In 1975, Michigan State University physics professor Jack Hetherington wrote a paper on  the low-temperature physics of helium-3 isotopes, which was eventually published in the journal Physical Review Letters. However when Hetherington wrote the paper, he used the pronoun “we” throughout, but because he was the sole author, he would have been required to rewrite the entire paper to change “we” to “I”.

Not wanting to waste time rewriting the entire paper to resolve a simple grammatical error, Hetherington decided to add his cat’s name to the paper as co-author. Of course, he couldn’t use the cat’s real name of Chester, so he opted for a disguised name of F.D.C. Willard — F.D.C. being an acronym for Felis Domesticus Chester.

If a cat can co-author a physics paper, how long will it take until a cat might eventually author a paper all by itself? Cats already haunt used bookstores and soak up literature and knowledge, so the day a cat authors a paper on its own may be the beginning of the human race’s decline.

To read more about the cat that co-authored a physics paper, click here.

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