You know, I teach college composition — a very academic and serious place where research is king. I have become very prescriptive with writing — all clauses in the correct order, all citations marked according to regulations, and no texting language allowed — unless some student wants to see the monster-persona unleashed.
But sometimes, as a class example or to demonstrate a point, I share my topics or even my columns to a typical group of college freshmen who stare at me as if I am the monster incarnate. The students marvel at the fact that people actually read the silliness I write and, even more so, that the newspaper prints the silliness I produce.
But really, y’all, a person could get depressed looking at the news on any channel or media source. Sometimes we need silliness because, good grief, the world is plagued with hurricanes, conspiracy theories, crooked elections, invasions, monarchy changes, tax fraud, and gun violence.
Sometimes I don’t even want to hear — bad news, bad news, bad news. Now this is a pretty drastic statement coming from a person who has based her entire adult career on or around the news. But in reality, I need an escape from the daily bombardment of negativity.
I’ve found the exit: cat videos.
Really! Have you tried it? Don’t shake your head no until you have watched at least one — or two. I think they even made a feature-length movie — starring cat videos. Now, that is ingenious. Film a sleeping cat for 15 seconds and end up with an Oscar, though I don’t think any of the cat films have been nominated — yet.
I have no idea who started making cat videos, but if you see me sitting in the corner looking at my phone screen with a Cheshire-cat smile, you know I am not watching the news. I am being entertained, motivated, and inspired — by cat videos.
Honestly, I am addicted. I get up every morning just to click Facebook and check any changes on the daily cat reels.
These are not award-winning videos — it’s the cat doing feline stuff like peaking from under a blanket or pawing madly at the glass door. Mainly, it’s shots of sleeping cats. There is no action except the camera making a 360-degree rotation around a ball of soft unmoving fur.
Oh, my better half tells me: this is the most ridiculous pastime in the world — watching a cat sleep.
Life’s too short. We all need entertainment — right?
In reality, I love my cats and have thousands of photos of their silly antics like dragging a blanket through the house or stretched in some Gumby-type position. I’ve written two children’s books about dogs and their Seven Bends State Park adventures. I have fish and feed birds expensive seeds. I love bears, groundhogs and squirrels.
Yet, I contemplate my mental acuity as I sit mesmerized by an actionless five-second video of three kittens cuddled next to each other in a ball, all three sound asleep.
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