TIL that a cat once co-authored a physics paper. In 1975, a physicist had just finished writing a paper and was ready to publish but realized that he had used ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ throughout, despite being the sole author. Not wanting to edit the paper, he listed his cat, Chester, as a co-author.


This is the cat, by the way: 

I trust him

Ok but the best part is, physicists loved the joke. When people called the author’s university and he wasn’t available, they’d ask to speak with the co-author instead. The author issued a limited number of copies of the article signed by both authors. (Chester’s was obviously a pawprint.) And to this day, physics papers will often have F.D.C Willard (Felix Domesticus, Chester Williard [Willard was the author’s father’s name]) mentioned in the footnotes thanking his “useful contributions to the discussion”.

Leave a Reply