Sunday, January 20, 2013

The existential cat

Humans have been speaking through animals likely for as long as humans have been speaking. We use animals to express our fears, anxieties, joys, and sadnesses. Cats, because of their often independent, serious, and aloof qualities, perfectly represent a set of emotions that dogs can rarely express.

Henri, a French cat* who holds humans, holidays, dogs, and even other cats in contempt (he calls one of the cats with whom he lives "L'imbecile Blanc" or "the white imbecile") shares his angst in short videos which have attracted millions of fans. Henri's most watched video, "Henri 2: Paw de Deux," won the grand prize at the Internet Cat Video Film Festival in 2012. 

Henri's videos provide a nice opening to discuss why certain animals are used to represent certain emotions, personalities, and even social conditions.

*his name is actually Henry and he lives in Seattle.

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