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Score one for cats.

Posted by Stephanie St. Martin  February 19, 2013 07:50 AM

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In a month that seems it's gone to the dogs, it's nice to hear a story about cats. Yes, between the Puppy Bowl, Westminster Dog Show (by the way, shout out to Banana Joe - that face is just too cute) and the recent announcement by the Marines of a new canine mascot, cats can get lost in the February shuffle. But not this year. No, cats came back with a vengeance to reclaim February as their own.

Earlier in the month, Monopoly announced it was retiring one of its game pieces: the iron. And what did America vote to replace it? Drum roll please...a cat. Now the Scottie dog and the cat can live in harmony next to a battleship, car, thimble, wheelbarrow, top hat and a shoe. In fact, the cat Monopoly piece beat out a diamond ring, a robot, a helicopter and a guitar to get inside the Monopoly box. Because when one thinks luxury, they think of cats. Damn those Fancy Feast commercials.

But are you surprised? As someone who works in social media and SEO, I'm not. The Internet has shown its love for cats for years. Do this experiment: share a photo of a cute puppy on your Twitter feed. Two hours later, share a cute kitten. Guaranteed: the kitten will get more retweets. Why? The Internet loves cats.

Remember that Nyan cat video from YouTube a couple years ago? Over 92 million views. Talk about viral. Those spoofs took off faster than Gangnam Style and the Harlem Shake - combined.

At SEO conferences, there have been sound suggestions from speakers that often include this statement: Want to go viral? Use a cat. Those crazy cat ladies society makes fun of are now controlling the world. (The exact same thing happened with all those Dungeons and Dragons kids. Just saying.)

Jon Stewart knows how much the Internet loves cats and even joked that if the Internet had its way, a feline would be our Commander In Chief. Sorry Bo.

But cats don't just control the Internet. Apparently, they are now controlling the bird population too.

Feral and domestic cats are responsible for killing billions (yes, billions) of birds a year. There's proof that cats have even wiped out entire species, causing some song birds to go extinct. Maybe an asteroid didn't destroy the dinosaurs afterall. And for those owners who allow their domestic cat to roam outside, fear not: domestic cats are only responsible for 29 percent of birds killed. Yikes.

In New Zealand, there's talk about banning cats from the country all together to protect their winged species. Darwin himself might not have seen that one coming.
And across the Internet, those cute photos of cats have been replaced with headlines of "killer kitties." Someone finally put two and two together that cats are the distant cousins of a lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah and jaguar.

Perhaps the greatest victory for cats this month came from the nation's smallest state. Under new proposed legislation, Rhode Island landlords would no longer be able to require tenants to declaw their cats. In fact, the bill goes on to protect pups. Under the proposed law, tenants would not have to devocalize or declaw their dogs.

So in a month that's constantly overshadowed by the dog's life, it's nice to see some news, good or bad, about cats. But then again, once the news hits the Internet, how could you miss it?

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