Maru the Cat

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89 Responses to “Maru the Cat”

  1. Neko says:

    @ Shelby #41: The mirror test is a bunch of bull anyway. Maru would be all like, “yeah, it’s a mirror, so what? it’s not an object I can put my head inside of, it’s not important.”

    Felines have a similar, but much more accurate test: the Dangling String test. An intelligent mammal who comes across a dangling piece of string should react to it, going “heeyyyy, what’s that thing? it’s moving! catch it, catch that string!”, because hey, it’s -string-, you know? That’s what you do with string that dangles.

    So far, primates have not passed the Dangling String test of intelligence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    ahhhhhh……I love Caturday.

  3. DIYGene says:

    With the bubble wrap, clearly Maru is pretending to be the first James Bond film villian, Dr. No

  4. yclept says:

    I really did LOL and cry whilst watching. Thank you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Maru for President! (Not of Japan, of the USA!)

  6. Anonymous says:

    When the camera cut around 30s to the sliding door, I momentarily thought the cat was looking at a strip mirror, and had a giddy moment of thinking cats could be added to the list of mammals who have passed the mirror test… sadly, no.

    –Shelby Davis

  7. JohnLarkin says:

    Amazing, our cat Sootie, a half Scottish fold cat has the same fetish for containers, specially brown paper bags. he is captured on video here…
    http://blog.larkin.net.au/2007/09/01/sootie-on-the-attack/
    Cheers,
    John

  8. Numine says:

    Maru is an American Shorthair or Classic Tabby with almost the exact same markings as my cat, Rupert! Their body types are very similar too… very stocky and round. What a cute cat with a weird fetish!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think he may be at least part Scottish Fold, his tail appears to be short with a stubby, bent tip.

    My former Rabbi has a Scottish Fold that I used to occasionally look after. It had the folded ears and the short tail, and had a funny way of walking with its back arched –made it look like walking on tiptoes.

    JamesPadraicR

  10. Latte says:

    Ah, Maru!

    It was love at first sight and it must be real ’cause I’ve totally nerded out on Scottish Fold straight-ear, folded-ear, body build, whisker pad, temperament, etc., info:

    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/cats-faq/breeds/scottish-fold/

    Bring new video soon…!

  11. bellebouche says:

    I was entranced by this little chap… his dogged persistence.. just plodding around, the odd outburst of speed. Just joyful.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s nice to know God has a sense of humor…

  13. rosie says:

    Maru is probably of Scottish Fold heritage, and many Folds are interbred with British Shorthairs.

    However, Maru obviously did not get the mutated gene that is responsible for the folded-ear trait. Hence, he would be called a Scottish Shorthair, since he has straight ears.

  14. Anonymous says:

    beyond the fact that these videos are completely amazing, they are also totally profound, and the profundity is mostly due to the editing, which is to say, I think they are intentionally profound:
    each is a one act play
    like Hemingway’s famous one sentence novel:
    “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
    each video is complete, and while the genre seems to be comedy
    it is instead its closes cousin: tragedy, of course.
    the struggle for cat knowledge starts each act.
    Maru masters the skill (cat knowledge) and it becomes an obsession
    we watch the obsession unfold
    but in every greek tragedy, at least according to Nietzsche,
    knowledge inevitably precipitates
    crisis: maru encounters a task that cannot be done with a bag on his head
    crisis: maru gets into a box that is too small to hold him
    but what is the underlying tragic theme?
    it’s the same for all three videos (which I actually chose at random)
    Maru gets stuck in the very thing he loves, a box
    but not just any box, his DIET BOX
    the underlying drama to all these videos is that maru is significantly overweight: the tragic theme of his struggle
    (you should be laughing right now)
    he succeeds in getting into his tiny Diet box, only to become ensnared by it as it restricts his movement.
    Only maru is lucky enough not to have vultures peck at his liver while he’s stuck.
    in the first video maru thinks he is too fat to jump into the box
    and tries to jump from an elevated surface
    only to smash into the ground
    no:
    he must confront his weight problem, lift himself on his own power
    and in this act, that is the skill he masters: himself.
    after Maru has mastered himself and his weight problem
    he can fly
    and this is the only video that does not end in sadness
    Icarus falls to the earth staring into the sun
    but Maru stares directly at us and is undaunted
    gives us his gaze
    and refuses to be dominated by the camera.

    bravo Maru, bravo.

    s

  15. OLAF9000 says:

    Maru the cat has a Posse! let the people of japan be forewarned! Maru the cat commands an ever growing legion of Gajin Fanboys soon we will rise to do Our Masters Bidding! all your Maru Are Belong To US!

  16. Xeni Jardin says:

    CATURDAY!!!!

  17. Takuan says:

    The Naming of Cats

    The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
    It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
    You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
    When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
    First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
    Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
    Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey -
    All of them sensible everyday names.
    There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
    Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
    Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
    But all of them sensible everyday names.
    But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
    A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
    Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
    Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
    Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
    Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
    Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
    Names that never belong to more than one cat.
    But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
    And that is the name that you never will guess;
    The name that no human research can discover -
    But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
    When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
    The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
    His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
    Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
    His ineffable effable
    Effanineffable
    Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

  18. Anonymous says:

    He sooooooooooo cute, I just wanna squooosh him! Mrow! >^..^<

  19. Anonymous says:

    @ ARTHUR BUXTON I have that impression too. There’s one video in which he keeps putting his head into a paper bag (with holes), looks around, puts it off, looks around then puts it on, looks around, again and again…

  20. bubeena says:

    great maru!

    here it is my cat bon-bon, fond of boxes too. enjoy!

    http://bloggatta.blogspot.com/2009/02/dal-diario-di-bon-bon-4.html

  21. eustace says:

    I hope that I may someday see
    a cat in a space helmet looking at me

  22. VICTOR JIMENEZ says:

    Maru for Prime Minister of LOLcats and Japan!

  23. quesie says:

    Me + Maru = BoX Marriage 4-Ever. My god, what have you done to me!

  24. mdh says:

    Jack @ 53 – great link.

    After seeing so many pic’s, I gotta say Maru is one handsome and photogenic cat.

  25. travelina says:

    Maru for the next US Secretary of Defense! His boldness, unflappability and disregard for personal safety would serve him well in this position.

  26. SC_Wolf says:

    Apparently, Maru is huge in Japan.
    It ain’t just in Japan.

  27. insomma says:

    Oh my god, the hind legs kill me!

  28. clockwork says:

    are you sure it is a scottish fold? pretty sure they are called folds because their ears are actually folded over. but ya, maru is an example of reason #2301 to love cats

    • Anonymous says:

      Not all scottish folds actually have folded ears. Their main characteristics are their spunky personality, and round faces. :)

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes Maru is a Scottish Fold. Not all Scottish Folds have the folded ears and in fact, are all born with straight ears. The ones with the gene for folded ears will start to show the fold after about three weeks. They are also known for their placid temperaments – just like Maru! :-)

  29. jntt says:

    I feel an innate need to hug and love this cat for the rest of its life

  30. mobiuschic42 says:

    I’m with clockwork on thinking Maru isn’t a scottish fold. His ears are pretty straight and he doesn’t appear to have the stubby legs characteristic of scottish folds (though it’s hard to tell, since he’s mostly getting ready to pounce).

    Fold-ness aside I sometimes get worried that he’ll suffocate with all the stuff he puts on his head (though I’m sure his owner would save him).

  31. gbeck says:

    Step 1, cut a hole in a box…

  32. Anonymous says:

    Maru is actually a British Shorthair – these cats are known for their stocky build (although Maru is maybe a bit stockier than most!).

    Renee

  33. mdh says:

    I think he’s a scottish fold, I distinctly heard him say: “They may take our bubblewrap, but they’ll never take…. our freedom!!!

  34. zeepoli says:

    if only Schrödinger had Maru for his cat in box experiment perhaps we wouldn’t have so much existential angst…

  35. Ocker3 says:

    I believe Maru knows full well that the humans find his antics funny and is putting on stunts to get attention. That video with the two boxes is what mosly pursuaded me, he very clearly chases the 2nd box and makes sure he gets inside that too. I suppose it’s possible he has simply taken a liking for this kind of sport, as some people prefer chess to playing cards, or bungy jumping to motorcross, but I like to think he is putting on a show to entertain the humans with which he shares too few hours a day. Maru: “I can haz quality timez?”

  36. bnt says:

    “Apparently, Maru is huge in Japan.” He’d be huge wherever he happens to be. Someone call Erwin Schroedinger, tell him there’s a cat that will get in the box without being pushed…

  37. technogeek says:

    “Spacecat to ground control: Suit life support is restricted but seems sufficient. I have exited the vehicle and am exploring the landing site. Hey guys, how am I supposed to eat with this helmet on?”

  38. OLAF9000 says:

    omg! sooo cute! i think i feel my head exploding!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Maru needs to be cloned.

  40. gogaels says:

    He is a scottish fold. if you cross two folded ear cats they have bone deformities. Therefore, you breed a fold with a straight ear and you get both in the resulting litter.

  41. modallist says:

    He may be Scottish, but he’s definitely not folded.

  42. Anonymous says:

    i get a scottish fold cat and he’s ears rather straigh, but he looks exactle like Maru

  43. justcherie says:

    I agree with those who say he’s not a Scottish fold. You can see pictures of what their ears look like here:

    http://www.catfacts.org/scottish-fold-cat-facts.htm

    His body and face looks a lot like my husband’s cat, Lizzie, who we’ve been told is a British Shorthair. You can see a picture of her here:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/faircher/TheLifeOfABooGirl#5173959680179006082

    • Anonymous says:

      not all scottish folds have folded ears. sounds weird i know. ears of scottish fold kittens begin to curl or ‘fold’ around 3 to 4 weeks HOWEVER sometimes they don’t for whatever reason. just a fluke of nature. so it is possible to have a scottish fold without folded ears.

  44. Susannah Breslin says:

    Regarding the great Scottish Fold Debate, I have no idea if Maru is, in fact, a Folded One, but I added that detail as it’s how he’s ID’d by his owner in their YouTube profile.

  45. pinch says:

    When I was a kid I thought my cat was hurt so I wrapped his mid-section with an ace bandage. the bandage wasn’t overly tight but the cat could not get up. I thought this odd so I did the same to our other cats. Same result. I thought I saw a little of this phenomena when Maru had the box around his mid-section.
    I also like to lay in a box and wag my tail.

  46. mdh says:

    He may be Scottish, but he’s definitely not folded.

    Not yet… But he’s clearly trying.

  47. hbl says:

    Given the kitteh’s prediliction for thrusting head first into dangerous places like the bubblewrap bag, he ought to be nicknamed “Darwin Cat” because as cute as we think he is now, should his owner ever knock over a blender, that’s going to be a sad tale.

  48. Kyle Armbruster says:

    Maru’s owner drinks nasty beer.

  49. EH says:

    The bag one is absolutely the best. I just die when he sniffs his water bowl!

  50. Anonymous says:

    Love Maru! Of course, I’m biased in that I have two Scottish Folds (and no, the ears do not have to be folded to retain the breed name). Let me tell you that Jazzy and Melody behave almost exactly the way Maru does… as does their sister Chatonne! This breed is so comical in a thousand ways. I swear they actually have a sense of humour. They are definitely the most inquisitive and curious breed I’ve ever known, fearless to poke into dark corners/holes/crannies. And they are relentless when it comes to playing!! Ours are the long haired variety, and that requires a LOT of grooming, but, I highly reccomend these little clowns if anyone’s looking for a great family cat!

  51. EeyoreX says:

    This is exactly what you would get if you mixed Bonsai Kitten with Mtv’s Jackass.
    I think Maru actually looks a lot like Bam Magera when he´s preforming his stunts.

  52. Chas44 says:

    “Can I has resuscitation?”

  53. Anonymous says:

    I have been hooked on this hysterical little (ok BIG) kitty for months! I stumbled onto his videos from a random YouTube generated recommendation for me and now I check regularly for new stuff. I’ve shared them with friends and family and even non-cat lovers adore this fuzzy feline. Of course NO other cat is as wonderful as my 2 boyz, Jake and Scooter! ;) But, still, Maru provides TONS (almost literally!) of entertainment with his unending antics. LOVE HIM! >^..^<

  54. Geoffrey Sperl says:

    Just wanted to weigh in on the Scottish Fold question: They’re born with straight ears – the folding doesn’t begin to happen till they’re about three weeks old and that’s only if their ears are going to fold at all (the source is Petfinder, by way of Wikipedia).

    So, it looks like it is possible to have a Scottish Fold with straight ears.

    Regardless of any of that, Maru’s a cute cat.

  55. mrsomuch says:

    Cat win!

    I LOL’d so hard a little bit of wee came out.

    so happy right now…

  56. Enormo says:

    Already got my fill of Maru a week ago on cuteoverload.com.

    Next!

  57. Shukketsushi says:

    lol thats a cute cat. but that middle youtube video isnt workin :-(

  58. Anonymous says:

    To all those who question Maru’s breed (Scottish Fold); The folded ear variety of Scottish Fold cats are actually the result of a partially dominant gene; Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears, and their ears don’t fold until they’re about a month old or so. So, this means that there are many straight-eared Scottish Fold cats (like Maru) out there.

  59. franko says:

    the first two vids were great, but the last one made me nervous as hell — i kept yelling at my screen “will SOMEONE please remove that bag from his head??” that’s a dangerous trick for him to learn.

    that being said, maru is my new favorite internet cat.

  60. Art says:

    Delightful.
    Absolutely delightful.

  61. Bonnie says:

    Maru the Cat is my co-pilot.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Maru is indeed a Scottish Fold. Not all have folded ears. In fact, you cannot breed two folded eared cats together because it will result in a severe deformity of joints.

  63. Anonymous says:

    The clean and almost empty house reminds me of Garfield comics which are usually set on a blank table and blank wall. I bet the guy is Jon.

  64. wildilocks says:

    Okay, got to set the record straight here.

    Scottish folds are a genetic variant of the British Shorthair breed. The fold-ear gene will come about when a Bristish Shorthair and a Scottish Fold are crossbred. When two Scottish Folds are bred together, you get many problems, as well as the short-legged variant which are very cute but prone to joint problems. So responsible breeders will only breed fold to shor-hair, never two folds. It is indeed impossible to know which kittens from a litter will turn out to have the fold ear gene until they are several weeks old. I hope that clears up the confusion!

    I own a Scottish Fold myself, but she has yet to provide entertainment quite to the level of Maru – I do say, YET! =D

  65. Anonymous says:

    FYI…Scottish Folds don’t necessarily have folded ears. Just like some pedigree animals, there are those that are not “perfect”. But to me, Maru is purr-fection all rolled into one cute, somewhat pudgy ball of fur. He never fails to make me laugh at his antics!

  66. Jack says:

    Thank you for the props Sussanah! I love this cat. As far as the Scottish Fold aspect goes, I don’t judge Maru on the folds of his ears, but on the content of the objects he sticks his head into.

    Maybe Maru is the one who can help the walrus find his bucket? What a joy that would be!

  67. Anonymous says:

    I am glad Maru’s ears are not folded, he looks way cuter with his ears straight and uppy ^..^

  68. FutureNerd says:

    Video #2: Maru is going in a diet.

    • Antinous says:

      Maru is going in a diet.

      My impression from Japanese film and television is that they like their cats with love handles over there.

  69. Anonymous says:

    I’m subscribed to Maru’s channel in You tube and he’s only half Scottish fold but he’s the best !!!
    I wait anxiously for the next posting

  70. Arthur Buxton says:

    Yup, the bubblewrap bag is the funniest of the three. “Can I eat with this thing on? Nope.” At the risk of sounding slightly deranged, could there be something more than play to this behavior? He almost appears to be experimenting. No, seriously. Any cat psychologists out there?

  71. Gilbert Wham says:

    This is what the internet is for.

  72. Jack says:

    Oh I posted this in my original comment, and it’s not Maru but another cat that’s nuts for packing tape:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv8TRbwyN3w

    Hmmm. One cat loves boxes and bubble wrap? The other loves packing tape? I see a Mail Boxes Catcetera in the works.

  73. Chocolatey Shatner says:

    Hmmm, who knew cats could be into breath play?

  74. Anonymous says:

    Maru IS a Scottish Fold – as the owner says on his/her page.

    I am so in love with this little stories.

  75. Jack says:

    Hey BoingBoing, I think the coverage you folks gave Maru this week is being acknowledged on Maru’s blog. Just last night I noticed some English translations to go along with the Japanese text on the most recent blog entries. Including:

    “Hey Maru ! A lot of foreigners watch you. Please tell a message to them without being in the box.”
    “Hello!”

  76. Anonymous says:

    Video 3: suffi-cat!

  77. Susannah Breslin says:

    I sent an email to Maru’s owner, seeking to resolve the Scottish Fold debate:

    “Hello.
    Thank you for your message.
    The breed of Maru is surely Scottish Fold.
    Unfortunately I am not good at English.
    Therefore I cannot explain it in detail.
    However, as for his father and mother are Scottish Fold, too.
    Thank you for loving Maru.
    mugumogu”

  78. Razzabeth says:

    OMG. Totemo omoshiroi desu ne! Watashi wa mainichi Maru-san no neko no blog ga mitte imasu yo ne.

    Gomen nasai, bunpoo ga chotto heta desu.

  79. Patrick Dodds says:

    “So, it looks like it is possible to have a Scottish Fold with straight ears.”

    One would have to ask such a cat, Geoffrey, what they thought of themselves and wonder, perhaps, if they had something of an identity crisis (although these seem to have fallen out of fashion the last 10 years or so and one doesn’t hear of them so much). Perhaps they would refer to themselves as simply Scottish? Similarly, a Manx cat with a tail might require interviewing along the same lines.

  80. Ghede says:

    This cat was definitly designed to chase weasels or something. Hit the blog, he tries to stick his head in EVERYTHING! Including a crack between two laundry machines with a gap as big as a finger tip. And a plastic box with the same diameter as a soda can. He pushes it against the wall and just jams his head in. It gets stuck. The owner removes it.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Scottish Folds can be of the straight-eared or folded ear variety. Often litters have some of each. It is a result of responsible breeding – meaning that two folds should not be bred based on genetic weaknesses of the breed. So, a scottish fold is usually bred to a british shorthair, resulting in litters of folded and non-folded ears.

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