fishing cat
June 23, 2006 4:18 PM   Subscribe thread on a russian couple who adopted and are raising a fishing cat in their home. Seventy-nine pages of awesome photos of the cat playing, eating, and hunting. Babelfish translation of thread starts here (NSFW warning: many visceral pictures to make animal cruelty activists [and vegetarians] squirm, and one picture of lady taking a bath with bigcat in murky water).
posted by naxosaxur (77 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
look at that fucker's head -- it doesn't even look like a cat, it looks like a tiger

coming soon on mefi: Russian Couple Tragically Mistakes Siberian Tiger For Kitty, Is Eaten
posted by matteo at 4:27 PM on June 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

That's crazy. Someone's gonna lose their face at some point.

(And, I'm a vegetarian, I don't have a problem with animals eating other animals. In fact, I don't really even have a problem with people eating animals. I just don't eat animals myself.)
posted by notmydesk at 4:28 PM on June 23, 2006

Gorgeous animal. Never heard of these things before. Thanks, naxosaxur!
posted by brundlefly at 4:29 PM on June 23, 2006

I want one.
posted by RufusW at 4:30 PM on June 23, 2006

I'm glad that woman is naked in one picture.
posted by borkingchikapa at 4:33 PM on June 23, 2006

Wow. That thing is beautiful....but also weird. It's eyes are too close together and it looks like it has a big nose somehow. It almost looks like a bear in some shots.
posted by fire&wings at 4:37 PM on June 23, 2006

That house is a breeding ground for bacteria.....
posted by phi phi at 4:38 PM on June 23, 2006

Anybody made it to pages 13 and 14? Holy chicken destroyer...
posted by twiggy at 4:40 PM on June 23, 2006

I think that gal could learn something from the Sigfried and Roy experience. Wild animals aren't pets. Sooner or later, things are going to take a bad turn IMHO.
posted by bim at 4:48 PM on June 23, 2006

That's an amazing animal, it's surreal to see it in a domestic setting.

Second that notmydesk.
posted by annaramma at 4:48 PM on June 23, 2006

My favourite is.
posted by runkelfinker at 4:56 PM on June 23, 2006

That seems unsafe, yet cool. I particularly like the photos of it eyeing the table with food on it, then the table being cleared, then the gigantic cat lying down and licking the table.

I also thought it was great when they got the leopard-print sheets.

Something funny about a cat liking water. Our domestic versions get upset about a drop or two.
posted by theredpen at 4:56 PM on June 23, 2006

I bet they don't have the same problems with squirrels and mice that we do!!
posted by theredpen at 4:57 PM on June 23, 2006

Or fish.
posted by brundlefly at 5:01 PM on June 23, 2006

theredpen, a regular-type cat will take care of that nicely.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:01 PM on June 23, 2006

i think the white cat in the ad at the bottom is the best pic:

posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 5:02 PM on June 23, 2006

I know; my cat is old. Occasionally she leaves one in the toilet but she can't get the ones in the attic. I am considering a fishing cat, or perhaps a lion, to deal with rodents when we have to get a new cat.
posted by theredpen at 5:03 PM on June 23, 2006

That little cat is brave. Well worth viewing until the end.
posted by fire&wings at 5:05 PM on June 23, 2006

It's eyes are too close together and it looks like it has a big nose somehow. It almost looks like a bear in some shots.

posted by dhammond at 5:07 PM on June 23, 2006

WTF where do these people shop?
posted by HyperBlue at 5:09 PM on June 23, 2006

Anybody made it to pages 13 and 14? Holy chicken destroyer...

Well, I'm off to buy my cat a live chicken right now. My poor, neutered, indoor kitty deserves to have that experience at least once in her life.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:10 PM on June 23, 2006

I know! Those wall tiles are ridiculous!
posted by brundlefly at 5:10 PM on June 23, 2006

"neutered kitty..... her life" that doesn't fit, does it?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:12 PM on June 23, 2006

Wait until you see the whole cows (?) piled up outside their door. I'm sort of impressed with how laid-back these Russians are ... my germ-phobia is barely letting me look at the pictures.
posted by theredpen at 5:13 PM on June 23, 2006

holy shit
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 5:17 PM on June 23, 2006

That white mouse on page 17 looks pretty resigned.
posted by edgeways at 5:22 PM on June 23, 2006

In Soviet Russia, cat fish for YOU!

in all seriousness, this is an awesome link.
posted by the_bone at 5:24 PM on June 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

You know I don't think I'd do this, the simularities between a floating penis and some twitching rodent strikes me as quite small to a feline, and with a feline of this calaber, well... humm
posted by edgeways at 5:27 PM on June 23, 2006

I think the man is taking a chance having the fishing cat watch him in the bath tub.
posted by namret at 5:28 PM on June 23, 2006

Things like this always remind me of that dude that lived with the grizzly bears in Alaska. Yeah, it didn't work out so well.
posted by Bugg at 5:32 PM on June 23, 2006

Don't these people have American Idol to distract them from doing interesting things like this?
posted by DragonBoy at 5:32 PM on June 23, 2006

luckily, the black cat has lasers in its eyes.
posted by snofoam at 5:34 PM on June 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

whoa, they got a raccoon, too! and a decent amount of meat.
posted by snofoam at 5:36 PM on June 23, 2006

posted by Mayor Curley at 5:39 PM on June 23, 2006

posted by gottabefunky at 5:42 PM on June 23, 2006

Wow. Excellent post.
posted by jamesonandwater at 5:42 PM on June 23, 2006

House cats are the most creepiest animal known to mankind.
posted by GoodJob! at 5:47 PM on June 23, 2006

This one is my favorite. It could be on a motivational poster titled "Dominance".
posted by smackfu at 5:53 PM on June 23, 2006

Fucking awesome! Thanks, naxosaxur.
posted by clockzero at 6:21 PM on June 23, 2006

Countdown to Ceiling Fishing Cat photoshop...3...2...1...
posted by Arch_Stanton at 6:44 PM on June 23, 2006

It's all in Russian.
posted by redteam at 7:07 PM on June 23, 2006

Amazing. Half again as big is a lot more than half again as scary. As a kitten, its face was almost exactly like an adult domestic cat's, and here I was thinking our cats aren't really domesticated.

If you'd like cat in your tub that makes you feel a bit less like running nakedscreaming through the house, try a Turkish Van.
posted by jamjam at 7:22 PM on June 23, 2006

Babelfish will sorta translate it for you.

Wow, great post, what a beautiful animal. I want one. Want want want.

omg chicken

I wonder what kind of sound it makes, if any? Does it Meow Really Loud? MEOW. Cough like a lion? Or something you've never heard, like "gnrreeeeEEEEEEeeeeoooughbipbip"?

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and my little kitty is laying on my chest staring at me. I don't think I would like it if Fishing Cat did that. With or without the yawning. Jesus.
posted by sidereal at 7:23 PM on June 23, 2006

That's pretty wild, kind of like having a wolf dog... risky business. Good thing my swimming cat is of another variety.
posted by prostyle at 7:53 PM on June 23, 2006

Aw! Wow. I love that it's such good friends with their domestic cat. Eight-year-old me is insanely jealous.
posted by furiousthought at 8:08 PM on June 23, 2006

They forgot to post the pic taken immediately after this one, where the fishing kittens are shoulder deep in the soft, succulent belly of their brave but doomed nurse.

Remember: Every time you masturbate bring a large, wild animal into your home, that large, wild animal will kill and eat your other pets.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:31 PM on June 23, 2006

Ceiling cat's Russian cousin.
posted by sp dinsmoor at 8:35 PM on June 23, 2006

Woah. Those are some crazy Russians. And that is one ballsy house cat. Still, those are some cute kittens...
posted by kosher_jenny at 8:43 PM on June 23, 2006

Not to be confused with the fisher cat from New England. Certainly less cuddly.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:11 PM on June 23, 2006

So, what makes an animal inherently wild? Why wouldn't a fishing cat raised as a house cat act mildly towards its owners?
*totally confused*
posted by hototogisu at 9:16 PM on June 23, 2006

You asked for it Arch_Stanton

posted by Ritchie at 9:37 PM on June 23, 2006

Why wouldn't a fishing cat raised as a house cat act mildly towards its owners?

It lacks thousands of years of domestication in its bloodline.
posted by MrZero at 9:39 PM on June 23, 2006

Obviously. I'm at a loss for exactly what genes are being domesticated out of the cat. Every house cat I've ever known has been a rapacious hunter and knave--honestly, what's different?
posted by hototogisu at 9:50 PM on June 23, 2006

This reminds me of the NYT article about Savannah cats; cross between a domestic cat and an African Serval.
Apparently they like to turn on the tap when you're away and play with the resulting water.
And just mess about with your stuff.

So, what makes an animal inherently wild? Why wouldn't a fishing cat raised as a house cat act mildly towards its owners?
Domestication is partly a process of selection of the right genes; partly it presupposes some kind of basic behaviour in the species that fits in with domestication.

A dog for instance has been bred for a long time to select behaviour that goes along well with living freely with humans. This domestication used basic behaviour that dogs have within groups of dogs in the wild.

I think domestic cats extend kitten behaviour well into adult life just to manipulate (unwittingly) humans into providing food.

So it's by no means certain that this cat will not attack its owners (as people have pointed out), eat small children or the domestic cat, etc.

Great post btw; that's one beautiful fearsome beast.
I wonder how a chance encounter with a dog would fare.
Now it's just a question of time before people in the west will start breeding them (illegally).
posted by jouke at 9:53 PM on June 23, 2006

I've seen my kitties play like this. The funny thing is that based on the posturing in this and several of the other pictures, i'm pretty sure Fisher Kitty thinks the black and white domestic is the boss.

(Specifically, the way it's pulled it's head way back to avoid getting thwacked while reaching out to paw at the domestic.)

All that being said;

Awww who's a big kitty? whooo's a biiiig kitty?
posted by quin at 10:09 PM on June 23, 2006

Wow. Not my thing, but good on them. I guess.

Put me in the "something bad is bound to happen" camp. Hopefully I'm wrong.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:27 PM on June 23, 2006

I'm in quin's camp. That fisher cat thinks he's the kitten and black house cat is boss. ah koochie koochie koo widdle-big kittywiddy
posted by dabitch at 12:32 AM on June 24, 2006

posted by strawberryviagra at 6:21 AM on June 24, 2006

It's hard to tell from the translations and the missing dates on the photos, but it may be that black cat is fishing cat's surrogate mommy - I see black cat nursing fishing kittens. If this is the case, black cat is probably pretty safe.
posted by sidereal at 6:43 AM on June 24, 2006

re: domestication, i think it's a popular hypothesis is that dogs actually domesticated themselves, although i don't know that it's something that has been or could be proven. i think one reason was the speed with which they became domesticated was really quick and it made more sense that friendly dogs selecting to hang out with people would lead to domesticated dogs faster than people trying to domesticate wolves. i can't find the article where i read about this first, but the guy interviewed here thinks the dogs did it.
posted by snofoam at 7:28 AM on June 24, 2006

sidereal, I find it amazing how the fishing cat acts around its "mother'. It wouldn't seem unusual except for the fact it's HUGE in comparison. I guess cats don't consider size to be much of an issue.
posted by tommasz at 7:32 AM on June 24, 2006

I knew a woman who owned an ocelot. She would take it for walks in the city (yes, a city cat). It had a huge jeweled collar that, along with his pretty pelt, made him a walking status symbol. The owner almost always had scratches on her leg from when "kitty" got too frisky.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:59 AM on June 24, 2006

Yeah, Coppinger's a big proponent of dogs domesticating themselves (or at least placing themselves in a position to be domesticated); he's probably at least mostly right. It makes a lot of sense when you consider that it's really hard to have a breeding population you can select from for tameness (like the russian fox experiment) when the local wolves won't let you get close to them.
The gist is that wolves discovered people's garbage as a food source, and thereby reduced their flee distance. That put them into contact with humans, and made them available as domestication candidates.

Also, the fishing cat, if it's been raised from nursing-age in a house with people and its foster mom black cat, will almost definitely never give the people or the cat any trouble. It's imprinted pretty solidly on them. It might play rough, but it's not going to snap one day or anything. It might not be any fun around strangers, though.
posted by zusty at 8:19 AM on June 24, 2006

awesome thread. that looks like a pretty happy feline. great stuff, thanks.
posted by Busithoth at 8:53 AM on June 24, 2006

Can kind of looks like Mussolini.
posted by vito90 at 10:45 AM on June 24, 2006

So is the essence of domestication retention of juvenile (if not infantile) characteristics, and does that make human beings a self-domesticated species? If so, how much further can it go?
posted by jamjam at 11:08 AM on June 24, 2006

I'm guessing from the translation that the other kitten died :0(

FELEK!Spasibo after the the vopros.Vtoroy kitten was brother.
Now already it does not exist

Especially sad after a photo on the previous page of the two kittens looking at each other with the caption:

But here is photo "how do you do, brother!"

*gulps down lump in throat*

Still, a couple of excellent mis-translations later and I was laughing like a donkey:

"roofing to THE FACTORY OF STARS to descend?"
"dismantlings in the house."
"pancake, for the minute departed."

Great post!
posted by aqueousdan at 12:19 PM on June 24, 2006

Awww! I want one!
posted by deborah at 12:50 PM on June 24, 2006

Dude I would so get a leash and walk around outside with that thing.
posted by evilelvis at 1:08 PM on June 24, 2006

Aww, big kitty givin wuv nibbows. Ha ha, ok kitty that's enough. . . enou. . . enough kitty. OW! OK, kitty enough! OH GOD!! AHHHHHH*gurgle*HHhhhhhnn*gurgle*nnn..n....
posted by dgaicun at 1:35 PM on June 24, 2006

jamjam: Possibly! Coppinger definitely thinks that about dogs and wolves (specifically juvenilization; as in wolves have some motor patterns & abilities dogs don't, but dogs have more than wolf puppies). And since behaving more like a baby makes you friendlier, that's a good way to go about domestication.
In regards to humans, eh, domestication generally means 'bred to live with humans', so that's a bit not-useful. If you mean we're neotenized, maybe so! There's sure some selection for that in women, at least. If that spreads to men, then it's Eloi all the way, I imagine.
posted by zusty at 6:10 PM on June 24, 2006

jouke: Savannahs are the epitome of awesome, at least amongst easily-attainable breeds. They're absolutely huge (probably about the same size as fishing cat, but sleeker) and can hold their own against a dog in a fight.
posted by etoile at 1:12 PM on June 26, 2006
So says my daughter: Oooh, a jaguar catching fish in the BATHTUB. Kinda scary...and not cool."

Awesome pictures. And very cool. ;)
posted by artifarce at 3:08 PM on June 27, 2006

The owner almost always had scratches on her leg from when "kitty" got too frisky.

Sounds like what I had from my "domesticated" house cats... still have scars from scratches 10 years ago.
posted by artifarce at 3:11 PM on June 27, 2006

I'm just glad my old manx-boy never met a hella cat like that.

He'd have said [in cat] something like, "What choo doin' in my yard, pink-nose-funny-ears?" I'm sure the result would have been similar to when he hit up german shepherds and racoons for trespass: an expensive visit to the vet.

Well, and a manx cat happily satisfied with battle...
posted by taosbat at 6:21 PM on July 3, 2006

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