Sketch by Afke van Herpt
When I was little I went through a phase where I wanted everyone to call me “Cheetah” and refused to answer to anything else. “Nettie, time to get ready for bed.” my mom said. “Call me Cheetah.” I bargained. “Nets! I hear the ice-cream truck — let’s go get some!” my big brother said. “Call me Cheetah.” I negotiated. In any given circumstance where my claim to this new name was not being respected, all involved were treated to my offended disdain. Sheesh! What’s a girl-child have to do to get everyone on board with her new name?
And why did I want this new name? I found out that cheetahs are the fastest animal on the planet and so of course I wanted to (in addition to wanting to be a princess-ballerina-acrobat) be a cheetah.
My daughter also went through a cat identification stage but hers lasted
much longer than mine and included an uncanny mimicry of the way a cat
moves on all fours and actually licking people. Don’t worry, She’s
outgrown that part of it.
What has me thinking of that foray into feline wanna-be-ness is this new study, reported on in an article over at io9, in which the principles behind why cheetahs often overheat when they have hunted successfully is explained: The science of hot cheetahs by Joseph Bennington-Castro