This is hellcat’s guest post on the Trupanion blog.
Cat owners and non-cat owners alike can tell you that cats often get a bad rap. Cats’ independent natures are often mistaken for dislike of people; their sense of territoriality mistaken for meanness; the fact that they don’t behave as though they “need” humans to get by mistaken for an inability to, or lack of desire for, love. The fact that cats sleep many hours gives the impression that they are boring. Perhaps worst of all, some think cats are only cute as kittens, which results in many cats getting dumped off at shelters when they reach adulthood.
The rise of cats on the internet is starting to change that.
Perhaps one of the most famous examples is the Japanese kitty Maru. Maru is an adult cat owned by YouTube user mugumogu. Maru’s infamous box videos have won numerous YouTube awards, been featured in numerous Japanese ads, and have even been featured in a U.S. Fresh Step litter commercial. Maru’s sense of curiosity and love of springing into cardboard boxes of any shape or size provides endless endearing moments. Mugumogu even manages a little blog where she features adorable photos of Maru and her “conversations” with him. The camera captures all of Maru’s personality to share with the world.
And Maru’s not alone—though his videos and photos have brought him fame, part of that fame comes from recognition of the same behaviors in cats all around the world.
Our own cats over at modcatlove.com often provide endless entertainment. Clementine climbs up on top of her tiny scratching post as a perch, and Pickles will squeeze into any opening. Kudzu loves rolling around in the bathtub and often chirps at birds, Juniper likes to carry around her toys and drop them off as presents, Palpatine cries and jumps up walls when he’s bored, and Persephone enjoys attacking shadows on the wall.
The phenomenon called “lolcats” also allowed cat owners everywhere to put their crazy kitties on display, with often hilarious captions in an imagined cat’s voice—misspelled in the garbled form of English cats would likely try to form if they could. Perhaps the most famous of these (and arguably the very first one ever made) is a photo of a Russian Blue dubbed “Happy Cat” for his contagiously happy expression, entreating the viewer for a cheeseburger.
And cats love attention—my cats will do almost anything for it. Clementine, being so small, will jump up on people’s shoulders and rub on the backs of their heads. Pickles only climbs trees (and eventually needs rescuing) to show off when she has an audience.
As all of these kitty internet denizens have shown us, cats of all ages can be charming, hilarious, loving companions. Adopt a cat today, and who knows… he or she could be the next Maru!