A cranky calico is making people laugh in a video where she tries to attack her fellow housecat, but fails for a very important reason—she’s missing the leg she’s trying to fight with.
A clip posted to Reddit’s popular r/AnimalsBeingDerps forum by u/Mamoof, titled “Unarmed Combat” has been upvoted over 35,700 times and received nearly 500 comments.
The clip features a compilation of videos of the tripod cat trying to attack. But in each, the fur where her missing arm would be just twitches back and forth. The other cat is sometimes startled, but doesn’t try to run away from the threat—or lack thereof.
Perhaps the best section of the video is when the calico titches furiously while pulling her face away. From the clip, it’s clear that in her mind, she’s cleaning her enemy’s clock, but the other cat occasionally bats at her with claws half-extended.
Many cats who have had a limb amputated don’t have any pain in related to missing parts, according to the Kitsap Humane Society in Washington state. In fact, the main difference between a tripod cat and a cat with all four legs is noise, since they sometimes have to work a little harder to climb things, the shelter says.
For those considering adopting a tripod cat, the Kitsap Humane Society recommends getting a larger litter box to help keep them from making accidents outside the box if they lose their balance. In addition, while it’s best to keep cats indoors and safe anyway, tripod cats are particularly good candidates for being indoor-only, since it can be more difficult for them to get around—and, as seen in this clip, it can be harder for them to fight if needed.
Though it’s a major surgery, most cats cope well with losing a leg, Cats Protection, a UK charity, says. If a cat is upset, however, the organization recommends a pheromone spray to calm them. Unlike humans, Cats Protection says there is little evidence cats suffer from phantom limb syndrome, where an amputee may still feel sensations, like itching, despite there no longer being anything there to feel.
Some Redditors shared their own experiences with pets missing limbs.
“This made me think about my sweet doggo who lost his hind leg to cancer. When he got scritches juuuuuuuuuust right, his hip would start jiggle jiggling like he was shaking his phantom leg,” u/TheDrunkScientist wrote.
“My poor cat still thinks he can scratch that itch on his neck with his missing back leg. He tries so hard,” u/tristfall said.
“I had one like that… I’d lean over and scratch the back of her neck for her when she did that,” u/Kflynn1337 replied. “Ever hear a cat sigh in relief?”
“I had a three-legged cat we named Tripody that did just this. She mostly liked to be outside. We would see her ALL THE TIME psyching out other cats with her nub, then slap with the other one. Was hilarious. She was an ugly brown calico cat. Sweetest cat ever though that loved to cuddle. Parents had her when I was a teenager. She lives to damn near 17 years old. I miss her,” u/snootchiebootchie94 wrote.