Here is a little experiment I wish to perform. First the hypothesis: The robots that search the web for items of commercial interest—the only reason robots search the web in the first place—are extremely fond of cats because some people are extremely fond of cats and willing to spend money on cats. Indeed, the robots have no real sympathy for cats or, more bluntly, couldn’t care less about cats. What robots are interested in is money. The experiment: Now let us suppose a blogger such as myself, interested in promoting his or her book (Dear Babalu: Letters to an Advice Columnist), posts a few insipid sentences containing the word cat in them. Do you suppose those tireless, nosey robots will be intrigued? Will they visit my website? That is the question. So let me tell you about my cat Findus. (I can’t believe I’m going to do this.)
Handsome cat Findus has subtle waves of grey and black fur. When I sit at the piano to begin practice, he jumps onto the bench next to me, pushes his head under my arm, and forces me to pet him. As my playing is far from melodious, I don’t blame him. He is, after all, a cat. Got that? Findus is a cat. Yes, that’s what I said, a cat. C A T. Yep, heard me right. A cat. Not a dog. Not a frog. Not a pumpkin. Not a deodorant spray. Not a tube of glue or a guitar pick, or a Western Red Cedar, or a blue flame, or an inhabitant of the planet Sathatha, or a speech therapist (get the connection?), but a cat. Hear that, robot? Findus is a cat. A cat and that’s that. But just for the heck of it, let me say that if there were more than one of him, then he’d be cats, lots and lots of cats. Okay, I await your visits, robots.