The thing about cats and boxes

NICK BARNETT
Last updated 14:48 15/11/2010

What is it with cats and boxes? Put any empty box on the floor, and the cat runs to occupy it straight away. Sound familiar? Well, a certain cat in Japan takes box-obsession to new heights.

Maru's face
Maru's trapped
Maru can't quite fit
  Maru loves boxes, but the result is often an uncomfortable-looking fit.
His name is Maru, and he may be the world's leading real-life Lolcat - he has a perfect mixture of good looks, energy, stupidity, obsession and absence of shame. His exploits are on YouTube.

First, if you haven't already met him, get to know Maru. He's a tabby-and-white Scottish Fold who does battle with rubbish bins, vacuum cleaners and bits of paper; he plays in sinks and he's liable to bury his pretty head deep in a plastic cup. But most of all, this cat likes to play in boxes.

He likes to play in big boxes, so big that he has to high-jump into them and helicopter out.

He likes to play in small boxes, even though he can't, in truth, fit all of himself in there.

And he likes to play in even smaller boxes. Even if it's big enough only to accommodate his nose or one paw, he won't admit defeat. He's going to have that box!

But sometimes the tables are turned, and the box has Maru.

Truly, if you're any kind of cat lover, you have to watch those videos. Maru sums up everything we love about cats. We've all had a cat that does some of the things Maru does, but has any one cat ever been an exponent of it all?

I truly haven't figures out this feline box-obsession. Is it a nesting drive? An urge to explore? Is cardboard especially cosy or protective-feeling? This box thing can also be a bag thing. My old cat Pierre would never leave a bag alone - if he could get into it, he did, and would stay there till boredom overcame him. But he was also one of those cats who just want to explore and "own" any space: an open cupboard, an empty bookshelf, a wheelbarrow, a pillow case.

Sure, it might be inconvenient at times - for example, if you really require that shopping bag right now - but it's also cute and funny and deeply cattish. I say, let them have that box!

Here are some readers' photos of cats who like to play in boxes:

First, Rachael's much-loved V8, named for her high-powered purring engine:

V8

Second, Lisa's cats run out of beer, but the carton still has uses:

Louis

And finally, Jenna's ocicat Sparta, whose strategy is occupy-and-destroy-from-within.

Sparta

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32 comments
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Alice2   #1   02:56 pm Nov 15 2010

Maru's awesome! I like the ones where he runs & slides into a box or tube - the splayed feet are so cute! I also quite like the Simon's Cat cartoons on YouTube - so true :)

Our cat can't resist chewing on a corrugated cardboard box - she'll sit next to it & slowly 'punch' her way around every edge & corner until the whole thing is covered in little tooth marks. I've always wondered if it's her way of sharpening/cleaning her teeth.

Jess   #2   03:02 pm Nov 15 2010

Oh my god that was the funniest youtube video ever!!! Maru you are awesome. I loved the 'oh no I'm stuck' look, shortly followed by the, 'ok I'm out but I will try that again just to check' look. So hilarious: D

Mel   #3   03:05 pm Nov 15 2010

My girl loves bags and boxes!! She loves shopping day, haha.

Lala   #4   03:08 pm Nov 15 2010

I LOVE MARU... i sometimes get lost in video after video of him. So very very cute, and one video is never enough.

tex   #5   03:09 pm Nov 15 2010

all three of my cats are box cats, or even bag cats if the mood strikes hehe.. a very typical cat quality :) i have numerous pictures of them being box cats, on one occasion one of my cats was a washing machine cat, sitting amongst the soft blanket about to get washed peeking over the top of the machine..

Nathan   #6   03:17 pm Nov 15 2010

One of Lynley Dodd's first books was My Cat Likes To Hide In Boxes

Athene   #7   03:19 pm Nov 15 2010

haha, my cats are just the same, they are 8 months old and from the very day we got them no bag or box stood a chance

JCC   #8   03:31 pm Nov 15 2010

Super cute all of them! Our cats LOVE boxes too, and the cloth shopping-bags, and any left-open cupboards, drawers or suitcases.

haluca   #9   03:58 pm Nov 15 2010

My Cat Likes To Hide In Boxes was one of my favourite childhood stories, and now my favourite to read to the kids. Just yesterday I was saying if I ever had a Moon Caine, I'd call it Norway ('The cat from Norway got stuck in the doorway'.

So any cat that hides in boxes is a special one by me, great blog.

m_h   #10   04:12 pm Nov 15 2010

Our cat used to love sitting on/playing with newspaper and wrapping paper. So cute.


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