Online Cat Sites, Prejudice and Personal Preference
by Elisa Black-Taylor
I'm leaving you for an online mate!
Ok friends, it's time to grab a cup of coffee and start the day with a smile. I'm happy and my cats are happy. Today I'd like to talk about online cat sites. I'm going to ramble a bit. Maybe a lot. Just bear with me. I want your opinion later.
This article isn't like most of those I write. It's based almost solely on my own opinions and personal preference to the cats I gravitate towards.
First let me say I never dreamed of all of the different sites available to meet other cat lovers. I grew up in the day when Cat Fancy magazine was all we cat lovers had. Am I the only one left in the dark ages? There are sites for cat lovers and sites for the cats personally. There are groups on human online sites for cat lovers to join. Sometimes I feel I live thru the internet. I've never met most of my friends.
Pictures-of-cats.org will always be my first love because they have welcomed me as a member of their family. I love to read all of the stories and feel I've made a lot of friends here. I did a tad of research on pictures-of-cats.org. and learned that in the U.S. alone there are over 93,000 readers monthly. I don't know how old the research on this is. Perhaps Michael can throw in a comment or two on this (see comment below). I have no doubt this is the number one cat site out there. I love the stories and I love the family atmosphere we all feel once we've visited a few times. I'm quick to find new authors with personal cat stories and welcome them aboard. Helmi is my cat photographer idol.
Now I'll move on without calling any online cat sites by name.
The cat profiles are SO cute on each of the online cat sites I checked. It reminds me of an online dating site for people. Not that I use those myself. I'm too busy living, sleeping, and breathing cats. Everything from skills to favorite cat sleeping spots are included in the biography. Also physical traits and even a personalized story. Many sites are photo only sites. I love to surf the internet and look at all the pictures and read all the information I can pack into my overworked brain. I love finding friends at these online cat sites. If someone doesn't like cats, I definitely don't want that person as a friend.
One site I checked sparked my interest in a pedigree cat. I checked out the times the profile had been viewed (967) and how many friends the cat had (7). As soon as I saw the cat was a pedigree with few friends, I decided not to befriend the cat for my cat Angel.
Which brings me to my next concern. Am I prejudiced or is the other cats owner? Did many other cat lovers want to be this cats friend and were turned away? Or did that cat receive no other requests because it's a pedigree? Do we as humans put other peoples cats into categories by breed or personality or appearance. I know this sounds crazy, but think about it. We do it with people all the time.
Personally I have a preference for stray, abandoned or feral cats. I pull for the "underdog." Does that mean I don't like pedigreed cats? Possibly. Because they seem to live the good life. People pay good money for a cat based on ancestry. Usually these cats are planned for and not just picked up on the side of the road or from under an abandoned house. Or as in my Angels case, planted under a bush in my yard for me to find. When I think of "pedigree" I think of cats who never had to struggle for anything in their life. Perhaps pedigree owners stick together the same way those of us with a moggie or feral stick together. I truly believe we're the lucky ones when the cat chooses us instead of the other way around.
This even applies to those of us who adopt from shelters. The cat still chooses the new owner. There's always that one cat you can't get out of your head when you meet it on the other side of the cage. Now back to the friend choices.
This brings me to the question of how other members of online cat sites choose friends for their pet. In a perfect world all friend requests would be accepted regardless.. Do others choose friends based on geography, breed, individual profile or cuteness. Is the "story" important. I hope it is and people are merely choosing cat friends with a similar story. Does "my cat must be prettier than your cat" apply. Or "your cat is prettier than my cat therefore it won't want to be my friend." .When I say this out loud it's comes out totally stupid and shallow.
Which is much the way society sees everything
I've personally had several cats that others would think ugly. They've been some of the sweetest cats I've ever known.
I'm including the first and only pictures I post of Angel. He's a giant beauty. Smokey's not bad either. I keep them as private as possible. I write a lot of controversial material and don't want to involve my own babies in any enemies I may make. I step on a lot of toes with some of my articles. I had to show them off just once.
Are any of you prejudiced to any particular cat for any reason? I'm just curious. One more question while I'm at it. I'm sure Michael will be interested in the answer to this one. When you go to the front page of a cat website, what are you, the reader, looking for? Does the picture, the story or the writer draw your attention into the site?
Personally I enjoy stories of cat rescues and cats who lived against all odds. I also look for articles concerning unknown dangers our cats face. There are many new dangers to our cats that weren't known a decade ago. I subscribe to 6 different cat newsletters and many of them help form my stories here on pictures-of-cats.org. I try my best, as do all of us here, to inform the readers of laws that need to be changed.
It disturbs me that I'm in any way prejudiced towards pedigreed cats as friends for my moggies. There's so reason for it. In my heart I love all cats. I've owned pedigreed cats.
I'm getting off now to try and figure myself out.
Hi Elisa.... I think the figure you have for traffic at PoC is a bit out of date.
According to Alexa (an Amazon company) which measures website traffic PoC is the number 53,000th site in the world. As there are hundreds of millions that ain't bad. It is the top 3 of all cat sites on the internet and gets about 12,000 individual unique visitors per day (but figures are not always that accurate to be honest).
Anyway I don't want to boast. But the contributions that you make and other visitors make are vital and very important to me and all the visitors. PoC would not be what it is without the contributions of visitors.