by Diane Blankenburg
I am currently catless in my home, although I share an office during the day with five Nevada Humane Society shelter cats. But I have had pet cats (along with dogs) for most of my adult life. There are approximately 86 million owned cats in the United States; 33 percent of U.S. households have at least one cat; 52 percent have more than one cat; and on average, owners have two cats.
This is a lot of cats—making them the number one pet in our country. And it helps to explain why so many cats come into and are adopted out of our shelter every year—25% more than dogs with 5,018 adoptions in 2012. Currently, we have more than twice the number of cats than dogs in our shelter awaiting new homes.
It’s no surprise that cat videos have become crazy popular on You Tube—15% of all views on YouTube are related to cats. Advertising agencies are using cat-themed ads to win new accounts, mostly for products that have nothing to do with felines.
One particular feline has become a video star. Henri, a black-and-white cat adopted from the Seattle Animal Shelter, lives in Seattle and was discovered by Will Braden while a student at the Seattle Film Institute. Henri launched his career as the leading man in one of Braden’s film institute projects. Henri (pronounced on-ray) is an existential cat—bored and complaining in French in his second video release that became an instant hit. The video received over 10 million YouTube hits and won the People’s Choice Golden Kitty award by a landslide at the recent Internet Cat Video Film Festival with 10,000 people in attendance.
From Henri, on winning the contest, “That I have received this golden, smiling idol for a film documenting my metaphysical torment speaks volumes about the spiritual void of humanity. Shiny and meaningless, life marches on.”
Henri’s expose on the pointlessness of life won him a commercial contract with Friskies to explore the phenomenon of cat food boredom—stabilizing Henri’s career and Braden’s livelihood.
Another rags to riches story that proves once again that cats truly do rule!
Events that Help Animals
Hairball Club Pet Adoption Promotion, April 5 – 14 at Nevada Humane Society. Join the club and adopt adult cats for $25 and adult dogs for $50. Shelter located at 2825 Longley Ln, Reno. Call 775-856-2000 for more information.