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Friday, July 25, 2014

The Exhikittenist III: Return of the Ki(tten)

Posted By on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 1:07 PM



A San Rafael real estate attorney, Brian Russell Kirchoff aka "Cat Daddy" died in Marin at 63 and left the greater part of one million dollars to our feline friends. The Marin IJ notes that Kirchoff’s will dictated that after the sale of his home, possessions, and porsche,"any cash proceeds left shall be donated to the Marin Humane Society for the express benefit and use of their cat fund for the benefit of all the cats which come into their care." Laugh if you like at the man who requested that in the event that he should outlive his cats, his ashes should be mingled with theirs and placed in a cat shaped urn. Just know that you should be so lucky to go out of the world doing no more harm than giving our closest and cruelest companions the means for a better life.

Then there's this story about how cat feces may cure cancer. If that's the case, all the years of odorous whiffs while cleaning the littler box should be enough to cure anything. 
Years after cats cornered the market on YouTube videos, they began taking over the music video industry with the help of Matt Mahaffey and his one-man band: Self.  The video for the new song "Runaway" shows cats who are natural beauties, full bodied and diverse in pedigree and breed; this is the Colors of Benetton of cat music videos. Mahaffey doesn't airbrush the mounds of cat hair floating around the cats’ clearly not-digitally-enhanced bodies. He should be lauded for refusing to hypersexualize the cats or participating in the unrealistic expectations of what a cat should look like. The artist, who has worked with Beyonce, Pink, and Lupe Fiasco among others, told EW, "I've always fancied myself a person who's ahead of the curve, and with this video, I really think that making videos of cats is going to catch fire on the internets. I wasn't available to be at my own video shoot and I refuse to allow my band to have a moment in the sun without me, so we hired this rad cat band that I've been a fan of for a while."

On a heavier note, it’s disturbing to hoard 79 cats in your home under inhumane conditions, but far worse than the actions of a clearly very ill person, is the inaction of her dozens of neighbors who reported a “strong scent of urine and feces that reeked for years” but made no effort to help the suffering woman or her mistreated cats over all these years. “Motherfucking Arizona” said the 79th cat, ruefully crawling out of the wall and into the hazmat suited arms of an animal rescue worker.

In the biggest cat story of the week, reported by the New York Times, USA Today, Time, The A.V. Club, and many others, professors at Florida State University ripped cat pics off the Flickr, Instagram, and other internet photo depositories and used a supercomputer to find and display online where each picture was taken. To be sure, this is a major comment on privacy in the digital age, but more than that it is a key example of cats breaking boundaries in the media and pioneering technology that is beyond human ability.

This apparently innocent piece from The Post and Courier aims to tell the story of a cat who survived injury, but instead tells the story of an America with a culture of cat fat-shaming and body judgment. The less-than-one-page article mentions the cat’s weight no less than five times, including the title. The first sentence reads, “A cat found pinned on the chassis of an 18-wheeler is so fat that the staff of the Charleston Animal Society thinks she must have an owner and hope for a reunion... This cat survived being hit by a semi and we’re discussing her weight — these damaging attitudes towards cats bodies must change” said a gray Maine Coon we spoke to under conditions of anonymity at the sight of the accident.

The internet is a wonderful place for cats because they symbolize the place where beauty and crazy meet. Sadly the internet often overproduces on crazy and under-produces on beauty, this time in the form of women who don’t like having rights. Cats are striving to right this wrong with this new tumblr, Confused Cats Against Feminism, making important statements like, “I don’t need feminism because I need tuna. Where is the tuna. I specifically requested tuna.”

A British man who claims that he taught himself to speak to cats using cat documentaries says that the first step is becoming vulnerable around them. If your cat is anything like ours you really shouldn’t act, act vulnerable around it because even in the best case scenario it will take a bite out of your face, but the “Cat Man” as he has creatively christened himself says “I’m in it to save cats’ lives” and actually makes some good points about how cats should be played with for 20 minutes a day at least, just like dogs.

An important Craigslist post reports, “Found! Cat Snake? (Richmond): Found (assuming) pet. Some sort of cat snake? Long and nimble but with dryish fur and cat teeth. Seems to like cat food, but isn’t a cat. Please come take this off my hands it smells weird.” This man has a weird smelling cat snake on his hands, people! Perhaps if the women against feminism focused on important issues like this one, good, hardworking Americans beset by cat snakes would be able to live in peace.
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Jenny Singer

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