An internet meme is a video, photograph or music that is virally transmitted over the internet. It turns viral in terms of the number of people viewing and sharing it. With the advent of social platforms like Facebook and Twitter internet memes have found a new lease of life and the advantage of instant sharing. I have chosen the ‘NoNoNoNo Cat’ video for this essay.
The video is an internet meme of a Siberian Cat reacting to a new guest in the house. The cat is startled or rather frightened and is meowing in a very distinct manner, that sounds very similar to a person saying ‘No’ over and over again each time the guest tries to approach it.
It was uploaded by a Russian You Tube user in September 2011and since then it has been viewed over a million times. Apart from having been viewed it has also inspired numerous remixes and videos featuring cats. The video of this cat is absolutely hilarious and fun to watch.
The video’s main appeal lies in the hilarity of the cat repeatedly saying ‘No’ at the sight of the guest. It sounds very human like and is difficult to ignore. The video also serves as a stress buster because it is impossible to not laugh at the way the cat says No. While it might not score very high in terms of creativity the NoNoNoNo Cat video sure has gathered a fan following of its own, simply because it is candid, funny and appealing in its own way. Animal lovers would find the video amusing and adorable. The NoNoNoNo Cat sure has become a household name after the video.
Though the video is funny and surprising when people who do not own cats watch it, it is not as joyful in reality as it seems to be. Many people including me (initially) are unaware of the fact that a cat meowing like that could be an indication of its ill health. It is an indication of the cat suffering from fur balls. Cats care for their coat by using their tongue as a rasp to groom it. In the process they tend to swallow their fur. While most cats are able to pass it out through their digestive tract, some are not able to, and the fur starts accumulating in their stomach. When the fur ball reaches a certain size, it starts causing discomfort and the cat tries to bring it out – mostly by vomiting it out through the gullet. Cats are known to make the “no no no no” sound just before they vomit the fur ball, mixed with food or stomach contents.
This particular cat seems to be in a state of discomfort. When the cat is not able to bring out the fur ball either in feces or by vomiting, it might become necessary to remove the fur ball surgically. Considering this possibility, the cat in the video is not as funny as it seems to be at first sight. The meme might not have become this popular if everybody who watched the video was aware of the reason of the sound.
According to me people would pass on the video just for laughs. It is a great way to take a break from the normal and laugh out loud for a few minutes! Facebook and Twitter are the largest platforms available for sharing such internet memes. While the cat is not selling any popular product or is not being used for advertising, the technique of viral marketing can be used to promote companies, products and films/music in a big way, without burning a hole in the pocket. “As per statistics of the Viral Video Chart Show the video has been shared 250,000 times via Facebook, tweets and blog post articles combined”.