U.S. Water Polo Team Praises Cat That Tried to Join in Olympics Match

The U.S. water polo team has revealed that, when it comes to the Olympics, it's not just the humans who are getting caught up in the action.

In fact, it would appear that the Games are garnering a few followers of the four-legged variety, if a video retweeted by the official USA Water Polo account is to be believed.

The footage shows a small black cat approaching their owner's television screen while they are watching the U.S. men's team going up against Italy in the water polo tournament.

Cat immediately moves to open water. Smart!#waterpolo #Olympics https://t.co/ez8AFRp0Hl

— USA Water Polo (@USAWP) July 29, 2021

This particular cat is not content with remaining as simply a spectator though and instead makes several valiant attempts to get involved in the action.

Evidently drawn to the sight of a ball on the screen, the feisty feline's efforts drew praise from the U.S. governing body.

Writing alongside the clip, they took note of the animal's impressive moves, commenting "Cat immediately moves to open water. Smart.!"

The video was originally shared by Paul Smith, a Twitter user posting under the name @prsmith2009. In the original tweet, he praised his cat, who is called Boo for "doing his part to help Team USA!"

Smith's post caught the attention of several notable names inside the sport, including Former USA Women's Water Polo Goalkeeper and Olympic gold medalist Sami Hill, who retweeted the clip.

The proud cat owner later returned to the post to share a second video of Boo's "brutal training regime" which he said involves "daily sprints across the living room."

Boo doing his part to help team USA! 🤽‍♂️🐈‍⬛@USAWP pic.twitter.com/KMIXGI1Fj9

— Paul Smith (@prsmith2009) July 29, 2021

News of Boo's exploits soon hit the mainstream too, with NBC among those to share the original clip alongside the pun: "This cat is FELINE this @USAWP match!"

That gave Smith the perfect opportunity to share another clip of his beloved cat in action with Boo, this time shown stealing a corn chip from his owner or, as Smith put it, an "energy snack."

Boo rehydrated and had an energy snack pic.twitter.com/f05nVVmSZ6

— Paul Smith (@prsmith2009) July 29, 2021

Black cats have long been associated with bad luck, a superstition dating back to medieval times when they were commonly associated with witches who were said to keep them as pets.

Though such notions are readily dismissed today, the U.S. Men's Water Polo team may not be so sure after learning that Boo was watching on.

Despite leading at several points against Italy in the game their feline fan was watching in the clip, they ultimately slipped to a 12-11 defeat.

The U.S. will be hoping to bounce back next time out against Hungary.

With two wins to their name prior to the Italy loss, they remain very much in contention to reach the quarter-finals.

Newsweek has reached out to Smith for comment.

Waterpolo star Alex Bowen and a cat.
Alex Bowen of the United States during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic men’s Waterpolo Tournament/a stock photo of a black cat. - An athletic feline has been praised by the US team. Marcel ter Bals//kssi68/BSR Agency/Getty