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Fainting Goat Kittens
October 28, 2010 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Charlie and Spike are two kittens with Myotonia Congenita, also known as fainting goat syndrome.

Humans can also suffer from Myotonia Congenita.
posted by carsonb (74 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh yeah, previously.
posted by carsonb at 11:14 AM on October 28, 2010


RIP Spike

.
posted by Ouisch at 11:17 AM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


wow, that's just sad! Took my mood right down to about 0 after watching 10 seconds of it...that was more than enough!
posted by HuronBob at 11:19 AM on October 28, 2010


God, that's horrifying. Poor little guys.
posted by notsnot at 11:20 AM on October 28, 2010


Yes, sadly Spike died of respiratory failure (yesterday?). I decided in favor of simplicity when choosing verb tenses for the post.
posted by carsonb at 11:21 AM on October 28, 2010


i couldn't watch that video the whole way through. it hurt my heart too much watching them fall over and over.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 11:21 AM on October 28, 2010


It looks like they have tiny tasers going off in their livers. The little black one has this mildly annoyed look, "Well, here I go again, right over," while the other appears puzzled.

The remaining kitten will need to be kept off of high surfaces and possibly with a little inflatable vest on so it can bounce rather than just thud over.
posted by adipocere at 11:24 AM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


But you laugh when they make the goats faint!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:27 AM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now I feel even worse for laughing. The poor little things.

A couple of years ago we adopted a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia (previously on the blue, and that cat does not die, so don't be afraid to click the link). Yorvit is uncoordinated and wobbly and looks really really funny when he runs. He also has no idea that there's anything "wrong" with him and does not hesitate to school his adopted brother, who outweighs him by a good five pounds.
posted by rtha at 11:27 AM on October 28, 2010


Oh god, how sad! Poor Spike!
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:28 AM on October 28, 2010


I had heard of fainting goat syndrome but, I had no idea it affected other animals (and people). I also had no idea it could be fatal. It's amazing the gene persists. It seems pretty heavily self selecting in evolutionary terms.
posted by DaddyNewt at 11:29 AM on October 28, 2010


Spike looks just like what my little Pico (right, with the perfect mustache) looked like as a kitten. Aww, I just wanted to hang out and pet both of them.
posted by avocet at 11:30 AM on October 28, 2010


It's funny when goats do it. Kittens? Not so much.
posted by frecklefaerie at 11:31 AM on October 28, 2010


I saw this video when it was embedded on another site and presented as a feel-good type of video. What. The. Heck???? Those poor kittens! I'm sorry to hear that Spike died; he was such a cutie! Watching that video was awful, and I still don't understand how it could have been presented for lulz. While I found the kittens adorable, I didn't see anything cute or funny about them freezing up and tipping over. How horrifying.
posted by LiliaNic at 11:31 AM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Until a few minutes ago, I found it a bit annoying that the only radio station that comes in at work is the local lite rock station. I thank YouTube for finding a soundtrack that makes me feel it could be a lot worse. If they played poignant tinkly piano music, I'm pretty sure I'd just go in the locker room, curl up in the fetal position, and refuse to come out.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 11:36 AM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Watching that video was awful, and I still don't understand how it could have been presented for lulz.

It's definitely a divisive video, in terms of one's reaction. The guy who shared it on my social network laughed and laughed and didn't think twice. Obviously many people see it as being very sad, even depressing. Personally, I vacillated between chuckling and wanting to cry about 8 times in the 40s video. It's a roller-coaster of cute peaks and steep depression.

For a more even look at the syndrome, check out Jim in the 'Humans' link.
posted by carsonb at 11:38 AM on October 28, 2010


That's horrible. Poor little things look genuinely confused when they drop.

Things like this get my already out-of-control empathy levels up.
posted by Edison Carter at 11:40 AM on October 28, 2010


At first it was just, oh, that's odd but cute. Like Charley. And then I noticed the note about Spike, and then I started crying even though I'm not even at home right now. Poor things.
posted by gracedissolved at 11:41 AM on October 28, 2010




I have a much easier time watching an animal having a tonic-clonic seizure, because I know that the animal isn't conscious or afraid or confused. It might not look pretty, but it isn't home, and it isn't scared or hurting at that moment in time. If an animal dies in status epilepticus...it's a painless way to go, honestly.

This? As a way to die, this sucks.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 11:56 AM on October 28, 2010


It think it's OK to admit this here, in this thread of kitty loving friends....
I was sent that link at work yesterday, co-worker caught me bawling my eyes out in front of a youtube video of kittehs.
posted by dabitch at 12:04 PM on October 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is completely awful. Why did you think to share it?
posted by crunchland at 12:10 PM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is anyone else afflicted with the urge to create small, kitten-suspending zeppelins to keep them at almost neutral buoyancy and, above all, upright? Maybe with matched gyroscopes for balance and some propulsion fans for additional lift?
posted by adipocere at 12:14 PM on October 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


I feel bad for both kittens. I think cats know when their bodies are malfunctioning Cats know they should be able to leap and run. The puzzled, sad looks on their faces made me sad. The remaing kitten should not be permitted to reproduce. This is a terrible disease.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:14 PM on October 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Cute little baby kittens: adorable!
Cute little baby kittens with fatal disease: sad!

This is kind of a bummer.
posted by heyho at 12:16 PM on October 28, 2010


The guy who shared it on my social network laughed and laughed and didn't think twice.

That guy is a dick.
posted by mintcake! at 12:31 PM on October 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Cute little baby kittens: adorable!
Cute little baby kittens with fatal disease: sad!


Hence a term coined for this video on reddit: sadorable.
posted by splice at 12:34 PM on October 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


mintcake!: "That guy is a dick."

You got the sentiment right but did it wrong. Let me give it a shot:

That guy is a DICK.

(Dickery requires intense emphasis.)
posted by Edison Carter at 12:37 PM on October 28, 2010


I don't know...I still think it was pretty cute.
I mean, if you got sick kittens, are you not going to play with them?
posted by stifford at 12:41 PM on October 28, 2010


Are they able to determine whether the fainting is painful for the kittens? Anyone know?

Some of the shots made it look like they would face plant and then they were able to turn a little and fall on their bodies. Is this a defense mechanism?
posted by morganannie at 12:45 PM on October 28, 2010


Yeah the fainting goats freaked me out as well. You just know when something isn't right. It's sad that this syndrome can have such terrible consequences.

Sadorable, that's a good word for it.
posted by Xoebe at 12:58 PM on October 28, 2010


A dog of my acquaintance, who died recently (but had lived a fairly long and happy life to that point), had some kind of non-life-threatening, sadorable heart disorder. Anytime he got too excited--you offered him a delicious slice of ham, for instance--he would just suddenly pass out. He'd wake up a few seconds later, tail wagging, as if nothing had happened. Poor guy.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:00 PM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Geez, I'm bummed out enough just reading everyone's comments. No way in hell am I going to watch that.
posted by malocchio at 1:03 PM on October 28, 2010


From the description: "The kittens are able to walk, but they cannot run or jump. aside from this they are normal. "

Kittens, when not eating or doing that thing where they try to keep their eyes open as their heads sink and they fall adorably asleep, spend pretty much all of their time running and jumping.

:(
posted by mrgoat at 1:04 PM on October 28, 2010


Are they able to determine whether the fainting is painful for the kittens? Anyone know?

Apparently, animals (and people) that suffer from the condition are conscious, and the human with the condition describes the muscle feeling similar to as if they were clenching their fist. Only with lots of muscles at the same time. So, painful, yes, but not excruciating.

But I'm sure the face plant doesn't feel good at all.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:12 PM on October 28, 2010


Pew pew pew
posted by mullingitover at 1:22 PM on October 28, 2010 [15 favorites]


I actually don't understand the "humans" video. Are the "warm-up" exercises we're shown intended as recovery from a "fainting" incident, or something sufferers do regularly to minimize the chance of "fainting."
posted by eugenen at 1:28 PM on October 28, 2010


Needs one of these.
posted by HLD at 1:34 PM on October 28, 2010


Are they able to determine whether the fainting is painful for the kittens? Anyone know?

Apparently, according to the Humans video, it's as if opposing sets of muscle clench against each other. Like when you flex your biceps, the triceps normally relaxes, and vice versa. Imagine both flexing simultaneously and not unlocking for 20 seconds or more.

Poor kittens. God.
posted by Edison Carter at 1:37 PM on October 28, 2010


Pew pew pew

WTF, mullingitover? Not funny.
posted by Edison Carter at 1:38 PM on October 28, 2010


I actually don't understand the "humans" video. Are the "warm-up" exercises we're shown intended as recovery from a "fainting" incident, or something sufferers do regularly to minimize the chance of "fainting."

According to a reddit post from somebody with this disorder, performing repetitive exercises can allow conscious control over otherwise seized muscles. Apparently sufficient concentration can override the seizure.

Interestingly, he states the disorder is not as bad as it looks, and even has some benefits (eg, stronger muscles due to constant workout):
Absolutely yes. It's to a point where I don't even know if I'd want it cured if a treatment became available.

It's non-terminal, non-degenerative (supposed to get better with age), non-treatable, and I think it really shaped the person I am. Plus, It's very manageable and very easy to hide.

I am a little worried about having kids though.

posted by John Millikin at 1:39 PM on October 28, 2010


Reminds me of this episode of This American Life about a man with cataplexy...
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 1:40 PM on October 28, 2010


I am a dog lover, Am I in the right post?
posted by dov3 at 1:46 PM on October 28, 2010


So is it like a charlie horse? I get them sometimes, and they're no fun at all. All over my body? Don't think so.
posted by crunchland at 1:47 PM on October 28, 2010


No, it doesn't sound like a charlie horse at all. I mean, there is a difference between "clenched muscles" and "fuck that HURTS". I mean, does it feel like your forearm is going to kill you when you clench your fist, as referenced upthread? No, it doesn't.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:02 PM on October 28, 2010


Why do they have hardwood floors? That would hurt. Carpet the whole place up. They could have sent them to me. I would have put pillows everywhere.
posted by anniecat at 2:14 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think we're overestimating how hard these tumbles are on the kitties. They weigh about a pound, they're falling about three inches, and they're covered in thick fur. My cats routinely commit atrocities far worse than this on each other, and they're playing.
posted by mullingitover at 2:39 PM on October 28, 2010


I think we're overestimating how hard these tumbles are on the kitties. They weigh about a pound, they're falling about three inches, and they're covered in thick fur. My cats routinely commit atrocities far worse than this on each other, and they're playing.

I think you're making light of something you have no idea about. These cats have a disease. Be thankful your cats do not.
posted by morganannie at 2:55 PM on October 28, 2010


While I do shed a tear for poor Spike... how is this worse than the fainting goats?

I'm not the OP, but in his/her defense - the same audience who is decrying sharing this as inhumane is made up of a lot of people who found the goats to be hi-larious. Maybe because we don't have goats in our homes? Dunno.

Anyhow. Sadorable, yes. RIP Spike. I hope you're someplace where you can run and jump to your wee heart's content.
posted by sonika at 3:06 PM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Okay, with only a gram of lift per liter of helium, keeping one pound kittens up is going to be tough. Even a reasonably large kitten-blimp won't quite do the job. I am thinking little powered exoskeletons, instead. Or maybe some kind of ... vest, with kickstands on it.

It turns out that the fainting goats, as they grow older, learn to walk in a splay-legged shuffle, so when they stiffen up, they don't fall over as much, and instead just freeze in place. Hopefully the kitten will learn, too.
posted by adipocere at 3:08 PM on October 28, 2010


The fainting goats are actually a lot sadder than the kittens. They weigh more, and they're bigger, so they're falling pretty far and each time they go down they're taking a pretty hard hit to the ribs. The scary part about the kittens is what we can't see, which is when they seize up while eating and aspirate.
posted by mullingitover at 3:18 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's funny when it's kittens because they are smaller and don't have as far to fall. Wouldn't it be great to be able to control your cat by clapping your hands? The little bugger is trying to get outside and you are coming in with an armload of groceries and if you holler, "Hey!!" he falls over and you have one minute to set the bags down and close the door. Perhaps we could genetically select for a more mild form of this? I'd like to use this at 5am when they wake me up hungry for breakfast.
posted by zzazazz at 3:26 PM on October 28, 2010


It's funny when it's kittens because ... --- Eh. Not so much, I think. That's like saying a baby falling down a manhole is funnier than an adult doing the same. But it's ok ... there's a time, usually during adolescence, when it's hard to gauge this sort of thing.
posted by crunchland at 3:35 PM on October 28, 2010


Aren't these events sensory triggered? All they need earplugs and goggles!
posted by snsranch at 3:41 PM on October 28, 2010


I feel I should say, in defense of some of the people who liked the video or found it cute (such as at Jezebel where I first saw it), when this link first started appearing everywhere Spike was still alive. All that was known was that the kittens led "normal" lives aside from not running and jumping. People didn't know it was necessarily painful or fatal.
posted by Danila at 3:42 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


(they) sorry, I was including the goats.
posted by snsranch at 3:43 PM on October 28, 2010


That's like saying a baby falling down a manhole is funnier than an adult doing the same.

Where did the manhole come into this? Think about toddlers falling over, which happens all the time and is not a cause for alarm, vs a 6-foot tall person taking a faceplant.
posted by mullingitover at 3:45 PM on October 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, sorry, mullingitover's link to the video with dubbed shotgun sound effects is hilarious. Count me among those who believe that if this was happening to one of the animals we eat for lunch, instead of keep as a pet, there wouldn't be all the drama and outrage.
posted by XMLicious at 4:13 PM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I didn't see any indication in the video that the one kitten's death was at all related to this disease. In fact, the video's description said that the kitten died of respiratory failure, which is not uncommon in kittens. I've also heard that goat with the disease can live just as long as any other otherwise healthy goat, barring predators.

Is this disease possibly painful and confusing for the animal? Yes. Is it fatal? I'm not so sure.
posted by arcolz at 4:45 PM on October 28, 2010


The video has a soundtrack over it. I wonder if they are startling them with a loud noise to get them falling on video.
posted by various at 8:46 PM on October 28, 2010


I thought that very thing, various.
posted by Sutekh at 9:13 PM on October 28, 2010


I have two cats that I love dearly, and I agree that this disease is unfortunate, and the cats would obviously be better off without it, but...

mullingitover's video made me laugh so hard I wept. I laughed so hard that I began coughing and had to start the video over, which began the cycle again.

To the people professing outrage over that video: Relax. I'm pretty sure no cats were shot while making that film, and no one is condoning shooting actual cats. (No one reading this thread anyway.) It's a joke, and a brilliantly executed one at that. The only thing that could have made it better was to have the sound effect slowed down to match the video in that one spot.

I mean, crucifixion is horrible and should happen to no one. But tell me I can't laugh at the last scene of Life of Brian because of that, and there's something wrong with you.
posted by gern at 12:26 AM on October 29, 2010


Why do they have hardwood floors? That would hurt. Carpet the whole place up. They could have sent them to me. I would have put pillows everywhere.

Their owner says in the first link that they can't walk on carpet because their claws don't retract and they get stuck and it hurts them more.
posted by Snyder at 12:40 AM on October 29, 2010


I wonder if they are startling them with a loud noise to get them falling on video.

I don't think it's necessarily a loud noise--in one clip, the tabby touches his nose to a toy with a bell on it and then immediately falls over--it must have been such a little jingle but it did the trick. That's actually when I stopped watching--too sad to see a kitten not able to play with a jingly toy!
posted by leesh at 6:01 AM on October 29, 2010


Also, from mullingitover's youtube link:

@Animerican14 yes-spike (this is charlie in the above clip and he's ok) had a seizure connected with the condition and sadly died as a result. we miss him already. but charlie is on meds from today and hopefully will be able to lead a normal life, I dont mind this video, you've got to have a sense of humour
posted by polyhedron at 6:17 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pew pew pew
posted by mullingitover at 9:22 PM on October 28


I disapprove. Of the link, and of myself for laughing.
posted by Decani at 7:51 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a bad person. I feel sad for the kitties but I also laughed my ass off when I watched mullingitover's version of the video.
posted by Carbolic at 12:53 PM on October 29, 2010


The second kitty passed this evening. :(
posted by tamitang at 7:58 PM on October 30, 2010


RIP, kitties. :( May you have much tuna wherever you are.
posted by sonika at 7:34 AM on October 31, 2010


Dang.
posted by carsonb at 8:38 AM on November 1, 2010


Hides behind computer screen bawling her eyes out, hoping co-workers don't catch her again.
posted by dabitch at 12:19 PM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some of these myotonic diseases, like Stiff Person Syndrome, sound pretty comical until you realize that the diaphragm you need to breathe is also a muscle.
posted by benzenedream at 11:31 PM on November 2, 2010




Curse you, Edward Scarr.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:34 AM on November 9, 2010


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