When it comes to the internet, we are living in a world that is dominated by cats. What that means is that we see them in gifs, we see them in videos, and that there are over 200 million cat videos that are uploaded every year. Why is it that we are obsessed with these animals that keep us laughing, smiling, and enjoying every antic?
The History of Cats
When it comes to cats we have had them around for about 15,000 years. They first showed up in ancient Egypt and were excellent help mates for all of us as we sought to be able to do things like keep rats out of food and keep the rat population down. Cats were willing to cohabitate with their human counterparts in many situations as long as they were able to maintain some degree of autonomy. The Egyptians, recognizing the value of what they were doing began to worship cats and make them offerings. In addition to this, the cat began to show up in the depiction of the god Bast and Bastette, who was believed to look after little children. Many children in Egypt began carrying little figurines of Bastette so that they would be protected from all of the bad things around them.
We have always since the time of the Egyptians used cats to keep us company as well as to make sure that we are able to keep our areas pest free. Cats were one of the reasons that the Black Plague did not last longer than it did. They were there to make sure that the rats, which started the plague, were eradicated. Myth and legends of cats being the familiars of witches were rampant even up until the Victorian Age, as people thought that if you had a cat you were assuredly a witch. Cats were reintroduced into crowded Industrial work spaces when cities began to grow and the pest population was getting out of control.
Why Do We Admire Cats?
Cats for us hold some element of the universal, aside from this fact; they also are a way that we see ourselves in a more idealized sense. When it comes to cats, they are beautiful, independent, sleek and agile. They have many of the characteristics we all wish we could have. Cats also have the best job in the world of simply sleeping all day and being fed by their human caretakers, this is a job that almost every working person would love to have.
Cats in videos are funny, expressive, and get into more trouble than we ever could imagine. We simply cannot stop watching them. There is even now a cat video festival in Texas in which people submit entries from all over the world vying to have the number one video. We also cannot stop watching cats on the internet as there are many celebrities out there that are feline. Grumpy Cat alone in the last year took in over 200 million dollars in money from endorsements, product placement, and other deals, what that means for cats out there is that they are able to bring a whole new dimension to viral qualities. Cats are the animals that we all wish we could be and we cannot help but idolize them.
When we own cats, we also own more than expected. According to a recent survey conducted by Forbes, the average American owns 3 cats, with many owning 4 or more. We cannot help but marvel at cat’s antics, as well as marvel at their interactions with one another and ourselves. Cats remain the most admired of all pets, and their owners respect them for their independence, ever troublesome attitude, and their tendencies to try and get in constant trouble. Is it any wonder that we cannot unplug from them and that we forgive them when they are tearing up an environment or they are shredding something important? Cats are something that we must learn to love and respect as they are. They have not changed much in thousands of years; chances are they will not be changing much in the next 5,000 years. One thing is for sure however, as long as cats and people exist together, we will go on worshipping them as though we were still in ancient Egypt. Whether we like it or not, the cats know this as well and will continue to keep us entertained and yet still remain aloof to us.