231: Cat Proximity

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Cat Proximity
Yes you are! And you're sitting there! Hi, kitty!
Title text: Yes you are! And you're sitting there! Hi, kitty!


This comic refers to the use of "baby talk" when speaking to pets, especially cats. A person's voice becomes falsetto and cooing, vocabulary becomes simplified, and phrases are repeated, such as "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty." The chart shows that a person's apparent intelligence decreases, and that the inanity (i.e. uselessness or emptiness) of their statements increases, the closer they get to a cat. Most people act like this when they're playing with cats or trying to call them over to them. Thankfully, being close to a cat doesn't actually cause any decrease of intelligence in normal circumstances. In 1535: Words for Pets, Randall mentions again how people often talk strangely to their pets. Typing "cat" in UniXKCD will print "You're a kitty", a reference to Cueball's line in the comic.

The title text continues Cueball's obvious statement (and thus inane/useless point made) from below the graph.


[A graph with the x-axis labeled, and the scale indicated from left to right:]
Human proximity to cat
[Two curves are drawn and labeled, first the one starting on top, which then veers downwards and crosses the other as that curve veers upwards.]
Inanity of statements
[Below the graph, Cueball is seen standing at three distances from a cat that is drawn to the far right. The two first Cueballs are just standing, one below far, the other in the middle, and the last is standing close to the cat (below near) with his hands up, and he is speaking.]
Cueball: You're a kitty!


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Anyone else notice that the graph looks like the tail end of a fish? -- ‎Sunny Bat (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

- Definitive proof that Munroe's a devout Christian.

This happens to women in the proximity of babies, which has led me to believe that babies' brains develop by absorbing the intelligence of women in their immediate surroundings.

I'm sure if you will be doing IQ test with cat, you will score lower. Especially if the cat would lie on the paper. So ... let's say that the reduction of IQ near cats is in normal circumstances temporary. -- Hkmaly (talk) 08:54, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

That would be your scored or graded intelligence quotient, not your actual IQ. If someone is giving you an electric shock while you're trying to walk during a walking test you may fail the test, but that doesn't mean you're bad at walking. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
btw there is no such thing as an "actual IQ"... IQ is a score based on the test and the test only. 06:57, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

I vote we remove the "Incomplete" tag. Said tag is labeled "Come on...", but I honestly don't see how this could be expanded upon. 07:32, 16 October 2013 (UTC)


recent studies have linked Toxoplasmosis to various mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, ADHD, OCD, and has been linked to suicidal behavior in humans. Studies have also shown that persons with latent Toxoplasma gondii infections have a higher rate of automotive accidents, though whether this is because of impaired motor function or if it's because of a heightened risk-reward center is uncertain. It seems to be a symbiotic organism for cats--it causes no symptoms in cats and is carried normally in their feces. however, rodents that become infected with T.gondii stop fearing the smell of cat urine, ultimately making it easier for the cat to catch and eat the rodent, improving the quality of life for both the cat and the protozoan. The thing is, literally, a mind control parasite. about a third of humans are infected with T.gondii (mostly from unwashed vegetables and undercooked meats rather than from contact with cat feces). I wonder to what extent this "cat proximity" observation may have to do with T.gondii having evolved to make humans like cats and want to comfort them and feed them. 17:31, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Nick Fury I wonder how many people thought of this comic when they watched Captain Marvel? 12:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)