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It’s New Year’s resolution time and many of you will have resolved to make your cat famous this year. But how should you go about it? I happen to have a famous cat, and today I’m sharing all my insider secrets.
1. Make sure your cat has an angle. Does your cat look weird? Was it found under unusual circumstances? Is it disabled? If the answer to all these questions is no, dye it pink.
2. Ensure your cat is photogenic. If your pet’s reflection breaks mirrors, consider cosmetic surgery. Alternatively, being the world’s ugliest moggie could be your cat’s point of difference. Go for broke and shave it too (an electric razor works best).
3. Train your cat. Get it to do something that most other cats don’t. Take it surfing, take it horse-riding, take it bungee jumping. Whichever of these activities it hates least can become its ‘thing’.
4. Get your cat a pet. What is cuter than a cat? A cat that’s friends with a duckling. Get your cat a duckling.
5. Try alternative channels. Let’s face it – almost all cats are across almost all social media platforms these days. To stand out from the clowder you need to do something different. Try billboards, skywriting or making your cat wear a sandwich board.*
Now that you’ve made your cat famous you can sit back and watch the benefits of having a famous cat come rolling in. These include:
1. Career development. Under what other circumstances would you spend hours working out how to create print-on-demand merchandise, add an online store to Facebook, create animated gifs or source copyright-free music for your homemade videos? Add these skills to your LinkedIn profile. They will translate well to the workplace and you will become a sought-after employee.
2. A tidy home. You never know when the opportunity to take a cute photo may present itself. You won’t want to ruin any potential masterpieces with a messy background. Invest in a tool belt so you can carry a duster and a damp cloth on you at all times.
3. A healthy sex life. Who wouldn’t want to shack up with someone who spends their evenings tweeting their cat’s every move? (Top tip: date vets and pet food sales reps to reduce your cat-related outgoings.)
4. Untold riches. Thanks to your cat’s YouTube videos, you may receive a payment of up to two figures from Google. (You can use this to pay your Facebook advertising bill.)
5. Filling in the hours until death. What better way to while away the hours between now and your demise than by Instagramming, Tweeting and Facebooking photos of your cat?
*Please do not follow any of this advice.
My famous cat, Bruce, has never been dyed and is not friends with a duckling.
Images via Google, labelled for reuse.
2023 Burns fellow Kathryn van Beek has an MA from Victoria University Wellington - Te Herenga Waka’s International Institute of Modern Letters. She is a winner of the Mindfood Short Story Competition and the Headland Prize. Her collection of short stories, Pet, is available as a podcast, and her work has also appeared in Overland, takahē, Newsroom, and the Sunday Star-Times. She lives in UNESCO City of Literature Ōtepoti Dunedin with her two rescue cats.