The I Can Has Cheezburger Cat meme was circulated in 2007 first and became extremely popular. The cat was a British Shorthair Cat, which comes from England. British Shorthairs are gorgeous, friendly, playful, and intelligent cats that are loyal to their pet parents.
If you don’t know much about the meme of the I Can Has Cheezburger Cat or British Shorthair Cats but would like to, join us as we discuss them below.
History of The British Shorthair
The history of the British Shorthair goes back to the first century AD and the Roman Empire. Rome was attempting to invade and subjugate its neighbors in the British Isles. The Romans loaded thousands of soldiers onto their great ships and set sail for modern-day England, and with them, they brought cats.
It was common for Roman soldiers to bring cats with them as they were the most reliable way to keep their camps free from mice. Although the Romans only made it to Hadrian’s Wall and eventually had to abandon Britain, the cats they brought stayed. The cats left behind by the Romans bred with Britain’s wildcat population, resulting in the British Shorthair.
The British Shorthair has gone through many changes and hardships since it first appeared on the British Isles. One such change was to its color; in the 1800s, breeders began breeding the British Shorthair to have a bluish-grayish color. This blueish-gray color became extremely popular and is the color of the cat from the “I Can Has Cheezburger” meme.
The popularity of the British Shorthair grew further in 1871 when it was featured in the first-ever cat show. The British Shorthair was the most popular cat in Britain, but unfortunately, its fame soon diminished.
In 1914, the First World War began and had disastrous results for the British Shorthair. During the conflict, the breed’s population fell drastically and came close to extinction. Things didn’t get any better during the Second World War and instead worsened. After the war, breeders began mixing the British Shorthair with other breeds, including Russian Blues, Persians, and French Chartreux. This crossbreeding was enough to bring the British Shorthairs’ numbers back to a healthy amount.
After all of this hardship, the American Cat Association recognized the breed in 1967. The British Shorthair has since been recognized by the International Cat Association, the Cat Fanciers Association, and the Fédération Internationale Féline.
I Can Has Cheezburger Meme: What is it And How Did It Come to Be?
To answer that question, we have to go back to the ancient history of 2003. In 2003, a Russian cat food company called Happy Cat posted an image of a British Shorthair sitting on the ground and smiling at the camera. Sources differ on this cat’s name; it was either Misha or Frank. The cat was not the mascot for Happy Cat, and the image would’ve been completely forgotten if it weren’t posted to the forum site “Something Awful.”
Something Awful Forum
Something Awful is a forum site founded in 1999 and one of the oldest internet forums still active today. The site has had a significant effect on internet culture and the online community at large. The Happy Cat image first appeared on Something Awful in 2003, and soon after, users began superimposing text over the image and reposting it. Apparently, the image was first posted by Something Awful user “FancyCat,” but that is unverifiable.
In 2007, a Happy Cat meme was once again posted to Something Awful, but this time it had the words “I Can Has Cheezburger?” superimposed over it. This, for some reason, went viral and created a meme known as “LOLcat.”
LOLcat memes feature a photo of a cat, typically Happy Cat, and text that is written in “LOLcat Speak.” LOLcat speak is basically broken English; the words have and has are switched around, the letter S is sometimes switched out for the letter Z, and all indefinite articles are removed. It’s designed to mimic the way a toddler would speak and represents how a cat would speak English.
The LOLcat meme, of which the “I Can Has Cheezeburger” version was most popular, eventually resulted in the creation of a website called “I Can Has Cheezburger.” The site was founded by Eric Nakagawa, the original poster of the I Can Has Cheezburger meme, and his girlfriend, Kari Unebasami.
Time Magazine claims that the site was acquired in September 2007 by a group of investors for $2 million, which led to the founding of a company called Cheezburger. The company now owns several entertainment sites and forums, including the original I Can Has Cheezburger site.
Today LOLcat is a “dead meme.” “Dead meme” is a phrase used to refer to memes that have lost their popularity, faded out of relevancy, and are no longer considered funny by most of the internet. LOLcat isn’t alone in this, though; all memes are destined to die eventually.
As you can see, the I Can Has Cheezburger Cat was extremely popular for quite some time, and though its popularity waned, the popularity of the British Shorthair has not. If you want to adopt one of these gorgeous, loyal cats, you can check the local shelter or contact a reputable breeder. Your cat might not be like the I Can Has Cheezburger Cat, but it will love you just as much and be a loyal friend for many years to come.
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Featured Image Credit: truenos86, Shutterstock