The intersection of cats and Stephen Colbert seems tailor-made for our brave new internet world. And yet it's somehow taken all this time — three whole months! — for the late-night host to feature performing cats doing tricks.
Okay, that last sentence should feature a whole bunch of scare quotes, particularly around "performing" and "tricks." Because this appearance by the Acro-Cats — a trained cat circus out of Chicago that promotes the adoption of rescue cats and kittens — is much more about a group of felines being pretty sure what their trainers want them to do and then steadfastly ignoring those instructions, while Colbert cavorts around, cat ears atop his head, performing the tricks the kitties are loath to execute.
It is, in other words, exactly what you'd expect to happen if you tried to cajole a bunch of cats into doing tricks on late-night television. It's as if they're saying, sure, they could perform these tricks, like a bunch of dogs, but why would they want to? They are their own creatures, after all.
Or maybe they're just a little skittish about all the people and strange machinery that comes with making a live television appearance on a major late-night show in a gigantic venue like the Ed Sullivan Theater, because cats are easily terrified of the stupidest things.