So, today saw a little news item about how the Iranian space program is coming along nicely, and that within the next six months they're thinking of sending a cat into space and safely returning it to earth (as the U. S. did early on with monkeys and the Soviets with dogs**). And what kind of cat would the Iranians (or, to give them their traditional name, the Persians) send up? Three guesses, and you win if you guessed Persian:
--By the way, the cat pictured in the article is not the cat they'd be sending up; in the way of news websites everywhere Talking Points puts up generic pictures (i.e., stock photos) with their articles.
I don't know if this marks the milestone of the first cat in space or not, but I predict he, or she, isn't going to like it. On the other hand, a show cat might be just the thing, since they're trained to be passive and unflappable. So, a neat bit of news, but still, poor cat.
--John R., from Arkansas***
*If you're of my generation, you'll hear echoes of THE MUPPET SHOW when you see this phrase.
**That is, if you leave out the "returning them to earth" part so far as the Russians were concerned. The tale of the first dog in space is not a happy one.
***Hey, turns out that new HotSpot I brought with me this trip really, really works. There's a bright spot in an otherwise less than cheery week.