News / USA

Online Kitties are the Cat's Meow

You name it, a feline has probably been taped doing it

We’re not sure if this photo of “Oz” in mid-yawn ever got on the Web, but it ought to. Look at the fangs on this fellow.
We’re not sure if this photo of “Oz” in mid-yawn ever got on the Web, but it ought to. Look at the fangs on this fellow.


Ted Landphair

It’s been said of late that the two most popular subjects on the Web, and in videos viewed on handheld media as well, are pornography and cats.

This is not a story about pornography.

Everywhere you click on the Web, you see bad cats, sweet cats, cats playing the piano, cats falling off things, cats running across sports fields, cats attacking dogs - even the latest fad: breaded cats.

Those are cats whose heads protrude from pieces of bread. The bread is a sort of doughy picture frame.

Gringo plays the piano in this YouTube photo.
Gringo plays the piano in this YouTube photo.

And why not? According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are about 86 million owned cats in this country - eight million more than there are dogs with owners.  In one-third of all American households, there’s at least one cat.

And just over half of U.S. cat owners have two or more kitties, despite cats’ aloof ways compared with Man’s (Supposed) Best Friend, the dog.

On the “Mashable” website, Amy-Mae Elliott asked, “Why Does the Web Love Cats?” She answers her own question in several ways:

They’re cuddly and cute. Some people think they’re not cute at all, but sinister and evil. Instead of a wagging tail and what looks like a happy smile that dogs project, cats sneer at us haughtily, and sometimes they seem to squint and look inscrutably wise.

This cat can’t be happy about this “breaded” photo op in which it found itself.
This cat can’t be happy about this “breaded” photo op in which it found itself.

As their owners know, cats live life strictly on their terms. Only if they choose to will cats allow themselves to be trained to do anything.

As they say, “herding cats” is a highly unproductive exercise. So when a cat makes a fool of itself in a video, we’re amazed. Even cat-lovers don’t really mind seeing an arrogant cat humiliated from time to time. Serves Fluffy right.

One reader of the Mashable site commented that cats are big on the Web because dog owners have long walks and dog parks where they can bond with their pet and with other dog owners.

Since the cat won’t walk with you or play with strange cats, the Web is the only place for their owners to gather.  Another person summed up cats’ attraction: She wrote, “Their catness is captivating.”  

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