What is it with cats these days?

Scrolling down the picture feed on Instagram, I see through the eyes of many camera phones: Throwback Thursdays, weekend drunk shots and many pets- —mainly cats.
I wonder, “Why the cat-fad?”

What is so special about these creatures that Americans devote so much attention, from whiskers to tails, on Facebook and Twitter?

About one third of U.S. households have at least one pet cat, according to The Humane Society’s website and the American Pet Products Association 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey.
That is about 86.4 million owned cats when considering that 52 percent of cat owners have more than one (humanesociety.org).

Felines captured America’s attention on the web, like Twitter’s Grumpy Cat (RealGrumpyCat, not to be confused with VeryGrumpyCat or @ExtraGrumpyCat; he has posers).

With 80,740 followers on the “real” account alone, myself not included, Cat advertises “T-shirts” in his Twitter biography.

I do not find it in my best interest to follow a person that tweets life through the eyes of a frustrated feline and profits from an imaginary animal personality.

There are Youtube videos of talking cats, funny cats, cute cats — I feel catatonic just searching through the multitudes of descriptions.

Burned into my memory is, “Cat? I’m a kitty cat! And I dance, dance, dance and I dance, dance, dance.”

There is the “I Can Has Cheezburger” meme/blog-esque site that catalogues pictures of “cute” cats doing “funny” things.

There are rumors of a kitty-focused prank in which you text someone (who does not have your phone number obviously,) and thank them for signing up for “Cat Facts.”

You then text the person nonsensical cat-related information, varying in appropriateness depending on sense of humor, to basically convince the person they are crazy and signed up for an unwanted service.

If you have never heard of cat facts and I’ve given you a new prank idea, and/or saved you from the never-ending messages of useless catty information, you are welcome.

I hate to beat a dead cat, so-to-speak, but what is the catalyst in attraction to these furry friends?
I had a cat last year.

She was a childhood pet who aged into a thyroid problem that left her urinating at the sight of my dog.

My parents sent her away with me to school when my roommate transferred, and she did keep me company.

Poor Dixie died less than two months after her Shippensburg debut.

Am I bitter, perhaps, that my company urged Dixie to death?

Maybe, but after caring for the animal, I still do not see the appeal.

Cats are territorial, sleepy, quick to hiss and fight, and would rather play with a toy than their owners.

Maybe it is the low-maintenance factor that attracts my college friends to the pet.

Cats wash themselves, eat when they are hungry and use their own bathroom on their own accord.
The right cats love their owner and perhaps in college, away from family, students could use some affection.

Still, the obsession with feline online presence leaves this writer perplexed and annoyed.

One more Instagram photo of a flexible furry feline might leave me with cataracts.

As I contemplated this topic on the balcony of Creekside Apartments, a girl left her apartment and exclaimed, “It smells like dead cats!”

But girl, I concur with you on this one.

Cats are crazy sometimes.

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