November 28th, 2012

Wet cats

You won’t see too many cat videos on this blog (in fact, have you ever seen any?), because I’m not inordinately fond of cats.

Oh, I’ve liked an individual one now and then, but in the main I have no use for them—and so of course they absolutely adore me.

But I didn’t realize that some cats like water (and if, like me, you’re bugged by the musical accompaniment, just mute it):

And man, people sure like that video. Over thirty-two million views! It’s not that funny. So what is it, folks; do people just like cats?

And what’s up with that incredibly annoying red thing in the upper-right-hand corner, in Russian, that I can’t get rid of? Any tips on how to eradicate it?

44 Responses to “Wet cats”

  1. chuck Says:

    Hey, when I was a kid I shared showers with my cat. I’ve had dogs too, but cats are less trouble and can take care of themselves for a week or so if I’m traveling.

  2. michal Says:

    we had a cat that chased the lawn sprinkler water, a rain bird. he loved to watch the water swirl around when we flushed the toilet. He’d run from the other side of the house to the bathroom. he sat on the counters and played with the water while I rinsed dishes. And then he got a little older and just quit doing it.

  3. Charles Says:

    Neo, I think that the “red thing” that you are refering to is an annotation – it is a YouTube thing.

    Click on the “hide/show annotations” tool. This tool is the red callout along the bottom, near the center right.

  4. n.n Says:

    I find their authentic innocence to be emotionally and aesthetically appealing. However, this perception is not limited to cats, but also includes dogs, hamsters, and even those frightful human babies.

  5. Molly NH Says:

    We grew up without air conditioning & many a hot summer day the cat could be found relaxing & cool in the empty porcelain bathtub. Smart critters & most definately an easy to care for pet.

  6. vanderleun Says:

    Annoying red thing. Before taking the embed try clicking on the red icon in the bottom control bar. If that doesn’t work try entering “showinfo=0” [Zero] at the two critical places in the embed code.

  7. parker Says:

    We have 2 cats and 2 dogs. One of the cats is fascinated by running water and does not hesitate to play with water as long as it is moving, still water is apparently boring. One of our dogs dislikes water and will go to great lengths to avoid stepping in an extremely shallow puddle. Some like it wet, some like it dry.

  8. G. Keene Says:

    Here’s something that I came across about cats…

    “Although cats are disgusting vermin that must be put down, I must warn against any plan to consume their meat in a stew. It is just too dangerous. Science tells us that cats are infested with symbiotic parasites that lodge in the brains of those unfortunates exposed to cats. These parasites then control the minds of the human victim, convincing him to shelter cats, to feed cats and to serve all cat purposes. There are even sad cases where the infested human’s perceptions are so disordered, so that he finds the cats “cute”, and “fluffy”, rather than as the diseased and repulsive beasts they truly are. Any such infested humans should be reported for medical decontamination at once.

    At least, that is what the parasites from my faithful golden retriever, Scout, are telling my brain. He is truly man’s best friend.”

  9. NeoConScum Says:

    An old timer friend who loves cats recently commented that,”God should’a stopped with Cats.”

    Hey, just sayin’…(-:

  10. CV Says:


    If you haven’t seen Henri, the existential cat, you simply MUST:

    This is Henri II, Paws de Deux, winner of the Academy Award of cat videos this year 🙂

  11. rickl Says:

    I only have one wet cat story. Back when I lived in an apartment, I frequently cat-sit my neighbor’s cat, Chloe. She was a long-haired cat with an enormous bushy tail. We became good buddies, too, and I eventually ended up adopting two of her kittens.

    Anyway, one evening I was interrupted while doing the dishes. When I went back into the kitchen, I saw Chloe sitting on the edge of the sink dangling her tail in the warm water. She just swished it around for a while.

    Then she turned around and let her waterlogged tail hang over the edge of the counter. Water poured onto the floor. She looked behind her and seemed nonplussed that her tail’s normal graceful, airy movements were transformed into something resembling a wet dishrag flopping back and forth.

    I was nearly doubled over with laughter. It remains one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Alas, she never did it again.

  12. Occam's Beard Says:

    I’m with G. Keene.

  13. Teri Pittman Says:

    I did have a cat once that liked to jump in mud puddles. My current batch do like to play with the water stream on their drinking fountain, but none of them seem to want to swim. I do have a cat that plays fetch.

    I find them interesting animals, although most cats are pretty stupid. Klutzy cats are always funny. And you can humiliate a cat, so it’s funny to see them ignore you and pretend like they don’t care.

  14. expat Says:

    I’ve had 3 cats. None liked water. Cat #3 rules our house and loves every minute of it. I think there is a difference between relating to a generic cat and having a real battle-of-wits reationship with the one who shares your home. They only display their personality when you get to know them.

  15. rickl Says:


    Regarding cat personalities, I got to spend plenty of time with Chloe and her three kittens up to the time the kittens were about six months old. They were nearly fully grown. After that, my neighbor moved away and took Chloe and one kitten. I kept the other two.

    The four of them were blood relatives. One was male and three were female. Two were long-haired and two were short-haired. All four were black.

    Yet they had completely unique and individual personalities. They were as different from each other as night and day.

    I had no experience with cats before this, and it was a real eye-opener.

  16. rickl Says:

    Oh, and the glass of water on my bedside table is community property. I keep it filled so they don’t have to stick their heads too far down inside the glass.

  17. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    I was a cat person for a lot of years until a particular dear dog, now gone and still mourned, turned me forever into a dog person. Here’s a particularly acute explication of the difference in the relationships.

  18. Oldflyer Says:

    I like cats.

    Didn’t know any who loved to get wet, but one that would only drink from a running faucet. The current one likes to dip her foot in the drinking water and track it around; she won’t say why.

    They can be a challenge to bond with, but once you do they are wonderful companions–on their terms of course. We have had many cats over the decades, all but one an adoptee, and each was a different personality. The first, was a Super Cat; a Siamese who moved from Texas to Florida to California to Hawaii (90 day quarantine) to California, back to Florida, back to California and finally to Virginia. She never complained. Always ready.

    Of course I also like dogs. There is no challenge there. It is universally understood that dogs provide unqualified and undiscriminating love. I guess we need that. My daughter’s Labrador Retriever hates water.

  19. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    Over thirty-two million views! It’s not that funny. So what is it, folks; do people just like cats?

    32 million? Pfffeeeeh. When it gets “Oppa Gangnam Style” numbers… THEN we talk….


  20. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    Well, there are two stories that detail the difference between cats and dogs:

    Dogs come when you call. Cats have answering machines.


    You take a dog, you feed it, you pet it, you care for it, you tend to its hurts, and the dog thinks… “Wow, S/He must be a GOD!!”
    You take a cat, you feed it, you pet it, you care for it, you tend to its hurts, and the cat thinks… “Wow, *I* must be a GOD!!”

  21. csimon Says:

    Neo– one subject about which we are not in sync: cats, kitties, cutest baby kittens.

    Have to admit I grew up with only dogs. Thought kittens were so cute…until they became cats.

    But then I moved to NYC & just couldn’t imagine walking the dog early on freezing cold days as well as late at night thru the filthy snow & ice. So I got my first cat. The lady at the store told me “once you have a cat, you never go back.” There’s some truth to that. I don’t think people unfamiliar with cats, who have never lived with one, underestimate their levels of affection, and the development of real personalities. I think most people expect these things in dogs, but, generally, cats get a bad rap.

    They are indeed very affectionate, and develop very distinct personalities — very amusing, gratifying. Unlike dogs, they give you some space, though, and like theirs.

    Most of video was cute — seeing the unexpected sights of cats really liking water — or finding out if they do by indulging their curiosity.

    But the cat-torturers have got to go! Not funny! (I know — that’s a matter of opinion depending on which side you’re on: loving ’em or hating ’em. Dead cat jokes are much the same.

    The worst in video was the kid holding hands with an adult, and holding cat in other hand like a sack of beans. Then stepping up to the fountain, throwing the poor creature in — I’m guessing to determine whether it would sink or swim. Smart cat that it was, it took off in opposite direction. I hope that little boy never finds it or any cat again…or else we might just have a serial killer in the making!

  22. waltj Says:

    Lifelong cat lover here. While I’ve had a few that have tolerated being in water, like my current Maine Coon (of course, his fur is so dense, his skin doesn’t actually get wet), and a larger number who have found running water fascinating, none has enjoyed going for a swim. The closest was a cat I had while living on a lake. He’d wade out into the shallows to go fishing, but that was it. I’d like to have one like the one in the basin, lounging around as if he’s in a hot tub. One thing cats know how to do is relax.

  23. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Mrs Whatsit,

    That is a wonderful explication of the difference between dogs and cats. Thanks so much for sharing it, I will as well.

    The only thing I would add is that a dog passing on shortly after the loss of a beloved owner is nearly a cliche, whereas no cat has ever done so, they merely look for the next food source.

    Dogs give unconditional love, cats are sociopaths, incapable of true affection. When they purr and rub its a request for affection, not an offer of it.

    And that’s why I’m not a cat person, pretense should be limited to acting.

  24. waltj Says:

    GB, usually I agree with your comments, but not in this case. It’s not really a matter of “love” or “sociopathy”. Cats and dogs are simply wired differently and show affection in different ways. A dog is a pack animal, and the owner is, or should be, the pack leader (Cesar Millan has made big bucks from people who aren’t). It’s not unconditional “love”, as you call it. It’s submission. A dog subordinates himself to the pack leader, and when something bad happens to the pack leader, it’s a disaster to the dog.

    The cat, on the other hand, is a basically solitary animal that has no innate need to become part of a pack (lions excluded). That’s why in many situations where cats and dogs are housed together, the much smaller cat is dominant over the larger dog. And cats do miss people and other animals that they like, even when they’re well-fed and receiving plenty of attention from others. I’ve seen it myself many times, with the cat going from room to room in the house, looking for missing person (or animal) and meowing piteously or howling. But another difference: cats get over it and move on. Dogs, as you note, may not.

  25. Oldflyer Says:

    Geoffrey, I wonder if anyone has ever done a psychological profile of people who are “cat people” and people who are not. It would be interesting.

    I certainly wonder at the term sociopath as it is applied in your post. An interesting concept for a creature that is purely instinct driven. I have known cats that were quite affectionate and did not suspect that they only harbored selfish motives. I have known other cats who were not at all affectionate, especially in the early days of the relationship. In certain cases I knew that they had been abused earlier in their lives; in others, I had reason to suspect such. I spoke earlier of the only one my family had raised from kittenhood, and she was a wonderful companion.

    As to the idea that cats only take, I guess you have never had a cat offer you a gift of a bird or mouse that she had successfully hunted. What more could you ask in terms of generosity and love?

  26. Molly NH Says:

    “Not show affection ” !!!!!!
    Unfortunately GB you have been seriously mis informed friend.
    As I usually type here sitting with my computer on the sofa arm rest I am very frequently interrupted by “Spotty” my sweet calico kitty. She will jump up onto my legs, look to the keyboard to find my hand & with much determination & persistence get her little nose & head under my palm to demand her requisite gentle
    stroking ! That in turn starts up her purring machine & she may or may not try a coquettish back roll all in the cramped quarters of the sofa arm rest !!! Then when you chat with her, as she seems to love the sound of human voices, then she appears to get content & will honor you as her nap spot.
    To say cats are not affectionate is obviously a remark from someone who has never owned a cat, for whatever reason but cat owners would never swallow that Democrat Talking Point.

  27. Molly NH Says:

    Another kitty story from my past.
    For a time mom worked 3rd shift, the car pool would drop her off promptly at 7:30 AM, who was there each morning to welcome her home ???
    Smokey our big, gray “Russian Blue”, the same kitty who liked the cool bath tub on hot days !

  28. Molly NH Says:

    Another point for GB, cats purring & rubbing request for affection
    is not unique to cats, dogs request affection just as regularly !
    Our family’s English setter, like dogs everywhere, will sit next to whomever is in the living room & will want a “go” at the top of her head! (I call that a request for affection) .
    Actually cats & dogs do us a favor with their need for contact.
    Medical studies show that upon petting an animal the humans blood pressure will lower as will the heart rate, your breathing will slow & become deeper in character, oxygenating your lungs more intently & increasing 02 levels in the blood stream which benefits all the body s organs & increases endorphens (sp?).

  29. lethargic Says:

    Very few of the cats in this video look like they’re enjoying the water … even the eerily calm one in the blue bucket, notice his flattened ears … they look frightened, trying to escape, or at best resigned, to me, a lifelong cat lover and servant. I think most of what you see in this video is either accidents or abuse. Yes there are cats who enjoy water, but not in this video.

  30. Molly NH Says:

    lethargic, i believe the cat with the “flattened ears” you mention might be a “scottish fold” cat. They are bred to have these very small flappish ears. Check them out on the net, must be a website !

  31. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I knew that my comments about cats would result in many ‘unhappy campers’. I’ll admit that I’ve never owned a cat, though I’ve been around many. I’ll even admit that characterizing cats as sociopaths is probably unfair and most probably inaccurate.

    But I do believe (which is not to say that I can’t be mistaken in this case) that, in general my view of cats is basically correct. So, at this time I remain unconvinced of [some] cats ‘affectionate nature’.

    We shall just have to agree to disagree Molly NH as to your cats behavior being an offering of affection, rather than a ‘selfish’ request. I’ve seen, up close, the behavior you describe many times but certainly you know your cat, whereas I do not.


    As the greatly under appreciated Denis Prager states, “I much prefer clarity over agreement”.

    Yes, dogs are pack animals and its owner should properly act and be viewed as the ‘alpha dog’. That stipulated, my perception is that the submission a dog offers its owner is not its motivation for its offer of affection. Though submission may be at the heart of a one owner breed’s affection, that is less explanatory of a friendly breed, such as Golden Retriever, who offer affection to everyone.

  32. PA Cat Says:

    My cats are not only affectionate toward me, they love the American pastime as well. What could be better than watching a baseball game with the kitties on either side of me? After all, it was a cat that wrote the lyrics to baseball’s national anthem:

    Take me-ow to the ball game,
    Take me-ow with the crowd. . .

    Anyway, my cats definitely believe that God invented humans for feline amusement. It’s the best explanation I know for their loyalty to the Mets.

  33. rickl Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    November 29th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I’ll admit that I’ve never owned a cat

    “Dogs have owners; cats have staff.”

  34. rickl Says:

    As for cat affection, the couch scene in the video reminded me of Leo. When I was sitting on the couch watching TV or reading, he often jumped up on the couch, then sat upright next to me and leaned against my side. Then I would put my arm around him.

    Kira likes to curl up around my legs when I’m in bed. You could say that she just wants to siphon off some of my body heat, but I feel her warmth too and it’s nice to snuggle together. So it’s a win-win.

    It’s sort of like a metaphor for free-market capitalism, where each participant in a transaction feels that they got more out of it than they put in.

    Then there was Chloe, who I mentioned in earlier comments. She was never “my” cat, and I only knew her for 2-3 years, but I have never felt such a bond with any other animal, of any species. We were soulmates, for lack of a better term, and our affection was clearly mutual. There was definitely something extra going on. I could talk about her for hours.

  35. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “What could be better than watching a baseball game with the kitties on either side of me?”

    A loving member of the opposite sex who enjoys the game too? My second choice would be a good dog…but never a cat. Perhaps its just personal preference after all but if not, well ‘the pursuit of happiness’ is an individual pursuit 🙂

    “Dogs have owners; cats have staff.” rickl

    Well put.

  36. Molly NH Says:

    To each his own with regard to pets, our cats have been known to plop on the oversized hassock & “watch” the westminster dog show, I think they were rooting for the Chow, must be the long fir.
    Something for cats lovers & cat indifferents to think about though, back in history many elderly women, crones or at worst considered witches lived on the margins of society keeping a low profile lest she be considered the source of the crop failure, the wife’s miscarriage, the well going dry. Perhaps she lived on meager largesse from some neighbors or the church. Often the only companion these marginal women had was a cat, the only source of someone to talk to,
    some creature to pet & be purred at & bumped into.
    Plus kitty could find her own grub, still I bet she stayed with the old crone for a snuggle & helped to make final years a bit more pleasant.

  37. rickl Says:

    Molly NH:

    A few years ago, I had a vivid (but imaginary) vision of a scene from the Middle Ages:

    A peasant family was gathered in their miserable hut, in the dead of winter, with a snowstorm roaring outside. A fire burned brightly in the fireplace; the only source of heat and light.

    A child lay dying from a common communicable disease. The grieving family could only watch and wait.

    A cat watched the scene with the usual impassive expression on its face. Its eyes glowed red in the reflection from the fire. Its pointed ears must have resembled horns.

  38. Molly NH Says:

    opps mis spelled, long fur

  39. Molly NH Says:

    yikes, Rickl that s kind of scary !!!
    Very well “painted” though
    Back in the pre anti biotic age my mom was stricken with Scarlet Fever & running a high temp, my grandmother sat by her bedside sure she would die because there was a dog howling all that night….

  40. rickl Says:

    Yeah, it’s not hard to see how desperate, frightened, superstitious people came to regard cats as evil and demonic.

  41. parker Says:

    Our 2 cats, both female, are the best of companions. They sleep tangled up together, groom one another, and although they occasionally get into a spat, they quickly make up with an intense mutual grooming session. A cat alone is not a fulfilled cat. Cats are the most content with at least one other cat companion.

  42. Oldflyer Says:

    “I’ll admit that I never owned a cat”. Geoffery

    But, he believes that he knows all about them?

    No, you don’t. Not until you have shared a home with one or more. Until then you know the conventional prejudices.

    I will confess GB. I was strictly a dog person. Never owned a cat, and didn’t care to. Shortly after we lost our beloved Beagle I was thrown in with a friend’s Siamese for a period of time. I was so impressed by this beauty that we bought our own Siamese kitten ($10/1961); the only cat we ever bought. She was the first of a parade. Every other one came from a troubled situation, but everyone was a welcome addition, and a loved companion in its own way.

    But, it is in a sense a nonsense discussion. Some people love cats, others never will.

    Healthier than trying to discuss politics or economic disasters I suppose.

  43. waltj Says:

    Though submission may be at the heart of a one owner breed’s affection, that is less explanatory of a friendly breed, such as Golden Retriever, who offer affection to everyone.

    Ok,GB, here’s my take on this. I think there’s a certain predisposition by breed in both cats and dogs to be friendly (or not), and after that, individual animals can vary widely. The Golden Retriever, and I have a close friend who has owned a succession of them, so I’m familiar with their amiable nature, is a breed that does offer affection to anyone. But the one my friend has now only obeys his owner. Basically, this dog doesn’t get out of my face until my friend tells him to, no matter how much I may push the pooch away and try to convey to him that I don’t want to be licked to death just then. His previous dogs were less effusive.

    But a similar trait also exists in cats. One of my previous Maine Coon cats, another outgoing breed, “loved” people. All people, including children. No skittishness, no running and hiding, no hissing, no scratching. He’d just come up to anyone who visited the house, rub against them, purr, head-bump, want to get in their lap, etc. If the affection was returned, he was a happy kitty (it’s easy to tell if you’ve lived around cats your whole life, as I have). If not, he’d just wander off for a while and maybe try again later. But my other cats were more reserved. So, I think affection begins with a certain predisposition by breed, then boils down to the individual animal’s genetic makeup, environment, and life experiences. Sort of like people in that regard.

  44. waltj Says:

    Lethargic, the cat in the blue basin is a Scottish Fold. Their forward-folded ears are the source of the breed’s name. And this one is as calm, placid, and relaxed as can be. No hostility or angst here.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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