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Thu May 13, 2021, 08:48 AM

Pay No Attention to That Cat Inside a Box

On Monday morning, my partner laid a carry-on suitcase down on the floor, preparing to pack for his first post-vaccination trip to visit his parents. The moment he unzipped the bag, our cat Calvin promptly clambered inside.

A piece of me would like to think that Calvin was attempting to covertly join my partner on his trip, or perhaps thwart his inevitable attempt to spirit away. But Iím pretty sure #OccupyLuggage was less a heart-wrenching bid to tag along on a flight, and more a textbook example of a central scientific tenet: Cats are absolute suckers for boxes. And sinks, and vases, and grocery bags, and shoes, and Pringles cans, and the nooks and crannies between furniture and walls, and just about any other space they deem cozy, confining, and swaddly. (Cats, in case you were wondering, are a non-Newtonian liquid.) Itís the one thing about which our pointy-eared companions are not terribly picky: If it fits, they sits. And when they do, we humans canít help but obsess over them.

Across the internet, felinesí beguiling fluidity and vaguely psychopathic tendencies spark a mixture of adulation and fear. Internet cats vibe, LOL, lust after cheeseburgers, and vaguely resemble the FŁhrer. But itís perhaps cat booty, and the spaces it parks itself in, that commands one of the most interesting and best publicized cultural memes of all. In April 2017, the phenomenon of cats moseying into boxes took over Twitter with the hashtag #CatSquare. And last week, a new study plumbing the depths of the cat-box phenomenon went viral, spawning thousands of likes and a stream of cat-stanning coverage. ďI canít believe how much attention this is getting,Ē Gabriella Smith, a behavioral biologist who led the study at Hunter College, told me. The allure of the boxed cat is perhaps a kind of entrapment in its own rightótime out of our days, space taken up in our brains, while the felines are none the wiser. Humans have cohabited with cats for thousands of years. But we still canít tell exactly who is domesticating whom.


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Reply Pay No Attention to That Cat Inside a Box (Original post)
douglas9 May 2021 OP
House of Roberts May 2021 #1

Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 10:02 AM

1. Not only boxes,

but circles as well. I once looped a heater cord in the floor, and my cat Lily went right to it, sitting in the middle. I have a plush blanket with the Alabama Crimson Tide logo, spread it on the bed nice and smooth, only to have Lily once again lay down in the circle, as soon as she noticed it.

Lily has a preference for laying on paper that is perplexing. We get these Publix flyers in the yard with other local flyers, and I spread one on the corner of the bed, six or seven sheets thick. She will sleep there most of the time especially overnight, and always faces the door of the bedroom, like she is guarding us.

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