What is it about cat videos that we love so much? They make up a substantial part of the internet, and a good one can make a cat into a famous celebrity and make its owner rich. Maria Bustillos wrote a thoughtful essay that gets to the heart of the matter.
Before we enter into the question of cat videos, we must talk about cats themselves. Cat videos are the crystallisation of all that human beings love about cats, the crux of which is centred in the fact that cats are both beautiful and absurd. Their natural beauty and majesty are eternally just one tiny slip away from total humiliation, and this precarious condition fills us with a sympathetic panic and delight, for it exactly mirrors our own.
She goes on to give specific examples.
Maru is so resplendently beautiful, so thickly furred and magnificent, and so utterly mellow that even watching mugumogu clean his ears with q-tips is an entirely relaxing and pleasurable experience. But Maru is also a kook, and it is this kookiness that is responsible for the love his legion of fans bears him. Maru is perfectly capable of making a fool of himself over a bit of string, and he can fall off a cat tree with the best of them – but it is his determination to inhabit every available box, no matter how small or inconveniently situated, that seals his greatness and ensures his immortality.
And then she explains the wonder of internet videos themselves, and how funny cat videos can lead to world peace, among other things. The essay called “Hope is a Thing with Fur” is from her book Cat Is Art Spelled Wrong. Read the rest of it at the BBC. -via Metafilter
(Image credit: I Am Maru)