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Jan 26 2013

Anti-Caturday post

This has got to be it. I’ve finally found the beast that will displace cats from their web hegemony. It is…

Ponies. Ponies in cardigans.

ponies

Come on. Ponies are already a meme, and they also have their incomprehensible weirdly devout fans. Also, you won’t see anyone riding a cat any time soon.

43 comments

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  1. 1
    Jesper Both Pedersen

    Oh great. Herbivores. ;-)

  2. 2
    SteveV

    Ponies. Ponies in cardigans.

    ON THE BEACH!

  3. 3
    AussieMike

    I had a friend with a cat named Horse. Damn thing was huge and it may have been possible to ride it. All be it at great risk to one’s own life.

  4. 4
    saukko

    Haha, I’m having this feeling that there will discussions about MLP/bronies here, and I do admit I like the series and the fandom too.

  5. 5
    marcus

    The “Watchponies” video at the fan site was totes fucking awesome!

  6. 6
    michaelhofer

    Yeah, they’re cute but the web animal that will supplant the cat is the tarsier:

  7. 7
    dexitroboper

    But horses bite. Although there’s good eating on one of those things, I hear.

  8. 8
    catwhisperer

    @ 7:
    You’re hanging out with the wrong horses!

  9. 9
    Gregory Greenwood

    Also, you won’t see anyone riding a cat any time soon.

    Yup – attempting to ride any cat large enough to be ridden would probably be… ill advised.

    That said, does anyone have pictures of cats wearing cardigans?

  10. 10
    Anri

    Speaking as one of the token ‘bronies’ (can’t say I like the term – I’m not a ‘bro’, so I’m by extension not… but one doesn’t always get to name one’s own fandom,) here on Pharyngula, I’d like to dip my editorial opinion in this thread. Please ignore if uninterested.

    MLP:FiM is not the greatest show ever, not even the greatest animated show ever. It is, however, a refreshingly smart, cute, earnest show with surprisingly complex character interactions… for a show about multicolored talking equestrians.
    Seasons 1 & 2 were quite good (Season 3 has yet to impress, IMHO).

    If you’re curious about the hype, I’d suggest watching the first 3 episodes. They’re available all over the place, as Hasbro hasn’t been bothering to pull the shows – they’ve figured out they sell a hell of a lot more swag if people trade the shows around.
    If, by the end of Ep 3, you’re not liking it, then the show’s probably not for you. And that’s cool. Although sometimes taken a bit tongue-in-cheek, “love and tolerate” is a catchphrase of the fandom, and I’m happy to say we have been known to live up to it on occasion.

    Ok, this has already rambled on too long, especially to a group of net-savvy people to whom most of what I’m saying is old news. Thanks for letting me yap!

  11. 11
    consciousness razor

    That said, does anyone have pictures of cats wearing cardigans?

    Of course. That’s a corollary to Rule 34, one of many, so I assume your question must be which pictures people have of cats wearing cardigans.

  12. 12
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    “And on the right, you’ll see the rare specimen known as the Flock of Seagulls pony. It’s rarely photographed (though I spent my life just wishing), since once it sees a camera, it runs… it runs so far away. Listen! Hear its space age love song!”

    No groans from the peanut gallery, plz.

  13. 13
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    They’re cute, but I thought Shetlands grew their own winter coats.

  14. 14
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    When my partner saw these, he declared that he needed to learn to knit. The minis may be getting interesting Hoofmas gifts next year.

  15. 15
    shouldbeworking

    PZ, I must respectfully disagree with you. Does this mean I’m kicked out of the hive mind and my minion card is revoked?

  16. 16
    Sastra

    You may not see anyone riding a cat, but you won’t see anyone cuddling a pony on their lap, either.

    Oh, strike that. My first thought when seeing these adorable Shetlands is that there will soon not be a tourist shop in Scotland which will not have little ponies in sweaters to purchase for souvenirs. I’m betting that the factories in the Far East are loading those babies into shipping crates this very moment, as we sit here watching the video.

  17. 17
    pensnest

    Gregory Greenwood asked if anyone had pictures of cats wearing cardigans.

    Of course.

    http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/4240/enhancedbuzz12220132865.jpg

    A very dapper little fellow.

  18. 18
    Anthony K

    Riding a cat?

    My dear PZ, one does not ride a cat as if it were some simple beast of conveyance.

    If anything, it’s the other way ’round.

  19. 19
    inflection

    Rainbow Dash doesn’t always wear sweaters.

    But when she does, they’re automatically in style.

  20. 20
    nohellbelowus

    Cardigans? *whinny*

    To win this war employing horses as your vehicles, two words: Lady Godiva

  21. 21
    loreo

    I support this, if only for the boost in business it will bring to Rarity

  22. 22
    daved

    A few years ago, I dated a woman who owned a horse, and she (the woman, not the horse) claimed that Shetland ponies were *evil*. She said they’d deliberately do things like run under low tree branches to knock the riders off.

  23. 23
    ThorGoLucky

    There are pony/brony conventions too. http://everfreenw.com/

    I’m going instead of TAM for a change of pace and a wee bit different experience.

  24. 24
    texasaggie

    You won’t see anyone riding those megalocephalic dwarves either. And ponies can be nasty and stupid. Try making one do something it doesn’t want to do. You can reason much better with a dog. There is a reason that equines are the mammals with the most reptilian characteristics in their brain.

  25. 25
    Lofty

    Uggh, shitland ponies. Makes me think of Thelwell cartoons. Keep those evil critters away from me!

  26. 26
    Argle Bargle

    Those sweaters aren’t cardigans, they’re pullovers.

  27. 27
    chigau (違う)

    The sweaters with all the buttons are pullovers?

  28. 28
    jnorris

    Also, you won’t see anyone riding a cat any time soon.

    Well there is a little story of The Lady from Niger, Who went for a ride on a Tiger…

  29. 29
    Argle Bargle

    You’re right, they’ve got buttons. They’re cardigans.

  30. 30
    Tetrarch

    Heckuva task to put a pullover on a pony. Buttons absolutely necessary.

  31. 31
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    OK, Professor Poopyhead, so yer wanna fight dirty do yah?

    Weapons Grade Cute.

  32. 32
    maia160

    @7&24: Awww, no horse love? I agree with catwhisperer, you don’t know the right horses if you think they all bite! I haven’t been bitten by a horse yet, although I’ve had my jackets nibbled at and unzipped by the more mouthy, but sweet, ones.

    24 is right that you can’t force a horse to do what it doesn’t want to do. But I don’t think they are necessarily more difficult than dogs or cats in that regard, just bigger! Imagine trying to get a thousand lb. cat to obey! It’s amazing that horses do anything we want at all.

    At any rate, I’m wondering how they got those ponies in the sweaters. Also, are those Shetland Ponies or miniature horses? It’s hard to tell the difference.

  33. 33
    maia160

    NVM: I just saw that the video is titled Shetland Ponies and noticed the buttons on the cardigans. Questions answered.

  34. 34
    eyeroll

    PZed could ride a cat. Afterall, he has already ridden a dinosaur.

  35. 35
    mogwai

    Speaking as a Scot, I must admit I was left a bit ‘meh’ by the ad campaign with the wee Shetland ponies.

    Until I got to 1.07min on the video.

    I couldn’t resist being caught up in a tsunami of cute.
    A Tscutenami, if you will.

  36. 36
    kouras

    daved

    A few years ago, I dated a woman who owned a horse, and she (the woman, not the horse) claimed that Shetland ponies were *evil*. She said they’d deliberately do things like run under low tree branches to knock the riders off.

    I was told that people are looser with them than with larger critters because they’re cute. Such that they do shit like that because they’ve always gotten away with it.

    Not sure how reliable that is, but the guy who said it did own a Clydesdale that would wipe riders off against trees…

  37. 37
  38. 38
    maia160

    [quote]I was told that people are looser with them than with larger critters because they’re cute. Such that they do shit like that because they’ve always gotten away with it.

    Not sure how reliable that is, but the guy who said it did own a Clydesdale that would wipe riders off against trees…[/quote]

    I sometimes wonder if there’s something to people treating larger horses differently than the smaller ones. I’ve often heard horse people remark that it’s “always the big ones that are shy or scared”. Is that because they are treated differently?

    With that being said, all horses have different personalities. Some horses actually seem to want to take care of their rider while others don’t seem to care so much. I’m not sure if some horses are actually trying to knock their rider off by brushing against trees or if they just aren’t paying much attention to their rider. I’ve had a few close encounters with horses getting too close to trees or low hanging brush but I always remind myself that it’s up to me to steer the horse!

    I dunno, too many people want to blame the horse for ‘undesirable behavior’ when better attention to your riding or a better understanding of horses would solve a lot of the problems.

  39. 39
    kouras

    ^ I don’t think I know enough about rearing or training horses to argue that one either way. I do agree that inexperienced riders sometimes seem to do things with potential to freak out the horse without thinking too much about it, and that this is a problem. The comments about that particular horse described a consistent behaviour, apparently independent of rider experience level, but there’s probably quite a lot of room for recall bias there.

    For the purposes of this conversation, it probably doesn’t help that most of the Shetland ponies I’ve met have been kept by stables catering to tourists, and generally put out with smallish children on their backs.

  40. 40
    bradleybetts

    @Dexitroboper #7

    But horses bite. Although there’s good eating on one of those things, I hear.

    Yeah there is; just ask Tescos.

  41. 41
    bradleybetts

    @kouras

    “I was told that people are looser with them than with larger critters because they’re cute. Such that they do shit like that because they’ve always gotten away with it.”

    The theory certainly works with dogs, at least IMO. A lot of people think Jack Russells and other small breeds are aggressive. They’re not, it’s just because people see them as small and harmless so they don’t bother to train them as strenuously as large dogs.

  42. 42
    ArabiaTerra

    Shetland Ponies and Fair Isle Knitwear, two of the three things Shetland is famous for.

    The third thing is the Up-Helly-Aa fire festival, the largest annual fire festival in Europe which, co-incidentally happens today.

    It is being broadcast live over the web and the main event starts at 19.30 GMT and lasts about 2 hours.

    You can watch it here:

    http://uphellyaa.com/index.htm

  43. 43
    ArabiaTerra

    ^^^^ Webcast started now. Enjoy.

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