Still the Internet’s Reigning Apex Predator
We don’t live with a cat. After many years of cohabitation with felines, I may have a special place in my heart that is lined with hairballs and clawed funiture, but my sons don’t.
But they still appreciate online cats. Because... apparently everyone does. Our older son has shown me innumerable cat memes and vines, including recently one of his favorites from 2018 featuring internet famous cat Wilfred and actor Michael Rappaport.
I think it was the author of “The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World,” Abigail Tucker who explained that cats combine three persuasive qualities: Their giant forward facing eyes remind us of cute babies. But the same facial structure also suggests their predatory name. And cats are not facially emotive like dogs, so they present us with a blank surface on which to project our emotions....and memes.
And who better combines the triumvirate of cuteness, menace and blankness than internet famous cat, Wilfred? The Chinchilla Persian’s social media presence is what you might expect from a feline with 1.2 million followers: pictures and videos of Winfred, lapping water, sitting various places, riding in the car, being taken shopping...
....all the while, projecting an existentially destabilizing, double Eye of Sauron-like, baleful, yet blank, judging gaze over all of humanity.
Michael Rapport’s YouTube video where he profanely and hysterically exclaims over a video of Wilfred, well, just sitting blankly in a backyard, comedically underlines the potential threat of that unblinking saucer eyed stare.
According to Rappaport, YouTube took the video down because of “cat shaming.”
Or because it is not wise to make fun of your predator.