They’re high rollers, these cats. Like seriously rolling in dough, some of them, with their furry little paws close to the trigger, lest you try to wrest some of their kitty stash away from their cold, clammy claws. Ca$hCats is one of the funniest, most perfect examples of social-media, which defies explanation, nonsense that I’ve seen in a while.
And it just happens that Will Zweigart, the brainchild of this feline phenomenon, is one of the most adored and appreciated members of the Off the Leash brain trust. Will is a friend of my son Patrick, who lives in NYC. Will’s a North Carolina boy, which is where my two eldest sons, Nate and Pat, went to film school. We tend to stick together. For nearly two years now, Will has been monitoring and encouraging my writing, first in A Woman With a Past: The Post-Apocalyptic Approach to Men and again, when I went Off the Leash.
Will even put me in touch with his OWN agent, who helped him publish his first book, Sketchy Santas. (It’s hilarious, by the way.) And Will helped me strategize, along with Pat, over what my social media, well… strategy, would be while I was on the road last summer. Will’s day job, among other things, is to plan big-ass social media campaigns for big-ass corporate clients, not their butts, their companies. He has a very impressive job.
By night, though, Will sorts through hundreds of images of cats with wads of cash and sometimes semi-automatic guns and rifles. Now, he absolutely did NOT solicit photos of weaponry when he launched Ca$hCats.biz — but for some reason, some people, started showing off their guns and I’m not talking about arms you hug with. You know what they say about guns and money and this whole meme has taken off like a shot.
Will has received thousands of images which he posts on Ca$hCats.biz and the Ca$hCats Facebook page, hence the inexplicable phenomenon of thousands of people who take photos of their cats draped, surrounded, drippy with, standing atop, wrestling around…..loads and loads of cash. All kinds of cats, all kinds of currency.
Tonight, September 6th, in Brooklyn, the pick of the photo litter will take their place on the Ca$hCats wall of fame, sharing a gallery for a one-night-only photography and mixed-media exhibition called Cashcats.biz: How the One Purrrcent Really Live. Will told TIME.com that that the purpose of the show is to take “something that’s popular and resonates with people online and bring it offline and let people interact with it in a different way. I always felt the photos belonged in a gallery setting.”
Since he posted the call for entries back in June, Will has been inundated with submissions: hundreds and hundreds of submissions. They are turning away people at the event tonight which is being covered by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg’s. To say this has caught the cat lover’s fancy is an understatement. But what is it exactly that has people purring? Will says it’s the economy, stupid. Or at least a perception by us 99-percenters of how the other cats live — spoiled, waited on hand and foot, no need for the money they are seemingly oblivious to being surrounded by. And there’s one more political message to the medium: none of these cats paid any taxes this year.
I would give my right whisker to be in Brooklyn tonight to attend the event. Instead, I just want to send out a message to Will and Patrick ( who helped produce the event, rounding up all manner of food and beverage fat cats) to “break a leg!” or, uh, I guess….a paw? Meanwhile, I’ll be glued to the TV watching another cool cat who is doing his dead level best to help out the rest of us po’ cats.