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 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.