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28 September 2007

I love the first glimpse of his face in the bin. "OMG!WTF"
posted by essexjan 28 September | 14:35
That is awesomely cool! Thanks!
posted by TheDonF 28 September | 14:39
*misskaz shakes her fist at her work webfilter.

posted by misskaz 28 September | 14:42
A gag worthy of Buster Keaton. This kind of thing will never not be funny.
posted by Atom Eyes 28 September | 14:54
“This kind of thing will never not be funny.”


I'm fascinated with why cats fascinate so many of us (cat haters excepted). My theory is that because they aren't primarily social animals, like we are, their worldview and thus behaviors are quite obviously different from ours. Where we are similar, they do things that make sense to us. Where we are dissimilar, they are bafflingly strange.

I'm not sure how cat physical comedy enters into this. I suspect that it may be pretty much the same sort of thing, but in the specific context of how we and cats interact with the world. Cats understand many objects in ways similar to us, and so they interact with them in comprehensible ways. But other objects are very, very different kinds of things to cats than they are to us, and they interact with them very oddly, and (often) they never learn to do otherwise.

When you combine this with the way in which cats are obviously physically very capable of moving through complex and unpredictable environments, their failures are emphasized. I mean, dogs are very clumsy compared to cats. You'd expect dogs, as a rule, to knock more things over than cats. (And they probably would, if they could get on top of furniture.) But dogs knock things over because they're not really in tight control of their movements and they don't care and it mostly doesn't matter.

Cats, in contrast, are extremely aware of their bodies and how they move. When a cat knocks something over, one of two things has happened: either the object behaves in a way that the cat has no comprehension of, or they were perfectly aware that they were going to knock something over (or nudge it, really) and they absolutely could not care less what happens.

In fact, it's this selective "these things don't exist to me" behavior of cats that we find very odd.

That's even sort of going on in this example. If a dog tries to get from point A to point B, and walks on something, if that something falls or wobbles, the dog isn't surprised, exactly, because the dog sort of expects his world to do unpredictable things. He falls, or he doesn't fall. If he falls, he finds another way to get to point B.

A cat, in contrast, is careful about what she does. If she steps on something, she expects it to behave a certain way. When it behaves differently, the cat is very much caught by surprise. How does this relate to the "it doesn't exist for me" thing I mentioned? Because cats are very single-minded. For the cat, there's no possibility that the object will behave unexpectedly. In fact, once they decide to utilize it, they pay no more attention to it and their focus is one further step ahead.

For that kitten, there was no way in the world the floor was going to disappear under him. For a dog in the same situation it's more like, eh, shit happens.
posted by kmellis 28 September | 16:33
Would this McDonalds billboard outside Yass, Australia || Report your plans for the weekend, stat!