Go to the YouTube. Type in “cat”. You will discover that the internet is not about porn at all; it is about cat videos.
Sarah Stodola, a blogging HuffPost contributor [see: My Experiment to Get Rich From Making Viral Cat Videos], tells us that there are about 2.3 million cat videos on the YouTube. It would take between eight and nine years to watch them all. While you’re watching, they’ll probably make more. You could spend the rest of your life watching cat videos without ever seeing one twice.
And people watch them. Millions of people. Millions and millions. Ms. Stodola notes that videos of Maru, the cute cat sensation from Japan, have been viewed some 143 million times. Scroll through the YouTube menu and you’ll see that it is not unusual for a cat video to have ten to twenty millions views.
People love them. All the videos score over 98% “like”. We should all be so well liked. You might ask: Who are the two percent who could watch a cat video and not like it?
Yes. Cat videos.
These videos don’t have good production values. They’re often shot with cell phones and tossed directly on YouTube. No sound track, minimal editing, bad light, lousy definition, zero attention to composition. Loved by millions.
Meanwhile, serious web content producers – like me – attract the attention of thirty or so people on a really good day – tops. I know, I know: a lot of people out there say, “Oh yes, I’ll get to Ross’s blog, but first I have to watch this cute cat video.” Then, five hours later, they go to bed, dream of cute cats.
Well. I need something to boost my spirits. I crave that “cat video” level of popularity. I was sure that publishing a “Lose Weight Fast” post would bring in millions of readers to this site and I would bask in the love that those big numbers must surely represent. Nope. All I get is the same few family members and close friends clicking in from time to time. And, I only get them because they’re afraid they’ll see me on the street or in a restaurant or at Safeway. They can’t look me in the eye if they haven’t read my latest blog post. I survive entirely on “pity views” – a web-technical expression I made up just now. If only I could attract more pity.
Enough. I’m breaking into this cute cat business. However. I don’t do video. I don’t even do photographs. I type. Then I click “Publish” and my typing magically appears on the internet. I have to adapt the cute cat genre to my technical limitations.
Today, I am publishing a “cute cat narrative” – for people who love cute cats, but also love to read. If this new genre is even half as popular as the cat video, I’m in big business.
My cute cat story would have made a good video for the YouTube, had there been the YouTube, or the internet, back when this occurred.
Unlike most of those videos, animals were actually harmed in the making of this story.
It’s about Herman. Remember that name. He’s about to go viral. Herman was a transsexual amputee.
When wife number one [not her real name] and I got together, she had a cat, Sparky – a grumpy black and white. Sparky was very lonely at home while we were at work all day every day. An unhappy cat makes everyone unhappy. We decided he needed a companion. We got Herman from the Toronto humane society shelter. He was a very cute little striped, brown-nosed guy. We decided, after some research, that he had a little Abyssinian in him. He was exotic, though very cute.
So – a cute cat. Check. We’re half-way there. Now, he just has to do something cute, I guess.
Sparky, for reasons I don’t recall, had been declawed. It happened before I arrived on the scene. Just the front claws, of course. So, we decided that Herman would also be declawed. Sparky was ornery. He was going to hit Herman. It wouldn’t be fair if Herman could scratch back.
Okay, before all you anti-declawing zealots start after me, I am fully aware that this is a sensitive “animal cruelty” issue and that I’m likely to join Micheal Vick in the PETA Hall of Shame. But, you know, both Sparky and Herman lived long happy lives without front claws. They both defended themselves very well against their clawed neighbours. The only down side I noticed was that they couldn’t climb trees very well. They’d jump up, expecting to cling to the tree, but only their back feet would catch on. They never figured it out. I wish I’d taken some video.
This was a long time ago. I haven’t declawed a cat in thirty years. Get over it. I have.
Herman was declawed at the same time he was neutered. Unfortunately for Herman, his paw got infected and he had to have one of his fingers amputated. He didn’t notice. He also didn’t seem to notice he’d lost his nuts. Cats are funny that way.
Later, both Herman and Sparky would get periodic bouts of cystitis – a painful condition where the urine gets crystals in it and urination becomes painful. Sparky used to let us know he was having a spell of it by pissing on something we valued.
Cute so far, eh?
We were moving. We sent Sparky and Herman to live with my in-laws for a time. While there, Herman had a cystitis episode, so my in-laws took him to the vet. The vet recommended surgery, probably because he was a veterinary surgeon. You should always be wary of advice you get from a surgeon. The surgery that helps a cat with cystitis involves removing the penis. It’s expensive. My in-laws couldn’t get hold of us – this was before cell phones. They went ahead an okayed the surgery. And paid for it. Say hello to Dickless Herman. Once again, he didn’t notice anything was missing.
That is the last bit of disfiguring surgery in this cute cat story.
Months later, the first winter after the surgery, we noticed that there was pee on the floor beside the litter box. What’s that about? The litter was clean. We’d never had this problem before.
I conducted a stakeout of the litter box. I was a law student. I had a lot of free time.
From my hiding spot, I watched Herman get in the litter box and squat, ready to relieve himself. Cats with penises pee down and forward. Herman peed straight out the back, over the side of the litter box. Herman had no idea. Dickless and witless.
We put the litter box in a corner and built up two sides of it with plastic garbage bags. We created a sort of litter closet. Herman figured it out.
Sadly, I lost Herman in the divorce. Despite his early health problems, and his habit of falling out of trees, he lived into his late teens – very elderly in cat years.
Cute? Or what?
My numbers will now soar to heretofore unimagined heights – with a 99% “like” rate. You may expect that, the next time you look at this site, it will be festooned with lucrative advertising. I’m rich.