Caturday felid: the return of Maru

Maru, the chubby Japanese box-entering cat, has been getting quite a lot of attention lately.  He’s not only appeared in American Fresh Step Kitty Litter commercials, but is now the subject of a catchy new song, the “Zen Maru the Cat Song.”  Sing along, too: just follow the bouncing Maru head!  The graphics near the end are awesome.

The song was written by Jonathan Mann, who has written one song a day for three years (hear them all here; you can download any of them, including the Maru song [#150] for a “name your price” fee).

And here’s is a scientific experiment conducted on video by Maru’s pseudonymous owner, “mugumogu”.  The object is to determine whether there is any box so small that Maru won’t try to climb into it.  His attempt to squeeze himself into what looks like a french fry box, at 2:14, is hilarious.

Note the scientific conclusion at the end:  “Maru never gives up entering as long as there is a box there.”

19 Comments

  1. Posted June 25, 2011 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Poor old Maru is being intellectually stifled by the right-angled prejudices of the packaging industry. A slightly larger version of the four-dimensional origami box could expand his repertoire – ‘cept for the thumbs problem of course

  2. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Maru, have box, will enter!

    What a wonderful cat, I still have an enormous grin on my face from having watched that.

  3. Posted June 25, 2011 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    His attempt to squeeze himself into what looks like a french fry box, at 2:14, is hilarious.

    Yes. Yes, it is.

  4. Grania
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Maru and his eternal obsession with small boxes often reduces me to tears of helpless laughter

  5. daveau
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Intrepid

  6. Posted June 25, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Wait, a “french fry box” is what you’re calling that?? It’s huge and has bunnies on it! I’d say it’s a box for holding folders or something of that nature.

    • daveau
      Posted June 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      JC always gets the XL size fries.

    • Posted June 27, 2011 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      It’s a folder box with Miffy on it (the little Dutch rabbit character drawn by Dick Bruna– *extremely* popular here. Kawaii=import immediately). Somewhat larger than a fry box, but very narrow… (oh, Maru! So funneh!)

  7. Moggie
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I loves me some Maru! Just think: if Erwin Schrödinger had met Maru, physics could have been changed beyond recognition.

    • still learning
      Posted June 25, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      LOL! Good point.

  8. still learning
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I get a kick out of his tail flicking in annoyment when he can’t fit. Also, the disgruntled look on his face.

    • Moggie
      Posted June 25, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      It’s like he’s compelled, against his better judgement. You can almost see him thinking “why must I do this to myself?”

  9. Marlon
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Kitteh fine tuned universe:
    ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting box I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!(Hang on, this may take a minute)’

  10. Dominic
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Imprinting – when quite young I speculate that Maru was put in a box perhaps after being taken form the litter, & put in a box, so boxes provide security.

    • Scote
      Posted June 26, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Well, cats have the instincts of ambush hunters. They generally love to hide in and under things to attack from cover. It seems like Maru is a bit touched and his instinct to feel good by taking cover is a bit malformed. Or so it seems to a lay person, i.e me.

      • Tualha
        Posted June 27, 2011 at 7:09 am | Permalink

        Perhaps he just likes the feeling of compression. Let’s ask Temple Grandin to build him a kitteh-sized squeeze machine 🙂

    • Posted June 27, 2011 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      I thought that all kitties just generally like to get inside things if they can. Boxes. Bags. Furniture. Pipes. A primal urge? Or do they just really like the challenge?

    • HP
      Posted June 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      I suspect in Maru’s case it’s a combination of the normal cat denning behavior, conditioned by lots and lots of positive reinforcement from his owner.

      I had a cat once who enjoyed jumping from thing to thing, but when I start reinforcing that with lots of positive feedback, we got so we could do an impromptu “lion tamer” act to entertain our friends.


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