Sometimes I wonder about cats. Who invented them? Why are they here? Are those whiskers really just antennae they use to communicate with their alien space ships? All these things are valid questions if you are like me, because obviously my brain isn’t stimulated enough as it is. Of all cat-related questions out there, the one that keeps me the most interested and stumped is: what’s with the boxlust?
Yes, that’s a word I just came up with. Boxlust. Noun. The unreasonable and indescribable urge to be in, on, or around boxes as much as possible, for particular reason. I’ve witnessed my cat enjoy cardboard boxes like none other. Even as a kid, I enjoyed boxes, but not to the extent my feline friend does.
So that got me wondering: perhaps someone’s looked into this already! I look to the ever trusting Internet to find out the who, what, where, why, and how of cats and their desires for cardboard containers with eight right-angled corners.
The first thing I came up with was a quote from Stephen Zawistowski from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA). He said “Cats like boxes because they are cryptic animals; they like to hide…[it] gives them a place of safety and security.” That explains a lot. When my cat enters his corrugated fortress, I’ll find he’s dug a mote around his encampment and at some point in the day found alligators to fill it. I’m still trying to figure out where he was able to procure alligators, as I can’t even seem to procure the right kind of accessories for my Playstation 4 on Amazon.
Live Science tells us that seeking out confined spaces is an instinctual behavior for cats. That makes sense, just like it’s an instinctual behavior for me to seek out a couch to veg on all weekend, every weekend. It’s a fire that burns deep in my core, and I suspect my cat lusts after the four-walled brown structure of an Amazon.com shipping box like a heroin addict lusts after crank: with the burning intensity of a thousand suns.
Although this all sounds like good information, I wasn’t satisfied with such normal and structured answers, so I took to reddit because why not? if the Internet has something to say about something, they’ll be saying it on reddit. Reddit User OookOok says it has something to do with trees, wood pulp, and the similarity. I’m trying to think of what wild cat fits inside a tree and can’t seem to come up with anything. Oh well, perhaps I’m missing a crucial demographic of the wild cat species: the one that’s like my house cat but somehow feral or wild? I didn’t know that was such a thing.
But then I got to thinking: in my obviously non-scientific accidental experiments, our cat seems to enjoy sitting on paper more than anything else. If my cat knew how to pay the child came “Hot Lava,” he’s a freaking expert. I feel like if my carpet ever became poisonous, he’d survive longer than I would. Perhaps he’s giving his kitty stamp of approval?
Whatever the reason is, I find it incredibly amusing. I’ve given up on buying cat trees, beds, houses, or other expensive toys. He’s resorted to several $1 rattling mice, pens, and paper products. I really should see if Staples is selling cat toys now. I feel like they’d have a great new product line and niche covered in a heartbeat. Either that or just get him a job with UPS. All those boxes? Yeah, he’d dig that.