So, many of us were distracted from our workaday lives recently by the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show—what, you weren’t watching? (The winner was Banana Joe, the first ever affenpinscher to win this particular event—now he gets to retire in everyone’s favorite retirement spot, the Netherlands.) Of course, events like this one and the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving only make me think of one thing—Christopher Guest’s brilliant mockumentary Best in Show and Parker Posey’s amazing “Where is Busy Bee?” meltdown therein—but it did recently get me thinking of something else. Namely—the fact that man’s best friend is definitely not the hottest animal on the block, and it hasn’t been for some time.
These days it takes more than being a friendly, tail-wagging quadruped to be “trending” at the rate of other species. In fact, the pop culture popularity of dogs is probably below that of even monkeys. People who watch videos of dogs—or the dog show—seem quaint and old timey.
For those of you who aren’t aware of the latest species trending, this list should help you get back up to speed. Dogs may be cute, but they are just not that hip anymore. Dogs had the 90s: Budweiser’s Spuds Mackenzie, the Taco Bell Chihuahua, and the Saint Bernard Beethoven ruled the big and small screens. Now they, like bunnies (think Energizer or Cadbury’s), must scamper for attention (the puppy-party-favors of Bridesmaids were an notable and adorable exception).
7. Penguins & Meerkats—yesterday’s news
Hard to believe that just a couple of years ago, penguins and meerkats reigned supreme. Who would have thought their day in the sun would ever end? However, all good things must come to an end. With Happyfeet and March of the Penguins now just DVDs gathering dust, and Meerkat Manor a mere memory, those animals are on the downswing. Enjoy them while the youtube videos still exist!
|Meerkats watch as fame & fortune leave them.|
6. Honeybadger—flash in the pan
Honeybadger don’t care….honeybadger is a badass!
5. Sea otters—just for Valentine’s Day?
A furry, graceful animal that holds hands with its friends? An instant winner. The jury is still out as to the market power of sea otters in the long run, but they are the perfect animal celebrity for the “yay I’m not a sad singelton” marketing campaign that is Valentine’s.
|That looks says: "We know we're cute."|
4. Pigs—on the rise
We thought we'd seen the end with the demise of Babe, but they're back! Who can resist Hamlet the pig making his way down the stairs towards his oatmeal? Or how about that somewhat creepy talking pig in the Geico commercial? Any way you slice it, pigs are on the rise and going quite literally into the skies. Pretty soon, these pigs will be bringing home the bacon, big time.
3. Hedgehogs—so cute I can barely breathe
OMG OMG OMG. Hedgehogs!!!! Cute and prickly and just oh-so-squishy! Lounging in my hand! Going for a swim! Gaaaah!
2. Sloths—hitting the big time
Sloths are smelly, slow and kind of scary—obviously a natural choice for fame and fortune. The Zach Galifinakis of the animal world, let’s say. But better-looking, because apparently, Bradley Cooper looks like one. Actress Kristin Bell is crazy for sloths. HuffPost announced today that a great last-minute Valentine’s gift would be a bucket of sloths. Sloths have even had their own SNL video. Obviously, sloths have arrived…get ‘em while they’re hot!...or still in the bucket!
|This bucket's mine! Get your own!|
1. Cats—always in fashion
None of these animals, however, will ever attain the popularity of the Internet darling—cats. Cats sliding into boxes, cats making existential statements, cats playing the piano, or even people just singing about cats. We even love grumpy cats. A self-teaching computer programmed to analyze the internet was able to “learn” how to recognize consistently exactly one thing—cats. Internet cat videos have even been shown at exclusive cat video film festivals. Cats are simply the Chanel of the animal world—always stylish and always classy with a little bit of sassy.
But all you dog-lovers out there, have no fear. Dogs are here to stay, too, even if they aren't lapping the limelight in quite the same way as cats or sloths. And here are some dog gifs for you too.
|The Great Conjunction's very own grumpy cat.|