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, September 29, 2017

Words with Webster: Saturn’s Kittens, Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun Friday features for you today. First up is Real Cat Webster, who has a spacey cat word to share. After that, it’s on to Friendly Fill-Ins!

Words with WebsterWords with Webster

Hi, all! It’s me, Real Cat Webster. Welcome to Words with Me. Our word this week is kind of different. It’s “Saturn’s kittens.” Saturn is a big planet that is famous for its rings, and kittens are baby cats, so I bet you’re wondering how Saturn could have kittens, right? Well, it’s because scientists who study Saturn call a group of objects orbiting one of the planet’s rings “kittens.” They also give the individual objects kitten names, like Mittens. Cute, right? Especially when you consider that Mittens’s “official” name is “Alpha Leonis Rev 9.” Not cute at all.

Mittens is a moonlet (baby moon) that orbits Saturn’s F ring. Another moonlet orbiting this ring is named Sylvester. So far, at least 60 objects of varying sizes have been discovered orbiting the F ring, and they’re all named (unofficially) after cats. There’s Fluffy, Socks, Whiskers, Garfield.… You get the idea.

Saturn with Cassini spacecraft, artist rendering
Saturn with the Cassini spacecraft in the upper
foreground and the moon Titan in the background. The
kittens would be too small to be visible in this artist's rendering.
Image via Adobe Stock.

Mittens and the other kittens form when particles in Saturn’s F ring collide and stick together, forming clumps that eventually get big enough to be given a kitten name. They were discovered thanks to the Cassini mission. Cassini “saw” them when a star passed behind one of the kittens, and the kitten blocked part of the star’s light. The kittens get their official, cumbersome names from these light-blocking events, which are called “stellar occultations” (no, this will not be on the final!).

Tabby kitten
A kitten, possibly named
Mittens, or perhaps
Alpha Leonis Rev 9?
Image via Adobe Stock.
Unfortunately, you should not get too attached to Saturn’s kittens, because with all those things banging into each other, they are sort of temporary. Even if one of Saturn’s kittens collects enough particles to grow bigger, seeing one of these objects is sort of a matter of chance, because the observing spacecraft has to be in the right place when the star passes behind the kitten … and oh, there’s no spacecraft out there anymore since the end of the Cassini mission on September 15, 2017.

I wanted to share Saturn’s kittens with you to remind you that cats show up in the darnedest places. Also, scientists can be a lot of fun.

You can learn more about Saturn’s kittens in the article “Cosmic Kittens: Saturn Features Get Feline Names” from Space.com.

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-Ins
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, answered by Old SoLT this week, are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two, answered by Real Cat Paisley, are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader.

Old SoLT’s answers:

1. I am far too busy to have a life beyond my office. Between working, blogging, and writing books, it seems like I am here at the computer all day every day, and it is exhausting. I would really like to find time to go to the park before the current nice weather is over!

2. To save money, I don’t buy many things for myself. If I need something, I buy it, but if I just want something, I usually pass it up (except on vacation; I can be a spending fool on vacation!).

Real Cat Paisley’s answers:
3. Schedules matter(s). For example, it’s good for a cat to wake their person up early and on schedule every morning, even on weekends, and no matter how loudly the person protests. People need structure in their lives.

4. Our dog makes me think evolution took a seriously wrong turn somewhere.


  1. Astro Scientists love cats, apparently! I did not know about Saturn's kittens; thanks for that!
    And yes, Paisley is too right...humans need schedules, and adhering to them! How else will cats (and dogs) get their noms on time?

  2. Well, it is good you spoil yourself on vacations! Obviously, you earn it. Ha! I had to laugh at #3. Stella will sleep in, like when Bill is home. It is funny. Being a dog, you think she would want to go out. Kenzie does! Stella is a bit laid back, especially when Dad is home. Yes, dogs have evolved in a different direction than cats. Thanks for the space stuff, guys! HUGS!

  3. Thank you for participating, great answers. Paisley, you always make me laugh about the dog and I agree, human need to be kept on schedule. I hope your human gets to go out and enjoy the Fall weather. Thank you for this information on Saturn, I did not know about the cat names, very cool. Have a nice weekend! XO

  4. LOL about your answer to #3. My kitty has it down to a science and, I guess, does it the right way :) Have a great weekend!

  5. Well I learned a lot here today & it was all quite fascinating.
    Enjoyed your Fill-Ins, Especially #4 As we think that about one of our cats!

  6. This is the first I've ever heard of Saturn’s kittens and it's so cool!!! I love how you find such fun cat-themed information. Paisley, would you believe Mudpie lets me sleep as long as I want? She's actually grumpy when the alarm goes off and is happy to sleep in on the weekend!

  7. Waking humans up early is on every cat's schedule!

  8. Life is too short. Maybe it would be good to go to the park, just to get those cobwebs out of your head from time to time. We love to sit in our breezeway and watch the birds. It is a good mind nap. Have a blessed week.

  9. Someone has to give people their structure, so good job, Paisley! We did not know that about Saturn's kittens - that was so interesting, Webster!