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1. Nyan Cat
The most acclaimed web cat is Nyan Cat, an 8-bit animated feline, who won Meme of the Year at the Webby Awards in May.
The Pop Tart-shaped viral sensation stormed onto the Internet in April 2011 when illustrator Chris Torres introduced Nyan Cat to the masses via YouTube.
“Nyan Cat has transformed into this viral entity that has surpassed not only everything I originally expected for my art but for memes in general,” Torres recently told Mashable. “It’s gained its own amazing subculture with incredibly creative fans.”
2. Keyboard Cat
Orange tabby cat Fatso (a.k.a. Keyboard Cat) most recently appeared in a parody of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Google+ Hangout in February 2012.
Keyboard Cat’s origins, however, date back to 1984, and its popularity rose in 2007 after a clip was uploaded to YouTube. That video now has 25 million views. Keyboard Cat tends to make appearances in spoofs and even in commercials.
Meet the Kitlers, cats that look like dictator Adolf Hitler — mustache included.
News channel CNN even gave the Kitlers a segment in 2010, after comedian Stephen Colbert gave the meme a nod.
And, naturally, a website dedicated to Kitlers exists.
4. Hipster Kitty
Don’t mess with the feline’s thick glasses and purple hoodie. Advice animal image macro Hipster Kitty knows everything about hipster culture before you do.
Tumblr and Reddit are credited with circulating this bad boy. Many hip cats have followed in Hipster Kitty’s footsteps, showing their support over at HipsterKitty.com
5. Invisible Bike Cat
Not many animals can say they’ve had a humongous mural made in their honor. Invisible Bike Cat can, though.
In 2008, people painted the LOLcat on a three-story building in San Francisco.
Well, that’s one way to take your Internet fame offline, eh?
6. Happy Cat
If you like the LOLcat website, I Can Has Cheezburger, you can thank its originator, Happy Cat.
Without Happy Cat, the humor website — which turned 5 this year — might not exist.
Maybe I Can Has Cheezburger will give Happy Cat a cameo in its forthcoming reality TV show.
7. Breading Cats
Warning: Please do try this at home.
Breading Cats, the series of photos featuring cats with bread has headgear, resurfaced this year after Gawker published an article about the “hot new Internet meme” in January. The meme began last fall.
8. Chemistry Cat
We’d call this wisecrack a “smarty pants,” but we’re not sure Chemistry Cat is wearing any.
This feline’s jokes are a thing of science…literally.
This critter’s name says it all. Longcat is known for its body length.
“Longcat is LOOOOOOONG,” says the Longcat entry in Urban Dictionary.
The torso is likely good for “meows” and such.
10. Business Cat
What if your boss was a cat? The world may never know, but for now, you can live vicariously through Business Cat.
This tie-clad advice animal image macro series rattles orders similar to human office bosses.
11. Anxiety Cat
Not as cool as Hipster Kitty, this advice animal image macro is full of one emotion: anxiousness.
Anxiety Cat freaks out over every little thing, akin to real cats.
12. Serious Cat
Not gonna make any jokes here, you know, ’cause Serious Cat won’t care. We’ll let Urban Dictionary describe this uptight feline:
“A very f***ing serious white cat popularized by imdb.com user Timmys_DownTheBloodyWell. He is Emperor and Supreme overlord of a board called ‘The Sandbox’ as well as President of the Anti-squirrel coalition. In his spare time he enjoys spreading awareness of the seriousness of a thread, killing infidels (mostly squirrels), and he also taking long llama rides on the beach.”
13. Ceiling Cat
“Ceiling cat is watching you masturbate.” With those words plopped onto this photo, the pic rose to fame in 2006, according to Know Your Meme.
14. Lenin Cat
Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin first got the cat meme treatment in 2007, when I Can Has Cheezburger posted a photo of the stern-looking cat with the attached text:
“MAKE READY MY SHIP GENERAL. IT IS TIME TO SHOW THOSE DOGS WHAT WE ARE MADE OF.”
The text-over-photo meme gives another meaning to “Leninism,” don’t you think?
15. OMG Cat
So this is how OMG Cat reacted when he found out he was chosen for Mashable‘s “15 Best Cat Memes Ever” list.
Watch the feline’s full react huuuuuur.
Celebrated cats of the past have been pushed aside and replaced by their Internet-famous brethren.
Remember Copy Cat, the first cloned cat? Orangey, the cat from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and other movies? Oscar, the cat with bionic legs? Yeah, didn’t think so.
In the past few years, web felines have risen from the kitty litter, pouncing onto your screens to steal your productivity. We’ve rounded up the 15 best cat memes ever in the gallery above. Enjoy! Don’t get clawed.
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