Cats and Evil Spirits: An Apology to Those We Have Disappointed

Over the short life of Nothing Just Is, we have composed and published over 100 posts.

In that time, one post in particular has been looked at more than any other content except the home page. This wouldn’t even be worth mentioning but for the fact that it has outperformed all other content to an alarming degree.

As I write this, it has been viewed 1,081 times, while the nearest competitor has only been viewed 280 times. To put it another way (at the risk of exposing our humble traffic stats), it is responsible for a tenth of the traffic generated by all other content including the home page since the first post went up. While I am aware that these numbers are peanuts by internet standards, the gap is significant and — considering the fact that the traffic has yet to show signs of slowing — can only widen with time.

The post, if you haven’t read it, is titled, “How cats keep evil spirits away,” and it is completely undeserving of the attention it has received.

Don’t get me wrong. I am somewhat proud of the post, which I thought was relatively clever when I wrote it. The problem is that its popularity is not in any way due to this meagre cleverness.

I will explain.

The post was based on a simple idea I had while drinking with the other authors of the site one night. Basically, it answers the question, “Do cats keep evil spirits away?” by saying that having a cat running around your house gives you a convenient explanation for any noises you might hear during the night. While steering clear of taking any stance on whether or not ghosts actually exist or whether or not cats can chase them off, the post simply notes that cats provide an easy explanation for noises that might otherwise be attributed to spirits.

This is a problem, because the list of search-engine queries that have led people to the post make it quite clear that people are not finding what they are looking for.

“How can I keep evil spirits out of my house?”

“Do cats keep demons away?”

“Ways to keep evil away”

“Can cats steal your breath?”

These are just a few examples of actual things that have been typed into a search engine and ended up leading people to our site. There are myriad variations on these few examples.

The impression I get is that quite a few people are genuinely interested in whether or not cats can rid their houses of evil. Some people may be randomly curious about the origins of the myth, while others may actually be seeking a way to remove ghosts from what they believe is a haunted house.

It is fair to assume, since my explanation doesn’t get into the paranormal aspects of the issue in any way, that none of these people leave the site satisfied. And while I don’t have the actual statistics, I would be willing to wager that, of the 1,081 people who have looked at that post, every single one has clicked the “back” button rather than deciding to give the rest of the site a browse. On top of this, not one person has chosen to comment on it.

I won’t lie. I like the traffic. There is, however, a very large part of me that can’t help but feel as if I cheating these people.

For that, I offer an amused apology. I hope you all found what you were looking for somewhere else.


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