To Be Tired of Animal Videos is To Be Tired of Life

There’s an awful lot to be said about the digital age we live in, not all of it good. Apparently, relationships suffer, our brains are overloaded and our concentration zapped. But then stuff does get done quicker, it’s enabled some amazing medical and technological advances that have benefitted millions of people, plus we use less paper and chop down fewer trees. And that’s got to be good, right?

On a personal level, there’s one other thing I’d like to thank the digital gods for and that’s a funny animal video. They brighten up a day, some make you cry with laughter and they can even – as this video of a dog wolfing down birthday cake did last night (summing up exactly how I really want to act when I am presented with a birthday cake) – make you snort coffee all over the corridor of a quiet train.

Yes, I am a grown woman and of course I very much care about the atrocities in Aleppo, post-Brexit racism and everything in between, but every now and then I also enjoy the sheer lightheartedness of a “drunk” panda called Carl being coaxed back by his handlers into his pen. It’s a brilliant reminder that, while there’s a lot wrong with the world, there’s a lot right with it, too.

Anyway, animal virals are a great friendship bond-er – a tense office atmosphere can be transformed by an afternoon “copy all” email – plus, in this day and age, when Twitter has become increasingly aggressive and Facebook is just a rally of smug shots, sharing a cat tapping away at a keyboard is a simple way of reaching out to friends – especially when it’s just you in the house and you really want someone to talk to.

Apologies if I come over all David Attenborough – I’d also like to make what I believe to be a very insightful point: animals really *do* do the funniest things

Of course, when keyboard cat gets viewed a million times, everyone wants to get in on the act. And now that everyone has a mobile phone and can be their own “content provider”, why shouldn’t they? But there’s a particular magic that makes them sharable and, although ad men might try to distill this down to a specific scientific formula in an attempt to cash in, we’re not stupid. We can see through a slickly directed loo-roll puppy viral. (Although, if they’re funny, I’m not fussed, but to note: funny should mean funny ha ha, not funny eek. Terrifying cats with cucumbers isn’t cool.)

Finally – and apologies if I come over all David Attenborough – I’d also like to make what I believe to be a very insightful point: animals really *do* do the funniest things. Like the hamster who tries a backflip and then does it over and over again, just because it likes it. Like the mummy racoon captured by a passing police patrol helping her brood up a steep kerb in the dead of night. A consequence of our digital age means we can now witness these silly or amazing animal actions and record them. I’ll never get tired of a dog saying “sausages” somewhere the other side of the world. So here, without further ado, and because it’s a Friday, is The Pool’s pick:

“Proof that cats rule the world.” Sam Baker

“We’ve all been either the (drunk) panda or the zoo keeper on at least one night out in our lives.” Alexandra Haddow

“The sloth crossing the road! It’s got peril, suspense, a happy ending and a sloth – everything you want from an animal viral video.” Emily Baker

“I think I’ve watched the maple dog video approximately 235,780 times. It’s genius. Makes me laugh every time!” Elle Turner

“A Scottish Fold gets busted stealing what looks like fluffy red underwear and tries to distract her owner from the crime through a display of ultimate puss-in-boots eyes as she slowwwwly closes the drawer. I must’ve watched this 50 times.”

“’Mike the hamster’s video has almost certainly been put in slow motion, as most hamsters shove food in their mouth at a panicked speed reminiscent of someone halfway through a sandwich who has just realised they’re late for a meeting. Ahh, carrots.” Penny Whitehouse

“This racoon mother helping her babies up the kerb. What strategy!” Lucy Dunn

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