From the Editor

I started out writing about the irony of American health care…blood pressure started to go up. Then I thought I would talk about teens and their addiction to screens…more blood pressure. I realized the whole idea of writing about something important was getting me down.

So to try and bring the level down a bit I thought I would take a break with a cat video. Yes I love cat videos. Lucky for me I am not the only one, so there are always plenty to choose from. But why are they so popular?

Kitties rule the Internet, thanks to our endless appetite for feline flicks.  An article for the journal Computers in Human Behavior poses a possible answer. Cat videos literally improve our mood. I know it is the one type of post on Facebook that makes me laugh out loud – sometimes at inopportune moments.  A study at Indiana University’s Media School found people felt significantly happier after watching one and experience fewer negative emotions of anxiety, sadness and guilt.

So I guess it all comes down to pet therapy.  We already know the value of pets going into hospitals and nursing homes, so why should this be any different. But why do cats seem to be the Internet’s choice? Could be that introverts tend to spend more time online, aaaand they also tend to prefer cats to dogs. But could there be more to it than that?

Massey University in New Zealand  slowly but surely went j through hundreds of hours of cat videos online to find out. Their conclusion? It’s because cats don’t care they are being watched. Cats appear to perform oblivious to the camera which is in contrast to other “cute” videos such as dogs or babies. They think we like that because we are under so much scrutiny today. 

Whatever the reason, I think I need a break.

~ Vicki Leeper
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