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.