Viral Cat Videos

Whether you admit it or not, it's safe to assume that you have watched a few cats videos in your time.  Am I right?  Of course I am. 

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Everybody loves a good photo or video of a furry feline being stripped of it's dignity for the amusement of it's owners.  Nothing cracks up a room full of should-be-working employees like a video of a cat being startled by a cucumber or perhaps a fat tabby riding a Roomba.    Just the mental image of that last one makes me smile. 

But some would have you believe that cat videos and the preferred delivery method of those cat videos (the internet) is making us dumber.  Well I think I can safely rule out viral cat photos/videos as the main cause of our supposed downward mental decline because they've been around longer than you'd think.

Cats + Awkward = Hilarious.

Allow me to introduce a man that should need no introduction.  A man who in his day was know as feline public enemy number one.  The One.  The Only.  The grandfather of the viral cat video himself...Mr. Harry Pointer! 

Harry was the first photographer to figure out that people loved looking at photos of cats in absurd situations.  He cracked the comedic code by coming up with this simple formula Cats + Awkward = Hilarious.

Way back in the 1870's Harry Pointer rose to fame by producing a series of photographs that have become know as his Brighton Cats series.  These photos depicted cats flying planes, firing cannons and much, much more.  The world fell in love with Harry's hilarious take on the common cat and he quickly became household name in Great Brittan.  Harry's images were exhibited at some of the most prestigious photography shows of his time including The Photographic Society of Great Britain's annual exhibit.  By the end of his career it was safe to say that Harry had found fame and good fortune by creating an entirely new genera of photography.  A genera that is still alive and kicking, much to the chagrin of felines worldwide. 

More information and an interesting in-depth look at Harry Pointer's life and his work

So circling back to the question above... Have cat videos and the internet made us dumber as a society?  Well thanks to Harry Pointer and his hilarious cat photos we can prove that the world was a dumb place - long before the internet ever existed.

Photo courtesy of Google images. Labeled for reuse.

Photo courtesy of Google images. Labeled for reuse.

Thanks for reading and I'll talk with you again soon,

Daniel Troutman

Daniel Troutman
Albany, OR
Daniel Troutman, an internationally published photographer, started his career in 1999. He began as a staff travel photographer, and now runs a retail studio in Albany, Oregon. His images have been published by some of the largest agencies in the world, including Newsweek, VH1 Music Television, The Food Network and Best Western Hotels.