“I hope Brazil doesn’t win the World Cup.” This is just one of the many indignant comments about the treatment reserved for a cat that sat on the table of a press conference at the soccer World Cup underway in Qatar. It all began while the Brazilian footballer Vinicius Jr was answering questions from journalists and a beautiful tabby cat jumped onto the table amidst the smiles of those present.
The cat didn’t cause any trouble, he was comfortable on the table between the microphones and looked around. But the Brazilian team’s communications manager, sitting on the chair to Vinicius’ right, didn’t think so: first he caressed him and after a few seconds he stood up and, after grabbing him with both hands, threw him to the ground.
A gesture that was already not well received by the people present who let themselves go into a mogul of disapproval and also by the Brazilian footballer himself who looked at him with an astonished expression. The cat landed on the floor and then calmly continued to wander around the room without any problems.
The communication manager seemed amazed by the reaction and tried to explain that that is the only way to lift a cat without hurting it and then mimicking the gesture of having accompanied it to the floor, also triggering Vinicius’ laughter which he then continued to answer journalists’ questions.
The staff member’s explanation does not seem to have convinced or, in any case, his gesture was not well accepted by the many users who viewed the video of the scene on social networks: in fact, many highlighted how the man, despite having grabbed him in the correct, he was too abrupt in throwing the cat on the floor. “Why did he throw it ???” writes one user, while another says: “You can’t immobilize cats like this, any vet who deals with cats knows that. It’s basic.” “What a horrible scene of the bearded man taking a kitten off the table, he’s more animal than the cat, he’ll soon appear apologizing, it’s always like that.” Yet another writes: “Why did he take the cat like that…. I hope Brazil don’t win the World Cup now.” And again: “He missed the opportunity to give a good image for the Brazilian team, he could have left the cat there and even stroked it. We’re in the spotlight and you also don’t take the cat like that.”
The Regional Council of Veterinary Medicine of the State of São Paulo also intervened in the case and, in a statement, declared that there is no element in that gesture that could be defined as ill-treatment. Of a different opinion Vet Street who in a guide published online states that the correct way to pick up a cat is to hold your hand under its chest: “Lifting a cat or suspending its body weight by the scruff (the skin on the back of the neck) is unnecessary and potentially painful. And it’s certainly not the most respectful or appropriate way to pick up or handle your cat. The best way to lift your cat under normal circumstances is to spread your hand under his chest and, as you lift, slide your other hand and forearm under his rear end to support his weight. Then pull it against your chest for added support. Keeping your cat like this makes him feel less vulnerable. Your grip should be loose, but with enough contact to feel any tension.”