Category: viral cat videos

Got A Rat Problem? Get A Cat To…Befriend It And Groom It?

Cats and humans began their grand partnership some 10,000 years ago, when kitties handled humans’ pesky rodent problem and people repaid the felines with food, shelter and companionship.

Now the deal’s off, apparently.

Yesterday a Reddit user shared a video titled “When you get a cat hoping it will help you get rid of the big rat in your yard.”

The video shows the user’s new cat, a tortoiseshell/calico, “solving” the rat problem by befriending the rodent, playing with it and even grooming it.

The video has amassed almost 86,000 upvotes in 24 hours.

The odd friendship between feline and rodent is not without precedent. Studies have shown that cats are not effective rodent hunters in urban settings where rats have gone unchallenged for so long that they rival or exceed the size of most members of Felis catus.

In certain neighborhoods of New York City, for example, researchers observed cats essentially ignoring massive rats and in some cases eating trash side by side with them. The largest rats, apparently aware of the truce, are equally unconcerned by the presence of the cats. Other rats were more cautious around kitties.

The scene reminded me of the time my brother wanted me to bring Bud over to handle his rat problem. At the time he was living on 88th St. in Manhattan, less than a block from Gracie Mansion. His apartment had an unusual perk for Manhattan living — it was a spacious ground floor flat that opened up into a private, fenced-in backyard with grass and a few trees.

Mighty Bud
Tremble before him! Buddy the Mighty Slayer of Rodents!

In fact, it was one of the first places I took Buddy after adopting him. He was just a kitten, maybe 14 weeks old, and I brought him with me on a warm summer day when my brother had a few friends over for a barbecue.

Buddy made fast friends with my brother’s Chihuahua-terrier mix, Cosmo, and spent the day playing with his doggie cousin, frolicking in the grass and chasing bugs around the yard. Then he got a treat: Steak from the grill, chopped into tiny Buddy-size pieces.

Having a backyard in Manhattan was awesome, but there was a downside. At night the yard was like a stretch of highway for marauding rats who ran across it in numbers with impunity, probably en route to raiding the garbage bins of a bodega on the corner of 88th. The rats were so emboldened and so numerous, you could hear them scurrying across the yard at night.

My brother proposed bringing Buddy over and letting him loose in the yard after dark, letting his claws and predatorial instincts thin the rodential herd.

I declined, using the excuse that Bud could pick up diseases from going to war with the rats. That was true, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have come to that: At the first sign of those rats, Buddy would have run screaming!

(We don’t acknowledge that around him, of course. Officially, Buddy was not set loose upon the Manhattan rats because it would be grossly unfair to unleash such a meowscular, brave and battle-hardened feline warrior upon them.)

It’s one thing if Buddy won’t kill rats. He’s a wimp. But as the Reddit video illustrates, we are apparently closing the chapter on 10,000 glorious years of human-feline partnership, and officially entering the Era of Zero Reciprocity.

We do everything for our cats, and in return they nap, eat and allow us to serve them. From their point of view, it’s a fine deal.

Meowscular Buddy!
Just look at those meowscular guns and vicious claws!

Titanic With A Cat!?

The last time I saw Titanic was in a movie theater 25 years ago when the film was just released, its theme song was befouling airwaves and its director, James Cameron, was playing at deep sea explorer in the Mariana Trench. (Cameron would return for an expedition more than a decade later, matching the depth of a science team who made the dive decades earlier, but doing it solo. His interest had been sparked by the work he did on Titanic.)

I remember feeling restless as the movie dragged out, then incredulous as women and girls all around me sniffled, dabbed at their eyes with tissues and even sobbed! Teenage Big Buddy could not comprehend it.

But this version of Titanic? It’s more my speed, coming in at an economical 1:07 running time and featuringOwlKitty in place of Kate Winslet:

As you can see, Winslet isn’t entirely gone from this cut. She just plays second fiddle to OwlKitty, Leonardo DiCaprio’s first love.

Who’s the Queen of the World now?

Want more OwlKitty? Check out her star turn in Jurassic Park, where she replaced the T-Rex and rampaged around the doomed island looking got catnip and treats.

What Do Cats Think When We Meow To Them?

We’ve all done it. Whether we’re bored, curious or just exasperated, every cat servant has meowed back to their furry overlord at some point, and the reactions of our feline friends run the gamut from pleasantly surprised to utterly confused.

The latter would be an apt description for Buddy’s reaction the first time I meowed back at him. I do recall a friendlier “conversation” in meow between us when he was a kitten and laying adorably on his back atop my desk, playfully reaching out at my fingers with his tiny paws as I typed.

However, it feels like our first real meowningful exchange came one day during a conflict: I needed to get some articles done on deadline, and Buddy was insistently pointing out it was dinner time.

Like all cats, if he doesn’t see some action starting 15 or 20 minutes before Official Meal Time, he makes sure I know Yum O’Clock is rapidly approaching. That’s exactly what he was doing as I pounded the keyboard, trying to tie up a pair of 750-word stories.

“Mmmmmrrrrrrrowww?” Buddy questioningly meowed, looking up at me. “Mmmmmrrrreeeowww? Mrrrrrrrrroooowww!”

Translation: “Uh, Big Bud? Dude? My yums aren’t here. Where’s my food, dude? Where’s my food? Where’s my FOOD?!?!”

He kept at it, increasing the volume, frequency and urgency of his meows to the point where you’d think he was dying, and I couldn’t ignore him any longer.

“Mrrrrrowww!” I mockingly meowed back to him. “I’m Buddy, and my dinner might be late! Mrrrrowwww! So terrible!”

He sat there dumbfounded, and I used those fleeting seconds as best I could. Then he decided that, yes, I was mocking him, and he made his displeasure known.

“MMMMRRROOOWWW! Mrrrrrrrppp!”

“Mrrrrooowww! My dinner isn’t here yet! The world is ending!”

Back and forth it went until he flopped onto my desk, breaking my line of sight with the monitor, and began protesting even more insistently.

This short video from Reddit shows a woman having a meowversation with her cat, who has a decidedly Buddesian look to him:

This kitty’s even got a white bib similar to Buddy’s!

He seems shocked that his human is finally singing The Song of His People, growing more insistent with each exchange.

“So she does speak the sacred tongue of Meow! It is a miracle! Wait, has she been listening to me complain about her all this time and I didn’t know it?!?”

Both reactions are amusing: Human servant laughing uncontrollably, cat having a revelatory moment.

Longtime readers of this blog will remember I once posted an audio clip of Bud and I having a conversation in meow. WARNING: Bud’s roar is extremely tiger-like and may trigger some listeners. If you’re uncomfortable with the sounds of savage and intimidating animals, please consider skipping this recording:

Oh who are we kidding, he sounds like a mix between baby Elmo and an 8-week-old kitten calling to his mommy for milk.

Just, uh, don’t tell him I said that…

How do your cats respond when you meow to them?

Breastfeeding A Cat On An Airplane Pt. III

I’m just going to present this here without comment, because nothing I can say can possibly make this any better than it is. If you’re unfamiliar with the original saga of breastfeeding cats at 40,000 feet, read our previous post here.

Watch the four parts from top to bottom in order:

And to think, I was ready to write another post about how Americans are all going crazy on planes. 🙂

Too Many ‘Cute’ Pet Videos Are Animal Abuse

I know I’ll probably catch some heat for this, but the below video, which a Newsweek writer gushes over and 8.8 million people favorited, is an example of animal abuse. It may not be violent, it may not be particularly overt, but it’s animal abuse all the same.

@cowlashes

She stays in bed like this alllll night 😉 her name is Pishy (pee-she)

♬ Great Mother In The Sky – Lionmilk

I get why people are saying this is “adorable” and think it’s sweet, but anyone familiar with cats can see clearly the kitty does not like being picked up, then placed in a bed on her back. She protests, then moves to get away, but her “owner” clamps her down and presses an admonitory finger to her nose.

Little Pishy’s ears twitch and her eyes dilate. Her owner slides her into position, then holds her down before tucking her in beneath a heavy comforter. Then the woman takes both of the Pishy’s paws, places them deliberately above the comforter just the way she likes them, and finally wags her finger in the cat’s face again before she’s finished, as if to warn her: “Don’t move a paw.”

Just before she steps away, she strokes Pishy’s paw a few times with a finger, an affectionate afterthought on her terms.

Pishy
This is not love. (Still image from TikTok video.)

Let’s be blunt here: The cat is not enjoying any part of the whole charade. She would almost certainly rather sleep like a cat, and not be treated as an infantilized, anthropomorphized stuffed animal. Her “owner” is dictating everything from the position in which she sleeps to where she can keep her paws.

“She stays in bed like this alllll night ;),” the TikToker brags in the video description.

Of course she does, because she’s probably scared to find out what will happen if she doesn’t. This isn’t a person who considers her cat a living being with her own feelings. She’s a person who sees her cat as a prop and a way to earn the adulation of strangers on the internet.

The same thing applies to all the “cute” videos of cats forced to wear clothing, glasses and hats, and posed in human-like positions. Last week, a short clip of two cats watching an iPad went viral. The cats are snuggled together in a miniature chair, posed like miniature humans. The larger cat has a paw around the smaller cat’s shoulders, and the tablet is balanced between their free paws.

Instead of gushing over the seemingly perfect 8 seconds we see, it’s worth thinking about what we don’t see, and how that manufactured scene came to be. I can assure you it does not involve animals who enjoy being posed like dolls for the benefit of an audience they don’t know exists, on a medium they don’t understand.

35034672-0-image-a-20_1604054071717
Cats dressed and posed as Robin Hood, Bob Ross, Spiderman, the monster from Stranger Things, some sort of naval admiral or Founding Father, and a Stark from Game of Thrones. I think.

1582240824134
A cat who doesn’t understand what a costume is, not enjoying his Freddie Kruger outfit.

I keep coming back to the best advice I ever got about taking care of a cat: The strength of the human-feline bond depends in large part on how much the human takes the cat’s feelings into consideration.

We’re much bigger, stronger and some of us subscribe to the archaic “might is right” way of thinking. Imagine the reverse: Five hundred pound cats as large as tigers, subjecting us to tongue baths at their whim, posing us like dolls and forcing us to sit, stand and sleep in feline positions because it’s “cute.”

I am by no means an expert in cat care, and I don’t pretend to be some sort of cat whisperer or cat guru, but one thing I’ve always done is let my cat decide when he wants affection and interaction. I’ve never grabbed him and held him in my lap, or tried to dress him in miniature samurai armor for social media snaps.

When he meows for a head scratch or lays down on my chest and purrs as he listens to my heart beat, it’s because he wants to be there, and he knows I won’t grab him and force him to stay when he wants to get up.

If I treated him like a doll and tried that tuck-in move with him, he’d claw the hell out of me, and I’d deserve it. He’s my Buddy, not my property or my puppet.

What do you think? Am I overreacting, or are you disturbed by these videos as well?