729: Laser Pointer

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Laser Pointer
It's a lasing cat-vity!
Title text: It's a lasing cat-vity!


It is common to use a laser pointer as a cat toy because cats are attracted to the dot and attempt in vain to catch it in their paws. They will chase the dot as it moves around, sometimes pouncing on it or swiping at it with their claws; but they will never be able to catch it.[citation needed] This is very frustrating for cats (and dogs), because it triggers a hunting instinct, but removes the satisfaction of actually catching their prey.

Cueball is messing with his cat with a laser pointer, however he is unprepared when his cat pounces and successfully grabs the laser dot. As Cueball looks around and tries to figure out what happened to the laser, his cat licks it, before eating it and starting to glow with a red light.

The cat then shoots lasers from its eyes and disintegrates a surprised Cueball on the spot in revenge for taunting it with the laser pointer.

It is then revealed that everything that happened was just a cat's dream. Only in its dreams can a cat successfully enact the rest of the comic.[citation needed]

The last panel where it is revealed that the rest of the comic shows the cat facing away from the reader, which may be meant to suggest that the cat is remembering real events

Real cats' eyes (and some other animals' eyes) have a tapetum lucidum behind their retinas, which increases their sensitivity in low-light conditions. This can cause their eyes to appear to glow, but they're actually just reflecting light from the environment.

The title text makes a pun on the chamber in which lasers are formed, known as a laser cavity.


[Cueball points a laser pointer at the floor. A black cat crouches, staring at the red dot.]
[The cat pounces.]
[The cat lands with its paw on the dot, claws out.]
[The cat tugs on the dot.]
tug tug
[Cueball tries to use the laser pointer, which is no longer emitting a beam.]
Cueball: ??? click click
[The cat nibbles on the red laser dot.]
Cat: lick? nom nom
[The cat arches, emitting red shock lines.]
[The cat shoots lasers out of its eyes at Cueball, who is covered in a bright red glow.]
Cueball: AUGH!
[The right side of the panel is the end of a thought bubble.]
[The black cat, sleeping, has dreamed the entire strip.]

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My cat still chases this hopeless dream. Sucker. Davidy22[talk] 13:29, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

The laser cavity link in the explanation now redirects to optical cavity. 22:50, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Cats with frickin' laser beams. *finger to lip* Jakee308 (talk) 17:51, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

Cats have a large amount of morals? Since when? 04:35, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

removing the [citarion needed]s

does this wiki have any policey on the use of [citarion needed]s because based on wikipedia police the use's of it in this article should be removed (talk) 02:56, 3 February 2024‎ (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

This wiki does indeed have a policy on {{Citation needed}}s, in that this is a local template specifically to tie in with our idea of the general joke of a particular comic (follow its link, and see, or just hover and see where your browser hints at the desfination).
What is a 'normal' "Citation needed", in general wikidom, is fulfilled by {{Actual citation needed}}, which should probably be addressed (or dismissed) and the markup removed as necessary. But the first one is generally "stating some inarguable fact,[citation needed] that absolutely does not require a Citation".
In fact, if it needs a Citation then it should be made 'Actual ...', and if it has one then it's no longer serving a jokey purpose (IMO). I'm also not partial to multiple CNs in the same article (unless very long, to give plenty of elbow room), though this article has two in close proximity. To that extent, I might look at the two here and cull the less comedic one.
In fact, shoehorning even just one into every Explanation also kills the joke, for me. Its value is greater for rarity. Find the one really humorous point within a (decent) fraction of the pages. If I were to find that both 728 and 730 had example(s), I might prune one or more out, beyond the above stipulation.
But that's not this wiki's policy, it's my opinion. Wiki policy (or official community consensus, really) does not require removal like a 'real' version of it as found elsewhere. Because it's not the same at all.
HTH, HAND. 03:38, 3 February 2024 (UTC)