The Cute Cats Phenomenon

Back before the future arrived, people were predicting what the future would hold. That was back when George Jetson sped to work on a rocket each morning after his wife Judy operated the machine that made his pancakes and eggs. (Incidentally, the machine then fed the dog and washed the dishes all by itself. I want one!) Back then, the future was supposed to be all about machines giving us more leisure time. Those were the days when people signed up to be cryogenically frozen in the hopes that the technology to revive them would exist in the glorious future. Back when the future was all about space stations and hovercrafts, nobody ever predicted that the key to success in the future would actually come down to one thing: cute cats.

Cyber Communities are the New Future

Yep, the “future” as represented by the present, is all about forming cyber communities based upon shared interests, rather than focusing on actual geographically based communities. The advantage to this being: nobody gets left out. If you don’t fit in where you are, with the people you’re with, you can go online and find people who appreciate you.

Also, if you want to sell something or spread some information, all you have to do is form a community online of people who like that thing. To do that, though, you might have to find a community of people who like something similar to your thing, and then try to get them to cross over to your thing.

In my case, what I’m trying to do is find an audience for my book, Bits of String Too Small to Save, which is a fantasy, but not a dark fantasy. I describe it as “Lemony Snicket for adults,” an adventure story that explores the fine line between humans and animals, and which would you rather be. For those who know my ghostwriting work, this is not that. It’s purely the insanity of my own writerly imagination.

Einstein Never Saw This Coming

Those in the know about social media have advised me that if I can link my book to cute cats, I’ll have a million followers in a jiffy, as cute cats is basically the lowest common denominator of all humanity.

Everybody likes them. Little kids and adults both like them. Politicians, cave dwellers, and businessmen like them. Gay people, straight people, tall and short people. Nobody can resist cute cats, therefor anything associated with cute cats has a good likelihood of success. (For the record, my book has no cute cats in it, although it has a shaggy dog, a steelhead trout, a chipmunk, a lot of monkeys, and a badger.)

To me, this fact (about the cats) is of great philosophical significance. This is the future. We have mobile phones, we have giant TVs, we have worldwide networking. And what’s the result of it all? More people get more access to cute cats.

What amazes me is that nobody, back in the past, ever predicted this about the future. Now that we’re in the future, it seems so obvious. Of course what people want more than anything is to laugh and smile: hence, cute cats. Or maybe there were a lot of people, way back when, who saw the cute cats phenomenon coming.

Maybe Einstein himself saw this on the horizon but refused to risk his reputation by suggesting such a silly thing. Makes me wonder how many other absurdities lie in wait–things people see a mile away but dignity requires them to keep mum. All hail cute cats!

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