Give me your firstborn... to cuddle
October 9, 2013 9:28 PM   Subscribe

(Note: There are 813,000 results for "cat stealing baby's breath" so it must be true.)
posted by desjardins at 9:33 PM on October 9, 2013

So incredibly sweet my teeth are aching, in a good way. Made me smile, thanks.
posted by Miko at 9:44 PM on October 9, 2013

I know I am very clearly biased against but OH MY GOD babies look so weird, especially with something clearly adorable and perfect like a KITTY CAT right next to them. They're like these wriggling pink larvae and it just makes me uncomfortable. There has to be a better way, humanity.

They're okay once they're asleep, I guess. And since they are fat and squashy I can see how a cat might think "this is a good pillow and it smells like my human minions!"
posted by elizardbits at 9:47 PM on October 9, 2013 [25 favorites]

For some of these the cat seems to be all, "Yay, the humans have built me my own cat-sized human to play with!" but then there's the ones where the cat is clearly saying, "Oh come on. Seriously? What is this shit?"
posted by lollusc at 9:52 PM on October 9, 2013 [5 favorites]

A lot of the videos look like the cat is jealous of all the camera time the new thing's getting.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:56 PM on October 9, 2013

Yeah, on a number of these I have the distinct feeling the camera cuts away just before the claws and teeth come out. Cute, though.
posted by anastasiav at 10:01 PM on October 9, 2013

There were definitely some claw-stretchy paws going on there, testing some limits.
posted by gingerest at 10:01 PM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Cats rule, babbys drool?

Kittehs 4EVAR.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:09 PM on October 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

"And since they are fat and squashy I can see how a cat might think "this is a good pillow and it smells like my human minions!""

Nah, they know these are giant, hairless kittens. 'Dunno if it makes a difference if the cat is female or male, but probably not.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:12 PM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

My parents lived in a one-bedroom apartment when I was born (their first) and had a cat, and they spent an inordinate amount of time in my first couple of weeks of life trying to keep the cat away from me when I was sleeping so it would not suck my breath, but every time they went into the bedroom, the cat would have somehow snuck in, leaped into the bassinet, and would pop her head up in HYPER ALERT MODE from where she was asleep curled up against me to see who was coming in the room. If it was anyone but my mom or my dad, she'd freak out and yowl at the TOP OF HER LUNGS -- loudly enough to be heard in the next apartment -- until my mom or my dad came in to rescue me from important stranger danger like my grandmother or my mother's best friend. SHE WAS WATCH CAT and I was her charge. So when I was two weeks old, they were like, "okay, screw this protecting of the baby, the cat just wants to sleep curled against her warm little butt" and all my baby pictures from then on have a cat in them because SHE WAS WATCH CAT and SHE HAD A JOB and that is how we slept for A DECADE AND A HALF. We were inseparable, even though I had multiple younger siblings (who were left to fend for themselves without watch cats), until I was in high school and she was put to sleep when I was 15 -- she was 18, and it was time, and it suuuuucked, and my mom didn't tell me beforehand because she thought that would be better and IT WAS NOT BETTER, and my cat was dead, and my mom told me in the car on the way home, and I was so hysterical I could not get out of the car, and IT WAS NOT BETTER although I suppose she was correct that I would not have gone to school that day due to total hysteria had I known in advance. My social studies teacher reported to the principal, who called my mom, that I was exhibiting "unusual mourning behavior" and "wearing a lot of black." On the one hand I appreciated that someone was paying attention but on the other hand FUCK YOU MAN THAT WAS MY WATCH CAT.

My own two cats took one sniff of the immobile newborns and went FUCK THIS SHIT MAN and hid under the couch for six months each birth. Now that my oldest is four and my youngest is two and neither of them is quite so startling, my cats will occasionally submit to being in the room with the human children. But not often.

In conclusion, I would like to eat baby #2 for having such a cute laugh.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:26 PM on October 9, 2013 [158 favorites]

I gasped at the baby kitty doing the full sproing at baby's face, paws up/claws out, draggin on some skin there before letting go, but the camera operator and the other people in the room just laughed.

Maybe it's these chin scars I have, but there would be some serious rattlesnake impressions coming from me aimed directly at that little cat not chortling sheesh.
posted by carsonb at 10:28 PM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you look really closely, you can see Toxoplasma gondii transmission in action.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:34 PM on October 9, 2013 [25 favorites]

I was surprised they didn't go through more children making that video.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:37 PM on October 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

Lot of ugly babies there. Cute cats though! So it balances out
posted by Bwithh at 10:40 PM on October 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

That's the Toxoplasma gondii talking...
posted by KokuRyu at 10:45 PM on October 9, 2013 [8 favorites]

"Oh, hey a thing that lacks my scent *rub* *rub* *rub*"
posted by Rhomboid at 1:10 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Oh, dear, for the millionth time I think to myself how fortunate it is that I never had kids, because yeah, I think I'd be in DANGER SQUAAAAAAAK DANGER DANGER mode permanently for about 20 or 30 years. I had to close the video because of cat claws in disturbing proximity to baby eyes/face. eek.
posted by taz at 1:20 AM on October 10, 2013

Same here, the one with the cat with its paw in the air flexing it s claws made me wonder. the one with the two guard cast sleeping either side of the sleeping baby about a third of the way in was adorable though. It had a sort of Egyptian mythology feel to it.
posted by biffa at 1:49 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am so, so terrified of how our big tom will be with the baby. He is mostly a pretty sweet cat, but he's been completely intolerant of strangers and stranger-related commotion since the last time we moved. He hisses and spits at all our friends.

He did meet a baby for the first time over the summer, and he just sort of sniffed curiously--she smelled like another cat--and walked away. I was holding him back slightly just in case, though, so who knows.

(Because mrs ozzy will kill both him and me should he treat our child unkindly.)
posted by uncleozzy at 3:27 AM on October 10, 2013

Wait did anyone follow up on this research to verify that all these sweet "babies" didn't grow up soulless dictators, cereal killers or television executives? We need good data for these studies!
posted by sammyo at 4:04 AM on October 10, 2013

I am jealous of these babies' lack of cat allergies.
posted by Aizkolari at 4:32 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Eyebrows McGee, here are some fierce watch cats.
posted by orme at 4:36 AM on October 10, 2013

Our cat was watching with great interest. He wants a prospectus on the soul market!
posted by ignignokt at 5:03 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Regarding the paw flex in context: our cats do this sort of thing in very specific circumstances, usually involving extreme cuddliness/cuteness or some sort of play behavior, NEVER as a prelude to aggression. It is similar to the "biscuit kneading" that cats do when contented or on finding a particularly soft and cuddly object--they regress to a kitten state where the kneading is linked to maternal milk production. The paw used as a hunting weapon is a different thing entirely.

There may indeed be limits tested here, but I cannot believe the kids were ever in any really serious danger. And I've had cat scratch fever (it ain't no fun and you don't get it from surface scratches).

With any luck those babies will grow up with a lifelong link to and compassion for the animal world, and that is a very good thing.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:33 AM on October 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

Well I had a cat when I was little and I killed a bowl of cereal just this morning! Signs indicate I will strike again tomorrow...
posted by runincircles at 6:03 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like the one baby who makes little mouth movements when the cat gets really close. I think he's about to latch on to the cat's nose and start sucking.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:37 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Wish I hadn’t read Eyebrows’s story in such a dusty room.

When I was a kid/teen/young adult we had a cat who was born a Mama Cat. She never had any kittens of her own body, but she never needed to. The world was her kitten. She adopted every other kitten and cat (including her own littermate brother) that passed through the house: bathing (not just I Am Your Friend baths, but The Big Bath that produces a permanent cat mohawk), dry-nursing, those weird mama-cat vocalizations, the swift orange paw of behavioral correction, running to their side at the first sign of distress, purring it better, the whole nine yards.

She applied all of those that we would accept to us, her human kittens, as well. (In addition to stern lectures about things like staying up too late.) She’d keep special watch over us when we were sick, make her rounds at night so she was sure we were all tucked in, check on us if we fell or cried out in pain, purr or lick it better, etc. She was all-indoors, or who knows how many bunnies and squirrels she would have brought home.

So, one day my cousin brings his baby to visit. There was no way that cat was not going to mother that baby. We tried putting her in the other room. She made mama cat noises on the other side of the door and raced in any time the door was opened a crack. Finally he said it was OK, and she flew in and was on the couch before you could say “allomother.” Lick, lick, purr, purr, chirp, chirp, dirty look at the humans as if to say, “Who’s been taking care of this baby, wolves or something?” and she was settled in for the afternoon.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:42 AM on October 10, 2013 [22 favorites]

My crazy aunt believes in the whole "cats will steal your soul while you sleep" thing. Like, seriously. There's more where that came from.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:43 AM on October 10, 2013

Man if soul-theft is the price I pay for bedtime kitty snuggles, I'm fine with it.
posted by kavasa at 6:53 AM on October 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

Stole my HEART!

Cats are so awesome!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:11 AM on October 10, 2013

And soon those wee bairns will be able to try to force kitteh into the Lincoln Logs container.

Or so I am told.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 7:31 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

By the time our son was born, my husband's cat had been putting up with me for 8 years, but had refused to accept me or let me pet her. We lived in a permanent state of mutual dislike.

When we brought the baby home she hissed and hid. Once he was bigger, she ignored him unless he approached her, then hissed and hid. She scratched him once when he persisted.

I wasn't that sad when she died of old age a few years later.

Our present cat is not the brightest bulb but loves anyone who will pet him. He's basically a dog in a cat suit. If he wants to cuddle you, no matter how much you toss and turn, by god, you will be cuddled. Especially since he's a Maine Coon and weighs 30 pounds (down from 40!).
posted by emjaybee at 7:50 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

the premise of this video is ridiculous because everybody knows babies don't have souls.
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 AM on October 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

Back in high school I babysat for a little kid from when he was almost a year old until he was 3. They had a cat. In all the time I spent with that family, I never once saw the cat acknowledge the kid, never even looked at him.

And it was especially tough because the kid just loved that cat. The kitty was fluffy, and he knew how to do a "soft pet" by practicing on the dogs, so was always so excited when the cat showed herself. If the kitty walked across the room, kiddo bolted up, toddled over, and gave that cat the most loving, gentle pets any kid has ever given a creature. And the cat never reacted. She didn't even change her pace, just kept strolling across the room, seemingly oblivious to what was going on, forcing the kid to waddle alongside her while petting.

It was tough to watch.
posted by phunniemee at 9:47 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

My cat was quite annoyed by the loud squirmy thing we brought home, and there was not the slightest bit of cuddly cute behavior, but she was kind of bad-tempered. She clearly understood that it was a baby something, as she allowed him to grab at her, try to pet her, etc., until he was nearly 3, and he pulled her tail. She smacked him once, with claws not fully extended, and he never pulled her tail again.

Watching cute baby videos makes my ovaries kind of ache.
posted by theora55 at 10:14 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I know I am very clearly biased against but OH MY GOD babies look so weird, especially with something clearly adorable and perfect like a KITTY CAT right next to them.

Fritz Leiber, naturally, knew the terrible truth the vile soul-stealing calumny against cats was concocted to conceal: SpaceTime for Springers
posted by jamjam at 10:25 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

My parents love to tell this story-

When I was a baby, we had a cat, who rejoiced in the very imaginative name of Cat. When my parents would give me milk, I would not consume it myself - I would pour some of it out of the bottle onto the floor and wait for Cat to come and drink it. Then I would suck on the end of Cat's tail.

We had a system.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:45 AM on October 10, 2013 [8 favorites]

These cats are all thinking the same thing: "This critter is too big for me to eat and too small to do me any good, but by God it's going to SMELL like me if it's the last thing I do".
posted by PuppyCat at 11:56 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, so cute!
posted by rmd1023 at 2:29 PM on October 10, 2013

Years ago as a kid, I woke up with that suffocating feeling of having blankets wrapped around my face, only to find my Aunt's cat asleep on my face.
So I can see how that would be a bad thing for a smaller human being.
I figure that's what that 'urban legend' is referring to. I'm pretty sure a cat could (and would) suffocate a baby.

P.S. there is a much longer story I could tell here, about a friends cat who welcomed their newborn baby to the house with a dead mouse under the bassinet. (Stop reading here for grossness, but it's ok, the baby is safe, well and a large child now).
Not only did the dead mice offerings continue, but when the baby was nearly one, the mum walked into the room to find the babe contentedly chewing on a mouse in one sticky, saliva covered fist. On prying the hand apart, it was discovered the mouse no longer had a head. The head was discovered in the OTHER little saliva covered fist.
So, the punchline here is, the cat wasn't even in the room. Baby had apparently caught the mouse themselves. I KNOW - amazing, right?
Kid was at maximum crawl speed, good reflexes, and also good at the sitting completely still thing, so I guess the cat had finally, FINALLY taught the baby human to mouse!
So moral of the story is - see cats? We can get there, you just have to keep trying, and train us from a young enough age!
Or maybe that isn't the moral. Uh, sorry?
posted by Elysum at 2:04 AM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]

Years ago as a kid, I woke up with that suffocating feeling of having blankets wrapped around my face, only to find my Aunt's cat asleep on my face.

Oh, yeah, my dear departed Lyudmilla loved me to pieces, but there was no doubt that her loving plan for me included murdering me in my sleep and then adoringly feasting on my corpse so that she could be that much closer to me. She had a host of techniques developed from kittenhood, although a lot of them worked better when she attained her full fifteen pounds and medium-long coat.
  • The Classic Facehugger
  • The Neck Boa (AKA the Bridge of Sighs)
  • The Pointy-Heel-in-the-Trachea (sometimes adapted to the Pointy-Heel-in-the-Carotid, but I think that was more for discomfort than homicide – too slow to be effective)
  • The Paws-Over-the-Airway
  • The Big Shed, which quickly clogged all facial orifices. That cat had, like, three undercoats, at least one of which was extra-electromagnetic
  • The pièce de résistance – inviting her twenty-pound brother to come pile on your chest with her so your lungs couldn’t inflate, and as you weakened from that, applying one of the heel maneuvers.
Sweetest, friendliest cats I’ve ever known in my life. I feel confident in saying that I will probably never be loved by an animal as much as I was loved by Lyudmilla and Yevgeny. They were rescued from a hole in the wall in a horrible rental house, and seemed to never forget it. But they just had these warm, devoted homicidal tendencies that couldn’t be contained. Great mousers, too.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:10 AM on October 14, 2013

When I was a baby, we had a cat, who rejoiced in the very imaginative name of Cat.

My aunt and uncle always had a cat named Cat and a dog named Dog. Their kids were given names, but were never called anything but Boy and Girl. When a surprise third child came along years later, she had to make do with Baby Girl. They're all grown, but neither girl calls their brother anything but "Boy" to this day.

Grandma had a blue parakeet named Mr. Bird for twenty-odd years, or so I thought. Blew my mind when I found out it was a long series of short-lived blue parakeets, all named Mr. Bird.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:19 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you look really closely, you can see Toxoplasma gondii transmission in action.

Oh, when we were kids we would dream of getting Toxoplasma gondii that easily. In my day when we wanted Toxoplasma gondii we would have to chew our way out of a barrel made of rusty glass...
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:34 PM on October 15, 2013

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