Caturday felid trifecta: Once again, why are cats in medieval paintings so bad?, why men shouldn’t show cats in their dating profile, and 50 of the best cat posts (plus lagniappe)

Several times I’ve posted here (as has reader Laurie) pondering the question: “Why couldn’t early painters paint cats properly?” They are usually anthropomorphic, with humanlike faces, and look nothing like real cats.

Producer Ali Larkin, who narrates this 8-minute video, has a theory which is hers: The artists deliberately painted cats badly, because the CATholic Church was trying to use the cats as symbols of paganism, sorcery, Jews, and women (“where there are girls, there are cats”). I’ll let you watch the video for yourself to see the fuller explanation. There is some evidence supporting this theory, and, as someone said of another theory, “All this is as plausible as anything else.”

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From the journal Animals, which is new to me, we have a paper investigating what it does to a male’s “dateability” if he shows a picture of himself on a dating site posing with a cat. Click on the screenshot to read (pdf here).

It’s not good news for male ailurophiles seeking love. Here’s the abstract:

People use dating sites to look for both long-term and short-term potential partners. Previous research suggests that the presence of a pet may add to women’s perceptions of male attractiveness and dateability. This study sought to understand to what degree, if any, the presence of a cat has on women’s perceptions of men. Women responded to an online survey and rated photos of men alone and men holding cats on measures of masculinity and personality. Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable. These results varied slightly depending whether the women self-identified as a “dog person” or a “cat person.” This study suggests that a closer look at the effects of different companion species on perceived masculinity and dateability is warranted.

They produced fake dating-site pictures of males with and without cats (controlled), and found the results stated above. All I can say is that if I ever did this, and posed with a cat, I wouldn’t be interested in dating those women who would write me off.

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From Bored Panda we have a compilation of 50 great cat posts. Reader Su, who sent me the link, listed her favorites, and I’ll show her comments (indented) along with the posts.  Click on the screenshot to see them all; it’s worthwhile scrolling all the way through.

Some very nice new ones this time.
#7 The expression!
#14 Cat, doing what you can’t right now. [JAC: That is, I can’t go to Paris. 🙂 ]
#21 A new type of Siamese Bengal?
#27 Cat saves his own self!!
#33 So would mine.
#39 Sorcery!

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Lagniappe: In this cool video, a mischievous cat clearly shows intentionality a long time before the inevitable d*g-cuffing and fleeing:

h/t: GInger K., Su

25 Comments

  1. C.
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I agree that if you won’t date me because I have I cat then you can hit the bricks. Granted, I’d probably get more dates if I posted pictures of the cat without me rather than the other way around.

  2. Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The medieval painters seem to be putting human faces on the cats. No wonder they are ugly.

  3. Paul Matthews
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the women fear that they’ll be second to the cat in the guy’s affections. Or maybe enough women are allergic to cat hair for it to make a difference.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    That cat photo in Paris is really great.

  5. merilee
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    🐾🐾😻

  6. Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I wonder how posing with ducks would affect dateability.

    • enl
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Recall the Gary larson: “Suddenly, professor Liebowitz realizes he has come to the seminar without his duck.”

      • merilee
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        One of the best😂

  7. Ruthann Richards
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Love the Caturday entries! I’ve seen cats planning to jump out at someone (person or another cat). I’ve also watched them sizing up an object that is rather high–one they had never jumped up on before. They are obviously calculating the distance and deciding whether they can make it (some have walked away from the object, others have successfully jumped).
    Most of the women I’ve known would be attracted to a guy with a cat. The logic: if the cat seems happy, the guy can probably be trusted to be gentle with other animals, babies, small children, and people in general. In other words, he’s not a macho guy trying to control and dominate.

  8. Richard C
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Seems logical — if a cat makes a photo of a man appear less manly to potential dates, then he should make sure every other aspect of that photo is filled with signs of such incredible, stereotypical manliness to compensate. Like this firefighter rescuing a cat:

    • merilee
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      ✔️❗️

  9. rickflick
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    The cat with the neighbor’s keys looks like a bengal. Big round spots. It’s a cross between a domestic cat and the wild Asian Leopard Cat.

    • boudiccadylis
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      I agree.If that were my cat it would be strictly indoor. It’s too beautiful and unique appearing to be strolling about collecting keys without someone collecting both.

  10. jezgrove
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    The journal Animals is an author-pays open access journal published by MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute). The journals are peer-reviewed, but the quality of this review process has been questioned: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDPI

    The cat photos are great – loved the one in Paris!

  11. daniaq
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Caturday is the best

  12. Alex K.
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    As a ailurophile and a former Roman Catholic, the first video in this post further cements my hatred of the Papacy and its harmful bullshit, along with two things I’ve learned this past week; the kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara and the role that Catholic indulgences played in the Crusades and the New World.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 11, 2020 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Lots to hate in the Papacy. A Catholic friend of mine, devout since infancy, now says the only reason she is still a Catholic is because of the wonderful service of some of the nuns and priests with 3rd world-type people. I didn’t tell her, but she could drop the church and give to Doctors Without Borders.

      • Alex K.
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        I guess she’s never heard of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the Ugandan Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God cult, the latter of which broke off from Catholic doctrine?

        Funny how first-world Catholics tend to forget how their “civilized” religion caused more societal problems in the making than solved.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

          Something that deeply entrenched is hard to shake. She’s an immigrant from a 3rd world Catholic country. She’s aware, at least, of the issues surrounding abortion rights, gay marriage, pedophile priests, etc. At some point, I think, she might give it up altogether.

      • merilee
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

        +mucho – MSF is my favorite charity.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

          My favorite too.

      • merilee
        Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        Should maybe be Médécins sans Réligion!

        • rickflick
          Posted July 11, 2020 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

          You should send them the suggestion. 😁

  13. Steve Gerrard
    Posted July 11, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I vote for the #14 cat, Razzle Dazzle. I can’t think why, though…

  14. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    The medieval cat painting hypothesis is plausible, but we have seen that dogs may be similarly treated so it could be more of a general problem. There doesn’t seem to be any art research on this, which is a shame.


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