Caturday felid trifecta: Why cats land on their feet; cats with hats made from their own fur; New York’s most glamorous cats

October 12, 2019 • 9:15 am

Let’s begin with a cat quote sent in by reader Stuart:

“I have cats because they have no artificially imposed, culturally prescribed sense of decorum.  They live in the moment.  If I had an aneurysm in the brain and dropped dead, I love knowing that as the paramedics carry me out, my cats are going to be swatting at that little toe tag.”

–Paul Provenza

The first article from today’s trifecta is an OpenCulture post on why cats always land on their feet (click on screenshot to access it). It’s basically a video with a few words of explanation, some of which are below the screenshot

First, a video of the early research, which disclosed what remain the correct explanation. I suspect this is inherited versus learned behavior, as I believe cats perform this rotation the very first time they’re dropped:

An anonymous white French pussy took one for the team in 1894, when scientist/inventor Étienne-Jules Marey dropped it from an unspecified height in the Bois de Boulogne, filming its descent at 12 frames per second.

Ultimately, this brave and likely unsuspecting specimen furthered the cause of space exploration, though it took over 50 years for NASA-backed researchers T.R. Kane and M.P. Scher to publish their findings in a paper titled “A Dynamical Explanation of the Falling Cat Phenomenon.”

See one of Marey’s pioneering falling cat chronophotographs below.

Here it is:



From My Modern Met, Colossal, and Bored Panda (click on screenshots), we have those cat-loving Japanese making hats for their cats out of the cats’ fur.


I’ll show a few specimens from the articles, which all describe a Japanese couple’s sartorial endeavors for their three cats (text from Colossal):

Japanese couple Ryo and Hiromo Yamazaki combine their affinity for fashion design, felines, and photography by building hats for their three cats out of the animals’ own shedded fur. The Yamazakis have created a wide range of designs that have become increasingly intricate over the years. Simple acorn-like shapes have evolved to elaborate samurai helmets, sailor caps, and duck likenesses, and the different shades of the cats’ orange, tabby, and white fur allow for nuance within each hat.

For readers concerned about the alarmed looks on Nya, Maru, and Mugi’s faces, the cats are all Scottish Folds, a specific cat type that has been bred for unique features including rounded faces and wide eyes, and they appear just as nonplussed when relaxing sans-hats. It’s worth noting that some veterinary professionals in the U.K. and governments in Australia have warned against or effectively banned the breed due to its adverse health effects on the cats.

You can follow along with the human and feline Yamazaki family on Instagram. (via designboom)

And the best one:


The Algonquin Hotel in New York City has an annual cat fashion show, described in this article in The Cut:

A bit of the text, and some photos:

The cat fashion show, which raises money for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, has been taking place at the Algonquin for 11 years. It gestures toward the hotel’s storied feline history; since the ’30s, the establishment has had a resident cat, always named Hamlet (or Matilda, if she is a female). Although I don’t get to meet the current Hamlet-in-residence, Hamlet VIII, who I’m told is behind the front desk, wearing a bow tie and serving as a “host-slash-producer” of the show, I do meet his reiki healer, Carole Wilbourn. “Hamlet needed a lot of reiki, because he needed to be on all the time, plus the residual angst of being abandoned,” she explains.

. . . The cats have been styled by Ada Nieves, an FIT-certified pet fashion designer who has put together the cat fashion show’s themes and looks for the past six years. This year, to celebrate New York’s diversity, Nieves made the theme “It’s a Small World,” with each cat wearing a look that represents a different country — the U.S., Ireland, China, France, Spain, India, Germany, the U.K., and Egypt.

Oy!  Well, here are some of New York’s “most glamorous cats” with their nationality-representing duds:

The cat representing India. Photo: Beth Dixson
The cat modeling “Spain.” Photo: Beth Dixson

I’ not sure what these cats are representing, but none of the cats look especially happy. And of course that’s because cats hate getting dressed up:

Cannoli and Wasabi. Photo: LISA RAYMOND

h/t:  Stephen, Ginger K., Lynne, Michael, Su

8 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: Why cats land on their feet; cats with hats made from their own fur; New York’s most glamorous cats

  1. Not sure that paramedics put on the toe tags but it’s a nice touch if you go out feet first. Dressing up animals for human amusement is an odd hobby but I’m sure everyone has to do something.

  2. It gestures toward the hotel’s storied feline history; since the ’30s, the establishment has had a resident cat,

    I’m not sure what the (in-)famous Algonquin Round Table would have made of that – I suspect they’d generally have been in favour of the criticism.

    The cat fashion show, […] has been taking place at the Algonquin for 11 years.

    But for that, I can imagine Dot Parker brewing up a special vial of vitriol-ink. Added hydrofluoric acid to spice up the sulphuric ; Teflon bottle and Pt-Ir nib. Paper is going to be a real problem.

  3. There is one aspect of a cat always landing on its feet that was left out. If you notice, the cat is spinning its tail in the opposite direction it is turning its body. That counters some of the angular momentum of its body turning.

  4. Contrary to what “experts” say, cats do NOT always land on their feet. Normally they do, but I’ve had a couple who have fallen off the top of a cat tree and landed on their sides. So, readers, please do not try this experiment on the poor cats.

  5. So, Eadweard Muybridge wasn’t the only pioneer of cinema. Jules Marey started making films (and using it to advance scientific understanding) at about the same time. They influenced each other. Marey was curious about cats, and Muybridge was curious about horses. If it wasn’t for the charm of animals we’d still be stuck making worshipful paintings of them on cave walls.

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