Writing Update: Cat Evolution Series

I’m taking my time working up Chapter 5 of the cat evolution series because it’s a little tricky to figure out.

The topic is extraterrestrial life, but I want to use this as a springboard that launches us back at Earth: life on Earth, generally, and cats and humans in particular.

Tricky, but it should be possible.

I’ve let everything else ride for a bit, though the Sunday Campanian volcanoes series is scheduled and will play out.

As part of the work, I just redid the chapter list over at bjdeming.net. Here’s the current one (will update these links, too, as new chapters are published):

  1. Introduction.
  2. To Make a Cat.
  3. Time: Human vs. Geological.
  4. What is Life?
  5. Does Life Exist Elsewhere?
  6. Main Character: Earth.
  7. Main Character: Plate Tectonics.
  8. Volcanism: A Main Character?
  9. Early Life on Earth.
  10. Main Character: Tetrapods.
  11. Mammals vs. Dinosaurs: Round 1.
  12. Mammals vs. Dinosaurs, Round 2.
  13. Mammals vs. Dinosaurs, Round 3.
  14. The K/T (K/Pg) Extinction.
  15. Paleocene Mammals and Dinosaurs.
  16. Carnivora.
  17. Eocene Saber-toothed “Cats.”
  18. The Big Freeze.
  19. Oligocene Wildlife.
  20. Cats and “Dogs.”
  21. Miocene Saber-toothed “Cats.”
  22. Miocene Cats, With and Without Saberteeth.
  23. The Miocene-Pliocene Toll Bridge.
  24. Smilodon and Homotherium.
  25. Main Character: Felinae, the “Cone-tooths.”
  26. South America is Invaded.
  27. The Ice Ages Begin.
  28. Seeking Refuge.
  29. Plio-Pleistocene Wildlife.
  30. Main Character: Us.
  31. The End of Sabertooths and Most Giants.
  32. Choosing Hard Work Over Life in Eden.
  33. Domestication of a Little Wildcat.
  34. Mercy.

The biggest change is dropping one chapter (now 34 in total). Natural selection is a big topic and by no means settled, from what I can read about it; also, a separate chapter on it moves us away from the focus on cats.

I simply eliminated the chapter on natural selection and will just work this evolutionary factor in when it’s called for in other chapters.

Now for a little fun.

Got looking into possible plant intelligence while investigating approaches to the ET life chapter — it’s a VERY controversial topic, to say the least.

But along the way, I realized that here on Earth ordinary life survives and thrives in ways that we humans can’t even see clearly without technical assistance:

By either speeding things up…

…or slowing them down. How and why did cheetahs evolve, anyway?

This is such a great planet!

Featured image: Wabisabi2015, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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