If you’re a nerd like me, you probably know all about “lolcats” already. If you’re not a nerd (which is more likely), then you either have never heard of lolcats or you have but don’t know what it is. Allow me to explain.

A number of humor sites on the internet feature something called “photoshop contests” wherein a particular photograph is modified to (hopefully) comic effect. One particular site (4chan) began having “caturdays” in which the contests would be cat-oriented. Eventually, the idea became more widespread and websites devoted to lolcats began to appear. The most famous of these is probably, where lolcats developed it’s own subculture and vocabulary. Here is one of the first lolcat pictures:


The caption represents what the cat is saying or thinking and is usually in broken English that can best be described as “baby talk”. If cats learned English from the way their owners talk to them, you can imagine that many of them might talk this way. The peculiar phrasing served as a precedent for later pictures. Here is another oft-used idiom:


Lolcats can often be found “in ur noun, verbing ur plural noun.” This one departs slightly from the formula:


Lolcats can also take on specific roles in which they are renamed to reflect that role. The first was “monorail cat”:

 monorail cat

Others would follow:

trashcan cat

Eventually, somebody invented “ceiling cat” who is the Creator of all lolcats:

Funny pictures rated PG-13

Although ceiling cat’s first appearance was somewhat off-color, future appearances were less risque:


Sometime after that, ceiling cat’s nemesis, “basement cat”, came to be:

Humorous Pictures

Another favorite device is to pretend an imaginary, invisible object is in the picture:

invisible sandwich
invisible bike
invisible swimming pool

Sometimes the lolcat is helpful or generous, but fails due to personal weakness:

made you a cookie

Of course, there are variations on that theme:

i weveled up yur guys
upgraded ram

Some pictures depict the lolcat in a particular situation expressing human emotion:

bear telled me
day i got cookie
why you do this

Like a child, the lolcat mostly likes playing games that require imagination:

find ur own fortz plz! already gardn dis 1

Occasionally, other animals join the lolcat fun:


All pictures from where you’ll find thousands more.

7 Replies to “Lolcats”

  1. haha – bella’s gonna love this! i have a book that she reads over and over (while in the bathroom) that has similar cat pics with captions. I think it’s called Bad Cat.

  2. so ya, bella (and kendrick) loved the lolcats! BUT, I totally forgot about ceiling cat so when we got to that one I had to leave it at “watching you” and quickly go to the next b4 bella noticed the rest…

  3. OMG – I wish you’d never told me about that site. I could easily spend all day there! Hell, I just wasted a half hour here at work looking at lolcats! Thanks for contributing to my slacker-ness……

  4. Sorry for the uncomfortable moment, Mardy. I’ve modified the entry to be kid-friendly.

    Graham also loves lolcats and we spent the weekend driving Tina crazy by talking like lolcats: “I can has bike ride?” and our favorite, “I made you french toast, but I eated it.” She’s coming around, though, and is starting to use lolcat phrasing herself.

  5. lol – ya, bella and kendrick have both started speaking lolcat too!! they brought be mothers day gifts and a card, then bella told me “And I made you cookie, but I eated it”. and of course kendrick, who always has to have the last word, pipes in “And I made you cake, but I eated it”.

    we spend a lot of time at the site in our spare time too. when the kids are with me I just have to be on the lookout for ceiling cat! lol

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