It turns out your cat actually does love you, a new study claims

Cats can sometimes come off like aloof jerks. Their love often seems conditional. But turns out they actually love you more than they let on. Your cat might shoot you a stone-cold stare every time you pet it, but it actually harbors warm feelings underneath. And it's not just because you feed it. A study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University found that cats form "secure attachments" to their owners, meaning cats feel a sense of security from their owners. It's not dissimilar from dogs and babies. The findings were published in Current Biology.

The researchers studied 108 cats (70 adult cats, 38 kittens) and their owners using a test developed in the 1970s to study bonding between parents and infants. "We took [attachment styles] from other previous studies and just thought, 'Do cats actually fit these different styles or not?'" lead study author Kristyn Vitale told NBC News.


The cat was placed in a room with its owner for two minutes, then the owner left for two minutes. The owner returned for two more minutes to determine the attachment the cat had for its owner. Of the 70 cats, 64.3% of cats showed signs of "secure attachment," which means that they trust that their owner will take care of their needs. They felt safe exploring their surroundings, as well. "The characteristics of a secure cat, for example, [are] greeting their owner and then going back to what they were doing," Vitale told NBC News. "That's how a secure human also behaves."

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The other cats showed "insecure attachment," which means they appeared to have anxiety or fear towards their owners. They either ignored their owners completely when they returned, or clung to them. Other signs included twitching their tails and licking their lips. By comparison, similar research found that 65% of children and 58% of dogs demonstrated secure attachment to their caregivers. There's a better chance that your cat feels more secure around you than your dog, even though your dog is all up in your business all the time.

Vitale says that it's important for owners to think about how much their cats rely on them for a sense of security. "When they're in a stressful situation, how they're behaving can actually have a direct impact on their cats' behavior. Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof," she said. "There's long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave in this way. But the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security."

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This wasn't the only time researchers were able to crack the thoughts behind your cat's icy gaze. In 2017, researchers at the Oregon State University found that cats prefer socializing with people to food. This is not a joke. Cats were given a choice of stimuli to see what they preferred. A majority of cats went for hanging out with humans first, then food.

All these years, we've been thinking about cats wrong. It's not that your cat doesn't love you. Your cat just has a very different way of showing you it loves you. It might not even look like love. Sometimes it looks like pee on your favorite sweater. But that's love. Really, it is.

President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.

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via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

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