For The Love of Kitties

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Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of cats. That meow-meow mislike may well spring from long-ago when I worked on a farm one summer and was rudely awoken each morning by a horrisonant housecat howling in heat. (See, even the memory of that teeth-gnashing, sleepy eyed event makes me fly into alliteration.)

I am, however, more the exception than the rule.

Most people, it turns out, just love cute kitties. They love watching them do silly things and make their silly mewling noises. In fact, people love cats so much that they pack their social media sites with videos and pictures of them. According to the video marketing website ReelSEO.com, around two million cat videos have been posted on YouTube. And the site claims that cat-loving sorts have watched those videos almost 26 billion times—which just happens to equate to, oh, somewhere north of … way too many times.

Hey, cat videos are so cat-gone popular that there are even cat video festivals popping up all over, like the one at the Minnesota State Fair last August. And we’re not talking about a handful of far-northerners who have been through one too many frigid winters and in need of a bit of warm snuggle either. This gathering packed some 13,000 cat-fanciers into the fair’s grandstand to watch the kitty superstars.

Now if that just makes you want to spit up a hairball like it does me, here’s another little nugget of catnip, it turns out that watching those “LOLcat” videos is actually good for you. That’s right: Watching the online antics of kitties like Lil Bub, Grumpy Cat, Colonel Meow and all their other fiendishly fluffy feline friends (er, sorry) can actually boost your energy levels, heighten your positive emotions and decrease your negative feelings. That’s according to media researcher Jessica Gall Myrick at Indiana University in Bloomington who published her recent study in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

“Some people may think watching online cat videos isn’t a serious enough topic for academic research, but the fact is that it’s one of the most popular uses of the Internet today,” Myrick said in a statement. “If we want to better understand the effects the Internet may have on us as individuals and on society, then researchers can’t ignore Internet cats anymore.”

Well, if researchers can’t ignore one of the “most popular uses of the Internet,” then I guess I shouldn’t either. So here’s a trio of kitty vids to make your day more productive and positive feeling. I’ll just sit here scratching my chair.

Who wrote this?

Bob Hoose is a senior associate editor for Plugged In, a producer/writer for Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey, a writer of plays and musicals and one-half of the former comedy/drama duo Custer & Hoose. He is a husband, father of three and a relatively new granddad.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Janice Marshall More than 1 year ago
First of all I am a Cute Kitty fan, but many of the videos involve a terrified/scared animal being laughed at. The black cat repeatedly falling into the vat of water for example.  I can't/won't watch America Home Videos because it encourages us to laugh at people being hurt or scared. (The toddler getting knocked into the air by relative (the little one does a cartwheel in midair) )for the same reasons. I know the disclaimers reassure us that nobody was hurt, but say nothing about emotional scaring.  Also many deformed animals are popular Side Show stars; Bub, Grumpy Cat, etc. 
Andrew Lapain More than 1 year ago
none of the videos had a terrifyed cat man. only grumpy cat and oscar the grouch, patty cake cats, and a cute cat making cute noises.there wanone of the videos had a terrifyed cat man. only grumpy cat and oscar the grouch, patty cake cats, and a cute cat making cute noises.there was no cat being scared. only lil bub making cute noisesth
first of all, i wanna tell you that there was no terrified/scared animal in those 3 videos. i watched them, and all there was was lil bub making noises, cats playing patty cake, and oscar the grouch staring grumpy cat.

as for what you said about AFV, most of the people laugh or grin after being hurt(whoops, forgot the “nobody gets hurt” disclaimer). some even say “oh now i got something for americas funniest videos”. in fact, im very surprised when afv puts up a video of a kid getting sad.
i like afv because they show mistakes shouldnt be something to cry about- they just prove were not perfect. and that proving, for some reason, makes us laugh.
also, i was surprised when you put down grumpy cat and lil bub simply because they were deformed. famous deformed animals or people tell people that every one has a chance to be special, no matter what they look like. 
Cj Atl More than 1 year ago
NICE article {}{{{}{}{} Their should be a page of the podcast episodes even the old ones , doesn't have to have new episodes , but just to listen