The Cathouse was my first foray onto the Internet highway. I created my little electronic bulletin board (bbs) using an Atari XL (later ST), basic XL and an electronic bulletin board program (the name I can’t remember).
In 1984, those of us foraging around on the newly minted electronic roads did so with all the gusto of a race car driver. If we crashed and burned, it was all good. We’d just reboot, mess with the program a bit and get everything up and running again within, well, maybe a few days. Debugging the code was always the trickiest part because part a was connected to part b which was connected to part z and that was connected to part h… you can see the headache coming, right?
Pretty much anyone could into the mix, post a few messages about how to find their board and then wait for the crowds. Every ping of the modem and blink of an LED meant someone was logging in, browsing through the message boards and seeing if there was anything worth coming back for. Early adapters of such technology skidded around looking for interesting conversations as that’s pretty much all you could do back then (beyond downloading pirated software).
For me, it was about the communication – an entire world was out there ready to discuss things that just didn’t come up on a day to day basis. Politics, religion, relationships, jokes and, yes, cats. We should’ve guessed that one day, cats would take over the Internet. All the signs were there.
We discussed current books, movies, political issues, products and shared jokes, as well, but cats – they ruled the day. Hence, I had people from Australia to South Africa and everywhere in between logging on to my board, which showcased a fair number of cat posts about people’s cats. Once The Cathouse moved on to the Web, I was then able to post photos of the cats.
Here are a few examples of some of the posts:
Hi. We live in Finland, Europe. Town is Turku. We have 2 cats. Black and
white colour name is Batcat, She is WOMAN. Like a queen. Punkero is 3
years old. And we have Shiamese, 2 years old cat, a boy. Name is Punkero, its mean
like a fat. We care very much our cats. Thanks your sites, its nice. Bye.
THIS is Elmer waiting for dinner that never showed up. I had my grand kids
tugging on me to go see “Anastasia” and in my hurry I attached the wrong
file. Sorry bout that. This is our cat Elmer. He weighs 19 pounds and thinks he’s going to add that but he didn’t here.
Popular cats included mine – Booboo and Kiwi – and others such as, Mr. Yeegs, Dorothy, David, Claude, Remmy, Frankie Bradley “the angel” Maguire, Shawnee Louis de Sade, Pepper and Salt.
I guess I missed the boat on the whole LOL cats thing, huh? I won awards, though!