Every cat owner knows that cats are intelligent creatures with a mind and will of their own. What many people don’t know is that a cat helped create casein plastic, plastic made from the casein in milk.

In the 19th century, Bavarian chemist Adolf Spitteler was experimenting with using formaldehyde to turn milk into a solid material, which could be cut or carved into all sorts of shapes. That’s when Spitteler’s catknocked over a bottle of formaldehyde in the lab one night, which dripped into the animal’s dish of milk. In the morning, Spitteler discovered that the formaldehyde had curdled the milk into a solid, horn-like material, which he eventually refined into plastic.

If you have a cat, encourage it to knock everything over. Who knows? Your cat could help you invent something useful for the world.

To read more about the cat that invented plastic from milk, click here.