possible that they were taken to South America, and once there, let’s face it, animals always escape, and there could well be every reason to theoretically suppose that there might be an indigenous population of these cats still living somewhere, perhaps in some remote part of the Andes, and still, hypothetically, retaining the vestiges of their inbred detecting instincts, which would probably make them very easy to train. OK, I’m not an expert on cats, but hey, I’m not really an expert on anything, and if anyone thinks they can actually one hundred per cent prove that something like this didn’t happen, then I’d like to hear from them, if not; well I think perhaps I can feel another best seller coming on, how about, ‘Pussies of the Gods?’ O.k, working title only, let me think
PM. Thank you very much Mr. Hancock.
GH. You’re welcome. Do I get the cheque now? Because if I have to wait long I must warn you my accountants will impose interest charges.
Mr Hancock’s theory has spurred various groups to try and find this indigenous population of cats hiding out in the Andes, but so far none have had any success in locating the elusive beasts. The owner of the Texas cat has been inundated with letters and pleas to sell the animal or at least to allow breeding rights, and he is currently considering offers.
As we’ve recently managed to coax veteran reporter Phil Maholin out of his blissfull retirement, we thought we’d better find out what his views were on this matter. Phil couldn’t get into the office as his wife had the car, so here we post the email he sent us outlining his always fascinating, if often slightly acerbic insights.
Metal detecting cat? Are you serious. I thought this must be the edition for April 1st. Is this what the bloody matriarch has forced me out of retirement for? God I hate cats anyway, really, I detest the filthy things. So Graham bloody Hancock gave you an interview did he? Oh I bet he did. I bet he’s getting more than I am for it too, DD’s veteran reporter. Why don’t you find that guy that wrote the book about everything being down to aliens and interview him, what’s his name? Hang on google’s nearly there. Erik von Danniken, Chariots of the Gods. Another bloody charlatan that made a fortune while good, hard working, honest, decent and highly principled journalists struggled to make a living in hard times. Why don’t you dig up Mystic Meg and see what she thinks about it, or get David Icke’s opinion, I bet they’d both get paid more than I do for it too. O.K. (sigh) I’ll see what I can do. What’s the minimum words I can get away with here to get the cheque? I don’t want to waste any more time on it than strictly necessary.
*Ok Carol, here it is, sorry it’s a little late. Obviously do make sure this sarcastic little note I’ve attached to the email for our esteemed editor to peruse doesn’t get posted along with the article won’t you darling. Just saying, sillier things have happened at the DD. Phil. xx.
Well I have to say I was a little skeptical when reports first reached me concerning a metal detecting cat, in America, where else! Now having been informed that no less a figure than esteemed pseudo scientist and modern day shamanist Graham Hancock has, not only deemed the matter worthy of his attention, but has also taken the time and trouble, (and the money), to contribute a well thought out and highly plausible hypothesis to the Daily Detectorist’s report. I can’t begin to tell you how flattered, if not humbled, I am, to think that anyone imagines a lowly hack such as yours truly might have anything more to add.
Cats though eh? You’d have to have a heart of stone not to melt at the sight of a cute, wide eyed and fluffy little kitten wouldn’t you? Who doesn’t love the furry little darlings? Well probably not the ancient Zoroastrians, as they were unequivocally ‘dog people’, somewhat like myself if I’m honest, (although if this metal detecting cat story turns out to be true, that could quickly change). The Zoroastrians lived in ancient Persia, now Iran, and unlike the ancient Egyptians, they religiously venerated dogs, in fact, it was demanded that some of their most important religious rites and ceremonies had to actually be ‘witnessed’ by a dog!
Now because, for reasons best known to themselves, the Egyptians worshipped cats, they were allowed to breed unchecked in Egypt for centuries, and after the collapse of Egyptian civilization, feral cats quickly spread out from Egypt. By the end of the fourth century A.D (or C.E if you prefer) they’d made it across the Red sea and into what are now Iraq and Iran, where they became so numerous, especially in Iran, Persia as it was then, that they were actually becoming a pest, to the extent that the Zoroastrians came to regard them as vermin. It is speculated by some historians that a mutual dislike of cats may even have been the origin of the Zoroastrians reverence for man’s best friend.
Eventually, cats became such a plague to the Zoroastrians that they even began to invent small, easily portable weapons they could grab and load quickly to help their canine companions discourage cats from their gardens. The verb ‘ pelt’ as in ‘to pelt with missiles ’, comes from a corruption of the ancient Persian word ‘pulte’ as used in the Zoroastrian, ‘pulte kattus’, the name they gave to one of their favourite small weapons, literally, ‘to pelt a cat’, from which we get the word ‘catapult’, our modern name for a weapon invented centuries ago by the ancient Persians.
The Zoroastrian civilisation lasted intil the mid seventh century, when the Muslims invaded and the survivors of the population were forcibly converted to Islam, their shrines were destroyed and replaced with mosques, their children were forced to go to Islamic schools and learn Arabic, and Muslims allegedly took great delight in deliberately ill treating the revered animals. Persia eventually became the now entirely Islamic state of Iran. So it’s quite possible that this cats genetic line could have originated anywhere in the middle east, and well after the Egyptians had gone the way of all flesh. See Hancock, I can do a bit of ‘speculative history’ too.
To get back to the cat in question, to be entirely one hundred per -cent honest, any good detective ought to be familiar with the old adage, ‘follow the money’, and I bet Mr. Hancock knows all about that! So call me an old cynic, but I have to admit that I still remain rather unconvinced by this. People are apparently already offering to buy the cat, or just purchase breeding rights. Nobody could possibly have seen that coming could they?! All I can say is ‘God bless America’. PM.
Thanks Phil. Your e-cheque is still pending, it’s in that email thingy ma bobba. Also please bear in mind all DD salaries will now be arriving via digital bank payments all of which requiring email confirmation.
Enquiries with the cat are ongoing and the DD will be keeping readers well informed on the matter.