Look very closely at the image of the cat on the stairs. Is it climbing steps or descending instead? This is the debate that’s slowly spreading across the internet, attempting to fill the void of that blue and black dress left when social media finally moved on. The image of the cat going up (or down) the stairs was first posted to Imgur nearly a week ago. In the days since, the photo has garnered hundreds of thousands of views and inspired the Twitter hashtag #catstairs.
In the tag or on sites like 9gag, internet users boggle at the image of the cat, trying to determine the camera angle. The image of the stairs is taken at such an angle as to promote ambiguity; you can just as easily argue that the cat is going upstairs as you can claim it’s obviously going downstairs. It already looks at though the “cat on stairs” image is going to be a bit tougher to solve than “the dress”.
— FOX 5 DC (@fox5newsdc) April 11, 2015
With “The Dress,” all anyone had to do was go to Photoshop and make some editing adjustments. Not so for this cat image. You see, even if you were to plug the stairs photo into an image editor to play with the colors, you could still argue that the “top” of the stairs is the “ground.” Instead, it may be necessary to rely on someone who knows cats and how they behave.
A commenter named Atomic Fury posted on the Fox News article that the debate was “moot” thanks to the cat’s tail in the photo.
“Watch a cat on stairs and it’ll always ascend with its tail in the position as the one in the illustration. When a cat descends anything, they almost always bring their tail closer to their hind legs.”
Well, after heading over to YouTube to verify the theory, this video popped up. Watch the cat climb the stairs.
Yep, that’s a cat ascending stairs with its tail completely down. You’ll also find at least one video of a cat ascending with its tail raised as well. So clearly, the tail is of no help in this debate, especially since it’s a still image that doesn’t tell you what the cat’s tail did before and after this image was taken.
Lighting and shadow are also of little help to anyone genuinely curious, and just not stubbornly insisting on being right. The rest of us simply don’t know and are patiently waiting for an answer to the #catstairs debate.
Are you stumped over the cat on the stairs image? If not, do you believe the cat is going up or down the stairs?
[Image Credit: Funny Clips/9gag]