At least until the next Kentucky Derby, I have a cat-on-horse crush on Lukas, a 17-year-old Thoroughbred whose brains just got recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Lukas is a chestnut gelding originally named Just Ask Mike. He raced only 3 times as a 2-year-old because it bowed both of his front tendons.
For the next 7 years, he was sold several times and faced serious neglect. Then when Lukas was 9, his luck changed. Karen Murdock bought him and they now live in Walnut, California.
As Lukas became more comfortable around Murdock, he started doing little physical tricks, so she taught him to identify colors, shapes, numbers, how to tell when things are the same or different, and how to catch a rag tossed at his face, which is supposed to be a big deal because horses hate that.
Lukas does it all for carrots.
He got into Guinness for “Most Numbers Correctly Identified by a Horse in One Minute.” He picked out numbers on verbal command 19 times in less than a minute under very precise conditions and before witnesses.
Murdock ultimately hopes to reduce horse abuse by showing people how smart they are. You’d think any human with half a brain would twice before being mean to an animal big enough to stomp the living sh*t out of him, but…
Lukas has another talent Guinness doesn’t recognize, which is a sense of “absentness.” He can tell when something is missing. Humans seem to think this is something only parrots and primates can do.
Au contraire. Just mess with any cat’s favorite blankie, bed, or bowls or, heaven forbid, move Cole’s Teddy or red mousey, and we’ll reward you for creating absentness by shredding your body parts.
If they ever decide to remake Mister Ed, I think Lukas would be a natural for the starring role.