In all ways imaginable in the past four decades, Catalonia has tried to assert its individuality, if not outright independence, from the rest of Spain in many ways. They have ranged from the borderline violent mass protests, characterised by vitriol and rabid behaviour, but also more subtle and smart, like the establishment, back in 2005, of an international internet domain. Most countries and states have their own domain to exist outside of the mere .com pantheon, but normally only recognised countries can claim a domain.
When the .cat domain got approval, many in Madrid were furious. Other international spectators were confused – how could a ‘mere’ provence lay claim to their own domain? However, the fury and confusion of these onlookers paled in comparison to the sheer bewilderment of feline fans. Allow me to explain: those pet lovers of the cat variety seemed to think that, all of a sudden, the cat world had been officially recognised online – of course, buying goodies and food and furniture for your cat(s) seemed now to be regulated under one authority. Joy! However, imagine clicking on any website with a .cat domain and being bombarded with the Catalan language, and images of the ‘senyera’ and of high level politicians, some of whom would eventually serve jail time. Would you cat lovers out there go so far for your beliefs as to face incarceration? It is a question that they probably did not wish to face up to.