Kittens for Sale!
February 9, 2001 10:43 AM   Subscribe

Kittens for Sale! This twisted, yet somewhat humorous site is a PRANK by MIT students. Yet the FBI doesn't think so. They are taking it serious. One would think that catching all the pedophiles online would be a bit more important then a hoax internet site.
posted by da5id (32 comments total)
What does anything but amused mean?

Headline: FBI Dishes Out Scorn
posted by mblandi at 10:49 AM on February 9, 2001

Lots of things can be said about this. The site itself is disgusting and cruel, and it's only a bit disturbing that someone would think of and put effort into such a thing. On the other side of the coin, from the moment I saw it weeks ago, I thought it was pretty obvious that the whole thing is a prank. Should the FBI be spending our money on chasing down some prankster? I doubt it. They should have better things to do.

There's also the factor of the influence the site has. There are garaunteed to be some people who take something like this seriously, and others who are dumb enough/twisted enough to actually try it at home.
posted by tomorama at 11:05 AM on February 9, 2001

Those MIT folks have a twisted sense of humour. Can anyone explain to me why I should have been even remotely entertained by this prank?
posted by saturn5 at 11:17 AM on February 9, 2001

Old news
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:22 AM on February 9, 2001

new news on an old post, actually

posted by cell divide at 11:33 AM on February 9, 2001

Ummmm... because it's funny?

People can't seem to distinguish between doing something and joking about doing something.

The site in question is clearly parody. I love my cats and I would never do anything to harm them (or any other animal I wasn't about to eat) but I still found that site hilarious.

Bonsai Kittens are fun, but I prefer Bonsai PETA members instead. Their heads are much more malleable.

posted by bondcliff at 11:36 AM on February 9, 2001

I can get behind the FBI's efforts to ban trade in videos depicting animal cruelty. This site is clearly a joke to me, but there are folks who have seen real stuff so close to this that the joke falls flat.

I laughed out loud when people told me that you could buy "erotic" videos of women crushing animals with their feet, and yet here you go.

So while I think the FBI investigating bonsaikitten is ridiculous, I also don't agree with the people that such video is a First Amendment right.
posted by bug at 11:42 AM on February 9, 2001

Me like bonsai kitty. kitty bottle good. many shelf wit kitty bottle. funny ya ya.

no, but seriously, I don't find the site disgusting or curel, it's totally designed to piss off people who take that stuff too seriously and to tickle those who don't. If you are offended, then you fall prey to it's trick. Blame youself.
posted by Hackworth at 12:00 PM on February 9, 2001

Thick clear glass bottle
Houses cute square-faced kitten
FBI overreacts

(FBI is 3 syllables, right?)
posted by Neb at 12:21 PM on February 9, 2001

(FBI is 3 syllables, right?)

You are correct, Neb
overreacts though has four
syllables, Doh! Doh!

posted by Avogadro at 12:25 PM on February 9, 2001

i think that the site is hilarious, but i can see how it could be misunderstood. it is very thorough.

and while i am dissapointed that the FBI would go so far as to issue subpoenas on an issue where one phone call would establish its non-authenticity, i applaud their willingness to attempt to stop what is a truly disturbed practice, ie, the maiming or injuring of animals for pleasure.
posted by o2b at 12:31 PM on February 9, 2001

i applaud their willingness to attempt to stop what is a truly disturbed practice, ie, the maiming or injuring of animals for pleasure.

Unless those animals happen to be humans who hang with a dude named Koresh. In that case....It's Clobberin' Time.

posted by Optamystic at 12:48 PM on February 9, 2001

Why is it ok to kill a dear for sport, but not to run a parody site depicting kittens getting stuffed in a mason jar?

Would it be ok if they ate the kittens when they were done?
posted by bondcliff at 12:59 PM on February 9, 2001

Would actually putting a disclaimer somewhere have helped things? I've seen worse parody sites, but they usually have a disclaimer hidden somewhere that helps ward off some of this knee-jerk reaction from the authorities and other groups...
posted by DaShiv at 1:20 PM on February 9, 2001

Bondcliff: you're such a "dear"...hehe

I believe the difference is that shooting a deer is not torturing it to death over a long period of time. Unless you're a bad shot.

That said, I get a twisted kick out of this site. But then look at my nick.

The FBI has to follow up on certain things, and they have to do it in a certain way. They are burdened (rightly so) under volumes of regulations and guidelines. They'll do what is required, then probably back off.
posted by frykitty at 1:20 PM on February 9, 2001


A Deer!

A Female Deer!

(or is it Dear?)
posted by bondcliff at 1:30 PM on February 9, 2001

i saw the site a few weeks ago and it took me a while to figure out if it was a prank or real. i mean, it just seemed impossible to carry out so i started looking for a disclaimer or something and then found the guestbook and figured from there it was a joke.

it does worry me that some dumbass is going to try this at home, just like the stupid kid that set himself on fire after an EXPLICIT warning at the beginning of "jackass" to not try the tricks at home. and doesn't even have that.

it does seem a little extreme for the fbi though.
posted by centrs at 1:47 PM on February 9, 2001

this explains the fbi:

"In December 1999, President Clinton signed a law that makes it a federal felony to possess "a depiction of animal cruelty" with the intent to distribute across state lines -- such as on the Internet."

technically they offer to sell completed bonsai kittens.
posted by centrs at 1:50 PM on February 9, 2001

I don't give a damn if anyone misunderstands it, or doesn't get it, or finds it cruel and offensive. Anyone who can't see that this is free speech--and nothing but--is crazy.

It is not animal cruelty to joke about being cruel to an animal. If some asshole actually tortures a kitten because of this site, they're the ones breaking the law, and I hope the feds come after them.

And, Centrs, I'm certain these guys had absolutely NO "intent to distribute" abused animals.
posted by jpoulos at 2:08 PM on February 9, 2001

I think it's hilarious, and I think anyone who thinks the FBI should be on this 'case' has *serious* 'issues'.
posted by baylink at 2:36 PM on February 9, 2001

I recently got a cylindrical kind of lamp which was packed in a cylindrical clear plastic container... I set the lamp up and looked down at the empty container and found one of my kitties halfway inside it...just laying there and looking around, scrunching his face up against the plastic from the inside.

he loves it in there....its his favorite place to hang out. i thought of taking a picture and sending it to bonsai kitty. kitties do the strangest things... I could imagine that the cat used in this site started doing this on his own and they just photographed it.

posted by darkpony at 2:37 PM on February 9, 2001


-mars, with thanks to aanvvv
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:46 PM on February 9, 2001

With all the 'FBIs' on this page metafilter is going to make the top ten most monitored websites list.... Hello Mister Federal Agent sir! I hope you don't misunderstand about the 'more addictive than crack thing'.
posted by Jeremy at 3:50 PM on February 9, 2001

i think that the site is hilarious, but i can see how it could be misunderstood.

I'm going to provide a tiny data point here: THIS ISN'T PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE. I suppose you could theoretically stuff a kitten into a glass container for a while, with a breathing hole in it, but the cat would still die from the confinement. Anyone, ANYONE, who "misunderstands" this is so completely ignorant that they don't even deserve to have their "concerns" heard. They deserve to be mocked.
posted by aaron at 3:51 PM on February 9, 2001

aaron, you're so silly. The geniuses at bonsai kitty already have those bases covered!

Air. This ought to go without saying, but you'd be surprised how many amateurs forget this detail and wind up with a cold, hard kitty in the morning! If the containment vessel is sealed, you must drill airholes prior to kitten insertion. A diamond drill is recommended for glass vessels.

Food & Water. Especially if the kitten's head is being shaped (one of the most versatile aspects of the Bonsai Kitten), it will not be able to eat or drink normally. The most common solution is another hole in the container with a feeding tube to the kitten's mouth, where a liquid food slurry can provide both nutrient and hydration requirements.

Waste Removal. Left to its own devices, the kitten would quickly fill its vessel with its own urine and feces, leading to certain sickness and death, not to mention the inevitably unpleasant appearance and odor. The best solution is to seal the kitten's anus with Super Glue prior to insertion, and then insert a waste tube through a third whole in the vessel. As the kitten's body is still developing, a natural rectal diverticulum will soon form around the tube, which can be drained in any convenient fashion. It's just like a kitty colostomy bag

posted by Neb at 4:12 PM on February 9, 2001

Self-link: Happiness is a Rectilinear Kitten. You have no idea how far people will go to save fictional kittens from satirical abuse. Every time I think this pointless controversy has died down, something more amazing happens, like this FBI investigation.

The site doesn't depict real cruelty and does not offer anything for actual sale. It's a clear example of obnoxious but legal speech.
posted by rcade at 4:17 PM on February 9, 2001

Neb, I read that before I posted. No sane person could believe it.
posted by aaron at 4:27 PM on February 9, 2001

In late October, I made a series of pages (disclaimer: self link) chock-full of election "projections" that contained, among other things, Kansas splitting and voting as two separate states, a superfluous state in southwestern Montana named "Cindy!", and Nader winning Wisconsin by way of lactose intolerance. There's even a disclaimer link at the top of the page and everything. And yet I still received scads of email telling me how wrong I was, how such-and-such state would actually be won by so-and-so, etc.

Sane (but extraordinarily dense) people will believe anything.
posted by youhas at 5:50 PM on February 9, 2001 is sick, and not as funny as

I think the bk folks would not have the FBI on their ass if they just included a damn "we're just kidding" page. Small link in tiny verdana does wonders to alleviate some of the stupider hate mail.
posted by artlung at 11:45 PM on February 9, 2001

But the disclaimer ruins the joke. It's much, much, much funnier if people actually get mad over it. Much.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:54 AM on February 10, 2001

I get None of its opposition gets it. There's nothing very funny about growing deformed kittens in jars. It shouldn't be- because that's not even the joke. What IS funny is reading through it and being almost able to hear all the knee-jerk hate mail pouring in from enraged cat lovers who don't get it.
All the site creator is doing is winking and saying "watch this..." and preying on the gullibility of the masses to deliver the punchline for him. The real joke here is everyone who has started a lawsuit, petition, support group, or whatever in protest of this fabricated, tongue-in-cheek "atrocity". None of them even realize the joke's on them, and that makes it that much funnier.
(In a sad, what-is-this-stupid-world-coming-to sort of way.)
posted by emt at 2:18 AM on February 11, 2001

In other words, it's a troll. Seems to be working pretty well, too.
posted by Potsy at 4:15 AM on February 11, 2001

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