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Cats, the conventional logic goes, are the refined pet choice. Unlike dogs, whose motivations are so shallow that their loyalty can be won with a handful of sausages, cats are discerning creatures. They give their love to those who earn it, and only on their own terms, putting up the sort of uncaring exterior that would make them archetypical romantic leads in a dating simulator.

For many cat lovers, the hard-fought affection from a feline is all the more valuable than similar sentiments from other members of the animal kingdom. The back and forth of developing trust with a new acquaintance, the eventual thawing of an initially frosty reception, are these not like the social dances engaged in by humans?

However, cats also share another, less graceful aspect with we humans: they look really, really weird just before they sneeze.

In a rare instance of a collection of photos on the Internet having an extremely odd and specific theme yet not being creepy, cat lovers in Japan have been sharing pictures of cats taken two seconds before sneezing. Before the cats sneeze, that is, although given the contagious nature of sneezes, it’s likely the felines’ owners quickly followed suite.

When things go well, the result is a quirky snapshot of a cute kitty.

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▼ This poor puss just lost any extra dignity his tie was giving him.

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Other times, the effect is comical.

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▼ This cat seems to be laughing with us.

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▼ Is this guy trying to look inside his own mouth?

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▼ This one looks like he just pulled something.

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▼ The face of a cat who clearly doesn’t appreciate your sense of humor.

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▼ Sorry buddy, you can sit their trying all day, but cats can’t lay eggs.

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▼ Say hello to tonight’s nightmare.

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More than anything though, these pre-nasal-clearing images show us how terrifyingly large the teeth of an everyday house cat can be.

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Of course, some of the subjects seem less than pleased about their egos being bruised for our entertainment.

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But cats, like people, are individuals after all. Some are apparently good enough sports to play along and strike a pose as long as it’ll produce a laugh

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So here’s to our feline friends who are willing to laugh at themselves. Thanks, guys. Now we just hope you don’t figure out how to work our cameras and snap photos of us in our awkward moments.

Source, images: Digital DJ Network