Is the Internet going to the true home of the cat? It occurs to me that a large proportion of people who keep cats would prefer that the keeping of cats was even more convenient than it is. They want ultimate convenience. They want the enjoyment of cats without caring for cats. They don’t want to deal with cat hair. They don’t want to deal with that smelly stuff that lies around a tray in the corner of a spare room or in the bathroom. They don’t want the expense of a veterinarian’s bill. They want the enjoyment that the domestic cat brings them and they want it in the most convenient manner, out there, somewhere, in the ether of the Internet.
The beauty of the Internet celebrity cat in videos is that they are actually in the home already. They’re right there, right next to you and they require no maintenance whatsoever. You can see how easily the Internet celebrity cat can substitute the real thing.
It seems to me that the average cat owner wants to be amused by their cat. The craze that is the Internet Cat indicates to me that, above all else, many people insist on being amused by their cat. The cat is a source of entertainment and you wonder whether in the future many people who would otherwise have looked after a cat will forsake that pleasure and get all the fun they can from cat celebrities featured in the ubiquitous cat video doing the ubiquitous idiotic tricks and stunts.
It also seems to me, that the love affair between the Internet and the domestic cat is an indication of a distorted relationship with the domestic cat amongst a percentage of cat owners. I sense that there is a link between the relinquishment and abandonment of the domestic cat in relatively large numbers including the mass destruction of unwanted cats and the extreme popularity of Internet celebrity cats.
The two celebrity cats that are at the top of the tree in this highly competitive business are Grumpy Cat, in first place, and Lil Bub in second place. Both these cats have anatomical defects. They have distorted skeletons. This makes them look “funny”. On the Internet the domestic cat must, absolutely must, be funny.
A proportion of people no longer want to look after a cat and as part of the relationship and in return receive the enjoyment of being a companion to a cat – they just want the enjoyment part of that equation and they want to dispense with the onerous part of the relationship which is looking after the cat.
This new-age culture really fits in quite nicely with other aspects of the modern age, namely, instant gratification, retail therapy, food therapy, drug therapy, a lack of discipline, lack of desire to work hard and achieve through that route. It is all about instant gratification if you can get it and you can get it on the Internet, when it comes to the amusing, the ever so humorous and entertaining deformed domestic cat.
But what of the domestic dog? He, poor soul, has been totally ignored, almost, on the Internet. The dog does not entertain in the same way that a domestic cat does. There are millions upon millions of funny cat videos on YouTube and only a fraction of that number are about the dog. What happened? It seems that people do not wish, or find it unsuitable, to laugh at a dog. Of course, there are funny dog videos, probably many of them, but nowhere near the same number as funny cat videos.
I’m going to guess and say that people do not want to laugh at the dog in a video because they will feel bad about that and on the contrary they do not feel bad about laughing at a cat in a video. This is probably because the cat is naturally independent and that independence gives people the freedom to disrespect the cat in what I consider to be examples of exploitation of disabled cats.
[My thanks to Dan for showing me the video.]