In Search of the Heart of the Online Cat-Industrial Complex

A cat wearing a short tie plays music on a cat-shaped keyboard (” Pancake Meowsic Video ,” 185,459 opinions ). A woman performs sun salutations with a cat on her back (” Cat Loves Yoga ,” 1,539 views ). A man slaps two cats on an ironing board to the beat of “Atmosphere” (” Cat Slap Joy Division ,” 357,605 opinions; watch this one ).( Now, I entail .) Kittens try to keep up with an accelerating treadmill (” Treadmill Kittens ,” 3.4 million views ). A fat cat walks on an underwater treadmill (” Fat Cat Walking on Underwater Treadmill ,” 133,434 positions ). Two cats cuff at a treadmill in puzzled inquisition (” Cats Try to Understand Treadmill ,” 1.9 million views ). Search YouTube for” cat treadmill” and see how many results there are. Or, actually, don’t.

Writing that paragraph took more than an hour. To continue the catalog for a page would’ve taken weeks. But if one has set out to say something definitive about the relationship between cats and the Internet, it’s important not to be delayed indefinitely by Internet cats.

The obvious place to begin an inquiry into the Internet cat is with Maru, the most famous feline on the Internet. Maru’s shtick, in brief: Maru gets into a box (“,” 8.1 million views ). Maru gets into a box (“. A box and Maru 8 ,” 3.1 million views ). Maru gets into some boxes (“. Many too small boxes and Maru ,” 7.9 million views ). Maru tries to get into a box (“. The box which Maru can’t enter ,” 2.2 million views ).

Maru, which entails “circle” or “perfection” in Japanese, is a Scottish fold with nonfolded ears. He is 5 years old and lives in an undisclosed Japanese city that is, by consensual rumor, almost certainly not Tokyo, because no indoor cat in Tokyo has that much space to jump into boxes, especially not “the worlds biggest” ones. Maru has upwards of 168 million YouTube views and, according to other rumors, has generated enough ad revenue to buy his owned a new apartment. His is the seventh-most-subscribed YouTube channel in Japan.

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