Science on Tap: Decoding Cats

The Kiggins Theater‘s next Science on Tap at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12, is all about the strange and fascinating—although readily decipherable—ways that cats communicate with us and with each other. Have you ever watched a funny cat video (or your own cat) and wondered, “Why is the cat doing THAT?!” Dr. Rolan Tripp, veterinarian and animal behaviorist, will start with a basic introduction to feline body language. (Once you know what to look for, few things are as entertaining as “Cat Social Politics.”) Then we’ll analyze several internet cat videos, and after giggling, decode the underlying brain-muscle mechanisms of impulse control, reaction thresholds, and the fine line between quirky and crazy.

Dr. Tripp holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine as well as academic degrees in philosophy and music. He is an Affiliate Professor of Applied Animal Behavior at two veterinary schools, and certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Dr. Tripp has published over 40 articles on pet behavior, and given over 100 lectures to veterinary associations. In addition to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, he has presented in England, Japan, Puerto Rico, and Canada. He has appeared on Animal Planet over 20 times as a content expert. Dr. Tripp has also spoken at several previous Science on Tap events in both Portland and Vancouver.

Science on Tap is a monthly lecture series at the Kiggins Theatre, offered in partnership with Via Productions (“Better Learning Through Beer”) and Washington State University Vancouver. The presentation starts at 7 p.m., but the Kiggins will open its doors at 6 p.m. so you can find a seat and purchase yummy refreshments: beer, wine, soda, pizza, and theater-style popcorn and candy. Tickets are $8 in advance (click here to purchase online, or check with the Kiggins’ box office) or $10 suggested donation at the door. Science on Tap is largely supported by money collected at the door, but no one will be turned away for lack of a few dollars. Come anyway and donate what you can! Buying a ticket in advance merely confirms that you will have a seat at the event. (…and reserving a seat is recommended, since this particular topic tends to create a packed house.)

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