More than four out of every five Zoom feeds are taken up by feline posteriors, a new study has found.
The research, “Felis Catus Rears In Online Meetings” was published this month in the Journal of Cats and Technology.
“With so many people working from home during the pandemic we had a wealth of data, including more than 400,000 hours of recorded Zoom meetings,” said Mo Muntervary, the study’s lead author. “Using a proprietary AI to analyze the data, we found that in approximately 332,000 hours of that footage, the Zoom meeting participants were either partly or completely obscured by the rear ends of their cats.”
Between March of 2020, when the US and Europe went into lockdown, and July of 2021, virtually every meeting in the information industries was run by participants looking at the behinds of their co-workers’ cats, the study found.
“I can pick my co-workers’ cats’ butts out of a police lineup,” said Yuzu Daimon, 32, a hospitality executive in Tokyo. “If I see a screen dominated by the behind of a chonky tuxedo, I know AI Imajo from creative has joined the meeting. If I see orange and black Bengal butt, I know it’s Hirotaro Tanaka in accounting.”
Some say they prefer the view over the normal dour expressions of colleagues working from home.
“Some of my best creative ideas of the past two years have come from staring at a screen full of cat butts,” said Luisa Rey, a writer for Spyglass Magazine in New York.
Conventional wisdom holds that cats park themselves in front of web cameras because they’re trying to draw the attention of their humans, but that may not be the case according to some experts.
“We have to consider the possibility that this is intentional on the part of felines,” said cat behaviorist Selina Kyle. “They may be trying to tell us they’re tired of people infringing on their alone time, when people were in the office before COVID changed everything. They may be looking to annoy us in retaliation for us annoying them, and if this is indeed a battle of annoyingness, then I’m afraid it’s a battle humankind cannot win. We are simply outgunned.”