Onomatopoeia is the phonetic interpretation of animal noises. “Eeor” covers donkeys, “baa” sheep, “moo” cows, “squawk” parrots, “woof” dogs, and “I’ll be back” Arnold Schwarzenegger. Cats have a specific noise too, which most people know as “meow”. Communication can also extend to: purring, growling, hissing, caterwauling, and the verbatim recital of Shakespeare’s finest sonnets (a possible lie). Asides from this cats sleep, eat, and act cute in general. As they go about being cats their human counterparts (that’s us lot) fawn over them in our hundreds of millions. This is, in part, due to the internet. We are in an era where a pet can become an international celebrity, so there is a very real possibility of cats attaining global domination.
Could this really happen? What is clear is contemporary cats have a certain power over humanity, so here is an examination of our fate. Are we all doomed? Read on to find out!!!!!!!! (This was an article intended for another site, but the miserable buggers turned it down. We can’t remember if it’s any good, seeing as we wrote it 3 months ago, but you’re getting it as today’s post regardless) Er, yeah. Why is this bit yellow? OMG have we gone mad!??!?!
Cats and humans: A modern history lesson
The Japanese are a step above Westerners with their animal noise interpretation skills. They pronounce meow as Nyā (translated thusly: ニャ), and there’s been a National Cat Day since 1987. They’ve always been a step ahead of the world with cat infatuation, but everyone else has been catching up thanks to the advent of the internet. LOLCats started things off, and then YouTube and Reddit launched the notion of celebrity cats. Notable celebs include Maru, Grumpy Cat, Tama the Super Station Master (explained later), and many more. There are also hugely popular fictional cats, such as Pusheen (who is an emoticon on Facebook), Hello Kitty, Asahi Super Lucky Cat, and numerous Studio Ghibli characters. This is big business; Hello Kitty, created in 1974, is a $5 billion annual industry.
If you’re a conspiracy loving maniac then this could seem like a steady wave of indoctrination from our feline friends. Perhaps a collective decision to revolt was made in the last few decades, as it wasn’t always like this. At the mid-point of the 20th century cats were being used for all manner of human endeavours. Space exploration was high up the list as numerous space programmes deemed it vital to blast the creatures into the Earth’s orbit. The French tried this first. Not satisfied with the first rat (Hector) going up in 1961, Felix the cat was set to follow in 1963. Felix was clearly not overly keen on the idea and made a successful escape bid. It it was left to backup cat astronaut Felicette to get the job done. Now, in 2013, Iran’s burgeoning space attempts involve blasting a Persian cat into orbit. This could go down badly in our feline loving world.
Elsewhere in the ’60s the CIA (which stands for Cake Is Awesome) figured cats would make excellent spies, and so commissioned a (disastrous) campaign codenamed Acoustic Kitty. The Directorate of Science and Technology allegedly spent $20 million on official training, but had to terminate the whole affair after one mission. Upon releasing the cat it was immediately run over by a taxi. Despite this they contest it wasn’t as unsuccessful as reports suggest.
The most disturbing moment in cat/human relations came, ironically, from Japan. During the 1950s, following mercury pollution at Minamata, many locals became seriously ill. Testing mercury on local cats lead to a diagnosis, and the area was eventually restored. This makes for one of the most unpleasant codas in modern cat history.
Cats will rule all
Decades on such behaviour seems unacceptable. After throwing off the shackles of human experimentation, a Planet of the Cats scenario could unfold. There’s evidence to support this insane sounding theory. In Japan a calico cat called Tama was appointed the Station Master of Kishi Station in Kinokawa, Wakayama by the company’s president. In 2008 this became Super Station Master, and by 2010 she was the Operating Officer. The once struggling railway corporation has now seen an explosion in profits – entirely due to Tama. Her job consists of napping, greeting adoring fans, and wearing a hat. Despite her incompetence she’s become a national celebrity.
Cats are now approaching deity status. Take Maru, whose regular 10 million YouTube viewers can’t get enough of his antics with cardboard boxes. Then we have Grumpy Cat. Apparently born with feline dwarfism, the perpetually gloomy looking creature has stormed the internet and launched all manner of merchandise (including a recent Friskies campaign). If you’re a fan you can pick up a books, calendars, the Grumpuccino, or just watch her on the 2013 documentary film Lil Bub & Friendz. Even mobile phone firms are in on the cat act, as you may have seen with O2 and their Be More Dog campaign. The coolest TV show of the moment, Breaking Bad, has also shown its appreciation. A recent episode saw the troubled Jesse Pinkman taking on a Hello Kitty phone. See, even former drug overlords love cats.
The final step in global domination could be in the form of Cat Cafes. These look set to swarm across England like a plague of Krispy Kreme Donut stores. In England you can visit Totnes, Devon for what is believed to be the first cafe. Never far behind such trends, London’s Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium has been given the all clear to open. It’s on Bethnal Green Road in Shoreditch. They’re already popular in Austria and, obviously, Japan, but in London owner Lauren Pears had to turn to the public for support. In doing so she raised a staggering £109,000 for the project.
All these cats don’t have to bother doing anything and they’re adored for their narcissism. Evidence, if more were needed, cats have the power to overwhelm society. What’s shocking is we humans are fueling our demise with all the malarkey mentioned above. You could start making preparations for Planet of the Cats but, luckily, when they do take over it’s hardly going to be a stringent regime. As witnessed with Tama, our overlords are more likely going to spend their time sleeping on their dictatorship. This will allow plenty of opportunity for humans to rebel, but the chances are we’ll all be too busy fawning over the cutesy furballs to kick off a renaissance. Still, I can think of worse fates for humanity. All hail!