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Portrait Of A Cat's Eyes

In awe of beauty and design

Photographing Strays

Cyprus is renowned for its love of cats, which were allegedly brought to the island by Helena of Constantinople in the 4th century AD to control a snake infestation at St. Nicholas monastery. There is also evidence of the presence of wildcats in Cyprus from Neolithic times, predating Egyptian cat domestication by several millennia.

Nowadays, cats are to be found all over the island, particularly along the coastal paths. One morning as I walked, I spotted my striped friend staring out from the shade of a bush. Quickly, I zoomed in with my camera and captured the image featured above. The cat remained oblivious to my presence and continued to focus intently on the antics of a fellow feline.

Complex Design

The resulting photograph portrays the striking beauty and design of the cat’s eyes. In the daylight, the pupils are vertically elongated, which means they control how much light enters the eyes by working like the aperture of a camera¹. They can adapt much more quickly than a human eye, facilitating both day and night hunting. Belinda Smith writes in Cosmos magazine: Overall a cat’s pupils can expand by 135-fold and can perform like built-in night vision goggles. By contrast human pupils expand by a factor of 15.²

According to a study by Martin Banks from the University of California, the unique design of the eye found in cats and other small predators also helps them to judge distance. To do this, the slit-shaped pupil enables both binocular vision and blur vision. Binocular vision helps judge vertical contours at a distance and blur vision focuses on closer objects with horizontal contours.³

‘Cat’s Eyes’

If you own a cat in your home, you may be accustomed to seeing its eyes glowing in the dark. Cats, along with other nocturnal animals, have tapetum lucidum (shining layer) at the back of their eyes. This is a ‘tiny mirror’ which reflects light to help them see at night.⁴

Light reflection in cats’ eyes on a dark night was the inspiration for Percy Shaw’s cat’s eyes on our roads. I have driven in countries where there are no cat’s eyes, only to have their value reinforced particularly on precarious foggy nights. Numerous accidents have been prevented by this wonderful invention!

The Creator

It is inspiring to observe the intricate design of a cat's eye. This complexity points to an Intelligent Designer, One who is infinitely greater than all of creation.

The Bible presents God as the true Source of life. He made human beings in His image and holds all things together in the universe. He has been revealed through the appearance of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

Colossians 1:16-17

As we see our Creator's fingerprints on all of creation, we can marvel at His skillful handiwork in the portrait of a cat's eyes.

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1. “Here’s Why Cats Have Such Strange, Haunting Eyes, Explained” By Science by Julia Calderone, Business Insider

2. “Why Do Cats Have Slit-Shaped Eyes?” by Belinda Smith, Cosmos

3. “Pupil Shape Linked To Animal’s Place In Ecological Web” by Sarah Yang, Berkley News



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