A kitten imitating her mother’s pose in a delightful picture has melted hearts online after gaining viral attention.
Shared on Tuesday on Reddit’s subreddit r/IllegallySmolCats, the picture from Numerous_Penalty_271 features the adorable pair side-by-side. With more than 15,000 upvotes the sweet scene has delighted internet users.
Shared with the caption: “She crosses her legs exactly like her mother. I call her Mini-Medusa,” many viewers commented on the kitten’s adorable pose.
One Redditor wrote: “Polite kitty,” and another said: “That is too precious.”
The adorable mini copycat isn’t the only cat to have shown signs of imitation. In 2020, the world’s first literal copycat was reported following a Japanese study where a cat was trained to copy actions.
Claudia Fugazza, an ethologist at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, has been studying cognition and imitation in animals for years, working with a method where a researcher trains an animal to copy behavior they already know. The approach has been used to test whether various animals can truly imitate what they see.
Fumi Higaki in Ichinomiya, Japan took this method and applied it to her 11-year-old cat Ebisu—the first time the study had been attempted on a cat. The clever feline had learned to copy familiar actions, like opening a plastic drawer or biting a bit of string. After multiple trials, the team reported that Ebisu successfully copied her owner more than 81 percent of the time. Perhaps most incredibly, the cat even used her paw or face respectively to touch an item based on whether the owner used her hand or face, showing that the feline was able to map her owner’s body onto her own anatomy.
Following testing and observation, Fumi’s work was not only the very first evidence that cats could be trained with the method used for other animals but also suggested for the first time that they may have the cognitive skill of imitation.
However, this cat is more likely to be expressing her feelings than really imitating a human companion or her mother. Cat information site CatWiki suggests that cats will cross their front paws when feeling relaxed and comfortable.
Other Reddit users commented on how their pets cross their paws. One user wrote: “I always tell my one kitty she has pretty paws because of how she sits with them.”
Meanwhile, another viewer of the viral image wrote: “So cute! My Maine Coon cats do this too.”
The adorable scene even won over some die-hard dog fans. “I’m definitely a dog person, but these two cats are perfect and I love them,” wrote one Redditor.
This week another adorable cat has gained viral attention after “sensing” its owner’s pregnancy in a heartwarming video.
Newsweek has reached out to Numerous_Penalty_271 for comment.