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If you’ve ever come across the iconic “I Can Has Cheezburger” cat meme and wondered what kind of cat is featured in it, you’re in for a treat. The cat in question is a British Shorthair, hailing from England. These beautiful cats are not only known for their charming appearance, but also their friendly and playful nature. So, if you’re curious to learn more about this meme-worthy feline and its history, join us as we beaconpet explore the origins and characteristics of the I Can Has Cheezburger cat.
History of The British Shorthair
The British Shorthair is a breed of cat with a fascinating history that dates back to the first century AD and the Roman Empire. During their attempts to invade and subjugate neighboring territories, Roman soldiers brought cats with them on their ships. These cats served as reliable protection against mice in their camps. While the Romans were unsuccessful in their conquest of Britain and eventually had to retreat, the cats they brought along remained. Over time, these cats interbred with the wildcat population in Britain, giving rise to the British Shorthair breed we know today.
One significant change the British Shorthair went through was its color. In the 1800s, breeders began to selectively breed the cats for a bluish-grayish color. This unique color became highly sought after and is the color of the famous “I Can Has Cheezburger” meme cat. The popularity of the British Shorthair continued to grow, and in 1871, it was featured in the first-ever cat show. However, the breed’s fame eventually waned.
The British Shorthair faced challenging times during the two World Wars. The First World War, which began in 1914, caused a significant decline in the breed’s population, bringing it close to extinction. Unfortunately, things didn’t improve during the Second World War. After the war, breeders had to introduce other breeds, such as Russian Blues, Persians, and French Chartreux, to revitalize the British Shorthair population. Thankfully, this crossbreeding effort was successful in restoring the breed’s numbers to a healthy level. In 1967, the American Cat Association recognized the British Shorthair, and it has since gained recognition from other prominent cat organizations worldwide.
I Can Has Cheezburger Meme: What is it And How Did It Come to Be?
The I Can Has Cheezburger meme, featuring a British Shorthair cat, gained immense popularity after it first circulated in 2007. To understand its origin, we have to go back to 2003 and an image posted by a Russian cat food company called Happy Cat. The image depicted a British Shorthair cat sitting on the ground and smiling at the camera.
The image was initially posted on the forum site “Something Awful,” one of the oldest internet forums still active today. Users on Something Awful started superimposing text over the image and reposting it, creating an internet phenomenon. In 2007, a meme featuring the words “I Can Has Cheezburger?” was posted on Something Awful and went viral, leading to the creation of the meme known as “LOLcat.”
LOLcat memes typically feature a photo of a cat, often the British Shorthair from the Happy Cat image, with text written in “LOLcat Speak.” LOLcat Speak consists of broken English, with words like “have” and “has” switched around, the letter “S” replaced with “Z,” and the removal of indefinite articles. This style of text was meant to mimic the way a toddler would speak and how a cat would speak English.
The LOLcat meme’s popularity eventually led to the creation of the website “I Can Has Cheezburger,” founded by Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami. The site was acquired by a group of investors in September 2007 and became the foundation for a company called Cheezburger. Today, LOLcat is considered a “dead meme,” but it played a significant role in shaping internet culture and the online community.
The I Can Has Cheezburger Cat meme may have lost its popularity over time, but the British Shorthair breed remains cherished and adored by cat lovers worldwide. These gorgeous, loyal cats make wonderful companions, whether or not they resemble the meme’s iconic cat. If you’re considering adopting a British Shorthair, check your local shelter or get in touch with a reputable breeder. Your furry friend may not say “I Can Has Cheezburger?” but their love and companionship will bring you joy for many years to come.