Category: misc

Viral FB Post Claims Cats Have One Emotion: Contempt

You have to feel sorry for the people still stuck in the Zuckerbergian cesspit that is Facebook, spending their days wading through tedious political arguments and “SHARE IF U AGREE” shitposts written for the paste-eating crowd.

Unfortunately, the platform’s rampant misinformation is not limited to politics. Here’s one of the latest viral posts:

Facebook Derp
Derp derp derp! A derp a derp derp derp!

And this is what it looks like now, to protect people like your aunt who keeps sending you email forwards about Pizzagate:

Facebook: Derp!
Despite the flagged warning, people are still sharing the post. “Big Tech doesn’t want us to know the truth ’bout cats!”

Whenever I encounter stuff like this, my first instinct is to dismiss it as nonsense no one would actually believe. Then I remember our dubious track record when it comes to critical thinking: a third of millennials are flat-Earthers, one in four Americans thinks the sun orbits the Earth, and more than 16 million Americans believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

Some futurists and ethicists thought the world wide web would bring an end to conspiracy theories and outlandish beliefs, with the sum of human knowledge at our fingertips and the disinfectant power of the truth. But falsehoods have remarkable staying power, and the internet is happy to oblige any conspiracy theory no matter how far removed from reality, with sites like this one that says it offers “no-bullshit truth”:

Screenshot_2021-02-25 Why do cats purr

Screenshot_2021-02-25 Why do cats only feel contempt

So at the risk of stating the obvious, purring has nothing to do with a cat’s heartbeat, and cats experience all the same primary emotions we do (happiness, sadness, fear, excitement, nervousness) as well as quite a few secondary emotions, like jealousy, disappointment, contentment and confidence.

The idea that animals like cats and dogs are emotionless automatons went out of favor more than half a century ago, and modern technology has made it possible for scientists to peer into the minds of our domesticated friends and witness brain activity that mirrors our own when we process emotions. There is no debate: Cats have very real emotions, which is another compelling reason to treat them well.

What Animal Is Your Heart?

I stumbled into this on Twitter, and it’s a reminder that amazing things can still exist in this cesspit we call the internet.

Teacher Kate Clanchy writes: “What animal is your heart? Is one of my favourite poetry questions. But I’ve never had an answer like this.” She’s referring to this poem by one of her students, 17-year-old Kyla Pereles:

“My heart is a cockroach caught in the mouth of an alley cat.

This cat has not always been feral. It had known the warm spot on the rug in front of the fireplace. But on a summer’s day someone left the door open.

The cat, not knowing any dark thing, leapt away from love. (My heart leaves open cans of sardines for the alley cat. Every runaway full of regret deserves to be fed.)

The cat makes a bed of missing pet posters the wind tore down.

And the cat is hissing at shadows in its sleep.

And the cat is shivering in its matted fur.

And the cat is meowing at the restaurant backdoor.

A waiter, who is also my heart, leaves the back door open so the cat can be warm for the rest of his shift.

But the cat is feral. The owner of the restaurant shoves him back into the snow with a broom.

The cat sleeps until the snow reminds it of the rug. Small things seem sadder when they are alone.

So the cockroach does not mind being in the jaw of something just as lonely.

A little girl follows the paw prints that made a snow angel around the cat. Despite the cockroach in its mouth and its matted fur, she picks it up.

And the cat, who knows of dark things now, spends summer in the lap of the little girl, who is also my heart.”

Kyla’s got a hell of a career ahead of her if she chooses to pursue writing.

catinsnow2