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Cat Yoga With Feline Experts | The Cute Show

Cat Yoga With Feline Experts | The Cute Show


JEFFREY BUSSOLINI: My name’s
Jeffrey Bussolini. And by training, I’m a
sociologist and a philosopher. My main area of interest
is to study cats– feline-feline interactions and
feline-human interactions. Here’s was one of my favorite
shirts here. This is probably my single
favorite shirt here. Hi. You’re soft. I’ve lived with cats for a long
time– since I was about 10 or so or maybe 9. We’ve done our best in the
Center for Feline Studies to pay heed to the way that cats
interact with one another– the way that humans interact
with cats. And we spent a lot of time
meticulously observing and trying to make sense of some
of their behavior– some of their communication
repertoires. The other thing that I study– because I grew up in Los
Alamos, New Mexico– is the history of nuclear
weapons development. And one of my teachers told me,
you can’t just be thinking about nuclear war
all the time. You’ve got to have something
else to occupy your thoughts that’s less bleak– that’s
funnier and more engaging. AMY KELLNER: I get
emails whenever there’s a new Mario video. And as soon as I get one, I’m
like, stop everything. I need to see what
Mario’s up to. It really is like a drug. It just makes you feel good. Just give me the cuteness
unadulterated. I don’t want to hear anything. I don’t want to see anything. I just want the cute stuff
concentrated in my face. My name is Amy Kellner. I’m a photo editor at the “New
York Times Magazine.” Before that, I worked at
“Vice” magazine. And when I was there, I invented
“The Cute Show.” I don’t even think you should
be shooting me for this. You should just hear my
voice and just show a close-up of a kitten. That’s all you really
want to see. My favorite episodes of
“The Cute Show”– “Cat Prin” was back in
the days of Myspace. People would use them as their
profile picture on Myspace all the time. The popular ones were in a frog
hat or the bunny hat. I would just always see those. And it was always
the same cats. And so I did some internet
sleuthing. And I saw that it was this
Japanese woman in Japan who is a cat tailor. JEFFREY BUSSOLINI:
Many animals– especially younger members
of animal species– have resemblances to
young humans– so these things like larger
eyes– a particular kind of facial structure– kind of
round facial structure. And that humans have an
evolutionarily developed capacity to sympathize with
and protect young humans. So the theory is that many
animals– they trigger the same reaction for us. AMY KELLNER: She says that she
started making clothes for cats because God told her to. I want a message from
God like that. JEFFREY BUSSOLINI:
Hello, Juliette. And welcome to the Center
for Feline Studies. Please come in. This is where we study
interactions between the cats and between cats and humans. They spend a lot of their time
hanging out here in the different areas of the center. We’ve got our workstations where
we can take notes about what they’re doing and
transfer those notes to the computers. So this is from April
11, 2008. We see two cardboard boxes
of cats and four people standing around. Two tourists from Denmark are
talking to the cats, trying to calm them down, saying that if
they weren’t so far from home and on vacation, they would
take the cats in. We have two different
sites of the center. This is the main site. And there are four cats
who are usually here. We have another site–a two cat
site– where two sisters named Esmeralda and Mimi live. We also have a lot of photos. And we have some videos. But it’s invaluable to have
thousands or millions of different vignettes
of cat behavior going on on the internet. AMY KELLNER: It’s a subculture
of cuteness and humor. JEFFREY BUSSOLINI: There’s this
underground notion that the internet is made of cats. Maybe you’ve seen that video. [MUSIC PLAYING] JEFFREY BUSSOLINI: And that’s
a fairly persuasive notion. Obviously, it doesn’t hold
any water technically. AMY KELLNER: Maybe we’ve gotten
so jaded from all the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll
that’s there’s nothing left except for just cats. AMY KELLNER: You know what? I will say the one downside to
all the cute cat videos is it’s kind of raised the cute
bar so high that now when I see a regular cat, I’m
like, you’re OK– you know? JEFFREY BUSSOLINI: We as humans
are formed by our interactions with cats,
with dogs, with other kind of animals. That’s something that’s obvious
to everyone who actually lives with
animals, I think. Human culture is extensively
indebted to animal references and animal interactions. AMY KELLNER: There is
no deep thing to it. That’s the beauty of it. There is no– I don’t know. I just like it. I don’t have to think
too hard about it. I sound dumb. JEFFREY BUSSOLINI: One of the
things we work on in the Center for Feline Studies
is cat yoga. JEFFREY BUSSOLINI: We’re trying
to systematically look at yoga with cats. So the way in which a lot of
their movements are basically a form of yoga because
they’re very limber. But then beyond that, how
they’ll join in yoga with us is a kind of intersubjective
communicative experience. Hey, Prima. Come on. Come on. It seems like a very likely
story that yoga and a number of martial arts were developed
based on a really careful observation of the way that
animals behaved and then trying to imitate
that for humans. I’ll try another kind of
breathing exercise. During this one, if we’re
lucky, [INAUDIBLE] might hop up here. The thing that got me interested
in cat yoga in the first place is that
I would just be doing yoga at my house. Or we would be doing yoga there
in the context of the Center for Feline Studies. And they started to join in. They started to show an interest
in taking part, either by imitating some of the
poses or by joining in– by getting on your stomach or
getting on your back in different poses. Hey, [INAUDIBLE],
come over here. [INAUDIBLE], oh, hey. [INAUDIBLE]. They’re all doing their
own thing I guess. Sorry.

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