How Cats Conquered the Internet: A Timeline of Viral Cat Memes

cat memes history

How Cats Conquered the Internet: A Timeline of Viral Cat Memes

cat memes history

Greetings fellow feline enthusiasts! It’s Ashley, your resident cat mum and dedicated champion of all things whiskered and fluffy. Today, we’ll embark on a meow-nificent journey, exploring how our cute little four-legged furballs have managed to claw their way to the hearts of millions and effectively command the reins of the internet with their undeniable charm.

My first encounter with a cat meme happened a few years back when I was going through some “tough life drama.” Suddenly, my friend sent me an image of a grumpy looking cat with the caption, “I had fun once, it was awful.” I chuckled, and my mood lightened. That cat, known worldwide as the ‘Grumpy Cat,’ was like a ray of sunshine behind my dark clouds. And that’s when I realized the power- the sheer, innocent, joyous power of cat memes. The world might be a bit of a mess, but cats on the internet? They help us navigate it with a little mirth and a whole lot of purring.

So, let’s cozy up, imagine we’re curled up in front of a warm fire with our feline friends, and embark on a journey through time—the timeline of viral cat memes.

1990s – The Beginning of it All

In the early days of the internet, cats were already gaining momentum among online communities, marking their paw prints in various forums and chat rooms. But we quickly learnt that cats aren’t just for curling up in laps, they’re also great for a laugh or two online.

2006 – The LOLcat Revolution

The year 2006 saw the birth of an absolute gem: the LOLcat. The concept? Simple. Just slap a grammatically incorrect but oh-so-cute cat-themed caption on an image, and voilà, instant comic relief! This iconic meme swiftly took over the internet, thanks to the website icanhas.cheezburger.com, which became a central hub for all things LOLcat.

lolcat meme

2007—Enter Keyboard Cat

Next on our timeline is the Keyboard Cat, a delightful feline named Fatso clad in a blue shirt and uncannily “playing” a keyboard. The original video was filmed in the 80s, but it was not until 2007 that the Keyboard Cat made its internet debut and quickly went viral. Honestly, who could resist a talent show staged by felines? Not me, and definitely not the internet.

2010—More fun with Maru

Now, let’s fly over to Japan to meet Maru, an adorable Scottish Fold whose favorite pastime is diving headfirst into cardboard boxes. Given his inherent cuteness and quirkiness, Maru quickly became a YouTube sensation.

2012 – The Grumpy Cat Era

Here comes the meme that changed my dreary day and turned me into a certified cat meme junkie—the Grumpy Cat. Real name Tardar Sauce, this cat’s naturally grumpy face (caused by an underbite and feline dwarfism) became the perfect tool for expressing discontent or sarcasm, making her a global cultural phenomenon. Sadly, Tardar Sauce passed away in 2019, but her legacy lives on forever in the e-frames she so grumpily graced.

2014 – Meet Lil BUB

On a bright note, let’s move to 2014 and meet Lil BUB. With her big eyes and unique facial features due to genetic mutations, she took the internet by storm. She’s more than just a cute face, though. Lil BUB used her fame to advocate for special needs pets and raise money for animal charities. A true champion just like her human!

Cats Today and Beyond

Over the years, there have been many other cat memes that have emerged and delighted millions worldwide—think “Woman Yelling at a Cat,” “Nyan Cat,” and countless others. The legacy of these lovable creatures in cyberspace continues to grow.

As cat lovers, we understand why these furry little creatures have succeeded in capturing our hearts and the internet. With their quirky attitudes, lovable antics, and the mystery that envelops them, cats are born entertainers. Their memes do more than just make us laugh. They bring us together, soften the harsh realities of life, and remind us that joy often comes in small, furry packages.

So, hats off (or rather, cat-ears headbands off) to our charming, memelicious feline friends on their majestic reign over the internet!

Until next time, stay pawsome!
Ashley, the cat mum

Hello, I am cat mum Ashley. This is the personal blog where I share all my love and knowledge of my cats. Stay around and let's have more purrr-fect meowww-moments together!

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