If you’ve ever wondered about the little slit on the outside of your cat’s ear, you’ve found Henry’s pocket.
You’ve also found one of the biggest mysteries of a cat’s anatomy.
This velvety little pocket has no known purpose. It’s formally known as cutaneous marginal pouch, but no one seems to know why it’s there… Or why it’s called Henry’s Pocket.
There is speculation that this delicate fold of skin helps cats to hear high pitched sounds by reducing the intensity of low frequencies. Makes sense. The primary prey for cats – like mice and other rodents – make very high pitched noises.
Cat’s are stealthy predators and the ability to twist and point their ears in every direction helps them hunt. Cat’s are also prey to larger predators – so their extraordinary hearing also helps protect them. It’s worth noting as well that a cat’s ear is more sophisticated than just the mystery of Henry’s Pocket. There are 32 muscles that control each of these impressive instruments – allowing them to better enhance and locate sound. Given the complexity and importance of cats ears, I’m surprised Henry’s Pocket is the only part we don’t fully understand!
And here’s the bigger mystery. Who is Henry? Is he a cat? Is he a human that first noticed this little pocket? Hours (yes hours) of research has given us no information as to the origin of Henry. If you know, please let us know here. Seriously. How is it possible such a fascinating fact remains undiscovered?!
Here’s one thing we do know for certain. Henry’s Pocket is a welcome home for fleas, ticks and bacteria – so keep an eye on this precious pouch. #protectthepocket 😻
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