Boy plays veterinarian to 6 cats. Cute or wrong?
It has been described as cuteness overload. A three-year-old Chinese boy enjoyed himself playing a veterinarian putting Covid-19 masks on six family cats. The video, which I can’t find on the Chinese site Weibo, has gone viral. The boy’s name is ‘He’ and he lives in Beijing, China.
The video was captured in the living room of the boy’s home. You can see, from the screenshot, that he has taken considerable care and attention to add Covid masks to the cats and cut out circles to allow them to see. He also tried to take a swab from one of his cats without success.
The boy learned to do this from his kindergarten where they organised Covid-19 tests. The boy’s father said that his son is three-years-old and the cats are five-years-old (all of them?). He said that the cats enjoyed the experience.
The assessment of what is going on is what I call human-centric. I don’t like to see it myself. I think that it is wrong for the parents to allow it. You should not be sticking masks on cats. It will confuse them and 99% of the time they will try and get them off. We don’t see this happening but all I have is a still photograph with the cats seemingly compliant and accepting the masks.
However, it’s almost certain that within quite a short space of time they pawed at the masks to try and remove them. It’s just unnatural and I don’t think that it is an example of good cat caregiving.
But it seems that the focus is on the child having fun and the whole thing is described as cute. And the focus, too, is on making a viral video. It does not matter how you do it and whether the cats are upset or not. We know that around 34% at least of cats involved in viral funny cat videos are stressed.
It seems that the viral cat video depends upon stressing up your domestic cat companion. Like I said, the world is human-centric and when push comes to shove the cat is a commodity to help humans make viral videos to make money out of advertising and/or to achieve that precious 15 minutes of fame that Andy Warhol so famously spoke about.
As an afterthought, I am surprised that they are still wearing masks in China. We stopped doing that ages ago in the UK and in Europe generally. But China has a problem and it’s affecting their economy. Their home-grown vaccination is far less effective than those that were created in the West. And secondly, elderly people in China are frightened of vaccines. There was a very low pickup of the Covid vaccination programme by elderly people.
These factors combined to leave Chinese citizens, particularly elderly, vulnerable to the new variant Omicron. That’s why they’ve still got lockdowns occurring in China. For example, even today, Chengdu, a Chinese city of 21 million citizens has been locked down indefinitely which will no doubt cause great distress to the residents because they can’t go about their daily lives and earn a living in the normal way.
Below are some more pages on China.