New Simon’s cats: “Screen grab” and “Flower bed”

June 14, 2013 • 1:40 pm

Simon’s Cat must be more popular than I thought: this video (which I missed) was posted April 12 but already has nearly three million views on YouTube. It is an animated disquisition, à la Rabbis Sacks, on the emptiness of modern materialistic existence (read “atheism”), symbolized by the television. The feather, of course, is religion.

And this one was posted just today: it’s short and, well, sort of sweet.  Trigger warning: Defecation.

You can watch all the videos here, and here is a picture of Simon Tofield’s real moggies (he haz four):

Picture 5

Have a good weekend (I’ll be here all weekend, folks!).


22 thoughts on “New Simon’s cats: “Screen grab” and “Flower bed”

  1. I think you might be reading a little too much into the first video! You could just as well say that any comment about a kid playing with the box a toy came in conveys the same message. In fact, I would look at it the other way – that religion offers smoke and mirrors, but simple things in the real world give more real pleasure.

      1. I am terrible at that! 🙁

        It comes of spending so much time interacting with people whom I think couldn’t possibly be serious, when it turns out they are.

  2. Groovy post ~ masterful pulling together of diverse elements. I’m still absorbing the theological implications of feathers in my atheist/anti-theist world view

    P.S. Can you put “Trigger Warning ~ it’s life!” at the top of every post please. That should cover it 🙂

  3. …and the cats, of course, represent the New Atheists who tear down and shatter the depressive nihilistic fantasies of the truth-fearing theologians, and instead take delight in swatting at the intellectual featherweights of religious thought.

    …I think….


  4. For the two TV bird documentary segments I’m 90% sure the narration is an impersonation of David Attenborough ~ same relaxed, hushed cricket*-style commentary

    * No the sport!

  5. I’ve had cats who stared at the TV for extended periods of time, despite the fact that some question whether they can make sense of screen images. My current pair of cats ignore the TV for the most part, although they do sometimes react to sounds coming from it, but the older one sometimes stares at my computer monitor and appears to be following the cursor as I move it around.

  6. Does anyone else find the charging budgie scary when filmed from that angle? If we needed another argument that birds are theropods…

    1. The post reminded me of THIS Trigger warning: Defecation scene &…

      Yes of course The budgie is just a “cheep” version of the SCENE with the best gag in the same movie where you get a glimpse of the words “OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR”

      1. Also I do vaguely remember reading that that particular therapod had teeth that were continuously replaced [as you might expect in Hollywood actors 🙂 ]

        I’m puzzled why we, primates [& mammals in general?] didn’t quickly discover a version of this useful trait. Is it because most mammals have [relatively] short reproductive lives in comparison with these mighty beasts? Or am I asking a bad question?

        1. Good question! Early mammals were not only short-lived (compared to most small vertebrates like lizards or frogs), but they didn’t grow much bigger after switching from milk to grown-up food, so they were able to save minerals (including calcium, vital for milk production) and energy by switching off tooth replacement early. This allowed the teeth in upper and lower jaws to evolve more complex interlocking shapes, allowing food to be sliced or crushed more effectively, so that larger amounts could be digested relative to body size, so that a high metabolic rate could be sustained. (Most of these things could evolve in parallel in small steps – ‘correlated progression’ – so it’s not necessary to pick one as the ‘key’ apomorphy of mammals.) It’s been suggested that all the molars in one quadrant of the mammal jaw, from front to back, are homologous to the successional sequence of teeth at a single position in a reptile (not sure if this is considered ‘established’, it may stretch the concept of homology a bit far).

          It’s reasonably common for incisors or canines to evolve open roots so as to grow continuously (e.g. rodents), but less common with cheek teeth (wombats do it, and can be very long-lived if they avoid crossing roads). One of the other ways for mammals with abrasive diets to keep their teeth fresh for longer is to erupt adult teeth at the back of the jaw at long intervals, so they push forward and evict worn-out ones from the front of the jaw (molar progression). It’s not common, but elephants and grazing kangaroos do this.

          Kangaroos occasionally develop supernumerary molars behind the normal four, and most remarkably, one species of rock-wallaby (Nabarlek, Petrogale concinna) doesn’t stop at the odd extra tooth, but keeps popping up new molars as long as it lives. For a mammal without professional dentistry, this is as close as it gets to immortality, but it seems to have evolved recently and hasn’t yet led to a major adaptive radiation.

        2. I just wrote a long and carefully edited reply that disappeared when I hit ‘post’, but the short answer was ‘Good question! and yes, being short-lived probably had a lot to do with truncating tooth replacement in ancestral mammals.’

          1. Thank you John. I read & learned from your long comment which did appear in the end.

            I have the same problem at WEIT with my new comment not appearing when I click “POST COMMENT”. This only happens at WEIT. I’ve discovered that if I refresh the page a couple of times it shows up all the time. I’ve been fooled into double commenting because of this.

            A useful addon in Firefox is Lazarus: Form Recovery Blurb:-

            Lazarus works on ordinary web forms, WYSIWYG editors, and even AJAXified comment boxes, and will save you from pretty much any given server, browser, or connection problems that might otherwise cause you to lose your work, or that really pithy blog comment you struggled on for over an hour

  7. I’ve been traveling through South East Asia the last few weeks and have been missing my pusses.
    Luckily I have seen a few cats around that have let me pat them.
    Not sure if that’s a wise move or not although I figure if these cats were dangerous, people wouldn’t let them hang around.
    Most of the ones I patted seemed to be attached to a particular restaurant.
    One was so bold as to jump into my lap and check my plate for food (that was in Laos, a beautiful country with fantastic noms).
    One thing I did notice was that every cat I saw was small and thin but all were healthy looking.
    One of the best meals we had was at a highway stop in northern Thailand.
    The catfish was unbelievably good and so cheap.
    In Australia at highway stops you’d get either maccas or kfc.

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