I Am the Official Poster Crazy Cat Lady of the Internet
No, really -- it's true. My picture and "crazy cat lady" are synonymous, at least far as the interwebs are concerned.
Let me prove it to you: Do a Google image search for the phrase "crazy cat lady." What do you see?
Yup, that's me.
That picture was first posted on my blog, Your Daily Cute, a couple years ago -- ironically, in a post titled "There's Nothing Crazy About Being a Cat Lady" -- and since then, it's popped up (illegally!) on more blog posts and Web sites than I can count, and probably even more that I don't know about.
It seems like anytime anyone needs a picture of a crazy cat lady for something, they run to Google and find … me!
I'm not sure whether this is a proud moment or not, but why not? I'm going to go with it! Someone get me a tiara and a sash and start throwing flowers and stuff ... because I guess I've been crowned the Official Crazy Cat Lady of the Interwebz!
I suppose if someone is going to represent the proud Crazy Cat Ladies of the world, it might as well be someone who isn't that ridiculous stereotypical drawing of a disheveled woman in a bathrobe and slippers with toy mice tangled in her hair. That's not real. I am real! We are not literally crazy. We are just crazy about cats.
Here's the story behind that picture: No, it is not my living room, as some product web sites have tried to say. Those are not all my cats, as other sites have implied, and too many cats haven't caused me to go crazy.
That is actually a picture of me at Animal Aid cat shelter in South Florida, feeding the adorable kitties some treats I found in the cabinet. I cracked open the Temptations, and the cats were all immediately my best friends. And I loved every second of it.
A good friend of mine, Stephanie of Sonju Photography, and I had set out that day to do a great thing and visit a couple of shelters to take glamour shots of some of the less-adoptable cats for their Petfinder images. We all know the picture makes a big difference, so we wanted to help these kitties have their best shot at finding the forever home they deserve!
She had her camera and was snapping away at one kitty when she noticed what was going on in the corner by me and thought it was a perfect photo op. And it was! What a happy moment that was –- I was surrounded by more kitties than I could count, giving them all yummy treats. To this day, it's one of my favorite pictures ever.
So it bothers me when it's used by other sites in a demeaning manner. I honestly wouldn't mind so much if it was used in a nice way, or not given a different story than the truth (one pet furniture site actually had a huge headline on it that said something like "Don’t let your living room look like this!"). When I find my image being used on places like that –- usually my friends see it and forward me links -– my photographer friend who technically owns the rights to the image sends them an official copyright infringement notice to remove the image since they don't have permission to use it.
Most recently it showed up in a horrible, offensive video making fun of a recent ridiculous study that said something about how cat poop makes women go crazy and suicidal because of Toxoplasma gondii or something equally ridiculous sounding. Huh? Um, no, you may not use my image to illustrate that!
(UPDATE: We sent them a legal notice to remove my image or take it down last week and filed a copyright infringement complaint with YouTube as well. And as of yesterday, right before this post went live, the video is officially down. WIN! Take that, people!)
That picture is a happy one for me, and I actually love that Google thinks I am such a relevant crazy cat lady! Do you all think this might get me on The Ellen Show? I would love to be on Ellen as Google's most popular cat lady. Surely she'd want to talk to me, right? Maybe I could even bring a cat!
Anyway, the geeky explanation why my picture ranks so high in Google search for "crazy cat lady" is a little thing called SEO, or search engine optimization. I named the image just right, I wrote my original post just right, and it got popular enough for Google to recognize it and show it high in searches. This is a good thing ... unless it's used in the wrong way. No matter, though. We'll make the best of it and laugh along and celebrate it!
P.S. If you see this picture floating around where it shouldn't be, please feel free to let me know. That's how I always end up finding it, through friends. Catsterblog (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks for being my eyes!
And yes, of course I'll sign an autograph.