Apparently the video below is the second most popular live cat video of last year. It seems to be a Russian video. Russia has an active cat fancy. The Russians like their cats. Sometimes I tend to forget that and focus too much on America and Europe. The cat is a red (orange) and white tabby (see tabby and white coats). Not sure what ‘live cat video’ means! There must be ‘dead cat videos’ somewhere.The video has been viewed more than 15m times. Note: sometimes videos get removed on YouTube leaving blank screens; unlikely in this instance.
The cat’s actions look very unusual, which is why the video is successful. Actually, this form of behavior is not that strange. I have seen it before in a number of videos.
You will always see it when a cat is displaying defensive behaviour. This cat was lying down peacefully and the cat’s keeper, knows that something, perhaps an object of some sort makes his cat nervous and a little frightened, in fact.
So as the person approaches with something in his hand the cat gets up and arches his back (I think he is male). That makes him look larger – classic defensive posture.
Sometimes, exceptionally, cats who want to look larger go one step further than arching their back and taking up a sideways stance. They go up on two legs, temporarily. They can’t hold the position for long. This makes them look even larger (taller) and therefore more dangerous to whatever is making them feel defensive.
At the time this cat took up the arched back, two-legged position, he decided to move away from what was making him anxious or travel in front of it. You can see that with kittens practicing defensive manoeuvres. Walking sideways with an arched back and jumping up and down is classic kitten defensive action practice!
As he was already on his hind legs he started to walk on two legs. That is it really. It is a cat taking up a defensive position in extreme. The slightly troubling thing is that he was provoked to do it for the video camera. That is something that is rarely addressed in commentaries about funny cat videos. A lot of the time the cat is provoked into performing for the camera.
OK, it is not something to harp on about or grumble about but personally I don’t like it.