Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Cats: A Web Meme With More Than Nine Lives

Illustration for article titled Cats: A Web Meme With More Than Nine Lives

Mashable's Amy-Mae Elliott recently asked "the million dollar" question: Why does the web love cats?


Elspeth Rountree, founder of Know Your Meme, tells Elliott:

"They're the perfect distraction from our hectic lives. You don't need any explanation or prior knowledge to understand the slapstick humor that animals provide. Cat videos and images are a quick hit of pure, unfettered ‘cute.' They're also entertainment in easily digestible doses."


But there are plenty of cute animals on this planet, and it could be argued that dogs — also an incredibly popular house pet — are just as cute, silly, funny and weird as cats. Yet, when it comes to viral videos and macros, cats rule.

Jack Shepherd from BuzzFeed offers this theory:

"When a dog gets in a box, it's because he desperately wants you to think he's cool. When a cat does it, it's because it suddenly felt like the right thing to do at the time. More often than not, it totally was. I think it's the very aloofness of cats that makes us want to caption their thoughts, or put them in front of a keyboard and see what happens. The many Keyboard Dogs were a failure not just because they came second, but because they were enjoying themselves far too much."

Growing up, my family had a cat. Now I am a dog owner. But I think it's true that cats offer more mystery, more intrigue, more depth than dogs. Ceiling Dog is dumb and silly; Ceiling Cat is an infinite conundrum; an enigma wrapped in a riddle. Also, I'm scared of her.

The Million Dollar Question: Why Does the Web Love Cats? [Mashable]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



My cats were on my shit list today. I woke up to one kneading my chest. Every time I pushed her off to desperately try and sleep in, she got right back on my chest with a sweet mixture of "But I love you!" and "Bish please, this is my house and my rules." Then the other cat got in on the action and they starting fighting and chasing each other, with the bed as their mischief-base, and I finally gave up on sleeping and made coffee. I was furious, until I found cat number two tangled in the bed covers (which I had just made - how did she do that?) and looking up with big sweet eyes like "oh, hi. No, that wasn't me just wrestling with the covers like a manic. I'm cool. See? See me lick myself? I'm cool as a sheet-wrapped cucumber."

Effing cats. They win every time. It's also like they knew it would be cat day on Jezebel so they could mess with me and my heart would melt back into cat love.