The Pirate Kitty Theory: How a House Cat Being let out led to the Extinction of the Dodo Bird

Dr. David Summers1 , Booyah2

1 Department of Cat Ecology, Cranberry-Lemon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

2 Indian Ocean Ecological Department, Greater Somali-East Indies Academic Society of Pirates and Scallywags, Mozambique, Somalia

Abstract

It may not have been the Dutch settlements, or the 17th century sailors, but one of the sailor’s cats who killed the Dodo. The Dodo is a flightless bird universally used as a symbol for extinct animals. It lived undisturbed on the remote island of Mauritius and looked like it couldn’t survive modern life. Because of the Dutch settlements, humans have been largely to blame for its disappearance. However, new bone fragment evidence confirmed by predator-prey models, Epic Battle Simulator, and a housecat trained Generative Adversarial Network [1] show that a single pirate’s cat may have decimated the Dodo population beyond recovery in the late 17th century. This wild claim is additionally backed up by the tales and exploits from the journal of the Infamous Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson.  

Keywords: Dodo, Ecology, Predator-Prey Models, Epic Battle Simulator, Generative Adversarial Networks, Pirates

1. Introduction

In 1598, European sailors first encountered the Dodo bird on Mauritius. In under a century, they became extinct. While originally blamed on human hunting [2], and then on the destruction of the Dodo’s habitat by human agriculture [3], new evidence shows that the Lion-share (or cat-share) of blame should be directed to one cat named Lord Whiskers who arrived and flourished across Mauritius aboard The Silver Fox an English pirate ship . 

Late last year, a journal was discovered belonging to the English Pirate Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson. In the journal, he detailed multiple brushes with Dutch merchants and sailors while taking harbor across hidden coves around the island of Mauritius while narrowly escaping capture while plundering across the Indian ocean. According to Poopdeck’s accounting of his life, they brought aboard one vicious cat [Appendix A] who did his own pillaging and raiding while docked on shore on the island. 

While the fantastical recounting of Lord Whisker’s hunting ventures may have not been taken seriously, further analysis shows that what the Dutch did to the Dodo’s environment is insignificant in comparison to the savage and brutal escapades of one kitty cat. 

2. ‘Poopdeck’s Accounting and Other Evidence

As excerpts from [4] are shown in Appendix A-F, Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson sailed the Indian ocean in his ship The Silver Fox while it was primarily controlled by the Dutch in the 17th century. With the early trade routes being established by the Dutch East-India Company, there were endless opportunities. After plundering and general pirating during the day, ‘Poopdeck’ would often lay low along the coasts of Mauritius East of Madagascar. 

Figure 1: Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson and his ship The Silver Fox
Figure 1: Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson and his ship The Silver Fox

According to the accounting detailed in [4], ‘Poopdeck’ would change up the location of his ports to evade capture. He was unlikely to ever break land in the same location more than once except to retrieve buried supplies. While docked, The Silver Fox’s cat Lord Whisker’s would be released ashore along with the crew. As shown in the excerpts outlined in Appendix C, D, and E, Lord Whiskers would murder on average one dozen Dodo’s an hour while the crew would only hunt and eat less than 10% of the Dodo carcases brought back to The Silver Fox’s crew for the cat’s validation. 

3. Predator-Prey Modelling

This paper will compare and contrast the effects of the Dutch hunters, land use, as well as Lord Whisker’s personal bloodsport through Lotka-Volterra modelling as well as advanced simulations and GAN machine learning. For each of the models, an initial population of 37,000 Dodo birds was assumed according to the estimate in [5]. 

3.1 Lotka-Volterra Equations

Using the classic Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model, the data extracted from [4] and the estimates of the 17th century Dodo population can be easily transformed into the differential equations below where x is defined by the number of Dodo’s and y is the number of Lord Whiskers.

dxdt = x + βy             (1)

dydt = xy + y           (2)

According to the records annotated in appendix F Lord Whisker’s was allegedly ‘As old as the ship herself’ which would make y 1 and dydt zero. was then selected to be some number estimated in [5] while was high and estimated by Poopdeck’s detailed accounting in his journal [4]. With these equations simplified, we questioned the fundamental use of using any advanced ODE models because we were only measuring the rate at which Whiskers killed Dodo’s which thankfully wasn’t going to need any Laplace transforms.  

3.2 Simulation Design and Execution

According to the excerpt in E, when a Dodo began to cry out for help while being savagely maimed by Lord Whiskers, all of the nearby Dodo’s would begin racing to their rescue only to become another victim. Because Whisker’s was known to play with his food, this was a regular occurrence at each port on Mauritius. This hunting mechanic allowed for our research team to run accurate simulations using the verified and validated gaming engine and combat simulator Epic Battle Simulator [6]. 

As demonstrated by classic simulations such as One Super Sherman Tank vs 2,000,000 Romans [7], 1000 T-Rex vs 80,000 Chickens [8], 50 John Wicks vs 2 Million Zombies [9] and much more, epic battle simulator was the perfect way to simulate a small amount of super soldiers against a large amount of powerless units and determine how much time it would take to decimate an entire population of flightless birds. 

3.3 Bandit-DoDo Adversarial Network

We decided to attempt to create a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) model because we kept hearing people talk about it and it had the word adversary in the name. It seemed perfect for modelling an actual adversary based on how we understood how GAN’s worked and it would be nice to get some machine learning into this paper for the buzzwords and academic cred. Unfortunately we soon realized it didn’t have much to do with the type of adversary we were thinking about and we were too embarrassed to back down so we made one anyway. We should have learned our lesson from when we tried to model deforestation in 3rd world countries using a Random Forest Algorithm [10]. 

Thankfully we had the two above models and some data from the vicious cat Bandit killing birds at a rapid pace from the drone defence program in [1] utilising the cat shown in figure 2. We input the results into some PyTorch GAN library and prayed that we would be able to interpret the results. 

Figure 2: Bandit the Cat
Figure 2: Bandit the Cat

4. Results and Discussion

The results from the three separate models are shown in figure 3 where the y axis is the estimated Dodo population and t is unlabelled time. The Blue represents the Lotka-Volterra equation model estimate, while the green represents the results from our Epic Battle Simulator, and the red results show what we think are the GAN results. The uncertainties of each model were graphed but were too large to be seen once we zoomed in on the results.

Figure 3: Predator-Prey Model Results
Figure 3: Predator-Prey Model Results

Naturally, the L-V equations created the most trustworthy looking line due to its own simplicity. Unfortunately for the Epic Battle Simulator results, the software was unable to simulate the long naps Lord Whiskers would take on the high seas in between mass slaughtering of Dodos and only estimated how long it would theoretically take Whisker’s to kill all of the Dodo’s on the island without any breaks and a constant stream of screaming Dodos crying for mercy. Unfortunately, we either didn’t correctly interpret the GAN model or it didn’t work. Because we don’t know, we’re going to blame it on not having enough data. 

Many sceptics and reviewers of this paper have raised concerns that an adult Dodo is too large for a typical cat to hunt and that our simulations are dubious as well as our trust in Poopdeck’s testimony. To this we answer, Lord Whisker’s was no ordinary cat, and they clearly don’t understand how cats work. A murderous cat is the only explanation of the many Dodo skeletons found completely in tact and in mass graves near our best interpretations of Poopdeck’s buried treasure map locations which led to seven empty chests and no gold to report to the IRS. If it were due to human consumption, the bones would have been scattered. Only a cat would kill so many just for sport.

5. Conclusion

Across all of the theories, this pirate cat explanation of what happened to the Dodo bird is the most simplistic, the most researched, respected among my Instagram followers, and the most corroborated with actual evidence in pirate treasure locations. You would have to be an idiot with your head buried in the sand to disagree with us. 

7. References

  1. Summers, D. 2022 The Cat Homing Infrared Laser Drone Defense (CHILD) System: A Novel Approach to Suburban Defense :: Journal of Astrological Big Data Ecology
  2. Swanson, R. 1662, The Dodo Bird’s Uselessness and Cultivating Fertile Land for Exportable Spices :: Imperial Historical Society Collection of Essay.
  3. Swanson, R. Jr. 1693, Maybe We Killed the Dodo Birds? A Critical Analysis of My Dad’s Work :: Imperial Historical Society Collection of Essay
  4. Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson Untitle Memoir: Translated by the Royal Pirate Society
  5. I was really hoping you actually wouldn’t check here, we have no idea how many Dodo birds there were but we had to put a number down or we couldn’t run the analysis. 37,000 is a good number and they’re decent estimates. Hey, we’ll redact this and republish if we find a better estimate but our arbitrary numbers are pretty good I think
  6. Poeson-Wilson J. May 2018 Epic Battle Simulator as an Economic Tool for Invasive and Endangered Species Modelling :: Journal of Video Game Ecological Modelling
  7. One Super Sherman Tank vs 2,000,000 Romans  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58GWLbkJgmg :: Youtube
  8. 1000 T-Rex vs 80,000 Chickens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOucVPW4he4&t=1127s  :: Youtube
  9. 50 John Wicks vs 2 Million Zombies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44REZHNiYc0 :: Youtube
  10. Summers D. June 2021 A Failed Random Forest Algorithm Analysis of what’s going on in the Amazon :: Unpublished

Appendix A: Private Diaries of Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson Summer 1617 Excerpt: ‘Poopdeck’ ships off with Lord Whiskers

       …, my wife Margaret has left me for another man and my father has disowned me for my issues with the devil’s rollers [dice]. I have taken thee dividends of perchance to acquire a ship. We set sail for the far East. There is nothing for me here and there are tales of riches and fortune past the cape in the oceans of Asia. I have christened the ship as The Silver Fox in protest of my father, as it twas his moniker. His name shall live in infamy. 

       We had no issue finding men of fortune. After posting a need of a crew with promise of riches at a local tavern, the ship’s space was soon occupied with men who seek more than riches and a new start but adventure. 

    According to my quartermaster, Winsley, we have accepted a crew of 27 and oddly enough an alley cat of a peculiar countenance who found his way aboard. We have provisions to make it thus to the East Indies. 

      The crew has taken a liking to the cat and hast named him “Lord Whiskers”. He’s a spry thing and playful. I imagine we could use Lord Whisker’s expertise in catching the small vermin who have unexpectedly boarded as well. He’s a hardy fellow….

Appendix B: Private Diaries of Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson Spring 1618 Excerpt: The Crew arrives at the Indian Ocean

      …A voyage of several months, we circumnavigated the ports around the cape and made our way to the promised land. In the vast Indian ocean, opportunity beckons our canons to take our wealth rightfully ours. I do aspire to a quick victry’ as our provisions have run a’dry. In the last meals, we’ve only consumed what birds t’which were captured gracefully by the growing Lord Whisker’s

     He’st a young kitten no more, providing for our crew. Every sailor and adventurer alike knew what he was getting into. 

    Aspirations aren’t a substitute for a good hardy meal and we have Lord Whisker’s to thank for the last three nights’ meat. Things are grim all we require’s a good unprotected vessel and our luck’ll turn around. 

     …

     The island of Mauritius appeasrs’t to be an ideal getaway. Hideaway ports desolate and under populated. The location’ll be a helpful location in the eventuality we get in over our heads…

Appendix C: Private Diaries of Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson Fall 1622 Excerpt: first food crisis averted by Lord Whiskers blood lust for the Dodos

      …As expected a raid hast gone a’ry and we’ve escaped to a small port off of Mauritius. A Dutch frigate hast follow’t beyond the horizon, caught us off guard. We made it away thus, only three reams of silk and no meat or spices. Best of luck next time…

     …Upon landing a’shore at a marked inlet, we’ve shaken the frigate with what booty we kept. The land is devoid of sustenance. However, a strange group of large birds the size of a toddler. They don’t appear to be dangerous or even able to fly away, but with no meat left they do look tasty. 

     We were low on gun powder so I told the men to not use their pistols. Before my first mate Schmitty could find a thumping stick large enough for thumping ol’ Whiskers jumped off board the Silver Fox and on the beach and began tearing a’part their necks. 

      One after another, that cat kept attacking, feathers everywhere. They were each three times his size, but he didn’t care, he just saw targets and fell into a spell o’ the  blood lust. If my men were half as savage as whiskers we wouldn’t have been in this mess…

     …Three hours hast gun’ by n’ Lord Whiskers has retired to a ray n’ the sun. An entire flock’ o’ the birds lay waste in the aftermath. W’n they stop’d arrivin’ Whiskers stopped killin’. 

     There was no question what was for supper that eve’… 

Appendix D: Private Diaries of Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson Winter 1631 Excerpt: Run ashore of the Dutch East India Company, Whiskers kills hundreds of Dodos in between naps

…We’ be’en stuck in the drip for a fortnight. No sign o’ the heat blowin East. A botch job on a Dutch six gun cargo ship turn’t to a trap by the VOC [Dutch East India Company]. Th’d be’en ‘fter us for two moons. 

      We’d starve ‘f it wern’t fir th’ ‘bundance o’ land-birds. She swell, she swarm, she d’nt fly away. Tha crew luv em, ‘n Whisker’s ki’lt fifty, nay hundret’ aye day. Too ‘bundant fir tha stomachs. 

     He pil’ em [bones] up, lay em by the fire. Say ‘e’s sign [meow] n’ go back fir more til’ break o’ dawn to nap n’ the morning dew. Thirteen summers n’ that cat is a fixture in the Silver Fox more than aye. ‘E th’rd eldest member o’ tha crew…

Appendix E: Private Diaries of Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson Spring 1643 Excerpt: Lord Whiskers prevents mutiny

     …Ten d’ays no meat. Ran o’t o’ bred n’ grain last Sundey. I fear mutiny. Tha crew’s new blood. Cruit’d frum the lands of the sl’ves. H’alf the men, dun speak the Queen’s tongue. Th’y speak tha language o’ gun powder bu’t fer how long? I wonder…

     …No ships no loot, no booty, we run amuck Mauritius ‘a’gain, sa’fe from the galle’ of the merchants we rub off last y’e ‘semptember. C’me bac fer vengeance y’e has. 

     St’ck in the bay ill a’ storm m’ask n’ exit. Nuthin ta eat b’t the killin’s o’ that cat o’ Whisker’s. He’ still ‘around. Killin n’ napp’n n’ purrin, ‘n Mowzin. ‘es a life-line ‘s what he is! 

     ‘e killz a one o’ tha birds, then she screeks n’ squacks like a’ oh harlot oh tha mainland [india]. So’n mor’ cum n’ try n’ a rescue. To neigh ‘vail, they dead as she’ep ta tha slaughter they is…

    …’nly reason aye still got command, that damn cat’s kills saved aye agayn…

Appendix F: Private Diaries of Captain Cooksley ‘Poopdeck’ Johnson Summer 1653 Excerpt: the end of the Dodo and Capn’ ‘Poopdeck’

    …Aye, I’ve got em weary bonz tha same as this ship. Ay’ve become that same as the o’ Silver Fox Aye h’ve. Aye see thy end o’ a era aye huv. O’ Lurd Whiskers aye have dun her deed dun. Set port aigan in a trusty landfull in aye port o’ the Mauritius. This tim no b’rds. N’thin, maybe one, maybe twain. Thy cat hast hunt’d thy land o’ dry as aye h’ve cl’ean’d the wat’rs dry’ o plunder. 

     Old we are, Whisker’s and ‘s Cap’n. ey’ don’ call me ‘Poopdeck’ fir Nothin Herherher [Hahaha]. Aye, maybe she part of the crew and becum thy new capn’ whun aye re’s thes’ wear’ buns to dea’th. E’ aldor an’ tha Ship ‘e is….

     …Neigh birds, neigh plunder, she a’ good ship she is, deserv’e a good kitty a’ a capn’…

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Published by B McGraw

B McGraw has lived a long and successful professional life as a software developer and researcher. After completing his BS in spaghetti coding at the department of the dark arts at Cranberry Lemon in 2005 he wasted no time in getting a masters in debugging by print statement in 2008 and obtaining his PhD with research in screwing up repos on Github in 2014. That's when he could finally get paid. In 2018 B McGraw finally made the big step of defaulting on his student loans and began advancing his career by adding his name on other people's research papers after finding one grammatical mistake in the Peer Review process.

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