Facebook and Cat Pictures

Back when I was brand new to Facebook, I posted something (knowing me, it was probably political) and two of my original friends hopped on me instantly.  The message was, leave this crap at home.  Facebook is a SOCIAL network.  It’s for socializing.  While I didn’t respond, I thought to myself, I thought Facebook was whatever you wanted it to be.  And I just continued to post whatever I felt like posting.  And both of them are still my friends.

But I think that attitude may explain the predominance of cute cat pictures on Facebook.  I love cats (and dogs too) but sometimes I just want to go, Please.  Could you get serious for a minute?  Cute kitten and puppy pictures are never controversial.  Here are a couple of recent cat pictures from Facebook:

It’s Cat in a tree

It’s quite amazing that this cat could climb anything, as fat as it is.  But here is an amazing (to me) fact:  cats are much better at climbing up things than they are climbing down.  They don’t want to climb down face down, because if they fall, they will fall on their heads.  But they don’t want to climb down tail first, because they can’t see the dragons waiting to eat them at the bottom. It’s a dilemma.

This why you see, from time to time, stories on the news of the Fire Department rescuing a cat from a tree.  I used to think, what a waste of talent and resources.  Then I saw one such rescue where the Fire Department said, we don’t mind.  It gives us practice using our bucket truck.

My neighbor across the street used to have a kitten who one day crossed the street and climbed a huge pine tree in my front yard.  I looked out and there are all these people in my front yard holding a blanket and encouraging the cat to jump.  I thought this was totally fruitless, and went outside, not to help, but to take pictures of these foolish people.  And I’ll be damned if the cat didn’t jump.  I was amazed.

But since I’ve had cats all my adult life, I know that if you leave a cat alone long enough, it WILL find its way down.

Here’s a second Facebook photo…even cuter.  A mother cat cuddling its kitten.  I reposted that photo (which on Facebook is called “sharing”, and said Cats are great mothers–to a point.)

That point is when the cat mother decides it’s time to go, then she will flay the kitten alive if it attempts to come near her.  None of this nursing until you’re three, and living at home until you’re thirty-five.

I once rescued a kitten in New Orleans, whom I guess was at most, four weeks old.  That’s too young for his mother to have abandoned him.  My guess is that he wandered off and got lost, or something really terrible happened to his mother.  It was during a massive rainstorm.  In any case, he wasn’t weaned, and didn’t know how to eat solid food.  Cats are usually weaned between 3 and 4 weeks old.  I gave him cat food, and he didn’t know what to do with it.  Until I poured milk in it.  But that was a mistake too.  If I’d been smarter, I would have known that cow’s milk is bad for cats.  You can actually buy substitute cat milk.  Who knew?  But he somehow survived for 11 years.

For the first week I had him, I tried to find a home for him.  But giving away a stray kitten in New Orleans was like carrying coals to Newcastle.  Plus, he slept the first night on my shoulder, with his little head buried in my hair and his little back feet propped on my shoulder.  Ick.  He was covered in grit and dirt and fleas.  He continued to do some version of that for the rest of his life.

So…I am not immune to the cute Facebook cat pictures.

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4 responses to “Facebook and Cat Pictures

  1. I have a friend who has cats and dogs and guinea pigs and horses and a bird. And maybe other animals I don’t know about. One of her cats stayed up a tree for 4 days, in sub-zero temps, no food, no water, and cried. She, herself, was in someplace like Costa Rica at the time. The cat was obviously getting weaker so her SO, who had been trying for 4 days to get it down (no kindly firemen there), started up, waaaay up, after it. It jumped.

    And lived. We saw it all on video.

    They just this past week coaxed another one down from that tree. Or rather, went up and retrieved it. She went up a ladder and into the branches but the cat was about a foot out of reach. So one of the SO’s sons, tall dude, went up. But he didn’t have a clue about how to pick up an unhappy cat … Once he did get hold of her, he handed her down to my friend who was now standing on the ladder.

    All the humans involved came out with various claw marks trailing blood but the cat is A-OK.

    The moral of this story is that only some cats can get themselves down from on high.

  2. I would observe that there is no good way to pick up an unhappy cat. Even if it loves you dearly the rest of the time. Certain situations make a cat revert to basic behavior. This is why jokes about cats are so successful. If you want to give a cat a bath or give it a pill, first step is to put on full body armor. I don’t give my cats a bath. Vets have become muich savvier about pill-giving. I used to have to put on body armor and force the cat’s jaws open and squirt stuff down its throat. Now we trick them with pills that taste good, or we disguise them in yummy Pill Pockets.
    As for your friend with the cat in a tree,.,it did jump. It apparently just needed the right motivation 🙂

  3. Both of those cat pictures have shown up this week on my Facebook, shared by friends, they’re obviously doing the rounds at the moment! I don’t mind the occasional one, I’m a cat lover myself and have always had cats, but it can get irritating if someone decides to post 10 in a row. What annoys me more on Facebook though is when people share various warnings about scams or whatever, which most of the time are just urban legends; it’s really not that hard to check out whether they are true or not before sharing them, most of them are on snopes.com, but it obviously takes a bit more work than just sharing them without checking them out first! Oops, sorry, heading into a rant there! The other thing that gets on my nerves on Facebook, are the people who post mundane things every half an hour, a constant update on what they’re doing. ‘Just having a lovely cup of coffee’, ‘Think I’ll settle down on the couch and watch some TV now.” Seriously, who gives a…

    Interesting info about cats and climbing there, you’d think they’d be smart enough to figure out that they’re going to struggle to get down from somewhere before they go up!

  4. Yes, Vanessa, now that you mention it, there are a lot of annoying things on Facebook! I hide those serial poster people. I was actually pretty surprised to hear Fakesister’s story about the cat who stayed in the tree for 4 days.

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