How To Make Your Cat An Internet Celebrity: A Guide To Financial Freedom, by Patricia Carlin with photography by Dustin Fenstermacher
It is unclear whether this book is meant to be taken seriously or not. We live, after all, in an ironic age and there are a lot of knowing winks here to the cynicism of attempting to make money off of exploiting the silliness of one’s pets. Nonetheless, plenty of serious advice is given here so one could use this book as a way of encouraging one’s efforts, as the information given is specific enough to work. Whether or not you view this book as a joke (albeit a very funny one) or a semi-serious to serious guide to financial freedom towards trying to make one’s pet’s antics go viral for fun and profit depends on the reader. As a reader without any pets to exploit for my own personal financial gain, I choose to read this book in a humorous light, but those who have cats and seek to profit from their wackiness may take the book and its materials more seriously and would be wise to do so because the author has some good advice on how to profit from pets.
This particular book is a short one at just over 100 pages and it is divided into four chapters. The book begins with a short introduction that encourages the reader to embrace one’s destiny as someone who is going to spread the joy of more memes into the world. After that the author talks about how cats need to be groomed for success in the cat eat cat world of memes, by having a firm knowledge of what sort of cat they are and having the sense to manage the sort of environments that the cat will be working in (1). After that the author urges the reader to have a sense of the rule of thirds and gain some expertise in properly filming shots and framing material for maximum impact, assuring the reader that the footage will be amateur enough so there is no sense in not doing things as professionally as possible (2). After that the author talks about how one has to claw one’s way to the top by making sure that one does a good job at marketing one’s photos or footage (3), before closing with a discussion on how the world is the reader’s litterbox (4), after which there are some acknowledgements.
As is often the case when one reads a book, one’s approach to the book and its materials depends a lot on one’s perspective. There are, to be sure, some aspects of this book that come off as being somewhat cruel and harsh, especially to cats who do not meet our standard of furry cuteness. Undoubtedly, some people will cringe at some of the book’s material and some people may even be offended by the way that the book so casually deals with the exploitation of feline quirkiness for business endeavors. Yet this book is obviously meant at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek even if the book appears to have been based on the way that people have made money from their cats. Again, perspective will determine how you feel about a book like this, whether one laughs about how it is that one can turn an animal into a viral star and gain some money out of it, whether one seeks to follow its advice to do just that, or one mourns the way that even pets cannot escape our culture’s desire to make content and business models out of everything around us, including even our pets and their silly antics.