Big Pussy Takes the Big Apple: the Surprising Success of Meow the Cat

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About Oliver Lee Bateman

Good Men Project contributing editor Oliver Lee Bateman is a columnist for Al-Jazeera America and one of the founders of the Moustache Club of America and Penny & Farthing, two blogzines specializing in flash fiction and creative nonfiction that he co-curates with web developer Erik Hinton, medical consultant Nathan Zimmerman, and freelance writers Christie Chapman and J. R. Powell. He is a lawyer as well as an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. Follow him on Twitter @MoustacheClubUS or on Google+. Oliver's Spring 2014 US History From the Civil War to the Present course is being live-streamed by UTA. You can access these lectures by clicking here.

Comments

  1. I kind of get what you’re saying here…and yeah your last paragraph is at least partly right, I think. But, I also think it’s key to remember that animals are trotted out on morning shows and late night shows and all over the internet all the time. There’s also quite a difference between seeing an animal as something to pity and help, and seeing another human being as something to pity and help.

    • I think, at some level, empathy is empathy, whether it’s your sibling, a cat, or a spider. When I see stuff like this, I feel like it makes us cynical — there’s nothing we can do to help Meow, so we point and laugh instead. There’s no connection because it’s hard to feel strong emotions towards your television, and in the end you find yourself being disconnected. Stories like this bother me because there is already a cultural attitude that human kindness is a finite resource that needs to be rationed out to the deserving few. Then you see this and it seems to encourage that sort of behavior. “Why should I care?” is a reasonable response because certainly a morbidly obese cat is not worth national news attention, but then what if you knew that cat? Or that guy on The Biggest Loser? What if you knew someone that knows that person? I’m rambling, but I hope my point is there. Stories like this tend to trivialize real personal troubles.

  2. VolitionSpark says:

    I am just so glad that he is getting some love and attention. If I had the means, I would adopt him. But we already have a cat and a dog and we just cannot take on anything else. I would love to have another child, too, but that also is not possible.

  3. Stupid people will be stupid! This cat is far from being abused! he’s fat because he has a urinary tract problem and he has to eat special food you dimwitted people!! He got as much love as he could take with the family that was taking care of him and nobody took him away from them, they just had some problems that made it impossible for them to continue having him in their care so LEARN THE FACTS before commenting as if you had the whole truth!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This comment was by Stephen on the post “Meow the Cat is now a big star (pun intended). Should we care?“ [...]

  2. [...] a jerk for doing it. But I can’t help it. So I remind myself when I meet a cat-lover (Oliver Bateman I’m talking about you) that cats are awesome, and not everyone is as weird as [...]

  3. [...] certain you’ve witnessed my misfortune.  It plays on an endless loop, filling the empty minutes of your local newscasts and breakfast variety shows.   Hugh Grant petted [...]

  4. [...]  The website Catster took the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, the Today Show, Anderson Cooper 360, and yours truly to task for getting the facts wrong.  Meow, it seems, wasn’t two, hadn’t been abused, [...]

  5. [...] certain you’ve witnessed my misfortune.  It plays on an endless loop, filling the empty minutes of your local newscasts and breakfast variety shows.   Hugh Grant petted [...]

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