Saturday, October 27, 2007

sometimes they are funny

Sometimes these cats are so funny that I wonder why everyone doesn't throw out their TVs and watch the cats instead. It is never-ending amusement and delight (well, except when it's not).

To wit: the other night the cats were particularly hilarious.


I think I am safe in saying that all these photos will be LOLcat-ified at some point.

Friday, October 26, 2007

action and excitement

Erik tries to catch the toy.

It is surprisingly difficult to take pictures of him doing this while playing with the toy myself, and none of the shots truly convey the action and excitement of playing with this high-jumping cat.

To be fair, the action and excitement doesn't stop when the toy gets put away. No, everything is a toy: my cell phone, the water bottle, the little tray from Trancoso that holds my change and extra keys, my deodorant, glasses, camera, mouse--everything.

...Living with this cat is never-ending action and excitement.

Learned Claw playing as a kitten

From the early days of cat ownership. Learned Claw still plays exactly like this--he hops, and then he scrambles after the toy with both paws flying. So cute!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Learned Claw 1st day

Learned Claw's first day at my apartment. He still likes to sleep in the little cardboard box, but while it used to look like this:

Now it looks more like this:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Erik the Red attacks the camera, cutely

I wanted to show off Erik's new and snazzy collar, which is pink and which he hates, when he began to attack the camera.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

this is NOT okay

So besides the regular dropping the water bottle on the floor and waking me up out of a dream so that I do not get the correct amount of sleep and I am going to kill him ANYWAY, ERIK PEED ON MY DESK CHAIR CUSHION.

If anyone--and I mean ANYONE, most especially OTHER PEOPLE WHO HOUSED THESE VERY CATS LAST YEAR--makes some remark to me about "Now you know what I went through all last year Ha ha haaaaaa," I WILL RIP YOUR THROAT OUT AND EAT IT FOR LUNCH. No matter how good Prune's menu is.

The dance of the hungry cat IV

Le Finale.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The dance of the hungry cat III

When it is nighttime, the dance of the hungry cat is even cuter. Almost exponentially cuter.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

oh my god these cats are annoying

Damnit Erik, I just want to read my articles about Punt in peace. But no, you insist on being fed NOW NOW NOW (even though it is not yet your dinner time) and trying to knock my lamp off my table. I will be very displeased if you actually succeed in doing this, and it might cause me to shout and throw something soft and plushy at you.

this cat is ridiculous

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I pounce on you, pt. 1

It is veeeery difficult to get pictures of the cats playing. This is what it ends up looking like:



I'm mean, I'm trying, but there really needs to be someone else there to man the camera/feather toy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

fluffy white terror

(I've stolen this post verbatim from my other blog.) I've been meaning to post this picture for a long time. Erik the Red is a small (actually, he's not that small any more and is rather large for a cat), white (well, he's really more peachy/reddish and white) ball of fur, teeth, and very sharp little claws. Generally he's very sweet unless he gets what my mother calls "a wild hair up his ass" (so accurate, my mother). This happens with somewhat alarming frequency. Among his charming qualities of purring very loudly, following humans from room to room, and lying on your hands while you attempt to type, he also does this:



This happens EVERY TIME we leave a roll of toilet paper out.

thuper kitteh

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

bhow chicka bhow bhow

I feel like there's a better caption for this but I can't think of anything. Suggestions are welcome!

update on the status

Learned Claw is curled up on the brown cat bed in the living room, looking blearily at me when I walk through the room.

Erik is currently half-on, half-off the desk by the window, staring at some pigeons whose butts are only just visible hanging off the roof. His tail is twitching back and forth and he's not blinking at all. Hilarious. Both of the cats love how busy the street outside my window is--Erik just saw a plane flying off in the distance and thought it was yet another thing he should chase.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

together again

The cats stayed in my roommate's room during the party last night so they wouldn't freak out with all the people around (Learned Claw tends to do the army crawl around the apartment when strangers come by), and they couldn't stay in my room because it became a dance club. Despite our worries that they might wreck K-diddle's admittedly small room, they were pretty well behaved (it helped that she had pretty much earthquake-proofed her room first). Learned Claw slept on her metal desk (I think he misses the cool metal tables from the old apartment) most of the time, but Erik... well, true to form, Erik tried to escape every time the door opened.

Once the party ended, they raced around, looking for the sources of all the new smells (which had thankfully absented themselves by 2:15am) before crashing on my bed. I haven't seen them sleeping this close to each other in a while--it must be a sign of how freaked out/exhausted they were.

Hover cat

Oh noes! My legz, where has u taken them!!1!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

damn it, Kitty LOLcat, I want to move!


Kitty was the cat I lived with last year with HDL and Becky. She is the definition of charming: overbite, underbite, missing 2 enormous fangs, really bad dandruff, and she throws up all the time. That being said, she's actually pretty cute. Well, when she's not trying to crush you.

The dance of the hungry cat II

The second part of the dance of the hungry cat, when they get fed. This video is more about hearing their cute little meows right before the food hits the bowl.

The dance of the hungry cat I


When the cats haven't been fed in the morning, they are very cute and meowy. We call it the "dance" when they rush to the food bowls.

If you're wondering why my room is such a mess, it is because when the cats are hungry in the morning, Erik the Red likes to knock things off my bedside table (water bottles, notebooks, pens, books, hairbands--all of which may be seen on my floor), so that's where you see them in the video. Verisimilitude. It's what I'm about.

damn it, Erik the Red LOLcat, I'm hungry

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

more video with which I tempt you

I have extraordinary cats. Not only are they completely insane (case in point: this morning's mad dash from the bathroom to my room, to the bathroom, to my room, to the bathroom, etc.), but they are wicked cute. Witness:

ah, the joys of cat ownership

As I'm innocently checking my email this morning, Learned Claw serenaded me with the dulcet sounds of vomiting.

Erik deigned to pose with it so you could see just how big a barf it was.
Thanks, sweetheart. Tasty.

Monday, October 1, 2007

wtf?

How is it possible for one overweight, very fluffy cat to lose himself in a tiny two-bedroom apartment? There are about 3 places to hide--where the hell is he? I think maybe he has Disapparated.

UPDATE: Found. But only he knows where he was...

The best introduction to LOLcats

This article is from The Wall Street Journal and I've put it here so that, when it finally gets archived, I won't get left without it. Thank you, Mr. Rutkoff.

TIME WASTER
By AARON RUTKOFF





With 'LOLcats' Internet Fad,
Anyone Can Get In on the Joke
August 25, 2007

Eric Nakagawa was between jobs last January when he came across a funny picture while surfing the Web: a high-strung cat with an open maw making a garbled request for a cheeseburger.

[I can has cheezburger?]

Mr. Nakagawa couldn't really say why he found the picture so funny. He passed the digital photo to a friend, and on a whim they created the Web site "I Can Has Cheezburger," borrowing from the caption. Something about the strange image or syntax struck a chord with readers. "We started getting hits," he said in a phone interview from his home in Hawaii. "I was shocked."

He shouldn't have been. The out-of-work computer programmer had stumbled on to one of the bigger inside jokes on the Internet, and at the same time, stumbled into his next job.

Mr. Nakagawa's simple Web site has become the center of the "LOLcats" phenomenon, a booming online subculture built around digital images and deliberately bad grammar. There's not much to it: Take a digital photo -- often one of household pets, particularly cats -- and purposefully place misspelled text on top. Anyone with elementary skills in Adobe's Photoshop or Microsoft's Paint software can make their own.

Nearly nine months after launching icanhascheezburger.com, Mr. Nakagawa's site receives around 200,000 unique visitors and a half-million page views each day, according to Mr. Nakagawa.

Visitors can browse a sprawling gallery of lolcats, vote for their favorites and post comments. Mr. Nakagawa says he receives up to 500 submissions a day, thanks in no small part to his site's tool that helps people build their own. He says every entry is screened for merit and originality before earning inclusion.

Only 12 or so submissions make the gallery a day. "It's ridiculous," Mr. Nakagawa admits, "but we do go through all of them." He certainly has the time. Revenue from ads on the site is "more than enough to pay my bills."

IN THE BEGINNING
While "lolcats" is often used to refer to the general category of text-on-photo expressions, even when the subject matter isn't cats, the general term for the format is "image macro."
These have been deployed for years as a sort of shorthand expression in online forums. It's believed that the "IN UR" expression, for example, was born in a forum used by online strategy-game players. As a taunt, one player posted an image of destruction, accompanied by "I'm in your base killing your d00ds." That catchphrase spread, took on "leetspeak" abbreviations -- "your" became "ur" -- and entered the online lexicon. (See a Page One story from the Wall Street Journal on "leetspeak.")
The "lol" prefix itself, like much of the language used in lolcats, comes from Web shorthand for the phrase "laugh out loud," one of the many abbreviations and acronyms used in email, instant-message chatter and cellphone-based text messages.
It's hard to nail down the original inspiration for the lolcat meme. The motivational cat poster in your dentist's office? The bounty of cute cat blogs? But Scratch the surface of nearly any site that plays host to user-generated content, from photo-sharing sites like Flickr to personal blogs and anonymous discussion threads on Fark.com or Something Awful, and you'll find lolcat-inspired material.

A Lesson in Lolcats

It's possible to use the Internet every day and never encounter a lolcat. Here, for beginners, is an archetypal example:

[IM IN UR FRIDGE EATIN UR FOODZ]

If lolcats were jazz music, the refrigerator-invading cat would be a standard -- an example of the art form that every practitioner is assumed to recognize and understand. And much like a well-known melody, the "IN UR …" phrasing is a recurring source of riffs and references within the lolcat community.

Thus, the fridge setting is changed to an office environment:

[IN UR OFFICE]

Before long, the "IN UR" set-up is applied to Schrodinger's cat, a paradox used to illustrate quantum mechanics:

[IN UR QUANTUM BOX]

Despite its impressive viral spread and apparent staying power, the lolcat fad is just the latest online thing to make people laugh. It'd be tough for even the most dour person to keep a straight face when confronted with a walrus-and-bucket example, which has spawned an offshoot genre of its own known as "lolrus."


What makes lolcats appealing is that it's simultaneously obscure and accessible. It's an inside joke told in an online lingua franca, but with a bit of effort anyone can become an insider.

"An in-joke used to be constrained by geography and who you knew socially," says Anil Dash, occasional lolcat critic and vice president of Six Apart, which creates several popular blog-software programs. "This is a very large in-joke" that blurs the old distinction "between Net geeks and the normals," he says.

An essay on Mr. Dash's blog, in which he analyzes what he terms "kitty pidgin" -- the misspelled and mixed-up phrases used in lolcat captions -- has been read over a million times since April, he says. Beyond its idiosyncratic grammar, the lolcats fad has also helped popularize oddball online expressions like "Oh Hai!"

What helps give lolcats staying power is that the in-joke evolves freely. "People respond to each other's efforts. What succeeds and is funny inspires the next round," Mr. Dash says.

There aren't just cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals speaking in broken English, but presidents, Star Trek characters and rappers. (Scott Beale, who writes the blog "Laughing Squid," created a helpful taxonomy of the many lolcat offshoots.)

This image, for example, plays on the viewer's familiarity with the classic walrus example to make a joke about Teddy Roosevelt:

[MAH BUKKIT]

Another common lolcat caption trope is to declare some object invisible, as if it's been erased from the photo:

[INVISIBLE]

And familiarity with the invisible gag, as well as the classical precepts of capitalism, makes this otherwise unremarkable image of the economist Adam Smith, taken from a "lolphilosophers" pool on Flickr, much more:

[INVISIBLE HAND]

What may ultimately keep lolcats from expiring as a meme is the pictures themselves have widespread appeal.

"Those ladies who work at the reception desk in your office, they might be sharing these lolcats with their friends," says David McRaney, a 30-year-old from Mississippi who has written an interesting lolcats history. "And some of these references, maybe they don't really get it. But it doesn't matter. 'Im in ur fridge eatin your foodz' is funny to everyone, even if you don't get the reference."

Write to Aaron Rutkoff at aaron.rutkoff@wsj.com