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How to disperse a crowd of kittens
January 29, 2014 3:21 PM   Subscribe

How to disperse a crowd of kittens (SLYT).
posted by mudpuppie (42 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Last night, our cats were peacefully sleeping next to each other in the living room. Then our housemate went to get something out of the fridge, and dropped a bottle (it didn't break). Cat 1 freaked out, which freaked out Cat 2, whose freakout enhanced Cat 1's freakout, and so the cycle continued (very rapidly) as they fled down the hall to the bedroom.

It's more entertaining when a lot of kittens do it.
posted by rtha at 3:33 PM on January 29 [5 favorites]


Cute. A crowd of kittens is also known as a "trippage".
posted by Banish Misfortune at 3:33 PM on January 29 [23 favorites]


oh man, they'll never get those dust bunnies out from underneath the chest of drawers!
posted by janey47 at 3:39 PM on January 29


Why would you want to disperse a trippage of kittens?
posted by The World's End at 3:41 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


How to disperse a crowd of kittens

Wait...why would you want to?
posted by yoink at 3:41 PM on January 29 [11 favorites]


Jinx.
posted by yoink at 3:42 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


The person filming must be boring as hell.
posted by stinkfoot at 3:45 PM on January 29


Only a fool thinks those kittens are scared. They are taking up tactical positions with intersecting fields of fire.
posted by srboisvert at 3:52 PM on January 29 [38 favorites]


Came for the dispersing of kittens, stayed for the adorable "brrp brrp" noises.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:53 PM on January 29 [18 favorites]


Just to point out that the original Cyrillic reads "Achtung CatBomb".
posted by benito.strauss at 4:10 PM on January 29 [9 favorites]


A crowd of kittens is also known as a "trippage".

Unless they murmur. Then it's a murmuration.
posted by hat_eater at 4:11 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Котобомба
posted by unliteral at 4:13 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Kittens v. vacuum cleaner
posted by ceribus peribus at 4:18 PM on January 29 [18 favorites]


Thanks, that kittens v. vacuum cleaner vis is funnier than the one in the OP.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:46 PM on January 29


An airhorn would probably work too.
posted by goethean at 4:47 PM on January 29


If those vacuum cleaner kittens are cheap, they are welcome to come to my house to clean.

Heck, even if they ain't cheap.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 4:49 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


Vladimir Putin once dispersed a crowd of kittens by unleashing the police on them and sentencing three of them to jail.
posted by New Frontier at 4:54 PM on January 29 [5 favorites]


WAIT how did the vacuum cleaner kitten filmer know to turn on the camera right then?
posted by janey47 at 5:04 PM on January 29


I think they set the kittens up--I think they turned on the vacuum remotely rather than witnessing the kittens accidentally turning on the vacuum-cleaner. Perhaps they saw that the kittens were using the vacuum as a climbing tree and thought "you know what would make a funny video?"
posted by yoink at 5:09 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


This one time, my roommate got an adorable little white kitten and my grouchy calico, who hated everyone and everything, became even grouchier. But the kitten was mostly fearless (though appropriately cautious and kept his distance) and was fond of me (he would literally jump up into my arms!) and would explore my bedroom.

So, there we were, the three of us. Simone, the calico, near my feet and quietly growling; China, the kitten, exploring near the bed, and me. Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, there were cat growls and then howls. It was a cat fight under the house, right under the bedroom, but Simone and China had no clue what the hell was happening and both instantly had their backs up, looking at each other and beginning to hiss. Then the two cats below began to fight in earnest and one of them banged against the underside of the floor about midway between Simone and China.

Both Simone and China leapt straight up into the air — Simone must have reached at least four or five feet. China came down and looked once at Simone, as if he wasn't sure what the evil calico had done, or how, and then went hell bent for leather out of the room and down the hall. I didn't see him again for hours. Simone retreated to a corner of the room and growled and didn't calm down for a day. I have never in all my life seen two cats more frightened.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:13 PM on January 29 [13 favorites]


That mom cat was just trying to find somewhere to jump so she could take a break :(
posted by amtho at 5:20 PM on January 29 [5 favorites]


This is the funniest (single) kitten freakout I've seen recently.
posted by maggieb at 5:34 PM on January 29 [11 favorites]


An airhorn would probably work too.

An alarm buzzer works just as well.
posted by ceribus peribus at 5:41 PM on January 29


Regarding the original YT link posted, the kittens look underfed and probably have ear mites and momma cat is too weak to successfully jump.

Not the cats Internet I was promised. The whole scene has me sad. No amount of desperate Brrrmp can save it.
posted by vers at 5:44 PM on January 29


They're not scared. They're just showing proximal shame avoidance at Mum having screwed up a really easy jump.
posted by cromagnon at 6:01 PM on January 29


Maybe seconding that thing about ear mites though. Too much simultaneous scratching.
posted by cromagnon at 6:02 PM on January 29


This is the funniest (single) kitten freakout yt I've seen recently.

That's just about the same way I react to reptiles. A lot of back-flips and screaming.
posted by Redfield at 6:03 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


I find that tear gas grenades are far more reliable kitten crowd dispersants.
posted by planetesimal at 6:09 PM on January 29


My personal favorite chain reaction.
posted by delfin at 6:45 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


Regarding the original YT link posted, the kittens look underfed and probably have ear mites and momma cat is too weak to successfully jump.

Not the cats Internet I was promised. The whole scene has me sad.


But how do you know that they haven't just moved into their rescue/foster house, and aren't now on a better diet, and aren't receiving treatment for the ear mites, and aren't now being lovingly filmed by their new caretaker?

And how do you also know how wide the windowsill is? Because my cat is perfectly healthy and strong, but our windowsills are narrow, and this happens every time she tries to jump on one.

I refuse to believe there is tragedy lurking behind the scenes of this video. In fact, I put my hands over my ears and go LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:48 PM on January 29 [11 favorites]


Just to point out that the original Cyrillic reads "Achtung CatBomb".

Coincidentally, the original title to the 1991 U2 album. Lanois was into it, but Eno came in and pronounced it too pedestrian.
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:51 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


What? They're just baby cats. Geez.
posted by sourcequench at 8:44 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


WAIT how did the vacuum cleaner kitten filmer know to turn on the camera right then?

I'm guessing they saw the kittens climbing on it, unplugged it, switched it on, started filming, and then plugged it back it.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:58 PM on January 29


My first guess was pepper spray.

Glad to see that exists only in my perverted imagination.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:08 PM on January 29


I really enjoyed the kittens running like villagers fleeing after they've angered the angry tiki volcano god. OH GOD WE WOKE IT UP.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:37 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


My two kittens were watching the video alongside me, and they even freaked out at the Mom-cat sound! Also, they wanted to find the other kittens they could so clearly hear meowing.
posted by Pocahontas at 10:47 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


We got two kittens in mid-December and life has been one big cute kitten video, but with more cleaning up.

(And seeing it in the flesh, I've been impressed anew with how damn good Bill Watterson was at capturing the crouches and jumps and pounces and stalking and tumbling...)
posted by Zed at 9:09 AM on January 30


Following up on the chain reaction thing mentioned by others earlier...

Some years ago, we had moved into an apartment on the ground floor. This was the first time our four cats lived in a place on the ground floor. They had learned that it was fun to sit and watch through the sliding door at the birds and other animals that would run around the apartment courtyard - the fence between our little patio and the courtyard had sizeable gaps between the planks to allow it.

Well, turned out a neighbor would occasionally let their cat wander out around the courtyard. And since our fence had those gaps, said cat could easily wander onto our patio. We heard the occasional growls from one or two of our cats when the neighbor cat would do so.

One day, he wandered on, and decided to stay for a while. All four of our cats ended up right on the other side of the glass, and there was plenty of growling - ours were clearly getting worked up. Well, suddenly one of them bumped another at the wrong time. There was a massive burst of hissing and spitting and growling, a brief (few second) fight that involved some number, and all four of them took off around the apartment.

It must have taken a couple months for that moment of terror to wear off. In the meantime, they had all claimed some area of the apartment as their own, and they would all growl at each other even at the mere sight. What had long been a communal feeding time, as they swarmed at our feet for the food, became silence - none of them would come out at the time, and they'd all slowly peek out over the day and make sure the coast was clear before eating. It was truly amazing just how disruptive that one moment was.

However, not having to deal with four cats crawling on the bed at night allowed us some wonderful sleep.
posted by evilangela at 9:50 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


Kitties are largely pretty simple stimulus-response machines, and in a flash can turn stress-in-the-moment into a persistent negative association to something that wasn't causing the stress but was just there -- a smell, a place, another cat. A lot of the behavior cat owners end up disliking is the result of that. The scenario you describe is a common one (and often it doesn't wear off without a lot of effort and manipulation of the environment and the cats' stressors and anxieties).
posted by Zed at 10:36 AM on January 30


This is the funniest (single) kitten freakout...

Which just goes to show that kittens have an attention span of +/- 6 seconds.

Wut second iguana?
posted by BlueHorse at 6:47 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


"...and in a flash can turn stress-in-the-moment into a persistent negative association to something that wasn't causing the stress but was just there..."

I was thinking about this comment of yours earlier and decided that this makes sense given that cats are small, opportunistic predators. Their predation is why they're so highly motivated to investigate and explore — there's always the possibility that prey is behind that rock or under those leaves.

But because they're small and larger carnivores may prey upon them, their exploratory, investigatory activity puts them at risk for finding themselves in dangerous situations. Thus the saying "curiosity killed the cat". If all else were equal, their heightened curiosity would do them more harm than good.

So balanced against this tendency is the cat's high sensitivity to negative conditioning. If this tends to produce false positives, that's okay because the true positives need to be fairly strong to overcome their curiosity leading them back into a dangerous situation they've already had a bad experience with.

Basically, cats are balanced on a knife's edge of this weird combination of curiosity and risk-taking, and caution. That seems contradictory, but it's not, really. What I have in mind when I write this is that video of a cat approaching a metronome. To me, that video exemplifies how a cat simultaneously can be alarmed by something, extremely cautious about it, while driven by curiosity to approach it, anyway.

Cats are a crazy mix of caution and daring. That's their thing. It works well for them.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:37 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


video of a cat approaching a metronome.

Man! the battery in my external speakers died precisely when he knocked the metronome over, and it took me a while to figure out what happened...
posted by rifflesby at 6:40 PM on January 31


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