Gibsons are not cat people.
There, I said it. And yet, while it’s true it’s also not true. Maybe I should say that most Gibsons are not cat people.
I grew up with a dog in the house. Was I a teenager before I heard the whispered reports of a time before my consciousness when a cat had lived in our house? Before I noticed that my father was a cat-whisperer, making friends with them wherever he went, while my mother stood at a safe distance? Maybe.
My siblings took after my mother in this regard, I think. Two have had dogs (one multiple times, and multiple dogs); one had a skunk, a series of snakes, and a parrot. (Even in the best families there’s always an outlier.) In my own home I had one dog and three (count ’em, just three, although it often seemed like more) cats. They joined our family as pets for the kids; that they made good pets was a revelation to me. It was akin to learning that time at the lake was wonderful.
And yet, there must be something about early imprinting, because I don’t look for or watch cat videos online and that requires some pushback, culturally speaking.
As of 2015, there are over 2 million cat videos on YouTube alone, and cats are one of the most searched keywords on the Internet. CNN estimated that in 2015 there could be around 6.5 billion cat pictures on the Internet. The Internet has been described as a “virtual cat park, a social space for cat lovers in the same way that dog lovers congregate at a dog park.” – Wikipedia
There are cat-video mash-ups (no cats are mashed).
There are lists of the best cat videos.
There is advice for filming better cat videos.
There are articles about the biggest cat-video stars, articles implicating cats in the spread of misinformation, and academic articles on how watching cat videos mitigates guilt associated with procrastination. And more. Much more.
And yet, it seems that dogs are coming into their own.
Searches for dog videos surpassed searches for cat videos in 2014 and has essentially remained higher ever since — although queries for both are down relative to 2008.
And not just in North America.
“Internet doggos are supplying a much needed diversion from the humourless drudgery that makes up much of the modern social web,” the BBC’s Dave Lee wrote.
Anyway, for my money and time, a cute dog/puppy video is just the ticket. And if you can include birds? Even better.
And as a final thought, consider this lifehack offered by the dogs-are-gaining-ground-guy:
You don’t have to do yoga to feel good.
You can just look at exactly 1,000 cute things.