THE THEORY OF PURRPETUAL MOTION

Question: if you buttered the back of a cat, which way down would it land?

Law 1: The Laws of Butterology demand that the butter must hit the ground.

Law 2: The equally strict Laws of Feline Aerodynamics demand that the cat cannot smash its furry back - it must land on its feet.

If the combined constructed of cat + butter were to land, nature would have no way to resolve this paradox (or purradox). Therefore it cannot fall.

When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands buttered side down. Therefore, if a slice of toast is strapped to a cat's back, buttered side up, and the animal is then dropped, the two opposing forces will cause it to hover, spinning inches above the ground. If enough toast-laden felines were used, they could form the basis of a high-speed monorail system.

In the buttered toast case, it's the butter that causes it to land buttered side down - it doesn't have to be toast, the theory works equally well with Jacob's crackers. So to save money you just miss out the toast - and butter the cats.

Also, should there be an imbalance between the effects of cat and butter, there are other substances that have a stronger affinity for carpet.

Probability of carpet impact is determined by the following simple formula:

p = s * t(t)/t?

 

'p' is the probability of carpet impact,

's' is the "stain" value of the toast-covering substance - an indicator of the effectiveness of the toast topping in permanently staining the carpet. Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, has a very high s value, while the s value of water is zero.

t? and t(t) indicate the tone of the carpet and topping - the value of p being strongly related to the relationship between the colour of the carpet and topping, as even Chicken Tikka Masala won't cause a permanent and obvious stain if the carpet is the same colour.

So it is obvious that the probability of carpet impact is maximised if you use Chicken Tikka Masala and a white carpet - in fact this combination gives a p value of one, which is the same as the probability of a cat landing on its feet.

Therefore a cat with Chicken Tikka Masala on its back will be certain to hover in mid air, while there could be problems with buttered toast as the toast may fall off the cat, causing a terrible monorail crash resulting in nauseating images of members of the royal family visiting accident victims in hospital, and politicians saying it wouldn't have happened if their party was in power as there would have been more investment in cat-toast glue research.

Therefore it is in the interests not only of public safety but also public sanity if the buttered toast on cats idea is scrapped, to be replaced by a monorail powered by cats smeared with Chicken Tikka Masala floating above a rail made from white shag pile carpet.

In essence, you have discovered the secret of antigravity. A buttered cat will, when released, quickly move to a  to a height where the forces of cat-twisting and butter repulsion are in equilibrium. This equilibrium point can be modified by scraping off some of the butter, providing lift, or removing some of the catís limbs, allowing descent.

It has been theorized by some researchers that most of the civilized species of the Universe already use this principle to drive their ships while within a planetary system. The loud humming heard by most sighters of UFOs is, in fact, the purring of several hundred tabbies. The most obvious danger of feline antigravity propulsion is that lithe cats may manage to lick the butter off their backs. They will then instantly plummet. Of course the cats will land on their feet, but this usually doesnít do them much good, since right after they make their graceful landing several tons of red-hot starship and pissed off aliens crash on top of them. This suggests that aliens have not yet discovered tikka masala sauce and that some researchers really should stop watching Star Trek.

We must also consider the application of Murphy's Laws to this theory. Murphy's Laws are also known as Sod's Law or the Law of Perversity/Cussedness. In its simplest form, it states:

"Anything which can go wrong will go wrong"

Here are some of the more likely outcomes of the application of Murphy's Law into Butterology/Feline Aerodynamics in an experiment involving a "cat + buttered bread" scenario. We leave the Application of Murphy's Law to "cat + tikka masala sauce" scenarios as a theoretical exercise for the reader.

As soon as you release said feline from a suitably high place, the strap used to tie the bread to the back of the cat will break, thus nullifying the bond between the bread and the feline. You may attempt to defy this by applying the butter directly to the cat's fur, in which case the cat will lick off part of your carefully calculated quantity of butter (i.e. that amount which holds the cat-butter assemblage in equilibrium)

In either case, a very cross cat will land on its feet, claws extended, upon a lawyer's brand new soft-top car - scratching the top to shreds if it is raised or depositing copious amounts of fear-induced feline excrement on the driver's seat if the top is lowered.

Meanwhile, the liberated piece of buttered bread will fall buttered side down, landing on the toupee of the only newspaper reporter foolhardy enough to cover this misguided experiment, resulting in a reference to you in the Weekly World News (or New Scientist), in which your name will appear adjacent to the phrase phrase "foolish quack".

At the same time, a concerned passer-by will report your experiment to the PETA, your country's main SPCA, anti-animal-experimentation groups etc etc, leading to your arrest, trial and conviction upon charges of animal abuse. Following headlines of "Cat-throwing scientist on cruelty charges" you will spend a couple of years answering to the name "Cindy" chosen by your love-starved cellmate "Butch". You will be banned from ever keeping animals and banned from the dairy products section of all major supermarkets.

Addendum:

The laws of butterology demand that the butter must hit the ground, and the equally strict laws of feline aerodynamics demand that the cat cannot smash its furry back. If the combined construct were to land, nature would have no way to resolve this paradox. Therefore it simply does not fall. You have discovered the secret of antigravity!

A buttered cat will, when released, quickly move to a height where the forces of cat and butter are in equilibrium. This equilibrium point can be modified by scraping off some of the butter, providing lift, or removing some of the cat's limbs, allowing descent.

Most of the civilized species of the Universe already use this principle to drive their ships while within a planetary system. The loud humming heard by most sighters of UFOs is, in fact, the purring of several hundred buttered tabbies. On Earth, the only loose ends delaying the full commercialization of this process is the matter of persuading the felines to:

a. work in teams.
b. not lick off the butter.
c. follow a flight plan.

As there seems to be a deficiency in feline herding instincts, any suggestions would be appreciated by the parties involved.

 

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