Cats are undoubtedly one of the most popular animals online. According to a CNN 2019 review, we now have access to over 6.5 billion pieces of cat media content. The interest in cats is not new to us. We may think of Ancient Egypt’s deep respect and veneration for the animal or even the Victorian era photography of cats dressed up in costumes. In the same vein as our ancestors, we are now creators of cat-based online content as we share our silly cat videos and pictures later to be turned into viral memes which is the subject of this timeline (created by Emily Griffin, our student assistant on the Hivi Project and a Master’s student in contemporary European history at the university of Luxembourg), along with some special mentions of famous cats known for their bravery and their overall positive impact on society.
For those interested in looking further into the topic :
Jessica Maddox, The Internet is for Cats. How Animal Images Shape Our Digital Lives, Rutgers University Press, 2022.
E.J. White, A Unified Theory of Cats on the Internet, Stanford University Press, 2020.
Ethan Zuckerman, Cute Cats to the Rescue ? Participatory Media and Political expression, MIT Open Access Articles, 2013.