Richard Mize: Earthquake waves hit funny bone

The slightest quake sends wee wavelets through the house detectable only by a slight ripple in the cat’s water dish, noticeable only if a cat actually witnesses it.
by Richard Mize Published: April 12, 2014
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From the earthquake files:

Earthquakes send several types of seismic waves through the average Oklahoma household.

Let’s review.

The slightest quake sends wee wavelets through the house detectable only by a slight ripple in the cat’s water dish, noticeable only if a cat actually witnesses it.

Humans often realize such a quakelet and its associated wavelets have occurred only after observing prolonged immobility and water-staring by a cat.

Occasionally, this form of tiny quake can cause slight movement of food pellets in a cat food bowl, revealing the bowl bottom before a cat thinks it should be visible.

A cat, mistakenly believing the bowl to be prematurely empty, indignantly “acts out” or caterwauls in panic totally out of proportion to the earthquake event.

Despite the extremely slight movement of the earth, the cause here is known as a Hellcat Wave.

Next is a quake large enough to cause dishes to rattle slightly and certain adult beverages to spontaneously foam.

These are startling things to experience for most Oklahomans. Such waves, stemming from quakes of precisely 3.2 magnitude, are known to cause one to want a drink, but not really.

These are known, technically, as Low-Point Waves.

A third common quake in Oklahoma is one big enough to cause motion in a swivel-equipped rocking recliner. Seismic waves create a slight Tilt-A-Whirl effect and can cause the hint of nausea.


by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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