Ryan Darrenkamp is 27, lives in Brooklyn, currently has no cats, but blogs about cats and booze in the website Boozecats. He moved to New York three years ago from Amish country Pennsylvania and it's apparently been hell and liquor and cats since then.
Do different breeds of cats represent different types of booze?
The breed of the cat isn't as important as the size of the cat. I like to use kittens for shots, regular cats for cans and pint glasses, fat cats for big mugs, and lions for kegs. The lion kegs are extra funny to me personally because of all the years I spent drinking an extremely cheap PA beer called Lionshead. Even though we've only ever used real cats, I like to think of Garfield as a spokesman for Boozecats. If it wasn't so taboo, I bet Garfield would've been washing down his lasagna with tall frosty beers. And he's fat, so it's funny.
How did this blog come about?
The blog started because my roommate Lisa was a bridesmaid in a wedding. They were trying to compile photos of themselves with the bride, but all of hers had beer in the picture. We thought it was very funny, then we worried we were alcoholics, then we laughed about it again. We just never get the camera out unless we're all together and drinking, so all our photos have beer in them. We were drinking at the time, but I ran to my computer and made the first Boozecat picture and told her to use it for the photo album. They thought it was hilarious but didn't send it in. I made a few more because I thought they were funny, and then it became a facebook page. My friends seemed to like them too, so I made the website.
Why booze-CATS? Why not booze-dogs? Or ferrets? Or guinea pigs?
Cats happened to be the first idea to pop in my head, and the phrase Boozecats just rolls off the tongue. I'm censoring beer, so it had to be something that would look natural being held in a human hand. Dogs are a bit too big, ferrets are too scary, and guinea pigs are weird and smelly. It also helps that the internet is obsessed with cats. It provides me with a ton of photos to use, and it gets me a lot of views. Nobody would want to read Boozebeetles, Boozesnakes or Boozefalcons. Well maybe Boozefalcons.Boozecat Beer Pong.
Do people use their own cats to make boozecats pictures? Or do they pull random cats off the web?
Most of the cats used are found online. I like to type "cat" into a google image search. I feel like many of the people who submit their own photos put forth even less effort than that, if it's even possible. Most of the user submissions contain the same 2 or 3 cats copy and pasted a few times. The best part is that these still look awesome. Even when the person has no photoshop skills, they can make a hilarious Boozecat by pairing the right image with the right cat. Some of them have crazy back stories too. People have sent many pictures in to get revenge or to poke fun of a person they don't like. I also get the occasional cat photo from people who don't drink or who just want a famous cat, and I do the boozing of it for them.
Has anyone complained that cats and alcohol don't mix?
I have surprisingly received no complaints at all. I'm a bit nervous about it myself though, because it has started a scary trend. Some of my friends like to pick up their cats during parties and act like they are drinking from them. I do not condone this, but it does make for some pretty hilarious photos. In the long run I think the site has beneficial qualities. It cuts down on the number of booze-filled pictures on the internet, and it gives young kids a reason to practice their photoshop skills. It also makes my facebook using grandmother think that I'm less of an alcoholic. She now thinks that I'm really obsessed with cats.