In 1975, Jack H. Hetherington was a professor of physics at Michigan State University and wrote what would become an influential and often-cited physics paper entitled Two-, Three-, and Four-Atom Exchange Effects in bcc 3He. Unfortunately Dr. Hetherington had written the entire paper using the plural “we” even though he was the sole author.
Not wanting to rewrite the entire paper or give someone else credit for work that was solely his own, he decided to add his cat as the co-author. His Siamese cat’s name was Chester, so he invented the name F.D.C. Willard. The “F.D.C.” stood for “Felix Domesticus, Chester.”
Eventually other people found out about the cat as co-author and everyone was amused at the joke – except for the editors who had published the cat co-authored paper. That just goes to show that cats are smarter than many humans and have a better sense of humor too.
To read more about the cat that co-authored a physics paper, click here.