Internet memes tend to be rather short-lived by nature. After all, new Internet memes are being generated on a constant basis, meaning that their predecessors will be pushed out of the public consciousness either sooner or later. With that said, there are some Internet memes that manage to leave a lasting impression, which is why they will be remembered years and years after their initial debut. One excellent example is Longcat, which has had a rather surprising longevity. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Longcat:
1. Started Up on 2chan
Like a lot of Internet memes, Longcat started up on 2chan, which is a Japanese image board. With that said, it is important to note that in this context, 2chan refers to Futaba Channel rather than 2channel, which are sometimes confused for one another by non-Japanese users. Something that isn’t helped by the fact that Futaba Channel was founded in 2001 because of a fear that 2channel would be shutting down.
2. Based on a Real Cat
A lot of Internet memes have started out as real photos before turning into something else altogether, with Longcat being an excellent example. After all, the Internet meme started up when a 2chan user posted a photo of their cat.
3. The Cat Was Named Shiroi
Considering the color of the coat of the cat in the picture, it should come as no surprise to learn that the cat was named Shiroi. This means “white” in Japanese, thus showing that people of different backgrounds and different cultures are often fond of surprisingly similar pet names.
4. The Cat Was Nicknamed Nobiiru
Soon enough, Shiroi picked up a new nickname in the form of Nobiiru, which means nothing more than “stretch” in Japanese. This makes a fair amount of sense, seeing as how her considerable length can be attributed to her particular pose in the photo.
5. Became Popular Via Photoshopping
In time, people started Photoshopping Shiroi into a wide range of contexts meant to showcase her lengthiness. For example, people might have seen the picture of the cat compared with the heights of the world’s tallest buildings. Likewise, people might have seen the picture of the cat reaching out into space while standing on the Earth’s surface.
6. Sometimes Thought to Have Originated on 4chan
It isn’t uncommon for Longcat to be believed to have originated on 4chan, which is an English imageboard based to some extent on its Japanese counterpart. For instance, the first mention of Longcat on Urban Dictionary claims that it came from one of 4chan’s sub-boards. To some extent, the confusion is understandable considering how 4chan users are sometimes influenced by their 2chan counterparts as well as how 4chan is much more accessible than 2chan for English speakers.
7. Some Are Curious about Potential Monty Python Influence
There was a Monty Python sketch from the 1970s that involved a cat in a similar stretched-out pose. Some people have wondered whether that sketch might have inspired the images of Longcat looming over a cityscape, which have become a familiar part of the so-called Catnarok mythology.
8. Features in Catnarok
Considering its name, it should come as no surprise to learn that Catnarok is a jokingly foretold event when a bunch of cat memes will face off against their evil counterparts. After all, it isn’t exactly hard to see how the people behind it came up with the name, seeing as how they smooshed “cat” together with “Ragnarok,” which would be the foretold destruction of the Norse pantheon in a cataclysmic battle with their nemeses that will bring about a renewal of the cosmos.
9. Expected to Face Off Against Tacgnol
In the case of Longcat, she is expected to face off against Tacgnol, who is Longcat but evil. For people who haven’t figured it out, Tacgnol is literally “cat” and “long” with reversed letters before being smooshed together, which says everything that needs to be said about the motivations behind its creation.
10. Had Its Heyday in 2007
With that said, Longcat is an old cat meme with its heyday behind it. After all, searches for the phrase were most numerous back in 2007, which was the year in which it featured on the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Something that brought it a short-lived amount of mainstream attention.