(Published here https://bit.ly/37i4gD2)
There are two things the Internet can never get enough of- cats and the Kadarshians. While the K clan’s rise to fame can be attributed to the overnight success of a reality show, a leaked sex tape and a Ph.D in self-publicity, all cats had to do was just be themselves.To state that cats dominate the internet would be a gross understatement. They are every bored netizen’s raison d’etre. They are the CEOs of a million-dollar meme empire. According to this CNNarticle*, about 6.5 billion cat pictures exist on the web. That’s nearlyone cat picture for every living being on the planet. Unless you’re a psychopath, chances are that at some point in life, you would have shared a cat picture.
Remember, the cult of Grumpy cat aka the Tardar sauce? The catthat took the Internet by the storm by just being, well, grumpy. If she was a person, her market value would have trumped the combined
net worth of Jeff bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. This feline damsel was even featured in over two dozen publications including the Time magazine. She’s probably one purr away from being declared ‘The
Most Influential person of decade’. Grumpy cat wasn’t the first one to infect the viral fever on us. Back in mid-2000s, two bored dudes posted a picture of an elated British Shorthair superimposed with the text “I can has cheeseburger?”. This irreverent piece of content not only garnered eyeballs, it gave rise to the phenomenon of LolCats. For the uninitiated, diz iz hw da text on a LolCat readz.
You don’t have to be a millennial to know the popularity of Nyan cat. Till date, neurologists are figuring out how an animated cat, shooting rainbows out of its arse can yield so much power on the human mind. They would have come to a breakthrough had they not wasted their working hours watching mindless cat videos. Over the last decade, the viewership of cat videos and the popularity
of cat memes skyrocketed. By the power of kitty paws, the Internet cats even made it to the prestigious Museum of the Moving Image in New York. The 2015 exhibit called “How Cats Took Over the Internet” is a testimony to the fact that the feline fellows achieved what years of spotlight-hungry Kardashians couldn’t- a place in the high arts. In today’s world, you don’t need scandals, a secret wedding or a famous surname to chased by paparazzi. All you need is a cat and an
Instagram account. I wouldn’t be surprised if in another three years, the internet will be replete with headlines which sound like- “You’ll never believe how this rag picker became the richest actor in
Bollywood by adopting Billoo, the stray cat”.
Apart from being the stairway to stardom, cats also double up as peace mongers. Ask anybody who’s been trolled online. When arguments start to sound like “Go back to Pakistan, you ****”, a
video of a cat rolling on its back is all it takes to douse the fire and prevent the next genocide. This makes cats the modern-day Mandelas of the Internet.
So what is it about felines that even the haters find it hard to hate? How did they become the blue-eyed animals of the world wide web? I was struggling to find the answers until I adopted a 3-month old
kitten. You know how we all have that one friend who sits you down to talk about life after 3 large whiskeys? The universe was that insightful friend to me. And he spoke through Mowgli, the kitten.
In less than a week of bringing Mowgli home, the truth dawned upon me. You can never own a cat. The cat owns you. He decides when you need to wake up, when is a good time to head to the bathroom, when you can cozy up with your partner. By the time you start getting used to the schedule, it changes. Because cats are incredibly moody. They are the feline equivalents of Kim Jong. On a good day they beat his best scores by being annoyingly unpredictable and attention-seeking. It’s this eccentricity that makes them so desirable. I’m sure, the fans of Tic-Toc and PSY will agree that freaks rule the web.
Today, I have over a hundred pictures of Mowgli in my phone. Unlike a lot of self-proclaimed Insta-celebs, I don’t click and share his pictures for the fame. I do it out of sheer disbelief that a 3-month kitten has the power to mess with a grown woman’s head. Let me demonstrate this by an
example. Mowgli loves his wet food made of fish and chicken but every now and then he refuses to eat. It really frustrated me. Despite introducing new flavours, changing the meal timings nothing
changed. Until one day it struck me, sometimes he doesn’t want to waste his time eating because how can he miss out on my very eventful walk to the bathroom? He’s gotta be around to stare. Stare
until the next season 9 of Games of Thrones is out. Stare until Mars is deemed livable for humans. Stare until one of his eyeballs drop out of the socket.
Cats are known to have not one but a million quirks. No two cats are ever similar. It’s probably why even professional cat experts are at their wit’s end when it comes to explaining why a cat would sleep
everywhere, including on the commode but not in its cozy bed. In such a scenario, the Internet becomes a sacred place for cat parents to exchange notes about their fur ball. Or as the spokesperson of Friskies explains, “"The Internet is the dog park for cats,". Given how
most cats are indoor pets, it’s makes sense to observe and learn more about cats on social media platforms.
All said and done, cats are like that good looking woman on the barstool who needs to charmed over and over again. While dogs are like the nerds who desperately want a girlfriend. Dogs guarantee you
affection. Cats make you earn it. Through role-playing games involving a fishing rod, an hour long chin rub and branded cat litter until the day finally comes when you find your hair bathing in cat
drool but you’re too busy to react because you’re shooting a gazillion boomerangs of them winking at you, aware of how that’s the best form of flattery you’ll ever get.