by Chey Scott
For this week's Cat Friday we are proud to introduce you to several very viral and awesome cats that you really should know about by now. Think of this as a who's who guide to the cats who rule the internet, as well as a great conversation starter you could use this weekend...we're not kidding. These cats all rock.
Several weeks ago, we introduced readers to LIL BUB (see the mention here), who, in our opinion, has got to be the cutest cat in the entire universe. BUB's likeness is exploding all over the 'net, and her followers on Facebook are multiplying daily. She was featured just yesterday on BuzzFeed, with several "squeee!"-inspiring photos, like the one below. We recommend you get to know BUB right meow, and when you do, you'll probably wonder why you didn't join the BUB love fest ages ago.
Maru, the fluffy, box-loving Scottish Fold hailing from Japan is one of the Internet's first celebri-cats, and has been recognized for his viral videos just about everywhere. We're hoping you at least have seen his most famous video, which is only likely to lead to a Maru-YouTube-video-watching marathon, since to date his owner has posted more than 200 shorts (totaling more than 172 million views) of the silly kitty's antics. If BUB is the web's Cat Queen, we have no doubt in saying that Maru is its Cat King.
Next we have Homer, an all-black blind kitty who's taken the cat literature world by storm. The book chronicling the now 15-year-old kitty's life includes stories of how he and his cat siblings were left alone for days in their NYC apartment at no choice of their owner, Gwen Cooper, following the 9/11 attacks. It also explores the deep bonds that animals and people can have, as well as how animals can teach us a whole lot about humility, love, and overcoming adversity. You can also follow Homer on Facebook to see what the little guy (and his two new little siblings) is up to today.
On to another blind, yet still very able cat, we introduce you to Oskar, who was discovered as a kitten, having been born blind on a farm. He now lives a happy life with his two doting human parents, and his unrelated brother, Klaus. These two business-savvy cats recently debuted a super cool cat accessory shop, where you can snatch up handmade neck ties, bow ties, and other awesome cat-related items that are Oskar and Klaus approved, for your own stylish kitty.
Next on our list of celebri-cats to get to know is Luna the Fashion Kitty, and before we go on to describe how awesome she is, don't get yourself into a tizzy about how it's silly and inhumane for animals - cats or dogs - to wear clothes. Fashion is Luna's passion in life, and if you know anything about cats, you'll understand that if she hated being dressed up like a furry little doll, she'd definitely let her owner know. Cats either really like donning clothing, or they absolutely hate it - there is no middle ground. Anyhow, Luna is a fabulous, fluffy white Persian from Mexico who's designed her own line of purr-fectly adorable cat tutus and other little outfits. She is also a huge advocate for cat rescue and adoption, as well as gay rights and valuing brains over beauty, though her motto remains "Dress Fur Impress."
Pet photography seems to have exploded in the last decade or so, and for two very good reasons. Of course the Internet allows regular people (like you and I, and the owners of all of these cats) to post and share pictures of their fur children online with the chance of it becoming viral. Secondly, digital photography also allows pet owners to take hundreds or thousands of photos without having to spend tons of money to buy and develop film. City the Kitty is one cat whose good looks (he's half-Bengal, half-Manx and a polydactal with six toes on his front feet) and super jumping skills, along with his owners' great eye and photographic timing, have allowed him to grab a spot in the cat-fame limelight. He's been on several TV shows, including My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet, and starred in a cat litter ad.
A large number of cats that manage to grab the attention of pet lovers near and far through the 'Net do so not only because they're irresistibly cute, but some of them are often born with disabilities or have encountered hardships that have subsequently forced them into the spotlight, either to raise awareness or to raise money for their medical care. Dot is one of those cats, and this pint-sized cutie lives at Tabby's Place: A Cat Sanctuary in New Jersey. Dot was born with spina bifida, a genetic defect that results in the vertebrae not fully forming, which means she can't use her back legs at all, and has a few other health issues. That doesn't stop this tiny tabby from racing around the lobby of the shelter she calls home. Now that she's mostly full-grown, Dot recently got her own little cart to allow her better mobility. Watch cute videos of this little cat pulling herself around on her front legs, not knowing that she was born any different than any other kitty out there.
Lastly, we'd like to introduce you to Corky, another kitty who was born with some health issues, but is using his special needs case as a platform to advocate for other cats like him, as well as the importance of giving all animals a chance at a good life, whether or not they look completely normal, or have had some rough times. Corky was born with a condition called Bilateral Arthrogryposis, which means his legs were backwards and criss-crossed, and he couldn't get around very well. Surgery has corrected the deformity now, but unfortunately Corky lost one of his legs, yet he is able to get around just fine now, and also sometimes uses a little cart like Dot! Corky now is the mascot for a no-kill, all-volunteer cat rescue in Fargo, ND, called Cat's Cradle.