Cats Meok Bang may be just what stray cats in Korea need

South Korea, like many countries around the world, has a stray cat problem. However, someone is working to take care of those cats living outdoors, though, and the entire world can see it. Cats Meok Bang is a livestream on YouTube that focuses on a feeding station where these cats can eat. It’s online 24/7 in South Korea, but the world can watch various clips from it.

 

How did Cats Meok Bang get started?

Koo Eun-je started the whole thing almost accidentally, when he put some fish out for a stray cat living near his mother-in-law’s home. As more cats arrived, he began putting out more food and set up a station. He and his wife put a camera, which is how the livestream of the feeding station came into being.

They thought there might be one or two cats, but they’ve got 17 cats feeding at that station now, which was surprising to them. They’ve decorated the feeding station up like a tiny restaurant, with a chalkboard sign showing the day’s menu and everything. Watch a clip from it here:

The livestream is called Cats Meok Bang because “Meok Bang” is a term for people—usually women—who eat on camera. These are cats eating on camera, so Koo named it Cats Meok Bang to reflect what the livestream is.

Stray cats have a bad reputation in South Korea – often referred to as thieves, probably because they steal food (and possibly other things). Here in the U.S., we’re slowly evolving towards an understanding that these cats need to be cared for and sterilized, which helps them, us, and even wildlife.

Cats Meok Bang may well be the first baby step towards that same understanding in South Korea. Koo doesn’t just put leftovers out in the kitty restaurant, he actually goes out and fishes for them, so there’s always plenty of food. The channel itself now has 110,000 viewers each month, and that number is growing. Koo is a cat-man with a heart of gold for this.

 

Still image via screen capture from embedded video

The butt wiggle: Why do cats do this before they pounce?

We’ve all seen our cats do it: They crouch down very low, zero in on their prey, whatever it is, then wiggle their butts right before launching themselves into the air and pouncing. It’s so cute, and so hilarious, that nobody can really get enough of it. What is that, though? Why do cats do the butt wiggle right before they pounce?

The butt wiggle has to do with hunting behavior

There’s an actual reason for this that has to do with how cats hunt. Yes, they’re stealthy hunters, but one would think that wiggling their butts like that would belie their position and scare away their prey. However, you have definitely seen how they launch themselves – they must be properly grounded and balanced in order to launch successfully.

Enter the butt wiggle. This helps your kitty get her back feet in the exact position she needs for that launch. It’s rather like the way an athlete will position his or her feet right before jumping, taking off in a sprint, diving, etc.

Watch below (and don’t drink anything beforehand):

Big cats do the butt wiggle, too

In the wild, the big cousins of our furry feline friends—lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, etc.—actually dig their feet into the ground a bit for leverage before launching after their prey. The wiggle of a big cat is likely much slower than that of your little cat, but it’s still there, and it’s done for the same reason.

In our house, all four cats do the butt wiggle before launching themselves after their own “prey,” which is usually a toy attached to a string, which is attached to a stick. They do it to varying degrees; Chase will actually stop and start his wiggling, as will Kali. Gizmo‘s is very brief, and Aria‘s seems to last forever.

We love watching all of them do it.

If you’d like to see more of the butt wiggle, click here. Buzzfeed has a great compilation of feline butt wiggle .gifs.