Amy from Del Rio, Texas, writes the Cat Research Institute, asking:
"Dear C.R.I. How many cats does it take to equal one horsepower?"
Oh, Amy, if only you knew how many times we get asked this question!
We have finally decided to put our research resources to determining exactly how many catpowers it takes to equal one horsepower. We assembled our staff and discussed the various testing strategies, and finally came up with a precision test — a "tug of war" between cats and horses.
Weeks of research and testing allowed us to create a special cat harness that was comfortable while at the same time would transfer the full power of each cat into the pulling cable. We decided to group the cats in teams of 100 each. This would allow us to add 100 cat-pullers at a time.
Finally, testing day arrived. We started by hooking up 400 cats to the pulling cable, versus just one horse on the opposite end. Then, one of our testers took a box of cat-treats and stood in front of the cats, and shook the box of treats. Naturally, the cats tried to swarm him. At the other end, another tester stood in front of the horse, and waived a carrot, and said, "Giddap, Bessie".
The results were dissapointing. The horse didn't even seem to notice the 400 cats pulling against the rope, and easily got the carrot.
So we hooked up 400 more cats. This was a little better, the horse did seem to hesitate a bit before reaching the carrot. So we added 200 more cats, then 100 more then 50, etc.
Our final results were that it takes 1,186 cats to equal one horsepower.
When asked about these amazing results, the cats showed a mixed response. 6% said "Meow", 4% responded with "Reow", 2% offered no opinion, and the overwhelming majority — 88% — either yawned or slept through the interview.
So, Amy of Del Rio, Texas, you can sleep well at night, knowing that the Cat Research Institute is ready to answer this and all the other important questions about cats. 🙂