“I’ll follow the sun”

Reader Su called my attention to this lovely time-lapse video of cats following sunlight. Two hypotheses arise: 1. Cats like sitting in the sun, or 2. Cats require solar power to live. Which is it?

Unlike the music accompanying most cat videos, I like this music.

And if I’ve posted this before, which is entirely possible (the site started in January 2009), don’t remind me!


  1. Posted July 27, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t the second option (which I’d wholeheartedly endorse) necessarily entail the first?


  2. Karen Welsh
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Furry lizards! That’s why they follow the sun. Each cat just some fluff and a whisker away from being a reptile! (Kidding, kidding)

    • Posted July 27, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Well…to be fair…cats are reptiles — in the same sense that they, and we, are also mammals, amniotes, tetrapods, fish, vertebrates….




      • Karen Welsh
        Posted July 27, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Agree. I just think they might be a tad closer! The hissing, the need for warmth, their mouths when they yawn. Snake!

      • Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:45 am | Permalink

        I’ll maybe show my biological ignorance here, but I thought cats were mammals. Sure, we and they have common ancestors with reptiles, but we are not reptiles. Or did I miss something?

        • Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          It’s a question of how you want to categorize groups — and common parlance confusingly intermixes both the splitters and the lumpers.

          Just looking at humans…you can either say that we are or aren’t apes. In one sense, we’re not, because “ape” is a term often reserved for tailless primates exclusive of humans — in the same way that “chimpanzee” is reserved for tailless primates exclusive of chimpanzees. But, on the other hand, both humans and chimpanzees are members of the larger grouping that includes humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans — and we, collectively, are the great African apes.

          There’re other apes, too…and all apes are part of the even larger grouping that includes monkeys. And this is where a quick diversion is applicable: the ancient common ancestor of primates would most reasonably be classified as a monkey and would be instantly recognized as such were it alive today. And if you’re going to say that us being humans doesn’t mean we’re not also apes, consistence demands that you also say that apes are monkeys.

          By now, you should see where this is going.

          We are, therefore, humans, apes, monkeys, primates, mammals, dinosaurs, reptiles, tetrapods, amniotes, vertebrates…and I’d have to look it up to take it back farther or even to make sure I got it right that far.

          Cats line up with us at and after “mammals,” and have “carnivores” just before.




  3. Taskin
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I like this video a lot. I’m happy to watch it many times, I’d even watch it in real time! And yes, the music suits the video nicely. 🙂

  4. rickflick
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    They might be worshiping Ra.

    • Posted July 27, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Remember, cats are gods. They’re not worshipping the Sun; it’s more of a partnership than anything else. Glory radiating every which way, as it were.



  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    The music’s fine, but wouldn’t it have been better set to the tune by that pick-up band of leftover Quarrymen?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted July 27, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Ohmigods. Same group as I thought of (see my comment to Taskin above) but even more appropriate to the subject matter.

      I’ve been gazumped. 🙂


      • Posted July 27, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        The Beatles filled their albums with Sun worship, so it’s hardly surprising that they’re the go-to band for Sun worship….



        • Dan McPeek
          Posted July 27, 2016 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

          They’re all related to George Hamilton!

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:48 am | Permalink

      Oops, must read all comments before posting.

  6. Posted July 27, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    The music reminds me of a modern or fusion form of what I used to hear in the 90’s in Chinese restaurants in Arizona.

  7. Posted July 27, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    My Peake-a-choo was sunbathing on the sidewalk this morning.

  8. Sastra
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Okay, can anyone identify the music?

    Smart cats, though in current weather conditions they should follow the air conditioning.

  9. ed hessler
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t help but think of a delightful book published in another century, “The Solar Cat,” a way then (and still) to think about solar energy (kind of outside the (litter) box).

    What follows is from the website–the book is in a new edition and going strong. The website is Solar Cat: The Website about Solar Energy and Cats.

    “The Solar Cat was conceived in the early 1970s by professional engineer Jim Augustyn who often admired his sweet cat Parsley on a sunny windowsill. One day he realized exactly what his clever kitty was doing—and had been doing for years. Parsley was using solar energy! Jim’s cats Mouse and Parsley continued to impress him with their absolute mastery of all aspects of use and application of solar energy.

    “Jim scientifically recorded his observations of cats using solar energy along with his delightfully funny comments. The first Solar Cat Book was published in 1979 by the Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California. The Solar Cat Book was a huge hit with the fledgling solar community selling more than 10,000 copies in advance of publication. Nearly 25 years later, when human interest in solar energy was again on the rise, Jim published The Return of the Solar Cat Book, a revised edition of the original book.”

  10. Richard Ptacek
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Too many cats! I fell asleep watching the video only to wake in a cold sweat after my dream morphed into a Hitchcock moment.

  11. jeffery
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    How would you like to be the one cleaning up litter boxes after that mob? New descriptive term: a “clump”of cats!

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Must remember, these cats are in the man-made environment. Air conditioner running and down where the human likes it, 74/75 degrees. The cat is not using much of it’s own energy to just lay and sleep.

    I have one inside cat doing the same thing. But the outside cat on these hot days is not laying in the sun. He is in the shade and down low on the concrete floor if possible.

  13. grasshopper
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Heat seeking cats can save you money.

    My father’s house was built on a concrete slab, through hot water pipes radiated to the various rooms. A leak developed somewhere in the system and dad noticed that the cat begun sleeping on the floor in a passage way. Yes, the floor was hot at that place. We peeled back the floor covering, chipped out the concrete, capped the leaking pipe, and ran new pipe on the exterior of the house.

    A plumber had quoted a price of several thousand dollars to fix the problem. We did it for several hundred.

    Thank you, Cat.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 27, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      How much did the cat charge for that service?

  14. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Interesting. Although the sunshine is just as warm at the ‘downstream’ end of the strip of sunlight (i.e. far from the window), almost all the cats cluster tightly up against the window. This is doubtless due to the implicit belief that it’s warmer nearer to the heat source – valid for a nearby source, but quite illusory for a source (like the sun) at a distance.


    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 2:38 am | Permalink

      I’m going to go with a hypothesis that it’s the slower relative motion of the light across the floor that makes the difference. The floor gets warmer and the cat has to move less often.

      • infiniteimproobabili
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:54 am | Permalink

        I’ll accept that as a possible factor. (Though I note the cats seem to move pretty often anyway).

        Your hypothesis and mine could both be operating, of course.


  15. allison
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    0:51 of the video – I hope they’ve been neutered…

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 2:39 am | Permalink

      The number of cats present might be an indication that they aren’t all fixed.

  16. jeremyp
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    It’s 3 Cats are afraid of vampires.

  17. AdamK
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Cats acquire their well-known laser vision from absorbing solar radiation, exactly like Superman does.

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