Tag: tikTok

Woman Sets Up Camera, Paranormal Activity Style, To Film Her Kitten Body-Slamming Her In Her Sleep

I have to admit, as cute as Buddy was as a kitten, I don’t miss the “war on sleep” phase.

A woman who adopted a kitten set up a camera to film what happens while she sleeps, like the main characters of the surprisingly scary 2007 film Paranormal Activity, except instead of doors opening and slamming shut by themselves, TVs turning on randomly and other freaky ghost stuff, she got footage of her new kitty gleefully waking her, mostly by belly-flopping on her snoozing human:

@jenna_nicole29

bet y’all can’t guess why i’m sleeping on the floor #catsoftiktok #psycho #fyp #fail #cat

♬ original sound – Jenna

I know the experience all too well, and I’d imagine most people who have had a kitten know it too.

Buddy was absolutely ruthless as a baby! He’d scurry into a corner or hide under my desk, wait until I was snoring or just on the cusp of sleep, then climb up and screech the kitten equivalent of “Geronimo!” as he kamikaze’d himself onto my stomach.

Not a fun way to wake up. At all.

Bud would celebrate with delighted trilling, then pad back into the shadows to wait for his next opportunity. Oftentimes I’d hear squeaky little kitten chirps and imagine him laughing as he planned his next attack. He had entirely too much fun torturing me at night.

But fear not, Jenna, it gets better! I’m happy to report the Budster is much sweeter and more considerate as an adult cat. He still wakes me up, but often not to the level of fully awake, and instead of a cat landing a triple lutz, double axle on my stomach, I’m treated to super-soft fur against my face and the calming vibration of the little dude’s purrs.

It might take the better part of a year, but your kitten will chill out, adjust to your sleep schedule and realize a peaceful snooze is more satisfying than nighty games of Harass the Human.

The feline tendency to sit on your face and screech into your ear if your cat’s hungry or really wants your attention? Unfortunately that never goes away…

TikTok’s Latest Viral Trend Is Popping Cat Pimples: Can We Ban This App Already?

I’m all out of withering sarcasm, so I’ll just say it: The newest trend on TikTok involves close-up videos showing people popping their Sphynx cats’ pimples.

The PewDiePie of the craze, if you will, is one @Sphynx.cleaner, whose videos show a woman’s carefully manicured hands holding a defeated-looking Sphynx cat and popping its pimples between her formidable fingernails.

Tens of millions of people have watched her videos of puss pimple-popping, not including the millions of other views accumulated by lesser practitioners of the grotesque genre.

Sphynx cats lack fur and have skin often compared to chamois leather. Fur helps cats absorb and redistribute naturally-occurring oils secreted by the skin, so felines of the Sphynx breed are much more susceptible to acne problems than typical short- and long-haired cats. Without fur to help redistribute them, the skin oils can create a “film” that clogs pores, according to Jessica Taylor, a veterinarian in North Carolina.

Sphynx pimples
Uh, no. Credit: Sphynx.cleaner/TikTok

Not surprisingly, popping a cat’s pimples makes things worse and is not pleasant for the kitty.

“These lesions indicate a disruption in the skin and skin barrier, and squeezing or poking them can introduce bacteria, potentially worsening the lesion, causing pain and infection,” Taylor told Newsweek. “If the lesion is already infected, handling it could spread bacteria to the pet parent.”

As for TikTok, this is not the first time one of the app’s trends has been detrimental to the health and safety of felines, although most of its inanity is focused on humans. I suppose you can view it as some sort of advanced Darwinian engine, accelerating the self-removal of human beings from the gene pool. Among the trends that have gone viral on the app:

  • People who use self-tanning bottles as nasal spray out of some misguided belief that ingesting the stuff will not only achieve the desired effect, but somehow lead to a more even, natural-looking distribution of tanner. It reminds me of former President Donald Trump’s impromptu suggestion, during a national press conference, that ingesting hand sanitizer could be a “tremendous” way to stop COVID.
  • Videos instructing women to eat the tablets inside Clearblue pregnancy tests as a “contraceptive hack,” claiming the tablets — which are designed to absorb urine during the chemical test — are actually morning after pills.
  • People ingesting methylene blue — an anti-fungal fish tank cleaner — because “fitness influencers” say it can “cure” COVID-19, boost metabolism and slow the aging process. Think of the triumph of critical thinking here: These are people who won’t get a vaccine that’s been through three-stages of trials before getting FDA approval, and whose efficacy and safety have been the subjects of rigorous peer review, but they’re willing to drink a chemical manufactured and sold as a cleaning solution for fish tanks.
  • The so-called Nyquil Challenge, in which people use Nyquil instead of cooking oil to cook chicken in a frying pan.
  • Period blood face masks, which are self-explanatory. Another grotesque and potentially dangerous trend started by “influencers” who claim some sort of nebulous expertise and know that “hacks” will net them attention and clicks. The more outrageous, the better.
https __prod.static9.net
“Did you know that urinal cakes are made by Carvel? It’s true! They’re deliciously chocolatey, with just a hint of vanilla, cinnamon and industrial strength anti-bacterial. Mmmmmm!”

Of course, we’ve known for years that Chinese companies are beholden to the Chinese government according to Chinese law, which means the government — and the communist party — can help itself to TikTok user data whenever it wants.

After TikTok’s US-based executives insisted to congress that American users’ data is firewalled and cannot be accessed by the company’s employees in China — and, by extension, the Chinese government — a series of leaks confirmed that China’s government was in fact regularly accessing that data. Absolutely no one, except maybe the politicians who think the internet is a “series of tubes,” were surprised by this revelation.

China’s government can use the data to track journalists, exploit American and European users, program its algorithm to shuffle them toward harmful content, censor content the Chinese government doesn’t like, and even coerce individuals by threatening to release information on their viewing habits.

So can we evacuate TikTok’s US headquarters already, raze it to the ground, and ban the app from every mobile store?

methblue2
“Mr. Darwin! Mr. Darwin let him go! Magnifico!”

Former Stray Cat Adopts A Stray Kitten

This former stray clearly has paternal instincts. He found an abandoned kitten and, remembering his own rough life on the street not so long ago, brought the little guy home to his human like “Can we keep him?!?”

@arnold.little

My cat found a kitten and this was right before he brought him inside his new house! #straycats #straykitten #meantforeachother #feralcats

♬ original sound – Arnold.little

The white cat’s human agreed to let him adopt the hungry baby, and now he’s a full time dad:

@arnold.little

He definitely has his hands full! Single dad life is not easy!! #straycats #feralboys #ijustwanttosleep

♬ Ricotrap God why – Ricotrap

Study: Even Experienced Caretakers Give Cats ‘Unwelcome Affection’

By chance, one of the first things I saw Tuesday in my post-wake-up browsing was a short video of three guys standing in a triangle formation, each of them with a puppy. A drum recording began, and the men began drumming an overturned pot in the middle with the puppies’ paws.

The dogs, of course, had no idea what was going on. They were confused and stressed. Then I saw this from the official TikTok page of Imperial Point Animal Hospital in Delray Beach, Florida:

That’s a veterinarian abusing a kitten.

It might not be overt abuse. She’s not hitting or screaming at the poor cat. But she’s taking a sentient being with its own feelings, likes and dislikes, comforts and discomforts, and using it as a toy for clicks and likes on social media.

I thought about that when I read the newest study from Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham, which looks at the way people interact with their cats and how their behavior may or may not align with what cats prefer and what they’re comfortable with.

Although Bud and I have a deep bond formed over more than seven years of spending time together, establishing trust, mutual respect and love, he would tear my face off if I did to him what the vet tech is doing to the kitten in the above video.

And you know what? He’d be justified, once he got over the shock and wondered if I’d been replaced with a doppleganger.

The UK study involved more than 100 felines at Battersea Dogs and Cats’ London cattery, with scientists recording interactions between humans and cats via a GoPro camera in a large pen where people can interact with cats one-on-one. There were 120 human participants of various ages and from different walks of life. Each person interacted with three cats separately.

Researchers looked at whether the cat or the human initiated interaction, where the human touched the cat, whether the human restrained the cat, and the cat’s response.

They also collected information on each human participant, such as how many cats they have at home and how long they’ve been caring for felines. Human participants rated themselves on how well they know cats and how well they take care of them.

They used a system that corresponds to the below image to grade physical affection. The image is mostly self-explanatory, but to be clear, the green areas are where cats like to be touched, the yellow areas are “meh,” and the red areas are no-go zones for most cats:

greenyellowredcatareas

In earlier studies, the team established what many cat caretakers know: Allowing cats to initiate physical interactions, going easier and lighter on petting, letting cats control how long the interactions last, and avoiding any kind of restraint are “best practices” for petting cats. They reaffirmed that scratching cats under the chin, rubbing their cheeks and forehead are “the best ways to increase their affection and reduce aggression.”

That might seem obvious, but in research there’s an important distinction between knowing something (or thinking you know it) and proving it with research. It’s important to prove it, and to forgo assumptions, to produce credible and repeatable experiments.

Animal behaviorist Lauren Finka, lead author on the new study, said although the above may seem like common knowledge among experienced caretakers, that’s not always true, and it’s not always reflected in their behavior.

“Our findings suggest that certain characteristics we might assume would make someone good at interacting with cats—how knowledgeable they say they are, their cat ownership experiences and being older—should not always be considered as reliable indicators of a person’s suitability to adopt certain cats, particularly those with specific handling or behavioral needs,” Finka said.

We should point out here that these are “best practices” for establishing a healthy, trusting relationship with cats, and taking their feelings into consideration. Lots of people might force their cats to do things without much push back, but that doesn’t mean the cat is happy. No one’s perfect, and there are always things we can learn about how to do better by our furry friends.

Finka also said she hopes people who run shelters and rescues take the research into consideration. That’s because some people run into the same problems I did: When you’ve never had a cat, and/or you don’t fit the profile of what people think a “cat person” is or should be, you could encounter resistance or skepticism from shelter staff.

One volunteer at an animal shelter asked me if I was adopting a kitten for my kids or girlfriend, because it didn’t occur to her that I’d want a cat. Some shelters require references from a veterinarian, which you can’t get if you’ve never had a pet before.

“Importantly, within shelters, we should also avoid discriminating against potential adopters with no previous cat ownership experience,” Finka said, “because with the right support, they may make fantastic cat guardians.”

For us, it’s more confirmation of what we’ve always believed: The more you take your cat’s feelings into consideration, and treat the little one with the respect he or she deserves, the happier your cat and the deeper your bond will grow.

Are Schools Forced To Accommodate Kids Who ‘Identify As Cats’?

Two curious stories relating to cats have been circulating online this week: In the first story, a substitute teacher claims she was fired because she refused to meow back to a student who “identifies as a cat,” while parents in a Michigan school district were infuriated by a rumor that the district was providing litter boxes to cat-identified students in school bathrooms.

First, the obvious, or perhaps not-so-obvious considering the media attention and outrage surrounding both stories: Neither one is true.

Why did people believe them? Because we’ve gone insane as a society, of course, and basic reality now means different things to different people depending on their political ideologies. If you’re on the left, you might think parents who aren’t sophisticated news consumers are so paranoid about school curricula, they’d believe just about anything. If you’re on the right, you’re might argue that some schools have gone so overboard with political correctness, it’s not a stretch to imagine privileges conferred on the allegedly cat-identified.

For those of us who subscribe to neither ideology, the whole thing is another sad example of the polarization that is destroying the US, the same divisive talk amplified by platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

But that’s beyond the scope of this blog, which is to celebrate cats, have a laugh and occasionally put the spotlight on animal welfare. I don’t want to lose readers by wading into a political landmine field, but most importantly I don’t want anyone to feel unwelcome on this site.

The Michigan incident started when a mom of kids at the Midland School District, about 130 miles northwest of Detroit, spoke at a school board meeting about a rumor — which she took as fact — alleging the school was accommodating “furries” by providing litter boxes in unisex bathrooms.

Lisa Hansen asked other parents to join her to “do some investigating” into the policy

“I’m all for creativity and imagination, but when someone lives in a fantasy world and expects other people to go along with it, I have a problem with that,” Hansen told the Midland school board. “This whole furry thing has just got me. I’m staying calm, but I’m not happy about it, and it’s happened on your watch, and I don’t understand it.”

Here’s the video: (It should start at the relevant section, but if it doesn’t, Hansen speaks at the 32:44 mark)

Hansen’s claims were picked up and reshared by a state GOP chairwoman, Meshawn Maddock, who warned “Parent heroes will TAKE BACK our schools” in a Facebook post.

The school’s superintendent, Michael Sharrow, was forced to do damage control with a public statement, telling parents it’s a “source of disappointment that I felt the necessity to communicate this message to you.”

“There is no truth whatsoever to this false statement/accusation,” Sharrow wrote. “There have never been litter boxes within MPS schools.”

The story about the fired substitute also had its roots in an online video, with a woman who says she’s a teacher relating the story via TikTok. The woman, who uses the handle @crazynamebridgetmichael, said she was taking attendance when a student responded to his name with feline vocalizations.

“I get to the third row and I hear this ‘meow!’ ‘Uhhh, excuse me? Excuse me?'” she said in the TikTok video. “I start looking on the ground, through the fourth row—everything’s good. Go to the fifth row—everybody’s there. Then I hear ‘meow!’ I’m like, ‘Okay, what’s up with that? Who’s doing it?’ And this little girl in the very front row says, ‘You have to meow back at him; he identifies as a cat.’ Are you kidding me?”

The student stormed out of the classroom when she laughed at him, she said, and the school’s administration fired her: “They said ‘We no longer need your services if you can’t identify with all the children in the classroom.'”

The story was picked up by several widely-read sites, included in Tucker Carlson’s daily newsletter, and reshared on prominent Twitter accounts in addition to going viral on Facebook.

PJ Media: The Substitute and the Cat
The story was widely shared on social media and reported by a few dozen online media outlets.

The Cat and the Substitute

The only problem is it isn’t true. In a follow-up video the teacher admitted she made up the story to “create awareness of what kids are going through at school.” She didn’t elaborate, so it’s not clear if she was criticizing school policies for allowing students to identify as different genders or arguing that kids’ needs aren’t accommodated. Occam’s Razor would indicate she was just chasing clicks.

The one thing that’s certain, however, is that cats don’t deserve to be in the middle of this mess.

Top image: A 20-year-old Norwegian woman who identifies as a cat. The woman says she was “born the wrong species.” “My psychologist told me I can grow out of it, but I doubt it,” she told an interviewer. “I think I will be cat all my life.”