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October 23, 2023 5 min read

We confess that it has been sometime since we fully immersed ourselves in the catosphere, not least because of one very loud constituent of the dogosphere who has a tendency to bark intermittently the minute we so much as think about crossing the threshold. That said, it could be argued that whether we know it or not, all of us are in the catosphere all of the time, since it is by orders of magnitude the largest of all the spheres. Allow us to catsplain: a survey conducted by Friskies found that cat content drives about 15% of all Internet traffic; put another way, that means that of the 4.7 billion people using the Internet, 700 million of them are searching for cats or cat-related content. There are an estimated 6.5 BILLION cat pictures on the Internet. It's actually very difficult to know for sure since cat content like cats themselves, tends to be ‘unstructured’, meaning hard to classify and therefore to track, so the figure is likely higher still. Heard the expression “like herding cats”? It applies equally to cats online which is exactly how they like it.

Ultimately, it would seem that cats are victims of their own success; humans are compelled to chase the ones who run away. Sigh. From the other side, imagine all that attention on a creature given to secrecy? It surely wasn’t the plan. The pressure on the late, great Grumpy Cat was such that she had her own agent. So it is not in the least bit surprising that in order to research and write this article, we had to seek permission from The Council of Cats’ Content Committee’s Commissioner. Mark my words, cats have A LOT of power and influence. Anyway, following a 6 month consultation period and a lot of negotiation, we acquired the necessary purrmits and here we are! Catosphere, we’re coming in, and, at our own risk, we’re going to use our time to uncover some of history's best kept cat secrets. We promise we’ll keep them to ourselves*.

*except for publishing them in this article.

Since the Dawn of Time, Cats Have Enjoyed Remarkable Longevity. 

This is well known, to be sure, but what’s less well known is the basis of the Nine Lives of Cats Theory. In ancient times, cats astonished their owners by their ability to live for what seemed to be an impossible number of years, and so a group of apothecaries got together to discuss what might be enabling this. Unable to find a rational explanation, they turned to irrational options which of course were infinite. After much debate, they settled upon a theory where every three years, ⅓ of the world’s cats regenerated, with a different cohort following the next year, and so on, until each cat had regenerated three times, at which point a brand new set of kittens would arrive and the whole process began again. Now you know!

Cats Were Considered to be Workers in the 13th Century. 

Cats will gladly tell you that many ancient cultures held them to be sacred creatures invested with mystical powers. They will also tell you about being housed and fed in lavish style - think cat castles and banquets - in order that they remain free to dedicate their time to eating top-drawer tidbits or getting their portraits - the ancient equivalent of cat collars - painted. They are less willing to talk about the 13th & 14th centuries, and for good reason: the tide had turned and cats were put to work chasing mice and other small rodents. At first reluctant, the canny cats soon realized it was actually quite a lot of fun and a task to which they were more than equal; of course it afforded them an excellent diet, which in turn gave rise to an aphorism that endures to this day: there’s no such thing as a free lunch.*

*There is, however, such a thing as a discounted lunch and discounted dinner too! Simply create a subscription from our extensive range of morsels for your meower, and while she enjoys her meal, you’ll enjoy your savings. Some exclusions apply, but in the King Duke’s subscribe and save range, there is something for every pussycat's picky palate. 

20th Century Cats Did Not Invent Jazz but it is Their Favorite Musical Genre. 

We consulted many cats about the origins of the phrase 'jazz cat' and heard a few versions, all of which (perhaps unsurprisingly) center on the cats of New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. This new style of music, with its emphasis on off-beats, known as syncopation, and its rhythmic fusion of Black musical styles including blues, spirituals, hymns, and marches, quickly became the most popular form of late night entertainment in the city. Soon, jazz clubs were springing up and staying open later and later into the night, and at this point the mavens of those clubs compared themselves to cats who are notoriously nocturnal; the jazz cat was born! Reports of cats purrforming in jazz bands and dancing among the crowds as they sipped catnip cocktails are unconfirmed but obviously 100% true. 

Cats Were a Critical Part of the Allies’ Naval Forces in World War 2.

On land and on sea, it is no exaggeration to say that without cats, WW2 would have been even tougher for the humans tasked with winning it. Why? Because there are some things only cats can do. For instance, get into small nooks and crannies behind essential pieces of radio and navigation equipment and chase away the rats who would otherwise chew through the wires as if they were strawberry laces and not the difference between life and death. Similarly, they worked double duty keeping the by-now-even-hungrier rats away from the ship’s rations. Plus, plus, keeping the rats at bay meant keeping disease away. One cat in particular, Mr. Tiddles, distinguished himself so well through his ability to spot tiny lights from a huge distance during even the worst weather, that he ended up traveling more than 30,000 miles with the British Royal Navy. Mr. Tiddles, sir, we salute you!

Cats Have Been in Space Too You Know. 

This last entry is one which we are contractually obliged to include, but even if that were not the case we wouldn’t dream of leaving it out. When people think of animals in space, they think of Laika the Russian dog, or perhaps the 32 monkeys who have gone into orbit, or the two tortoises which were the very first animals in space, traveling at speeds no tortoise has reached before (or since). This is all wrong. The animal they should think of is Felicette, a French cat who traveled 100 miles from the earth’s surface and experienced weightlessness for five minutes. Felicette’s life after space was somewhat short, but, as the apothecaries of ancient times foresaw, she went on to enjoy another eight lives in which she co-wrote the wildly popular musical, Cats, based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (later made into a film which the cats WILL NOT talk about); collaborated with Kurt Vonnegut on his science fiction classic, Cat’s Cradle; and inspired a hit record, The Love Cats, by The Cure, which charted at number 7 in 1983. Impressive. 

So you see when we said the catosphere is vast and filled with wonder, we weren't kidding, Catz. We’ll be sharing more of its lesser known corners soon, but for a purrrfectly curated cat experience any time of day or night, including right now, you need go no further than where you are. King Dukes has all the kit a kat could need, and plenty more besides. 

Until next month, pack, we bid you Ciao, Meow! ♥️🐾🐈😎💋

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