Why Instagram Is So Divided On This Pic Of Martha Stewart's Cat

Call it what you will — the food chain, the circle of life — but nature isn't always pretty. Some animals, like cats, eat other creatures because they're born that way, and what can we say? Cats are gonna cat.

Roughly one in four American households has at least one feline friend, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. (While 38% of U.S. homes have a dog, by the way). So, we should be fairly familiar with the habits of our kitties. But because most cat owners keep their pet indoors, and because they can be just so darn cute and cuddly, it's easy to forget these domesticated creatures are actually fairly ruthless predators by design (via NPS). 

No exception is Martha Stewart's cat, Blackie, a beautiful, sleek kitty with hazel eyes. Stewart recently shared a picture via Instagram of Blackie doing what cats instinctively do when they go outdoors, proudly bringing home "dinner" in the form of a small rodent to repay their human friends for all the love, kibble, and ear scratches cat parents regularly dole out.

Stewart, who spends lots of time at her rural Bedford, New York Farm, has lots of pets as well as farm animals, and is accustomed to animal behavior. So she was perhaps even a little proud of Blackie's latest catch. It is, after all, a cat's instinct to hunt, even pets as well-provided for as Stewart's cats must be. However, some of her followers were not impressed with the photo.

Martha Stewart's cat starts a debate

Martha Stewart's Instagram photo of Blackie the cat features her pet striding purposefully and carrying a limp chipmunk in his mouth (via Instagram). For Blackie, it's just another day on the farm. Martha wrote: "Blackie the Cat He found us five years ago. He has paid us back every day for adopting him summarily without references or recommendations." Some fans were put off by the pic.

"This is a lot Martha wow," wrote heavyvanilla. Collectorhoarder sparked a debate about cats' impact on the ecosystem: "I'm sure that you know how destructive cats are to the local fauna. If he's killing chipmunks I'm sure that he is also killing many migrating birds," they wrote. "Why would you assume people want to see this and post it? no thanks," victoriamarie85 commented. Honniez_ deemed the photo: "Not cute."

Many followers, however, saw the photo as a natural glimpse into farm life. Some pointed out that chipmunks are destructive and cats help to keep their numbers in check. To one disgruntled fan, Martha follower jjlikesmovies responded: "you hate seeing a rural kitty do what is natural for them? We won't tell you where bacon comes from then." One of the wittiest responses came from melissa_poepping, who wrote: "And on October 7th, 2021, thousands of people realized that cats are indeed.... not vegan."

Our take? We were just a little alarmed by how many people don't know the difference between a squirrel and a chipmunk. Time for a nature walk!