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Douglas R. Skopp

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Books by Douglas R. Skopp
Gussie, the cat who domesticated lettuce
By Douglas R. Skopp
Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Last edited: Monday, September 17, 2012
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Douglas R. Skopp
· Hooey, the Cat Who Helped Johnny Appleseed
· Celestine, the cat who helped Galileo...
· Hypatia (born 350-370? died 415)
· Details
· Byron Luckipaw, the cat who established the first Scenic Over-look
· Frou-Frou, the cat who supported the French Revolution
· Amber, the cat who opposed stir-fried breakfast cereal
           >> View all 14
Here's one of a couple of dozen stories I've researched and written about cats who have, perhaps unwittingly, helped humankind... Enjoy!

                  Nearly fifty million years ago, Gussie, a formidable tabby who had lost an eye in a fight with a pterodactyl, began the evolutionary chain of events that led to the domestication of lettuce. Until Gussie’s initiative, lettuce was eaten only by herbivorous dinosaurs. Stomping the thirty-foot-high lettuce trees ( Lactuca sativa gigans) into a palatable pulp in the vicinity of boiling hot springs, the desperate dinosaurs chomped on the steamy lettuce mush when nothing else was available. Gussie changed all that when he decided to use a stand of lettuce trees near his den for a comfort station.

                  Gussie was followed in this unprecedented act by his devoted clan. Over the generations, the lettuce trees became stunted and lost their spines as the soil absorbed the cat’s contributions. Slowly, lettuce evolved into the form we know today. Some paleobotanists argue that the lettuce tree acquired the tendency to form heads as a protective strategy against cats who loved to sharpen their claws on its trunk. Whether the evolved lettuce was in fact poisonous to dinosaurs and contributed to their extinction has not yet been determined. 

Web Site: Shadows Walking, A Novel  

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 7/13/2014

gussie had fortitude and foresight, yay gussie, enjoyed the read, anything about a feline has my vote
Reviewed by Keith Rowley 9/17/2012
Charming!

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