Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The 25 Biggest Cat Culture Moments of 2012

From feline film festivals to cat breading, 2012 was another exciting year in the world of cat culture. Along the way there were heartwarming stories, hilarious images, and we also said goodbye to some famous kitties, while saying hello to a whole new class of others.

1. Cat Breading
The original in-bread cat image hit the web in 2011, but it wasn't until a January 2012 post on Gawker that the meme went mainstream. 

2. Kitten Helps His Owner Put A Ring On It In Furriest Little Wedding Proposal
When a kitten pops the question, how can you say no? Little Luke helped one Reddit user's brother-in-law to be propose, while Tucker the Cat lent a paw in another surprise proposal.


3. Seattle Children's Hospital Creates "Cat Immersion Project" For Teen Cancer Patient
Facebook users from around the world submitted thousands of cat photos, which were displayed for the teen from the comfort of her bed.

4. Cat Shaming Website Exposes Feline Misdeeds
After the meteoric rise of Dog Shaming, the Tumblr where owners submit images of their remorseful pooches confessing their most embarrassing secrets, it was inevitable that a blog where cat owners could "tattle-tale on their naughty nyans" would emerge in its wake. The joke was on us though, because cats know nothing of this emotion we call "shame."

5. Cat Tunnel Sofa
The cat couch prototype by Korean designer Seungji Mun allows humans and their kitties to lounge together in purrfect harmony.

6. The 25 Best Tweets From The First Ever Internet Cat Video Film Festival
An estimated 10,000 people showed up at the first ever Internet Cat Video Film Festival held on August 30 at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Honors were awarded in several categories, with Henri 2, Paw de Deux taking home the coveted Golden Kitty.

7. Devoted Cat Dad Constructs Ultimate Kitty Maze
Billy Browne felt guilty after his cat Rufus suffered from a painful ear infection, which required him to administer ear drops to the feline on a daily basis. After the infection cleared, Browne decided to make it up to the kitty by constructing a massive maze using 40 cardboard boxes and colorful packing tape, saying, "I wanted to do something to show my gratitude for his putting up with my torture. Rufus loves boxes as all cats do so this is what I made for him."

8. Cats That Look Like Pin-Up Girls
Maru's innocent gaze never looked so scandalous as when placed next to a saucy sailor, while other side-by-side comparisons proved that flexibility and a well-groomed coat are the key to getting a purrfect shot.

9. Cat And Grandmother Captured On Film For Posterity
Misao Ihara's granddaughter began capturing images of her 88-year-old grandmother with her cat in 2003. She recently released, "Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat," a photography book that beautifully captures the deep spiritual bond between the two. 

10. 100,000 Facebook Likes Lead To New Cat For Social Media Savvy Siblings
When 7-year-old Remi and his 1-year-old sister Evelyn were told by their dad that they needed 1,000 Facebook likes to get a cat, they went online and were overwhelmed by the response. The adorable duo are now the proud owners of a kitten named Hairyette Pawturr.

11. Kitten Survives 6,500 Mile Journey In A Shipping Container 
Ni Hao (Mandarin for "hello"), was found in a freight container that traveled overseas from Shanghai to California. Near death, the 3-month-old kitten could barely open his eyes and wasn't able to walk after the harrowing ordeal, which included two-weeks without food and water. Fortunately, he recovered, and even found a forever home.

12. Special Needs Cat Found Dragging Itself Through The Streets Of Iran Is Given A Second Chance At Life
Maloos was discovered on the streets of Iran, dragging his legs behind him, soaked in mud and gasoline, with shrapnel stuck in his face. After a surgical mistake resulted in the amputation of his hind leg, a good Samaritan offered to transport the kitty to the U.S., where he was given refuge at San Francisco Animal Care & Control. They nursed him back to health, and ultimately found adopters who were happy to add him to their family.

13. Political Pussycats
It was a groundbreaking year for felines in politics, with a record number of cats declaring their intent to run for office. Hank rallied hard for a senate seat in Virginia, while Tuxedo Stanley made a bid for Mayor of Halifax. Morris the Cat and Hello Kitty also ran unsuccessful presidential campaigns.

14. Catvertising
Argentinean coffee brand Arlistan hit the creative jackpot with their commercial that likened drinking their beverages to being enveloped in the warmth of a purring, oversized cat. Other notable catvertisements included Swedish Skydiving Cats set to R. Kelly, Hanes claiming their shirts are softer than kittens, a cute cat testing out a tiny jacket for Columbia Sportswear, a Chinese drug store commercial showing a loyal cat going to the ends of the earth for his sick owner, and Sauza Tequila, who went for the hard sell with booze, hot dudes, and kittens.

15. Martha Stewart, Kitten Nibbler
The domestic diva caused controversy this summer when she brought home two new kittens, and revealed the unusual way she introduces them into the family.

16. Cee Lo Green and Purrfect
Green made headlines earlier this year when a fluffy Persian named Purrfect joined him for judging duties on "The Voice." While it was later revealed that Purrfect was a rental cat of sorts, other celebs actually did introduce new felines into their homes, including Ke$ha who added a Siamese named Mr. Peep$, and "Glee" star Chris Colfer who adopted a senior kitty named Brian.

17. In Memoriam
Sadly, a few famous kitties went over the rainbow bridge in 2012, including Kim Kardashian's 4-month-old kitten Mercy, "Flipping Out" star Jeff Lewis's cat Monkey, Meow the 39 lb. shelter cat, and Chris Torres's Russian Blue Marty, who was the inspiration behind Nyan Cat.

18. Choupette Lagerfeld
Designer Karl Lagerfeld introduced the world to his beloved muse in January, but it wasn't until this summer that fashion's new It-cat had her coming out party, with appearances in i-D Magazine, V (posing with Laetitia Casta), Harper's Bazaar, and more. The pampered puss, who turned one in August, has her own iPad, Twitter account, and personal maids, who obsessively record the cat's daily activities in a diary.

19. Spangles the Cross-Eyed Kitty
In the past, online cat fame revolved around viral videos, but 2012 was the year of the cat personality, who made their mark through other forms of social media, including Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. Spangles, so named because he was born of the fourth of July, drew media attention to his Facebook page, due to his charming mix of fashion acumen and cross-eyed cuteness. According to his official bio, Spangles loves being photographed, and is sure to let his human know when he's in a "glamorous mood." 

20. Snoopy
Cat loyalists probably recognize the smooshy-faced cat from Facebook or I Can Has Cheezburger, but who is the real kitty behind those impossibly large eyeballs? Snoopy is an Exotic Shorthair, born on May 11th, 2011 in Beijing, China. His first notable appearance was in February when a series of photos of him bathing in a pink bucket emerged online, followed by LOL-worthy pics of him getting comfy in bed, and trying on a pair of oversized sunglasses.

21. Colonel Meow
The stern furball was abandoned on the side of the road (by a passing space ship, I'm guessing), and rescued by the Himalayan and Persian Society, before taking over Facebook with a following of 118,000. I'm still not convinced he's not battery operated, but I'm ready to become one of his faithful recruits.

22. Henri, Le Chat Noir

The philosophical French feline had a huge year, releasing a string of viral hits, but none bigger than Henri 2, Paw de Deux, which amassed the tuxedo cat and his thieving filmmaker over 6.4 million views, and a Golden Kitty award at Cat Vid Fest in August.

23. Lil Bub
Perma-kitten Lil Bub has disproportionately short limbs, is polydactyl on all four paws, and has no teeth. She was not bred to be a dwarf, but was the runt of an otherwise normal litter born to a stray mother. Specialists have looked into her unusual condition, but she regularly lets her admirers know that she is as happy and healthy as can be. Described as "nature's happy accident," Bub appears to adore the attention she receives from her legions of fans, who have dubbed her the cutest cat in the world. 

In less than a year, Lil Bub has appeared on "Good Morning America", was re-created in cupcake form, and most recently popped up in a holiday video with Andrew WK, where they encouraged viewers to donate to local animal shelters this holiday season.

24. Venus the Chimera Cat
When Venus the Chimera cat's picture began making the rounds on the internet over the summer, many people questioned the authenticity of the photo depicting the kitty who seemingly had two faces. Fortunately, the cat with half a black face with a green eye and half an orange face with a blue eye, is a real life Harvey Dent, with countless pictures and videos to prove it. Venus, who like other feline stars before her has appeared on "The Today Show", recently signed a contract to make stuffed animals in her likeness.

25. Tardar Sauce the Grumpy Cat
Tardar Sauce aka Grumpy Cat became an internet sensation after photos of her emerged on Reddit in September. The cause of her unusual appearance could be genetic or neurological, but her family has refrained from testing since she is currently in good health. Grumpy has a popular Facebook page, Twitter account, and website (, where she shares daily pictures and updates, that sometimes include her equally adorable brother, Pokey. She has the same manager as Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat, and has also inspired a slew of fan artwork, and even a grumpy cattoo.

In addition to becoming one of the top memes of the year in just a few short months, the 8-month-old was recently a guest on "The Today Show" (natch), and also appeared in a heartwarming video for Tumblr, where she revealed she's not so grumpy after all.

Looking for even more? Check out the year-end wrap-up I wrote for Catster of my 10 favorite Cat Chic posts of 2012.



Mariela Santillan said...

It has been the year of the Cat to say the least.

lamina@do a bit said...

An awesome collection! Love it! :)

Sweet Purrfections said...

These are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

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