Monday, June 11, 2007

Things that Bother Me (But Shouldn't)

Morgan James just emailed me this link -- a sort of "photo caption" contest for people who engage in baby-slash-cat talk -- and's terrifying. I first ran across these people many years ago (via Portal Of Evil) and while I'm unable to track down an official name for them I refer to them by one of their more commonly-used words: "Meowmies."

The Meowmies own cats and appear to live vicariously through them, which I think is sort of sad. They meet in forums and chat rooms -- pretending to be their cats -- and socialize in a formalized "cat speak" that closely resembles baby talk. I quote an example from this site:
I luff my meowmie, she pampers me to da max.
Anyting I want or need, I don't efen havf to ask!
She rescued me frum da wild place when I was small, helpless & alone.
Gavf me luff, food, shelter & toys, It's sure a wonderfur home!
When I look at that Meowmie's Day Poem, my blood boils with absolute revulsion. First of all I think baby talk is 100% awful, and I am particularly disturbed when adults "baby" non-infants. I'm not just talking about Adult Babies -- who I also find highly disturbing -- but also about couples who cootchie-coo and poodgie-woo with each other. I want to lock such couples in a room without food and water and see just how long their babying will last, maybe after sawing off their arms.

Secondly, I just can't see how people can perceive cats as baby-like. They're selfish, vicious predators who -- at best -- relate to humans on a more-or-less equal basis. I'll never forget my father telling me that cats have small heads so they can squeeze them inside ribcages. Such animals don't call people "Meowmie," they call them "encased offal."

In a fit of pique I once crashed a Meowmie forum, pretending to be a stray cat with mange and a clot of feces tangled around its butt. I said things like "Yeow, effur time I breafe, my lungs is cut by da sharp chicken bone I ate!" and "dees pinworms makin' me always HUNNNGRY!" I did this for a few days, and when my trolling got no response I started asking pointed questions like "who ARE you people?" and "why are you doing this?"

One man emailed a plain-English response to me. He said he didn't expect me to understand their intense personalizing of their cats, but HE wondered why I had bothered to seek out a group of harmless people just to insult them. He thought that behaviour was much sadder than gentle baby-talk with a bunch of friends, and I, he was right. I'd been a total jerk. For some reason I'd gotten so ANGRY about the Meowmies that I'd become the kind of person I otherwise condemn.

Whenever somebody gives me grief about doing drag -- especially in an online situation -- I try to remember the Meowmies, and all those people who are just doing their thing. I'll still make fun of such people if they're otherwise jerks (or if they are really BAD at their "thing" but think they're super-great), but otherwise...truce!


Anonymous said...

I knew you found them frightening - and knew you needed to get yet another rant out of your

I can't beleive that you don't engage in this type of behaviour with Zsa Zsa...and now I have frightening visions of her sticking her head in your ribcage on night if you Do talk to her that way >shudder<

Adam Thornton said...

I admit that, when Zsa Zsa is playful or loving, I do talk to her in a silly way ("WHO'S my favourite cat? Who's that? You! You, you, you!") but I think that's different from actually believing that she's some sort of "l'il scamp."

Ah, Morgan, you know exactly which buttons to push...

Anonymous said...

Anthropomorphizing pet cats with infantile language....

I couldn't even understand some of the captions.

Eric Little said...

While checking back on an earlier chapter in "V." I ran across this passage in Chapter 5 (II):

Mafia his wife was in on the bed playing with Fang the cat. At the moment she was naked and dangling an inflatable brassiere before the frustrated claws of Fang who was Siamese, gray and neurotic. "Bouncy, bouncy," she was saying. "Is the dweat big kitties angwy cause he tant play wif the bwa?" EEEE, he so cute and ickle."
Oh man, thought Winsome, an intellectual. I had to pick an intellectual. They all revert.



Adam Thornton said...

Synchronicity indeed! And now we know that all the Meowmies read Pynchon. Errrr, or maybe not...

The true sign of a Pynchon Meowmie is starting an excited sentence with a hyphenated letter 'a':

"We'll play wit' da kittie! A-and wonderfurr mowsies!"

Eli McIlveen said...

I find the lolcats thing fascinating, because it marks the collision of two previously separate worlds: the (stereotypically female) Cute Overload set with all their squee-ing and snorgling, and the (stereotypically male) nerdy gaming forum twelfth-generation l33t-speakers.

However, I get the feeling that the balance is shifting slowly toward the former. The forum kids have probably moved on to other things. (The Cheezburger site has a potted history of the phenomenon.)

The best ones (to my mind anyway) play on that willful, selfish character of cats. They may talk funny, but they don't give a damn what you think. They have their own agenda. Oh, were you eating that?

My favorites, for the record: snakecat and this OH HI specimen.

Eli McIlveen said...

Oh, and by the way, have you heard of Shorpy? Seems more your sort of photoblog...

Adam Thornton said...

Oh my GOD, Eli, you've found what I've been looking for for years: an explanation and background of the phenomenon. Kitty pidgin! How horrifying!

I'll have to read it all. This is surely related to the older "Fat Chicks in Party Hats" Miguel-speak that became so popular for a while..."She did eat a ham, BLARGH!" This must appeal to every gene in your body that's fascinated by language.

Meanwhile, yes, the Snake Cat is horrifying.

Shorpy is incredible! In return I offer:

...found photographs taken by average people who probably died before developing them.