The internet is bonkers about cat photos. It celebrates Caturday once a week. And some of us would go through withdrawals without our daily feline fix.
LOLCats Rule the Internets
Cat photos are a longtime fascination and favorite pastime dating back to the inception of the World Wide Web, or whenever it first supported digital data. The point is cats are a major component of our daily browsing experience.
That’s probably why images of cats are among the most frequently viewed content on the web. Data from 2015 shows cat videos on YouTube had the highest number of views versus any other category. The New York Times once referred to the cat photo thing as “that essential building block of the Internet.”
The Good News
Studies show cat photos are good for you. For a 2015 research paper called “Computers in Human Behavior,” 7,000 internet users were evaluated. The analysis showed that viewing cats online is good for you! The study led by Jessica Gall Myrick discovered people experienced happiness and positive emotional states, just by looking at cats online. The beneficial effects go even further. Myrick says her data show that the outcome of gazing into our screens at kitty cats is like digital pet therapy. She says it is a form of stress relief. Just think, cat photos have all the benefits of an emotional therapy animal without having to clean up after it!
With that out of the way, let’s look at some of the most famous internet cats from Internet history.
2012 brought us the “first world problems” meme featuring a dreamy-eyed kitty with an expression of deep longing. The caption, “I’m hungry but my bowl’s only 90% full” yet captures the imagination. The image turns hearts, but most importantly it makes us laugh.
There is no introduction necessary for Grumpy Cat. We all recognize the face. Grumpy Cat is another cat image dating from 2012. It is universally appreciated; we don’t even know why.
Limecat made its first appearance on our internet browsers in 2004. Its expression is one that we all relate to at some level. This cat with a citrus peel for a hat is inexpressibly humorous, which turned it into a popular meme.
They’re Not Just Cute
LOLCats provide entertainment and a form of expression. Many are totally adorable and we’re here for them, but cat photos are not just simply cute. Most of the time they are humorous or interesting. And much of the time they say something about us as humans.