Back in the earliest years of the Internet, there was a fetid swamp known as 4chan. Although it was populated by many creative and funny people, those realms were also infested with trolls, whose only joy in life seemed to be spreading homophobia and stupidity. Nevertheless, from that murky swamp emerged an unlikely hero in the form of a white cat, who soon earned the moniker Longcat. A few years after Longcat’s birth in 2005, I discovered the big guy, and it was love at first sight. And here’s why.
According to KnowYourMeme, a man from Japan posted the original photo of Longcat, whose real name is Shiroi. The man’s colleagues on the boards quickly started referring to her as “nobiiru,” or “stretch.”
It didn’t take long for people to realize an awesome Photoshop challenge when they saw it, and before long, infographics depicting Longcat’s size began showing up.
Who knew a humble creature like Longcat could find herself standing in space if she simply got up on her hind legs? People soon began developing massively long drawings of Longcat like this one. (Warning: Portions of this illustration are NSFW.)
Did you really think it was a flag those Marines were hoisting at Iwo Jima? No! The only reason you think so is because of a vast conspiracy in which a photo was doctored to ensure that the gullible public didn’t know the truth: that a cat was really controlling the universe!
Well, okay, nerds love just about every cool Internet meme that comes along, but when you combine cats, computers, and extreme length, you’ve got fodder for true awesomeness.
In February of 2007, another fetid swamp of trollery known as /b/ provided the cradle for Longcat’s archrival, Tacgnol. It soon became known that the two cats had been engaged in a battle for control of the world since their earliest years.
Since the fine, upstanding citizens of 4chan and its ilk have nothing better to do with their time, they decided they needed to create an entire mythology around the two cats. Naturally, since every creation myth also has an end-of-time myth, the epic battle between Longcat and Tacgnol is supposed to end in an apocalyptic era known as Catnarok. (Warning: This link goes to Encyclopedia Dramatica and therefore is, by its nature, not safe for work — and probably pretty offensive to some.)
If Tacgnol wins, things might not end well for the kitties.
What’s your favorite Internet cat meme? Tell us in the comments!