Fall 2019 has given us a change of season and a brand new meme: “Woman yelling at a cat,” otherwise known as “the cat meme.”The viral photo is a mashup of a blonde woman yelling at a confused looking white cat sitting in front of a plate of vegetables.
One features a teary-eyed woman angrily yelling, another captures a particularly angry looking cat. Yes, the internet is in love with the Woman Yelling At A Cat meme; the phenomenon even made its way into a few Halloween costumes.
But what is the cat meme, exactly, and how did it become so popular? Well, firstly, the meme’s virality is due to simple happenstance, of course. The images had each been used individually as memes themselves—and both have separate origins—but once put together, they became magic.
So if—like we were—you’re wondering how this all came about, we’ve broken it down for you, finding some of the internet’s best examples, and even talking to the woman in question, Taylor Armstrong. Here’s everything we know about the woman yelling at a cat meme you’re seeing all over your social media fe.
The human half of the meme finds its origins from a 2011 episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, where then-cast member Taylor Armstrong found herself in an emotional confrontation with Camille Grammer, as fellow housewife Kyle Richards attempts to calm her down.
“During the screaming scene, I was truly terrified for my life and my safety.
“I have healed and grown so much stronger since that moment and am in such a happy place with my husband and daughter. I never imagined of all my TV moments, that would be the one to become a ‘meme’ sensation.
While this may be a way to heal from a painful experience, Armstrong understands why she’s prime for memeable moments and GIFs. “I think I am easily meme-able because I can be very animated, especially when I am upset! There is quite a bit of Housewives content of me screaming, crying, eye rolling and laughing to choose from.
I guess I created the Taylor gallery for memers to use and create.”
As for the other half of the meme starring the angry white cat, its origins began on Tumblr, when user deadbefordeath posted a photograph of a white cat with a bewildered expression sitting in a chair in front of a plate of vegetables.
The caption back then was: “he no like vegetals.”
And before you ask—yes, “the cat” has a name: Smudge.
And you can follow him on Instagram.
When did the cat meme go viral?
But the conventional form of the meme—which features the image of Armstrong and Smudge expressing differing opinions, also known as “object labeling” in the meme lexicon—first took off on Reddit, the breeding ground for meme culture.
“It was ‘Boomers’ ‘Millennials’ and ‘Gen X’ featuring Megan Mullally from Will Grace. Her character, Karen, is fabulous, so it was fun to share a meme moment with her.
I never expected all the future memes to come.”
Part of the reason for the meme’s virality is due to Armstrong‘s engagement with people who tag her in their social media posts—and in particular, this clapback when she went uncredited for her work in meme history:
She’ll even interact with you IRL if she runs into you in costume: “The fact that people have come up with so many versions is pretty amazing.
I ran into someone at a Halloween party dressed as the cat so, of course, we took the photo op for me to ‘yell’ at him.”
Of course you can! We’ve gathered some of the best of the best for you to chuckle at:
“There are so many creative ones, it’s hard to choose a ‘best of,’ but the baseball altercation between me as the Washington Nationals’ Manager and the Cat as the umpire made me laugh. The fact that it came out the day after the game was so timely.
The Terminator version is another ‘best of.'”
.I do like cats.
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