TAILS FROM THE CRYPTO
From kitty currencies to pets in the "cloud," China's cat economy is on the rise 从猫咪咖啡到云养猫， “猫咪经济”的背后是“空巢青年”的空虚寂寞冷？
Internet icons and fluffy companions, cats have slunk their way into the hearts of millions of pet owners, not to mention fans all over social media. As cat cafes and videos expand into “cloud pets” and cryptocurrency, even state media is asking: Are feline fans just lonely youths, or the beginning of a “cat economy”?
T “ blanket is soft/ I stay indoors with my cat,” wrote poet the Song dynasty, 800 years ago, cats were cool. Today, they even
lies besides my pillow. I give her a Liaoning province, about her pet, Little Nine. “I wouldn’t get bored my cat, I feel like I have the entire world.”
unbridled love of cats can be grounds at cat owners as “having nowhere to devote their instinct of protecting others, so they are more prone to nest youths” ( )—millennials unmarried and living alone—the party mouthpiece implied that isolation, loneliness, and feelings of emptiness were reasons that people sought interaction with cats.
About 79.5 percent of pet owners 90s, and over 51 percent are single, country’s biggest pet forum. The country’s growing fascination for an industry worth 134 billion RMB. That worth is expected to reach 188.5
Accompanying the dramatic increase is a growing cultural obsession with the creatures who once inspired Shen Zhenlin, imperial painter of the late object to the notion of their beloved cats as mere pets. Japanese novelist d th J] QEE.Q ., L :I [. K: Z, that “It’s not humans who rear cats; it’s cats who deign to stay with humans.” Owners declare themselves “slaves to cats” ( ) and “excrement removal ); to interact with their pet is to “sniff ” or “snort cats” ( ), an allusion to their addictive allure.
phrase “raising cats in the cloud” ( ) refers to indulging one’s feline fantasies vicariously online, through sharing pictures, memes, gifs, and videos, or even raising virtual cats. have become professional cat bloggers, internet fame. “Huiyi Zhuanyong started with pictures and videos of cat; it’s now rumored that Xiaomajia advertisement.
Loulou, a cat with the dedicated 760,000 fans who enjoyed making memes out of the feline’s videos, on Loulou’s behalf more than 8,000 times, though Loulou didn’t make it. Hanyun used a meme featuring the deceased feline to wish her friend a year, outraged Loulou fans denounced the star as heartless and Zhang was forced to delete her post.
thli yttw gjj tgo, a mobile game in which players can purchase food, toys, and furniture to attract a variety of virtual strays to their backyard. adaptation, n glh gd t gjj tygl, received rapturous ratings on Douban. again how the kitties have taken over our planet.”
This takeover was most apparent in the November launch of E :t] ]. , as a potential investment opportunity. release of E :t] ]. by the Zen, did not materialize over Spring Store, including uz:md q by 360.
E :t] ]. allows users to raise, breed and trade virtual cats on the Ethereum network using cryptocurrency. Each validated through the blockchain, and has a generation number and unique features determined by a partially closed source algorithm. Two cats can be bred together to produce a new cat with a greater generation generation number and rarer features has higher values.
Originally thought to be an attempt to deploy blockchain technology for recreational purposes, E :t] ]. ’ a week of release, it was hogging 11 percent of transactions on Ethereum, a blockchain network; at the time of press, players had spent more than 19 million USD trading cartoon kittens, with the most expensive changing hands for about 110,000 USD,
The burgeoning popularity suggests that trades on feline fascination. the Japanese for “cat,” nekonomic strategies range from putting a kitty stationmaster on a train line to temples that litter their grounds with cat statuettes, all of which attract customers, though they may have nothing to do with the business itself. These gimmicks also fuel a sharing apps, pet stores, and kitty merchandise.
with feline companions, have long
WITHIN A WEEK OF RELEASE, CRYPTOKITTIES WAS HOGGING 11 PERCENT OF TRANSACTIONS ON ETHEREUM, A BLOCKCHAIN NETWORK
narrow lane off Donggong Street, the cafe’s 40 cats from 15 different breeds slink and purr their way between table legs and customers. The frisky felines often upset beverages and step on cakes, but few customers seem to mind. “Everyone who comes here
costs of a business like his “are twice that of normal cafes, mostly spent personnel.” After seven years in part of a cat economy of his own— operating a pet store alongside his cafe, pictures of his cats with more than
He has even played a probable role in stimulating the trade in rare cat breeds like Abyssinians in Beijing. “There were maybe only three breeders when and more customers are coming in to inquire about Abyssinian cats.”
At another cat cafe in the Sanlitun neighborhood, the staff report that there’s at least “one incident every meets the claws of an annoyed cat, but for ailurophiles who can’t indulge their passion at home, these risks are just added realism. “I love cats so much, but I can’t have one at home, because my parents are allergic,” a cat in the ‘cloud’ is meaningful. To ‘sniff ’ a cat, you have to hold it with your own hands.”
cat economy. “Most of our customers are young, from teenagers to those they have time, they come to the cafe; when they are busy, they resort to the close to cats.”
traced the roots of Japan’s cat economy to two “opposing aspects” of contemporary internet culture— connectivity, and burnout from whatever they want and still charm their owners. That’s why they’re so agreed, likening felines to a projection need to be walked, are never clingy, well with youths who continually call for independence, stay up late, and
won’t spare a glance for anything around them, including their proud attitudes to express their own feelings.” The fact that millennials are spending their leisure hours fondling real and virtual felines—instead of socializing, getting married, or buying a house—is unpalatable to a state keen to ensure stability and educate the next generation in socialist values. “The process of raising a ‘cat in the cloud’ is more about young people communicating with themselves, rather than interacting with cats,” the newspaper ultimately concluded.
moral panic. “They always try to make us out to be pathetic,” she says, but “there’s no complicated theory” behind her—just the love of a soft, knew nothing about the cats, but now many can name different breeds.” Or it, “Sniff a cat once, and spend your whole life trying to quit.”
“CATS’ HABITS FIT WELL WITH YOUTHS WHO CALL FOR INDEPENDENCE, STAY UP LATE, AND LEAD A NON-TRADITIONAL LIFE”
Two customers feed cats in a Shanghai cafe run by “Aunt Xia,” a noted catlover who has helped to find homes for over 1,800 stray cats; all the cats here are strays and open for adoption
A cat cafe in Beiluogu Alley features over 40 cats of various breeds. “Playing with these fur balls sweeps away negative emotions; many customers stop by after work,” says the owner