Saturday, August 13, 2016

That cat on the internet

I follow Nacho Flay on Instagram. Nacho Flay is a majestic and handsome Maine Coon cat.

He also happens to belong to celebrity chef Bobby Flay. I had no idea Nacho existed despite the fact that he and Bobby Flay are the coolest cat/owner duo around. During the last season of The Next Food Network Star, there was a random episode (the finale maybe?) where we got to meet Nacho Flay and Bella De Laurentiis (Giada's cat). I think Bobby Flay mentioned that Nacho has his own Instagram account so I immediately followed the cat. I assume this is why the internet was invented.

As you can imagine, Nacho lives a pretty great life. I dare say he lives a better life than most people. He naps in glorious sun patches. He is always on the counter and no one seems to mind. He seems to have knowledge of tequila and knife technique. He sits in bowls. He hangs out with other celebrity chefs. He goes to press conferences. He likes hiding in bags and boxes. He looks startled and uncomfortable when his owner holds (sometimes). He is a weirdo just like every other cat in the world. He also has a brother named Taco.

We should all hope to be reincarnated as a celebrity's pet but only a celebrity who really seems to enjoy being a pet owner. Bobby Flay seems to be that celebrity pet owner. I missed out on all the early press about Nacho and Bobby; they have been bro-ing it up since 2015 with Nacho being declared the pet to watch on Instagram. People seem really taken with their story. I'd watch a cooking show consisting of Bobby Flay hanging out with Nacho just living their lives, being dudes. They could make brunch food and maybe on occasion, nachos. Or maybe brunch nachos. I don't know if brunch nachos are a thing but if Bobby Flay puts them on the menu at one of his restaurants, I would like credit.

Nacho Flay has over 64K followers on Instagram with just 91 posts. Many of those posts have well over 10K likes. Nacho also has a Twitter account (I don't follow him on Twitter) with a smaller fan base but equally amazing presentation. I don't even follow Bobby Flay on social media; I only follow Nacho. And yes, I am aware of the fact that Bobby Flay is the person behind most (if not all) of the Nacho Flay posts but it's not the same. I'm not interested in what Bobby Flay is doing; I'm interested in what Nacho is doing. Cats on the internet doing cat things is the best reason to be on the internet. Sure, we can look up just about anything on Google and learn things from a variety of sources (credible and not) but the true joy of the internet, particularly on social media platforms, is animal videos and pictures. And Nacho Flay is winning on social media every time "he" posts a new picture or video. He is giving his followers a little oasis in their day. He is living the life we all dream about.

Which, of course, brings up the most important question: does Pumpkin need her own Instagram account? Let's take a quick look at this lady's range:

Sweet, cuddly cat
Sun worshipper
Adventure - Pumpkin is up for anything!

Or maybe this gem:
Is it Pumpkin? Is it Batman? I don't know.

She may not be hanging out with celebrities but you can't argue that Pumpkin isn't out there living her best life on the internet (and in real life). Since she doesn't currently have her own Instagram account, her work is seen on my account instead. I created my account in 2011 but didn't really start posting until 2012. Pumpkin has been featured in 242 of my 1029 posts. That's 23% of my photos. While I didn't really have time to look into the numbers, I know in my heart that her photos are my most liked. This is particularly true when the photo features Pumpkin with a look on her face that screams "I'm judging you and your life choices." People really enjoy Pumpkin's judginess (not a word).

Look at all the shade

I've written 10 posts (not counting this one) that prominently feature Pumpkin. Three were written this year garnering 157 combined views. If we look back at the posts from 2013-2015, Pumpkin-centric posts garnered another 396 views bringing the grand total to 553. I've also written 6 posts about a fictional cat named Pickles, who may or may not be loosely based on Pumpkin. The Pickles posts add another 212 to the mix, bringing our total to 765 views for posts about Pumpkin or that reference Pumpkin. That's a lot of people reading about a cat who doesn't belong to a famous person.

This does not, however, answer the question of whether Pumpkin should have her own Instagram account. People, mostly my friends, enjoy Pumpkin so we could theorize that they would continue to enjoy Pumpkin on her own Instagram account. Strangers reading this blog seem to really dig her but is that enough? Do I have the time to manage another social media account? Would my Instagram account become boring without Pumpkin's antics and cuteness and napping?

I don't know the answer to any of these questions but I suspect the answers come down this: "Don't create an Instagram account for your cat. Don't be that person."

Such a lady #cutestcat #thoseears

Nacho Flay images from Instagram
Pumpkin images by me (all can be found on Instagram)

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