Tag: ipad

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?

‘Hey, This Is Buddy’s Site! More Buddy!’

Buddy tells me he’s not happy that his blog — which is supposed to be about all things Buddy, after all — has been taken over by snow monkeys and the bright lights of Tokyo.

Thus we interrupt our regularly scheduled travelogue to check in with His Grace and see how he’s doing.

Yesterday was my brother’s birthday so we FaceTimed with mom back in New York — morning for her, evening for us. Of course I asked if Bud was driving her crazy (she says he isn’t) and called out to him.

He made his way toward the direction of the sound, the iPad, and appeared confused.

“He’s looking for you,” mom said.

She picked him up and showed him the screen, and Buddy started vocalizing with a unique mix of meows and mews. He blinked at me and I blinked back. He kept talking.

But did he really recognize me in the screen? What would serve as a signal?

Buddy the Dapper
This is an outrage! Who is going to scratch my chin precisely in the way I prefer it? You must return, servant!

That’s when I did the slow one-eyed blink, and he returned it immediately! It’s anecdotal, but I think I can safely say my cat most definitely recognized me on a screen from halfway around the world. He doesn’t do the one-eyed blink unless it’s deliberate, and only as a way of communicating to me.

Now if I could translate those meows and mews I think they might mean something like this:

“Where are you?! The fact that you’re having fun without me is not cool! This servant has been…adequate…but I demand you return to the Kingdom of Buddy immediately and resume your minionly duties! I need my chin scratched, and your mom won’t let me groom her hair. Unacceptable!”

Sorry, little dude. You’re just gonna have to make do without me for a little while yet. And hey, you should appreciate mom. She’s treating you well!

Note: Welcome Japanese readers! I didn’t realize I’d see a flood of new traffic from Japan after enabling location-tagged posting, so this is a pleasant surprise. Yes, this is normally a blog about a cat, but at the moment I’m in your beautiful country and enjoying every minute of it. I hope I’m doing justice to Tokyo and the surrounding areas, and if I’ve gotten anything wrong, please don’t hesitate to correct me. Cheers!