for the love of cats
Over the past few years, cats have become an internet sensation, even for people who don't consider themselves cat people. I think there are several reasons for their rise to internet stardom. The first is the internet itself. Prior to the nearly universal accessability of the worldwide web, cats didn't really have a venue to reach a large audience and people who had never had cats or thought they didn't like cats had simply not been around them or had occasion to appreciate their unique qualities. Unlike dogs, most cats, particularly indoor cats, don't really make many public appearances. Most cats are not taken for walks, there are no "cat parks," they are rarely featured in the circus (other than the big cats) or other public performances and there are relatively few cat "actors" when compared to dogs and even horses, and cat people themselves are often different than dog people in their way of interacting with their pets and with other people.
The internet, along with the growth of satelite tv and digital photography, has made the world and everything in it both accessible and affordable for almost everyone, not only as observers, but also as participants. Whereas historically, appreciation for cats on a large scale had been mainly associated with their hunting prowess and skills at keeping homes, barns and work areas free of disease carrying vermin and for being objects of worship in certain ancient cultures, technology opened the world stage to cats and their humans, for the first time giving virtually everyone a chance to discover the world of cats and their unique qualities.
Animal Planet has been a pioneer in the area with shows like Planet's Funniest Animals, Cats 101, Housecat Housecall, Must Love Cats and My Cat From Hell; shows that are both entertaining and informative, and many cats who made their public debuts on YouTube, became stars overnight, later being featured on some of these shows. We cat people love taking photos and videos of our cats and sharing them with the world. As a result, sites like "My Cat Hates You" (home of Bad Cat and My Cat Hates You books and calendars), Stuff On My Cat, LOL cats (I Can Haz Cheeseburger), Cat Addicts Anony-mouse and, of course, Cat Share have become showcases for our beloved cats. Many of them even have their own sites, complete with profiles, friends and followers. And the world now has access and insight into the wit and wisdom and downright hilarity of cats.
I have always been an animal lover. I grew up around many kinds of animals and had some unique experiences with them. I had a passion for horses and could sit and watch wild birds for hours, even as a child. My family and home has often included a dog or two, some great and some not so much, but it is cats who have been a constant presence in my life from my earliest memory, and without which a house is just not a home. They are born entertainers and comedians, and no matter how bad I might feel, my cats can always make me laugh and even when they're naughty, it's impossible to stay angry with them. With their attitudes and wide range of facial expressions, they lend themselves well to captions and quotes and are perhaps the easist of all animals to personify. They don't let their fame go to their heads, though. It is, after all, a position to which they are entitled and whose time has come.