Crows vs. Kitteh vs. Kitteh ULTIMATE INTERSPECIES STREET FIGHTING

Video Link (via Tara McGinley)

Update: YouTube commenters have identified the expertly sequenced music accompanying this video as cut up bits from Alan Silvestri's score for Predator 2.

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  1. This needs to be synced with “Eye of the Tiger”.
    Also, are those actually crows? They look more like pigeons to my untrained eye.

  2. In one sense this is a really mundane scene, but if you step back the mind boggles at what is going on here.

    House cats are a domesticated, human-bred subspecies. Would a similar scene have played out in North America 10,000 years ago? Between ancient ravens and mountain lions? Crows are known for their intelligence and problem-solving skills, which makes them very adept at coping with city life. But they weren’t intentionally bred to live alongside humans.

    And I’ll be damned if they didn’t commission a live orchestra to score that video.

    1. And I’ll be damned if they didn’t commission a live orchestra to score that video.

      The cats or the pigeon-crow hybrids?

  3. Reminds me of a guy from college, there was just something about him that made everyone want to fight him, even the Buddhists.

    Love the music, was it done specifically for this film? I love the idea of a large orchestra assembled in a studio, a wild haired conductor and this playing on a screen overhead.

    1. At about 1:24 you can hear -very faintly- the Predator motif in the strings. With that and the tribal drums, I’m thinking the music is from Predators.

  4. It should be noted that the house cats actually evolved from the african wildcat, which is pretty darn close to the housecat (they look and act pretty much identical).

    My big question is what are the crows up to? Are they teasing the cat just for fun? I know they’re really intelligent creatures, but I don’t remember ever hearing about this kind of behaviour, but I’m not exactly an expert. It’s pretty cool to see.

    1. Yeah, the crows are, indeed, tweaking the cat’s tails for fun. The crows recognize the cats as bird-killers and are harassing them for entertainment. They do similar things to hawks and other predators.
      When the cat-fight started, you can practically see the crow’s glee as they realized they had an expanded opportunity to provoke the cats.

    2. Crows are known for being douchebags. And Heckle and Jekyll really have it in for Team Black and Grey Cat. Were they in league with Team Black Cat?

      I think crows have a sense of humor. I worked in a place where they would pick up walnuts and break them by dropping them on the asphalt of a very large parking lot. When there were people in the lot, they’d aim for them (with quite a few hits) and then they’d fly around in a raucous group that looked a lot like laughing directed at the human. I could also swear they gave each other winged high fives.

  5. Cats hurt each other so badly when they fight. I had a cat bite me once and I still remember the teeth going into the bones of my hand. I suspect the crows had something against the brown and white cat, maybe it ate a crow or crow babies once and the crows still hated it. They are known to hold grudges. I think they were mobbing. I thought at first they had babies around but they seemed to have no interest in the black cat, just the brown and white one.

  6. Crows are highly territorial and that they share the yard with the black cat. I would hazard a guess that the whitish cat is an interloper. You will notice that they do not attack the black cat and that ultimately the whitish cat is chased away. Perhaps they are domesticated crows who have been raised with the cat. I have a rescued crow and he has very specific relationships with my other animals. Some he likes some he loathes. He’s very good at figuring out their intentions and acting accordingly. This video does not surprise me at all. It just made me laugh, they’re so fearless and cheeky.

  7. I suspect the crows are merely minions of basement cat, the brown and white cat is clearly just a troubled soul who came into basement cats lair.

  8. Crows are known for bullying other species of birds, such as falcons, so it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that they would attack cats too.

  9. The crows are just egging the cats on, probably hoping it’s a death match so they can get a snack when the victor is done.

    Yes. They’re just in it for the eyeballs.

  10. Crows (if they’re crows) are scavengers – maybe they hoped to make the loser of the cat fight their dinner?

    1. Glad someone mentioned the Blue Jays. This past summer I heard the most horrific bird screeching ever. I went and looked outside and saw two Blue Jays swooping down and pecking at a cat that was desperately trying to get away. I saw it right when the poor cat was climbing over a fence and one bird swoops in from the left and pecks the cats head. Another pecks the cats rear end. The cat stumbles to the ground and runs underneath the backyard deck. And then the two Blue Jays sit in perches in a tree and fence staring with death eyes right where the cat hid. It was amazing!

      But not as amazing as this video. Holy crap was that tense!

  11. Agreed: the brown and white did something for the persistent attention.

    That said, those crows are still jerks.

  12. The soundtrack is the bomb. The crows are also in league with the black cat. They also seem to just wanna mess with the patchy white kitties tail. Funny,.

  13. Cool at first — I was entranced by the inter-species social dynamics.

    Then it turned into a catfight, and I had to stop watching, so powerful was my aversion.

    When cats fight like that, they hurt each other — sometimes badly.

    Someone stood there and recorded two cats hurting each other? For shame.

    Ever read accounts of people tying two cats together by their tails, and then draping them over a suspended rope, for a really good cat fight? Kilkenny cats, something like that.

    Or how about this: tie some cats in a bag, suspend the bag from a gallows or whatever is handy, and set the bag on fire. Imagine the howls — of laughter.

    Bukowski wrote about this in Ham on Rye … recollection of a childhood event … neighbors, good ordinary people, living in the city, torturing a cat in the alley for sport.

    Catfight porn. Count me out.

    1. Thanks for exposing this for what it was — clearly catfight porn. The camera person brought in two birds and two cats, primed them to fight, and then retreated into a building to film the ensuing fight from a story or two above. For shame, indeed.

      1. yeah, karl_jones get on board; cats clawing the shot out of one another is clearly cool. Don’t be a stooge.

        Also, not a fan of animals (or human either)beating each others’ asses, but the crows taunting cat 1 was wild.

      2. I don’t believe it was staged. Could be, but it looks like a spontaneous encounter.

        Staged or not, it’s catfight porn in my eyes.

    2. There’s a pretty big difference between harming or provoking cats to harm each other and passively watching cats do pretty much what cats are supposed to do. That fight was, quite frankly, none of our business. To lump it in with the cruelties that animals suffer at the hands of humans devalues your cause. Your heart is in the right place, and you have the right to not watch something that disturbs you, but there’s no difference between that video and, say, a video of mountain goats savaging each other during rutting season in the Rockies.

    3. I’m with you on this one. This started out cute, w/ the crow messing w/ the patchy kitty’s tail, but I have cats and they are out for blood when they fight.

      It’s not that it is necessarily wrong to watch or let animals fight. It is more that humans bred cats to be pets and these two are clearly domestic or related to domestic cats.

      It’s unfortunate, but I really think we have a responsibility to them.

      1. Scenes like this would be a lot less common if people wouldn’t allow their cats to run loose or would at least neuter them if they do. This was pretty clearly two intact males engaged in a turf war, but not all cat fights involve such evenly matched combatants. My childhood cats included a male kitten that my father rescued from a territorial tom that was trying to kill it and a female kitten that was brutally sexually assaulted by a huge, battle-scarred tom as soon as she came into her first estrus (yeah, my parents were stupid and irresponsible not to spay her earlier). Compared to that, this is just feline MMA.

      2. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. What was it St.-Exupery said, “You are responsible for what you tame.” I forget the French, the verb is maybe “provener”, to feed. What you feed, you are responsible for.

        Animals savaging animals in the wild, fine. Go crazy, Nature Channel.

        Animals in the city, we owe them better.

        Then again, we owe ourselves better; there’s room for improvement in man’s humanity to man, as well.

        What we do to the least, we do to ourselves.

    4. HAHA ROFLMAO. I was going to post a sarcastic comment that said, “aww shame on you for letting animals fight without breaking it up” but you beat me to it. Well done. Because it’s just so sad when animals behave hurtfully to one another.

  14. It looks to me like the agitation by the crows made the cats combative and led to them fighting … each other.

  15. To me it looks as if the crows are pulling hair out of the brown and white cat’s tail. Maybe for their nest?

  16. Someone stood there and recorded two cats hurting each other?

    Have you ever tried to break up a cat fight?

    They will hurt *you* badly too! The best you could hope for is to scare them away.

    1. yeah, it can be done with yelling or a loud “FSHHHHTT” sound usually, not to dangerous. Or get a leg or foot in there. I wouldn’t be put off. Nor would I use my hand or face.

    2. I have broken up catfights, yet. Doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I act unhesitatingly.

      Use a broom if there’s one at hand, or settle the matter with a few judicious kicks. It’s not difficult to get them apart, and keep them apart, without getting hurt yourself.

  17. Just because this seems to be Pedant Day (meter vs. metre, etc.) I’ll note that this looks more like intraspecies fighting; the birds are merely ringside spectators, not participants.

  18. Those crows are like the guys at the fight who say “Yeah Yeah! He said something about yo Momma! Word!”

  19. I believe it was Konrad Lorenz that discovered that a rook (or perhaps any corvid) would “defend” even a piece of black cloth “threatened” by some other animal. In his studies i think he got himself mobbed by just holding onto a black handkerchief.

    So… I think what we might be seeing in this thrilling bit of nature video is a reenactment of Dr Lorenz’s work with lighter colored cat in the place of the good doctor …yep.

  20. You can hear a little bit of Back to the Future at 2:05, 2:14, and 2:31 onward … go Silvestri!

    Even a little bit of the Abyss in there at times … (another Silvestri creation)

  21. As others have mentioned before, the birds you are seeing here are Hooded Crows, AKA Corvus Cornix – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvus_cornix

    I live in a city (Berlin, Germany) where there are circa 4,000 of them (around 20,000 in winter, when a lot of “guests” come in from Poland and Russia).

    They are incredibly smart. I didn’t learn this myself, but because a friend of mine started feeding them when she became very ill.

    I hate it when people anthropomorphize animals, but I have seen some very spooky stuff here. If these guys had opposable thumbs, we’d be f*cked.

    They have object permanence – i.e., when you hide an object behind your back or somewhere else, they still know it’s there. This is something a human child learns at age 4 or 5.

    They remember faces. For a long time. When my friend comes back to Berlin after two months, she only has to whistle, and dozens of them will literally fall out of the sky within 20 seconds. It’s like a Harry Potter scene, and I have seen it quite often by now.

    They drop nuts to crack them open. They play – with each other, with objects, with other species. They fly for fun, and to impress potential mates.

    I am interested in flight, and when you see a Hooded Crow literally stop in mid-air to catch a peanut, you know they are among the best.

    They can also be little *ssholes.

    I like peanuts, too. When my friends gave some to me, one of these guys dropped a stone on me. I was obviously seen as competition.

    I also watched one of them mob a dog when its owner wasn’t looking, similar to what they’re doing to the cat here. It seems they don’t like animals that size, especially when they have young ones around.

    I like them a lot. But I wouldn’t f*ck with them. They’re basically flying dinosaurs, with the attitude of a cat. Smart. Moody. And you never know what’ll happen next.

    1. Seagulls can be crafty, malevolent little pr*cks, too. They pick mussels from the rocks in front of our house, fly way up in the air over our paved driveway and drop the mussels on the pavement to smash them open. It makes a hell of a mess, so one day I tried putting a sprinkler out on the driveway in an effort to dissuade them. When I came back an hour or so later, my red car was so covered in seagull shit it looked like a white car.

    1. Yep, cats can hurt you quite a bit if they want. When they play loveydovey for us we forget they are really strong and effective predators.

  22. Ok, what’s amazing how how well the music syncs up to the action.

    Was it manipulated to do that or is it just an amazing coincidence?

  23. Cats have some nasty bacteria in their mouths. I got blood poisoning after a kitten bit my hand; it was alarming to see a red streak develop that went the length of my arm. Likewise, cats that get bitten in fights can get nasty abscesses. So if you’re thinking of breaking up a cat fight, try a pail of water.

    This was more than cat fight porn. It was fascinating to see those crows screw with the white and brown cat. I was surprised that the white cat decided that fighting with the black cat was more important than trying to catch some feathered food, surprised at how fearless the crows were, and surprised at how interested they were in the fight.

  24. Cold water can stop a cat fight faster than anything known. Granted it takes a large-ish to-go cup or something like that (I once had a couple of MY OWN FARKING CATS start that kind of fight in the house, a large ‘stadium’ cup of cold water brought them to their senses relatively rapidly with only minor clean-up afterward. Pouring it or tossing it directly a their heads is the most effective method.

    A quick boot to the butt to both of them and then a back-off (of the human) would have also scared the sh@t out of the cats.

    Just saying. i can’t watch that for long because I want to just stop the cat fight.

  25. the soundtrack was awesome. I couldn’t stop laughing. for some reason this video hit me in the funny bone just right.

  26. The crow killed the pussy-o
    The crow killed the pussy-o
    The mammy cat sat doon and grat
    In johnnys wee bit hoosie-o

    Now pussys wi the devil-o
    Now pussys wi the devil-o
    And every mouse in Johnnys hoose
    Said “Gie that craw a medal-o”

  27. I broke up a catfight simply by clapping. It gave one cat the chance to run away when the one defending the territory looked up.

  28. The crows were allies of the black cat, so they were helping him out. There were many other vids of crows pulling cats’ tails on YouTube. It’s something they do, like monkeys that tease tigers from the treetops.

  29. The soundtrack was obviously choreographed to the viddy. Cant just have been ripped from a movie soundtrack. Well done in that aspect!
    Defiantly brought memories of Heckle & Jeckle “The Thieving Magpies” … Duhhh Heyy YOU Birds!!

  30. I wish the videographer had broken up the cat fight instead of filming it. Cat fighting can cause a lot of pain and trouble. We adopted a feral kitten who, when he grew up and started going outside, ended up with abscess after abscess because of a bully cat down the street (named “Bruiser”, no joke) who would stalk my cat in our yard. Once Bruiser even came in our open front door to attack my other cat! Cat fighting is no joke for the cats or the owners that care for them. Water works really well to break them up.

  31. Looks like the crows got the adrenaline going in those cats and then something set the black one off to attack the white one. On top of adrenaline (or the equivalent in felines) the trigger could have been when the white cat didn’t follow the “hunting” tactics correctly (it looks like the black cat had its eye on the crow that was bothering the white one–but the white cat seemed like it was trying to be evasive instead of offensive) and once the white cat blew the black cats attack the black cat impulsively attacked the white one (for it had built up the aggression intending to attack the crow)…

    From the crows perspective, perhaps they were just playing. But the really interesting thing is, are the crows smarter than house cats? If so, they could very well know the body language of cats (even more so than we can detect–why not) and they could have intentionally instigated the fight… it seems far fetched but maybe it was their best bet to turn the cats onto each other vs. have to fight the more aggressive black cat.

    I dunno.. Animals are a lot like humans.. but I dont buy that the crows planned it. Instead, its more believable that the crows and cats just reacted to their own adrenaline (or their own equivalent).

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