Animal trainer Vicki Hearne, following poet John Hollander, described cats as “infinitely interpretable texts,” and authors and artists have inscribed meaning onto cats in a variety of media for centuries (235). On the Internet, cat memes gained popularity in the mid-2000s, but with this timeline we argue that their origins stretch back to at least the 18th century. Our timeline traces the evolution of cat memes from 18th century emblems through the rise of Internet popular culture.
- popular culture
- viral media