A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Words with Webster: Catshark, Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun features for you this Friday. First up is Words with Webster, in which he tells us about something…sharky. Also, be on the lookout for three bonus words. This is followed by Friendly Fill-Ins.

Words with Webster

Words with Webster badge
Hi, all! It’s me, Real Cat Webster. Welcome to Words with Me. Today’s word is “catshark.” I picked this word because today, July 14, is Shark Awareness Day, and I thought you should be aware that there is such a thing as a catshark.

There are over 150 species of catshark, and they’re called catsharks because of their eyes, which look sort of like cats’ eyes. The scientific name of their family doesn’t mean “catshark” though. It’s Scyliorhinidae (bonus word #1!), which is from a combination of two Greek words. The second word is “rhinos” (“nose”) and the first one is either “Scylla”[1] or “skylos” (“dog”).  We are sort of making up the “skylos” explanation, but we think it makes sense because—and this is  little bit confusing—some catsharks are called dogfish (go figure; also, bonus word #2!).

Catsharks are found in warm seas. These are really little sharks, usually under 2.5 feet long. Catsharks eat things like fish, octopus, and squid. Their eggs are called “mermaid’s purses” (bonus word #3!). And catsharks can have over 110 rows of teeth!

To find out more about catsharks, check out this article from the excellent PBS show Nature.

A cat shark in the Celebes Sea, Malaysia.
Adobe Stock.
And finally, sharks are really cool animals and they’re an important part of the ocean, so please don’t eat soup made from their fins or anything awful like that. You can learn more about different kinds of sharks from the Shark Research Institute.

Happy Shark Awareness Day!

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-Ins badge
And now it’s time for Friendly Fill-Ins, from 15andmeowing and McGuffy’s Reader. They are a fun way to learn a little bit about the authors of the blogs you read. The first two questions are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two  are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader. Old SoLT answered all the questions this week.

1. My inner child is often also my outer self! But only with people I know really well. A lot of people think I’m really serious.

2. My favorite month is October, because it I love the fall.

3. My favourite commercial is… I like the whole series of Progressive commercials with Flo, because she cracks me up.

4. Personally, I don't care for papayas. To me, they smell like dirty socks!

[1] Some sources claim “Scylla” means “shark,” but we are not convinced. Scholars, please weigh in.


  1. Wow...your #1 is me to a tee! Often, people think I am serious. But, I just have a dry sense of humour. I love Flo! That character is brilliant. I agree with you about October, and papayas, too!
    I have read that Scylla was turned into the sea monster that we know as the shark. Interpretations vary, as always. I think sharks are fascinating. Thanks for sharing. Hugs.

    1. Thanks! I don't think I've ever heard about Scylla being a shark, or else I've just forgotten. :)

  2. I did not know there was such a thing as a cat shark, very interesting. Thank you for your great fill-in answers. October is my favorite month too. Flo is funny. And I have never had papaya and now I don't care to try :) Have a nice weekend!

  3. One learns something new every day, and I've learned about catsharks! Thank you for this post!

  4. Cuthbert's head is still in its jar in my cupboard as it has been since 1974 when I did my cranial dissection on it to show all the cranial nerves. You can look up at the bottom of the jar and see out of his mouth near the top. He was my spiny dogfish from Vertebrate Comparable Anatomy that year.

    Don't even think of opening that jar.

  5. I have never heard of a catshark...and I'm not sure I ever want to meet one! LOL My favorite Flo commercial is the motorcycle one, "I don't see a possum!"

  6. Fall is cool, especially in areas that actually get a fall. We don't get one here. The leaves do not change colors at all. Only rarely will one see a tree around here that does not have its leaves on it. Fall means it will dip down into the 70s at night. Have a great week.

  7. Now, I have to go find a papaya to smell!

  8. I have my own "catshark" - but he's definitely NOT fond of water :) I had no idea there was such a creature - nature is simply amazing and there are times there's nothing you can do but admire the beauty.

  9. I never heard of a catshark and I've never had a papaya. I'm deprived.

  10. What an interesting creature. I had never heard of a catshark before. I think that, though scary, sharks are awesome creatures and I wouldn't dream of eating any part of them.

    I don't think that I have ever had papaya and it isn't something I'm looking to try now. Even many of the fruits that I grew up eating now cause allergic reactions, so I don't try new ones. There are so many here in Texas that I'd never even heard of back in South Carolina, but I'm afraid to try them. I've heard that papayas can cause adverse hormonal reactions, especially for pregnant people. Smelling like dirty socks would be a good reason to avoid them!

    Have a blessed evening.