This Photobombing Cat is "Plotting to Kill" Baby, Jokes Mom
The video has exploded on TikTok.
Cats can be moody, territorial creatures. Which can make them a lot of fun to watch on social media. A British woman has recently racked up 1.2 million views on TikTok with a video of her senior cat shooting death stares at her newborn baby. It jokingly suggests in the title that the grumpy feline is secretly "plotting to kill" the new addition to the family. Read on to hear all about it.
"My initial reaction was just pure laughter," said Grace Robinson of Leicester, England, about her 12-year-old cat Harvey's habit of shooting daggers at her family members. "Harvey was just staring at my mum, which she found funny, so she took the photo," said Grace. "The whole family couldn't stop laughing and from then on, anytime he was in the background (which was quite often) and was staring like usual, we would take a picture and share it in the family group chat."
Robinson's photo series of Harvey and her one-month-old daughter Emilia—titled "POV: your cat is plotting to kill your baby"—has exploded on TikTok. It features the newborn involved in various adorable activities while Harvey seemingly scowls at her in the background. In every background.
The last image is Harvey watching Emilia sleep in Robinson's arms, his eyes glowing ominously. "The last picture in the video is my favorite because I actually didn't notice him in the background until after the picture was taken," said Robinson.
Cats, like other animals, can react negatively to the addition of a new family member. "We can never truly know what an animal is thinking or feeling, and we also don't know if what we perceive as emotion feels the same way to them as it does to a human," says Fetch by WebMD. "But animal behaviorists do agree that cats get territorial, and sometimes behave in a certain way to establish social dominance. This may result in behaviors that human observers perceive as jealousy." A new baby, animal or guest in the household can cause the cat stress as they may view it as disruption of their territory, and they may react negatively, such as soliciting attention or making aggressive eye contact.
"I can honestly say I'm not worried at all about my cat's relationship with my daughter," said Robinson. "Harvey is the softest most friendly cat ever. He wouldn't intentionally hurt or intimidate anyone — he just wants fuss and cuddles!"
"Away from the camera, Harvey is just fine with Emilia; to be honest, if anything, he's not really bothered by her," she said, adding she was glad the "video has made people smile and am very overwhelmed with the lovely comments about both Harvey and Emili."
Cats' often-mercurial-seeming relationship choices with humans (and other cats) are perennially popular fodder on social media. Last year, a woman named Lindsay become a viral sensation for her ongoing video series showing how a cat she adopted developed a total attachment to her boyfriend, to the point the cat had made Lindsay "the third wheel" in her relationship, as she termed it. Attempts to win the cat's affections, or at least reduce its glaring—including wearing a fake beard, to ape her boyfriend's facial hair—have so far proved unsuccessful.