The good Samaritan who has taken in the two kittens that gummed up Brooklyn subway traffic last week is now getting them ready for their close-up.
Cat lover Steve Liu opened up his home to the mischievous pair of strays, named Arthur and August, days after they made headlines for wandering onto the subway tracks at the Church Avenue station in Flatbush, snarling B and Q trains for hours. Now Liu, 25, is hoping to cash in on the pair’s cuteness by filming and photographing their every nubile move for his web site, Scratching Pad, in hopes of attracting advertising dollars and someday selling merchandise.
“Ideally, I want to have remarkable products, like a cat costume or a toy,” said Liu.
The aspiring auteur even rented a new house for the venture, a duplex in Bushwick where Arthur and August share a room with two other resident kittens, whose provocative frolicking is interrupted only by the clicks of camera shutters.
Arthur and August have barely gotten their bearings and are already making high-profile plugs for Liu’s feline blog empire, including an appearance on last night’s “Colbert Report.” The subway explorers’ rambunctious roommates are on a vigorous show-biz schedule, too, rehearsing for the Kitten Halftime Show, a feline interlude to Animal Planet’s dog-centric “Puppy Bowl.”
Come to think of it, Liu’s whole enterprise is basically built on kitty porn.
It has been less than a week since Arthur and August took up residence in the cathouse but, like their bunny counterparts at the Playboy Mansion, the kittens are already forming factions.
“At first, the Arthur and Ralph and Alice would huddle together and August was a loner,” said Liu. “Now August and Alice have paired off and Arthur and Ralph do their own thing.”
This is not the first time someone has attempted to torpedo office productivity by broadcasting kitten calisthenics live on the internet. Animal Planet offers around-the-clock cat-on-cat action on its Kitten Cam. And the network has something for everyone, accomodating the most extreme and peculiar viewing tastes. Web users who favor the rough stuff can watch brown bears stalk salmon in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. Those who like it dirty can fulfill their every fantasy with the Cockroach Cam, which streams in real time from a miniature kitchen covered in roach poop.
Now, there is nothing funny about animal exploitation and, Liu, to his credit, said he hopes that the venture will not only make him money but will help the cats get adopted faster.
“That’s the power of video,” said Liu. “Some people start to feel an attachment to what they see.”
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