Sunday, September 17, 2006

It seems that about one in five random blogs I find are of women celebrating their cats.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love animals of all flavors, and cats in particular. I own a cat for crying out loud, Mimi, see below. I even like photos of cats to a point. But I do not imagine for a second that the rest of the world wants to see about 50 different pictures of Mimi sleeping.

It’s not that Mimi is not photogenic. Granted, she’s let herself go a bit. In fact, some might say she is overweight, though I keep telling her she's just big-boned. It’s just that one picture of her would last most people a lifetime. They don’t love her like I do, and one picture lasts even me quite a while.

Many of the catlady blogs are updated daily with new pictures and terse kitty anecdotes ("Fluffy just loves her new piece of yarn!"). I am trying really hard to be empathic and understand the motivation behind this[1]. I know that part of it is the love the owners have for their animals. Not only do I understand this, I also feel it for my own cat. I quite literally could not have survived this long without her. But I don’t feel the need to advertise her, or flaunt her, or display her to the general public in any fashion whatsoever. Knowing her, she would only have disdain for such behavior on my part, and leave me a hairball on my pillow as a way of expressing same.

So what else is going on with the cat bloggers? Is it the same as with the “here is my brand new baby, and he does not look at all like a poached egg” blogs? It can’t be quite the same. Sweet Aunt Jane and Evil Uncle Edgar probably are interested in the baby photos, if for different reasons. Certainly the grandparents are, or else their AARP cards are automatically forfeit and they become ineligible for Medicare. But cats? Barring Siamese twins, they don’t make relatives close enough to look at more than one or two cat pictures.

I have ended up concluding that the myriad cat blogs can best be thought of as shrines to the owner’s beloved pets, and that posting to these blogs is a form of worship, or at least adulation. Thinking of the sites in the fashion has helped me reconcile myself a little to their proliferation. Everyone, including I suppose cats, can do with a little more adulation. It would just be nice if Blogger had a “Next Blog That Isn’t a Cat Blog” button.

Maybe in the new Beta version….

- Hulles

[1] I could ask the cat bloggers, I suppose, but what fun would that be?

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