Cats, let’s face it, have a lot of power. Every now and then humans try to wrest it back from them by filming them at their most adorable and silly, but this only increases their influence over us as they make sycophants of us without the least bit of effort.
The latest attempt of humans to fail at proving their dominance comes in the form of an Instagram filter. According to Kotaku, pet owners on the internet are scaring their cats using the Cat Face filter, which gives humans the appearance of a cat wearing heavy eyeliner.
Below is a compilation of several terrified cats. Some flee, while others just shake their head up and down like they’ve just realized they’re on a bad trip. But others among them do seem to undergo a change in mood when the cat app turns on and they behold for the first time their master’s kitten-oid countenance.
Not all cats are fooled, though — this wide-eyed feline has no illusions about what’s going on here. Her fishlike grace in the face of human depravity is an inspiration to us all.
It would be a great deal easier to understand what is actually going on in these videos if we knew precisely what and who cats think we are. Luckily there was once a great website called The Awl that comprehensively explored just this question in a 2015 essay, “Who Does Your Cat Think You Are?” The author sifts through various theories and research proposals, and lands upon the possibility that cats already see us as “weird dumb adult cats.” Perhaps the true horror of the cat face app is that it’s been with us all along.