Thursday, 5 March 2015

Where does my new kitten go?

Firstly - some advertising: If you live in South Australia and would like to know where your cat goes - think about applying to be part of this project This is project run by the University of South Australia in collaboration with Your Wildlife in the US who are also running a cat tracking program - if my US based readers would like to play, follow the Your Wildlife link. 

So new kitten Bento is about 21 weeks old.  He was adopted from the Second Chance Animal Rescue by us in late December.  He was kept inside until he received his full set of vaccinates for both F3 and FIV.  Well, when I say kept inside, I mean occasionally allowed out to play in the back yard in a supervised fashion.  We are also attempting to leash train him, its working so far. Bento is an extremely social kitten, he seems to have no fear and will play with everyone, even small children. Here he is with our friend Nikki playing in the backyard at a BBQ we had in January

Of course, keeping him locked in didn't stop him from trying to escape to the exciting world of outdoors.

So the big day came, fully vaccinated kitten was strapped to his GPS harness and the cat flap was unlocked.  It took numpty kitten nearly a week to figure out how to use the cat flap.... Maybe not the brightest little kitten.

Anyway - by the age of 20 weeks he has figured out how to use the cat flap and spend the last week with access to the outside world while we are at work.  Bento is an extremely social kitten and clearly misses us when we are not home judging by the attention he demands when we are home.  It's also obvious that when we are home he tends to stay inside. 

The GPS data for the first week also tells us that he hasn't left the property yet, or if he has, it is only as far as the neighbours over the road. It also continues to tell us how inaccurate the GPS unit is.  We've looked at the data, we have filtered the data for both HDOP (horizontal dilution of precision) and also for number of satellites. Even doing this, there are some outlying points on the map that can't be accurate.  We'd already figured out by looking at the overnight data from Corsair when she was locked inside, that once the bad data is filtered out, the unit still has a margin of error of about 50m.  If we assume the same margin of error.  We can infer that Bento hasn't left our property yet.

We are playing a bit more with the data and I promise the next post will have maps, I've compensated for the lack of maps with more kitten photos. Everyone likes kitten photos!

It will be fascinating to track how that changes as he gets older, bigger and braver.

After all while one can hunt leaves and crickets in the garden, when inside a kitten can mess up a basket of clean laundry.

Get pats and sleep in laps.

And 'help' write blog posts...

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