The Kitty Half Nelson – it’s science!

As people who know me “in real life,” or even just on Facebook, know, I love to Kitty Half Nelson my cat.  Boots is adorable – sixteen pounds of lean, furry, purry mini-panther.  He is tamable when I get one arm through his front legs, another arm under his back legs, squeeze him tightly, and squeal “Kitty Half Nelson! Kitty Half Nelson!”  while kissing him between the ears.

(For those rolling their eyes in horror, let me tell you that there is no better way to get a cat into a cat carrier than by distracting him by grossly offending his cat dignity.  The half-nelson hold is also crucial.)

Anyway, science has now proven that we have a desire to squeeze, cuddle, and snuggle cute things – and will get aggressive when we don’t get our way:

Dyer’s suggests that one reason we have so much pent-up aggression over cute pictures is that seeing something cute, like a baby, drives us to want to take care of it. But we can’t reach through a photograph to cuddle it, so we get frustrated — and then aggressive.

Another possibility is that it’s just too much of a good thing — sometimes we portray an onslaught of positive emotion in a negative way, like when you’re so happy you cry. Dyer speculates that giving positive emotions a negative spin might help us regulate that high energy.

Really, it’s science.  It’s also an amazingly efficient way to get a feline into a cat carrier.


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