It’s not that I love the below commercial for Friskies so much, it’s that I love that there was a whole article about a cat food commercial in the New York Times.
It’s because cats control the media.
This is Tammy Cross (and an unnamed kitten.)
Tammy lives in a tiny apartment on the upper west side, made even tinier by the fact that at any given time she might be caring for up to 21 tiny kittens, including little Prudence, found on Kitten Little Rescue’s petfinder page.
Tammy Cross may be the only person in Manhattan who I don’t begrudge her rent-controlled apartment. Kittens definitely deserve rent control.
Most people who know me (or even just those who regularly read this blog) know that I have a weakness for animals with jobs. If I think too long about guide dogs for the blind, I start to get a little teary. They’re just so noble! But dogs aren’t the only animals that have jobs, or that work as service animals to the disabled. This New York Times Magazine article, Creature Comforts, talks about miniature horses, monkeys, and even a parrot that help a blind woman, a woman with anxiety disorders, and a psychotic man make their way in the world, and about how their livelihoods are under attack.
While doing research for my forthcoming book, The Black Paw: A Secret History of the Feline Underground that Threatens to Enslave Us All, I came across the following article from the September 18th, 1901 edition of the New York Times. It details a strange incident at the Garrick Theatre, during a performance of Clyde Fitch’s play Captain Jinks and the Horse Marines:
I post this as a strong, early example of the long-standing cat-bias in the mainstream media. Clyde Fitch was the first American Playwright to publish his work. He wrote more than 60 plays (many of them comedies) and made an astounding amount of money. In fact, just 7 months before, the New York Times ran a piece entitled “Clyde Fitch in his New Role of Foremost American Dramatist and Other Topics“. With this in mind, one must try and imagine his horror when he read the words of this despicable NYT reporter, who stated that the cat incident was “…funnier than anything Mr. Fitch has ever invented.”
What could account for this devastating about face? By way of explanation, I offer the following May 30th, 1901 article from the same paper:
It seems clear to me that the kitty-cabal, reacting to an “activist judge’s” decision regarding the value of feline life, infiltrated media outlets everywhere, planting cat sympathizers as “engineers” on Broadway to disrupt the plays of Mr. Fitch due to his penchant for casting dogs (and not cats) in his performances. How they infiltrated the Times, however, is a much darker story . . . one that’ you’ll have to shell out $25.99 for just as soon as these narrow-minded editors realize that The Black Paw is the most important work of investigative journalism since All the President’s Men.
According to this New York Times blog post, the latest thing is cats who use twitter. Twitter, for those of you who don’t know, is sort of like a website of facebook statuses, or mini-blogging, or 140 word descriptions of how you’re feeling right that second. Now, as someone who runs a cat blog, it might seem hypocritical for me to say that cats twittering is stupid. But that’s what I’m saying. Because this is a blog about cats, not written by them. The day I write a post in the voice of my cat is the day you all have permission to stage a cat-lady intervention.