I recently received a humorless notification from the City of Seattle informing me that I am long past due on my pet license renewal. Apparently you must pay $27 per year for the right to own a kitty in Seattle. I paid this fee happily when I adopted Lou, our family cat, from the Seattle Animal Shelter because it was the only way to get the animal-lovers there to hand Lou over to my wife and me. After I paid them, in addition to Lou I also received a short lecture on the seriousness of the life choice that is kitty ownership. Were we prepared to dump food in a dish twice a day and tell him what a good, good boy he was for up to fifteen years? We were. But I mustn’t mock the seriousness of the kitty. I worked long hours to produce my two-minute promotional video Inspiring Authors. As of this writing, Inspiring Authors is my most popular YouTube video, clocking in at 31,306 views. Last night my son showed me a short piece in which four kittens mew noisily for their dinner. It has so far received 3,889,479 views. As well it should – those kitten were cute. And there were four of them. We soon found another kitten video, but this selection had only one mewing kitten and it lacked the narrative umph of Noisy Kittens Waiting for Dinner. We grew bored and turned it off after a minute. That video received only 464,000 views.
Inspiring Authors was created to A) Inspire Authors, and B) drive viewers to Author. I believe it has succeeded in varying degrees to do both. I don’t know why Noise Kittens Waiting for Dinner was created, but after watching it my son cried, “I want a kitten! We need a kitten!”
I doubt videos of authors talking about the writing life will ever be able to compete with kittens, and this is probably for the best. My fellow humans sometimes baffle and frustrate me, like when they threaten to send an officer to my door to collect a license fee and penalty, but then I see that 3,889,479 of us will pause in our busy and serious days to watch kittens mewing for 2:18, and I believe our intentions are ultimately good.
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