Funny Pet Memes Take Over the Internet

About six years ago the internet changed forever-the modern day meme was born. Someone posted a goofy photo on the website ICanHazCheeseburger.com and it went viral. Within days, computer geeks and amateur comedians were generating dozens of different image of cats, dogs and one walrus with a bucket in hopes of adding laughter to the cyber world.

Of course, a majority of the pets pictured in memes are dressed up in outfits by their owner. Some dogs wear doggles or sweat suits and others dress for Halloween and Christmas, but others are just plain ridiculous. For instance, were you aware that there is an internet "phenomenon" of putting a slice of bread on the face of your cat and taking a photo? You can search the words "Bread Cat" and literally thousands of images of pet owners' funny cat-bread-face photos are scattered across the web.

Generally speaking, the bulk of pet memes are made of cats. In fact, the term "LOLcat" has been given to any meme featuring a cat. It should come to no surprise that cat owners have caught their cats making funny faces or dressed them up in silly outfits or put bread on their heads to get a laugh from others. LOLcats are often pictured whole performing characteristically human actions or dressed in "people clothes" with glasses or hats.

A Frees photo of some original LOLcats
The Godfathers of LOLCats It's hard to imagine that more than 100 years ago, there were two mustached men; both named Harry who both had a strange fascination with photographing pets in human-like scenarios. Harry Whittier Frees and Pointer photographed animals in the late 1800s for novelty postcards or unique greeting cards. Pointer's photos would often feature a cat trying to ride a tricycle or wearing miniature roller skates in hopes of getting laughs. Meanwhile Frees would go one step further and construct full scenes where the animals would be wearing full dress outfits and acting out different scenarios from an instructor teaching a class of students (cats) to a cat playing dentist to a kitten with a sore tooth.

It could be argued that if these two photographers never started taking pictures of our pets, that there may have never been any LOLcats, and that memes might never have existed. Although, If the two Harrys where alive today, it would be safe to say that they would be producing more LOLcats to fill our webpages. According to Photohistory.com, before Poynter died in 1889, he had published more than 200 cat photographs.

The Most Famous LOLcats When it comes to generating memes, there are a few themes (and cats) that have been hanging around for more than a little while. Internet fads generally show up and disappear quickly (remember planking?), but these cats have been re-photographed and had different texts placed on top of them and seem to be here for the long haul. Here is a list of the most popular LOLcats.

Classic example of cat breading.
  • Grumpy Cat: A Siamese cat named Tartar Sauce that was born with a form of dwarfism to make it constantly look like he's frowning.
  • Cat Breading: Putting a piece of bread on a cat's face and taking a photo. It sounds stupid, but it's pretty funny.
  • Monorail Cat: A photo of a cat lying on a plank of wood with its feet tucked in to mimic a train.
  • Nyan Cat: An illustration of a cat with a Pop-Tart body flying thru space with a rainbow trail.
  • Chemistry Cat: A cat dressed as a chemist with funny puns about chemistry I.E. -"my cat food is argon," (all gone).
  • Ceiling Cat: A photo of a cat looking down and spying on its owner. "I'm watching you..."
  • Business Cat: Thousands of Business Cat images exist. He says typical "Boss lingo" but with a feline twist to see how well you 'purrrform.'

In the end, it's not clear whether memes or LOLcats will be around hundred years. But, it's likely that people will never stop taking funny pictures of their pets, so until then we'll just have to wait and see...

By Sean Bowes
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